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Old 06-27-2009, 05:26 AM   #11
Darryl Shaw
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Kustes View Post
Ahh yes, so Occam's Razor only applies when it's in your favor huh? It couldn't possibly be that diets high in saturated fat aren't unhealthy could it? It has to be genetics, red wine, exercise, or some other factor. Well how about this...if it's exercise, why aren't all of those exercising Americans being protected from their diets?
If there was a group of people who were truly genetically adapted to a diet high in saturated animal fats it would most likely be the Masai yet autopsies show they develop atherosclerosis at about the same rate as most Americans. Inuits also develop atherosclerosis as you'd expect given their traditional diet however the seasonaly varied nature of their diet allows their arteries to recover during periods of reduced fat intakes. Also the idea that their diet keeps them in robust good health is something of a myth when you consider that they have the worlds highest rate of osteoperosis.

So while there may be the odd individual who enjoys some degree of protection from the harmful effects of a diet high in saturated animal fats due to some random genetic variation, just as there are some people who can smoke two packs a day and live to 100, there is little doubt that for the majority of the population diets high in saturated animal fats are unhealthy. So the question is this; do you want to eat a diet high in saturated animal fats (or smoke two packs a day) and gamble that you're one of the lucky few who enjoys some degree of protection thanks to your genes or are you going to look at the odds and figure that the smart thing to do is eat a little less saturated animal fat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Kustes
How about all of those Polynesian societies that subsist on the highly saturated coconut fat with no ill effects? What's the story there? What kind of excuse can we come up with to sidestep the obvious facts?
The majority of Polynesians do not subsist on coconut fat -

Quote:
Traditional Cooking Methods and Food Habits.

The traditional Pacific Islander diets are superior to Western diets in many ways. The weaknesses of the traditional Pacific Island diets are minimal and the strengths are immense. Traditional foods are nutrient-dense, meals are prepared in healthful ways, and oils are used sparingly. The high-fiber, lowfat nature of these diets reduces the risk for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer.

Starchy foods are the foundation of the traditional diet. For example, the traditional Hawaiian diet is 75 to 80 percent starch, 7 to 12 percent fat, and 12 to 15 percent protein. Starch in the diet comes primarily from root vegetables and starchy fruits, such as taro, cassava, yam, green bananas, and breadfruit. In addition, the traditional diet is plentiful in fresh fruits, juices, nuts, and the cooked greens of the starch vegetables (e.g., taro, yam). Traditional meals include poi (boiled taro), breadfruit, green bananas, fish, or pork. Poi is usually given to babies as an alternative to cereal. Many dishes are cooked in coconut milk, and more than forty varieties of seaweed are eaten, either as a vegetable or a condiment. Local markets with fresh foods are still abundant in most islands.

As expected, fish and other seafood are abundant in the Pacific Islands and are eaten almost every day in some islands. Most fish and seafood are stewed and roasted, but some are served marinated and uncooked. Pork is the most common meat, and it is used in many ceremonial feasts. Whole pigs are often cooked in pits layered with coals and hot rocks. Throughout the Pacific Islands, pit-roasted foods are used to commemorate special occasions and religious celebrations. The part of the pig one receives depends on one's social standing.

Samoans usually welcome visitors with a kava ceremony. Kava is made from the ground root of a pepper plant and is mixed with water. It is strained and usually served in a stone bowl or a half of a coconut shell. It looks like dirty water and tastes somewhat like dirty licorice. Guests are expected to drink it in one gulp. In Hawaii, luaus are common. A luau usually features pit-roasted pig, chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Traditional meals are highly seasoned with ginger, lime or lemon juice, garlic, onions, or scallions, depending on the dish. Lard and coconut oil (both saturated fats) are the most common fats used in cooking and give foods a distinctive flavor. Traditional beverages include fruit juices, coconut water, local alcoholic concoctions, and teas (primarily introduced by Asian immigrants).
http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Ome-Po...s-Diet-of.html

The exceptions to this are the islanders of Pukapuka and Tokelau who rely on the coconut as a dietary staple and derive their coconut fat from fresh whole coconuts. They do not traditionally consume processed coconut fat or any other refined oils. Even amongst these islanders though their fat intake isn't high at 83 and 156g/day respectively with saturated fats (largely of plant origin) contributing just 63 and 137g/day in diets providing 2120 and 2520 kcals/day. It therefore seems clear that the good health of most Polynesians can largely be attributed to their traditional plant based diet high in fresh locally procured foods and freshly caught fish and their low intakes of processed foods and saturated animal fat.

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/34/8/1552
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