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30 responses

  1. "
    Methuselah – Pay Now Live Later
    October 26, 2008

    Scott, Rusty, nice post and great job on simplifying this topic.

    I am currently reading a book that goes into the full detail on fats so I know just how complicated a topic it is. Sounds like you may have plans to cover the separate areas in bite sized chunks in the future, so I am looking forward to that. I am particularly interested in knowing which animal fats I should aim to use. I enjoyed Greg’s post on Modern Forager about the book ‘Fat: An Appreciation of A Misunderstood Ingredient’. So my vote is on the next post covering that!

  2. "
    October 26, 2008

    I tend to NOT care about complicated nutritional (or training) facts anymore. I prefer the basics and that is why I like Eat Stop Eat so much – just eat less if you wanna weigh less.

    This is why I DO like this article too. Plain and simple.

    Eat animal fat, eat olive oil, eat coconut oil, eat red palm oil.

    Forget about the other oils that are extracted via advanced 20 century space technology.

    Keep it simple and you’ll succeed!

    Thanks Scott,


  3. "
    Alex Kay
    October 26, 2008

    Interesting, interesting! Fats are the new proteins :-) just kidding.

    Anyway, I didn’t know about the poly-fats, so I guess I learned something after all today.

    Thanks a lot for that, and thanks Rusty for bringing Scott over here!

    Take care guys,

  4. "
    October 26, 2008

    I loved this part of your article:

    What else does my choice of natural fats rule out? Vegetable oils. Okay, so I just lost half of you who have now chalked me up to a quack. To the rest of you, here’s the logic:

    MSM (Main Stream Medicine in this case) has decided that fat is bad for us and that saturated fat is realllyyyy bad for us.

    And they are going to continue to hammer home this idea no matter what the research says.

    Personally, I am neither a low-carb, low-fat, Mediterranean or typical Western diet follower.

    My job requires me to keep up to date on the latest science.

    As such, I am in agreement with what you have written here about fats and human nutrition.

    But more than that, I agree with this statement:

    I say this to point out the underlying reality of fats: it’s far too complex of an area to be condensed to a single talking point of “fat is bad” or “fat is good”.

    Now if only MSM could temporarily suspend it’s hate-on against fats long enough to fund some decent research, we might actually come to the realization that a diet based on empty carbo calories may not be the best choice for our health.

  5. "
    October 26, 2008

    Very good information here, a lot of people still think fats are all the same, and that they should all be avoided, but that’s not true, this post clears up all the confusion about it

  6. "
    Andrew R
    October 26, 2008

    Hey Rusty,

    What happened to making shorter posts? lol, just kidding. In all seriousness, I really liked the article and I’d love to see more complex issues broken down in this way. It makes it easier for everyone to get a grasp on such issues in a way that doesn’t lose their attention.

    Scott: I’ve been a fan of your blog for some time now, thanks for the post!! I really liked the post you just did on red meats and colon cancer by the way.

    All the Best,

    Andrew R

  7. "
    Son of Grok
    October 27, 2008

    Excellent use of your resources Rusty… Scott is always an excellent read. Scott…. excellent read!

  8. "
    Scott Kustes – Modern Forager
    October 27, 2008

    Methuselah, for cooking, I usually use either pastured pork lard or coconut oil. I have rendered beef tallow in the past and used that, but it’s far easier to pay $8 for a tub of lard from a local farmer that lasts for a long time. Some people use goose fat, chicken fat, duck fat, etc. Those all seem fine to me, but for simplicity and storage space, I just have a 4lb tub of pork lard that I keep around.

    DR, I think the unfortunate reality is that MSM has to distill things down to just a few words for the lay public. So when the misguided attempt to reduce saturated fat came around, they thought “No one will know what saturated fat is.” So we got “eat less fat”. Now it’s “eat good fats,” which still keeps the idea of “fat is bad” in the public’s mind…if there are “good fats” then there are obviously “bad fats,” right? I suppose it’s part of our soundbite nature where we get most of our news in 30-second bites.

    Andrew, I tried to keep it short. It was a lot of work for me! :) Thanks for the kudos.

    Thanks for asking me to do this Rusty!


  9. "
    October 27, 2008


    Thanks for the solid post as well as following up with these guy’s comments.


  10. "
    October 27, 2008


    I’ve been thinking about wanting to put on a little bit of muscle. My workouts have always consisted of resistance/cardio together on the same day. My plan is to stop the cardio for maybe a month to try to pack on some strength and muscle. Do you think this is a good idea? Is there a better way to go about building some muscle?

    I figure that since we’re moving into the fall/winter months now is the time to do it before cutting down for summer. I weigh around 157 and am 5’9” if that helps.

  11. "
    October 29, 2008


    List your working weights and reps on the major lifts:

    weighted dips (start without weight if you are too weak)
    weighted chins
    standing dumbbell shoulder presses
    dumbbell alternate curls

    Then, make sure to make 1 more rep every workout or every other workout. Do 2 sets of each, 8-12 reps, 3x per week. When you hit 12 reps on your second set, it’s time to raise the weight a bit.

    Oh, and get ready to grow!

    Muscle growth – simple, but it’s up to you to pay your dues with EFFORT.


  12. "
    October 29, 2008

    Great post.

    This may seem like a stupid question but….

    I am 6′, 155lbs and I have very low body fat, 5%, and I am lean. But I think when your body fat is too low it is harder to build or sculpt muscle. The way I see it if you have healthy fat or a little extra fat you can sculpt the muscle like wet clay. If you have very little fat it’s like trying to sculpt with dried out clay, so as you tone and tighten a muscle it can cause tears or injuries because of a lack of lubrication.

    I started to use extra virgin olive oil last year but had to stop because I found it was actually causing me to burn more fat. Now I eat avocado everyday and a little butter maybe once a week. I also started eating lamb chops twice per week and fillet steak once. I know everybody says red meat is bad but I’m from Ireland and the animals are grass fed. I just find it very difficult to get any results and the lack of fat is leaving my skin and hair really dry and my face looking kinda haggard.

    I want to increase my healthy fats without getting flabby. Any advice?

  13. "
    October 30, 2008

    Just wondering why oil extracted from an olive is better than say, oil extracted from a peanut or a sunflower seed? Must take a lot of those too, no?

  14. "
    October 31, 2008


    Man, I wish you were my mom/dad/big brother when I was growing up……….

    Rendering 10lbs of pork lard this weekend in the garage, as my Duck Fat is getting low. Anyone interested in Duck Fat, check out Hudson Valley at: http://www.hudsonvalleyfoiegras.com/foiegrasmarket.html

    Now if I can just save up some bucks for the Foie Gras

  15. "
    Scott Kustes – Modern Forager
    November 1, 2008

    SueT, All three of the foods you mentioned are probably sufficiently oily to make extraction pretty easy. For instance, an olive, you can squeeze the oil out by hand, which is why they can use a press for it. Peanut oil is produced the same way…pressing rather than chemical extraction. Not sure how sunflower oil is produced. The biggest issue with them is that they are very high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which as I mentioned above are prone to rancidity and oxidation. Further, they are exceptionally high in omega-6 fatty acids, throwing off the omega-3:omega-6 balance more so than most people are already off.

    Jay, sounds like you’re more than making up for the animal fats you didn’t eat as a youngster though. =)


  16. "
    Tom Parker – Free Fitness Tips
    November 2, 2008

    Hey Scott. Whilst I understand there is no way to fully categorise fats into these four broad categories you have cleared up a lot of the confusion. For example, vegetable oil does sound healthy even though as you say the extraction methods are actually quite questionable.

  17. "
    Justin Case
    March 9, 2009

    Very nice article. I am wondering about the statement of your eating three of the four oils for cooking but not olive oil. If they are of the same class why not use olive oil? I only use olive oil for cooking.

    Is coconut oil the only one that does not change structure when heated to a dangerous or unhealthy substance?

    I use to use lard, but then I discovered pork has enzymes that will not be destroyed even at temperatures in excess of 2,000 degrees and these enzymes are the cause of trichinosis. Or have I gotten something wrong in the mix?

    Very informative post. Thank you.

  18. "
    Jason G
    April 8, 2009

    This article was a great introduction to dietary fats; however I wish this article had a little more info about omega 3’s (more specifically EPA and DHA). There is some evidence(I am not any kind of expert) that show that adding omega 3’s to your diet can help you lose weight by balancing blood sugar and by flushing out bad fats from your body. In regards to David’s comment about adding good fats to your diet my new (after workout) breakfast routine consists of three omega 3 enriched eggs mixed with canned wild salmon and lightly fried red onions-scrambled together. To be fair I am currently on an omega 3 craze but this breakfast routine does include over 50 grams of protein.

  19. "
    C.michael amadi
    April 21, 2009

    thanks for teaching me about coconut oil it was a very interesting about the 3 omega and the 6 omega well thanks for everything

    take care,
    michael from ny

  20. "
    May 16, 2009

    Too many big words!!!! Why can’t we have a dumbed down words that a 5 year old could understand. It’s just too confusing!
    You read the definitions and next day you can’t remember which was which. It bugs me so I have no motivation to memorize all these terms.

    Just make it easy. Translate into simple terms and use them on food packaging. PLEASE!!!!

    A rating system would work….1 to 10. One being safe, 10 being deadly. LOL

  21. "
    Shurron Silva
    August 19, 2009

    Wow! Readers do not use coconut oil. It’s extremely high in saturated fat and we all know sat fat is the culprit of heart disease, high cholesterol, and fatty plaque in the arteries. Stay away from Sat fats which mostly come from animal sources and in this case coconut oil. Coconut oil should be mailny used by extremely active people such as Tarzan. People that drive or sit down during the day should not use this type of fat. If you don’t believe me look it up. most of our daily fat intake should come from monounsaturated fats, polyunsat. Fats, and very little if nec. from sat fat. sat fat is the fat that leads to high cholesterol-(body converts it), and cardiovascular disease (fatty plaque) just to name a few. Trans Fat is the gang leader and horrible!!!! Stay away from it, as it provides you with no benefit whatsoever. Unless your Bear Grisley,starving, and need the calories to get up the hill. Trans fat is mainly found in processed oil (MCDonalds), and vegetable shortening products used to make biscuits, pie crusts, do-nots. Its that greasy film on the bottom of those treats that you can feel on the roof of your mouth. i’ve seen it in frozen pizza as well as in wheat tortillas. Good Luck stay healty and stay away from trans fat and limit yourself to sat fat because it can add up to a heart attack-this is why ice cream is bad b/c of the sat fat content. Also the coconut oil is bad for business if you want references I’ll gladly post them.

  22. "
    November 14, 2009

    Great Post Shurron!!

  23. "
    January 30, 2010

    I had totally forgotten about this post and your recent post reminded me of the same. Needless to say, excellent post with wealth of information.

    Thanks Rusty + Scott

  24. "
    November 13, 2011

    i didn’t know much about fat but thanks to you I’ve learn so much thank you.

  25. "
    January 22, 2012

    What a great & realistic write up! As an CNT (certified nutritional therapist) I am always defending the use of saturated fats. Lucky you to live so close to Pike St.

  26. "
    July 26, 2012

    CLA, what is that type of fatty acid?

  27. "
    July 29, 2012

    From my experience I agree with the monounsaturated or saturated fat suggestion. The polyunsaturated fats are overrated and I believe most damages attributed to them are really caused by refined grains.

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