Saturday, June 25, 2011

Experimental Diet With A Diluted Twist

So I started this new experiment to reduce my stored PUFA concentrations by using fasting.  The idea is simply to use dilution.  I would fast to burn off about 20% of my stored fat then spend an equal amount of time refeeding on low PUFA foods.  Imagine it like diluting a can of paint, pouring off some dark paint and replacing it with light paint.  With each dilution the mixture becomes lighter.

The big question is "Will it work?"

If I understand how free fatty acids work in the body, it seems they are constantly flowing into and out of fat cells.  The stored body fat is a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.  These fats are in a constant state of being stored and released from adipocytes (fat cells).  Fat from a meal or the liver is mixed with the free fatty acids in the blood.  If you continue to eat the same foods over time then your stored fat will eventually resemble the fat composition of what you have been eating.

Here in the United States there has been a massive transition to polyunsaturated fats in the form of seed oils (such as soybean, canola, sunflower, peanut, and many more).  These seed oils are in bread, potato chips, snack foods, fried foods, and more.  Because they are fed to farm animals they even begin to show up in pork, poultry, and eggs.  One is walking in a minefield of polyunsaturated fats unless specific diligence is used.

Added to this is the confusion over what is a healthy fat.  The human body can make saturated and monounsaturated fats.  That is how important they are.  Polyunsaturated fats are difficult to avoid in nature.  Unless one is on a scientifically designed diet to exclude polyunsaturated fats it is unlikely that they can be completely avoided.  Polyunsaturated fats have been termed "essential" and that can make something which is unavoidable seem far too important.

I see the problem of obesity coming from polyunsaturated fats being too highly concentrated in the standard American diet at this time.  If they are reduced to a much lower level then obesity and all of the health problems associated with it should disappear.  However, making the change today will not produce significant results tomorrow.  It will take time...perhaps a few years.

The ratio of fats stored in the human body is compiled from the ratio of fats consumed and produced by the body over the last several years.  To reduce half of the body's tissue concentration of polyunsaturated fat would require about 680 days of eating a diet reflecting that reduced amount of fat.  Weight loss, if it is to be permanent, may take several years.

But what happens if you reduce your body's stored amount of PUFAs and replace them with saturated or monounsaturated fats?  It seems this can be accomplished in less than a year using the dilution method I mentioned above.  But would it produce the weight loss?  If not then what results would it produce?  The answer at this time is unknown.  That is why I am attempting a dilution experiment.  My experimental diet journal is on Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb website if you want to see where I am in the experiment so far.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Real Coconut Oil Diet

The idea is this:  polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are bad, real bad.  You want to minimize them in your body.  But how?  By eating highly saturated fat foods...especially coconut oil.

So you take a couple tablespoons of coconut oil for a week and gain 2 lbs.  You proclaim "This is B.S.!"  You throw your coconut oil in the trash and go on a water fast.  Congratulations, you have no idea what you are doing.

There is plenty of information on the internet about how bad PUFAs are.  It is a national disaster of epic proportions.  The obesity epidemic is only the tip of the iceberg.  We may never know the extent of the mess created by making PUFAs ubiquitous in the diet.  But we do know that it is possible to reduce the PUFA concentrations in our body tissues.

THE GOOD NEWS!

It is easy to reduce the PUFA in your body.  Avoid all of the high PUFA oils.  Read those ingredient labels.  Start consuming coconut oil on a daily basis.  Cut up some corn tortillas and brush them with coconut oil and bake them to make your own snack chips.  Throw out the margarine and vegetable oils in your pantry.  READ THOSE INGREDIENT LABELS.

Drink milk if you want to.  Eat cheese if you want to.  Eat chocolate if you want to.  Substitute coconut oil for margarine in recipes.  Don't worry about "extra virgin" type coconut oils.  The cheaper refined coconut oils may be even better because they have a longer shelf life and less materials in them that can speed up rancidity.

DO NOT COUNT CALORIES OR CARBOHYDRATES OR FATS IF YOU ARE OBESE!

There are a few foods you will want to avoid.  Avoid products with any vegetable oils in the ingredients (except the tropical oils).  Minimize nuts, peanuts, seeds and cashews.  Minimize poultry, eggs, fish and pork because they can be high in PUFA.  Less is best but none may be no fun. 

If you are going to consume fats you want them to be mostly saturated like coconut oil.  But the best part of coconut oil is that it is low in PUFA.  Macadamia nut oil is another good oil that is fairly low in PUFA but it is high in monounsaturated fat (MUFA).  Macadamia nut oil is also very expensive.  Olive oil and lard are okay if used sparingly.  But because of their PUFA content it might be better to use a lower PUFA alternative.

THE BAD NEWS!

It takes a long time to change your tissue PUFA concentrations.  For an obese person it takes about 2-3 years of eating a diet low in PUFA before you get to see the results.  It takes about 4 years to completely transform your tissue lipid concentrations to match your dietary lipid concentrations.  Every meal you eat is an investment in your future body.

If you can imagine eating normal foods and carefully avoiding foods high in PUFA for an entire year and not seeing any result, it could be understandably frustrating and seem like it will never work.  It takes patience and commitment to get results.  But in the end the effect is astonishing!  Look up the results of Jon Gabriel.  He went from over 400 lbs. to 183 lbs. and in the last few weeks the weight just flew off him.  Usually on a diet the last few pounds are the hardest to lose.

Here is a podcast interview with Dr. Ray Peat to check out.