Saturated Fat And Muscle-The Stone Cold Truth

I love facebook for the interaction with my readers that it provides me and every so often I’ll get a thought provoking question that makes me stop and think.

Here’s what Austin Hamilton asked me recently (awesome question Austin)

“I just read the milk to lose weight thing and am curious what your take on saturated fat is. If you replace whole with skim your carbs don’t really change but you get saturated fat which most people try so hard to take out of their diet by believing false facts…..”

Austin is 100% right, most people do attempt to take saturated fat out of their diets in hopes that they’ll continue to lose weight. Maybe they are even stuck in the past and believe that all fat is bad.

The truth about saturated fat is that we need it for energy production and cell health. The main reason that transfats are bad is because of what they DON”T allow the cells to do, saturated fats fix that.

In addition saturated fats are needed to allow proper calcium absorption in our bones, maintain proper digestive health and boost our immune system.

Author of “Know Your Fats” Mary Enig has the following to say about people who don’t eat enough saturated fats.

“as a result of the presence of fat in the small intestine, special hormones are produced that prevent hunger contractions. … Too much fat in the diet and the loss of weight is thwarted; too little and the hunger pangs play havoc with good intentions and usually lead to overeating carbohydrates.”

So I think I’ve proven the point that we need them for our overall health but what about people that want to put on lean muscle mass. They’ve been told for years that since fats are broken down to cholesterol and cholesterol is converted to anabolic hormones that more fat is better.

This is simply a misinterpretation of the literature. This comes from a 2005 study done on men and fat intake.

Wang et al concluded that “Metabolic clearance rates of T were not changed and production rates of T showed a downward trend while on low fat diet modulation. We conclude that reduction in dietary fat intake (and increase in fiber) results in 12% consistent lowering of circulating androgens levels without changing the clearance

So we must eat large amounts of saturated fat to build muscle right? Well when you look at how much fat that the subjects ate you’d see that their fat levels were very low to begin with.

To sum it up, so to raise your hormones from fat intake, it must be at a BASELINE level not some higher then usual level that will store bodyfat. Oh…and saturated fat is heathy for you….eat it.

Wang C, Catlin DH, Starcevic B, Heber D, Ambler C, Berman N, Lucas G, Leung A, Schramm K, Lee PW, Hull L, Swerdloff RS. “Low Fat High Fiber Diet Decreased Serum and Urine Androgens in Men.”

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