I received this email from a reader:
I hope things are well on the farm. I wrote you several years ago letting you know Fat Head was my entree to LCHF and I ended up losing 300 lbs. and not dying!
So thanks for that.
I wanted to write to share with you a recent real-world refutation of lipophobia. I donate blood plasma twice a week and recently had a diet related issue. As happens for various reasons I haven’t been able to do a low carb diet full on. Recently my father and I went out to a Chinese restaurant and ordered the General Tso’s chicken drenched in sugary sauce, which came on a platter which should have fed a small to medium sized family. Needless to say, I ate the whole thing.
The next day while donating, my blood was thick and goopy with fat to the point where I was nearly unable to even donate. I received several stern lectures on the need to cut back on fat in my diet. I managed to bite my tongue, but I requested their dietary handout (attached) and skeedaddled.
So you have to wait forty eight hours before you can donate again. In the interim I made sure to limit my carbs and up my fats. When the day arrived, I made sure I was well hydrated and went in.
Long story not terribly short my blood composition was excellent. I’m sure this doesn’t shock you, it didn’t shock me, but it is good to rap this bad dietary advice on the knuckles every time it rears its ugly head.
All the best,
Here are quotes from the handout Brian received:
As we performed pre-donation screening tests, or during your donation, we found that your plasma was lipemic. Lipemic plasma contains a high amount of fat. Sometimes the foods you eat may cause excess fats to be present in your blood stream. Lipemic plasma can prolong your donation times and possibly cause you to be deferred from donating.
These are some dietary suggestions to help you avoid lipemic plasma and enjoy a timelier donation.
Reduce intake of or avoid high fat dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, egg yolks, cream and butter.
Reduce intake of or avoid high fat meats such as organ meats (e.g., liver), ham, sausage, and bacon.
There was further advice to avoid junk foods like potato chips and pizza, and to eat a low-fat meal before the next donation.
Same old, same old. They think saturated fat gives us fatty blood, but the science says otherwise.
In this study from 2011, researchers found that it’s processed carbs that raise the level of saturated fatty acids in the bloodstream, not eating saturated fat:
High CHO [carbohydrate] intakes stimulate hepatic SAFA [saturated fatty acids] synthesis and conservation of dietary SAFA. Hepatic de novo lipogenesis from CHO is also stimulated during eucaloric dietary substitution of SAFA by CHO with high glycaemic index in normo-insulinaemic subjects and during hypocaloric high-CHO/low-fat diets in subjects with the metabolic syndrome.
We conclude that avoidance of SAFA accumulation by reducing the intake of CHO with high glycaemic index is more effective in the prevention of CVD than reducing SAFA intake per se.
People who consciously cut down their intake of saturated fats may be surprised to read the results of a recent study. Carbohydrates had a higher risk for increasing levels of fatty acids in a person’s blood than saturated fats in a small study, recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The participants in this study each were given a diet that had the same number of calories — 2,500 — and the same amount of protein. The diets started with higher levels of saturated fats, but every three weeks, the researchers progressively replaced saturated fats with carbs. They found that as the 16 participants ate more carbs and fewer saturated fats, they had increased levels of palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid which is associated with diabetes and heart disease. When the participants ate a diet high in saturated fat and lower in carbohydrates, levels of palmitoleic acid actually decreased.
Brian passed his next screening by eating fat and avoiding carbs. The handout told him to avoid fats, but he knew better. The shame of it is that the supposed professionals don’t know better as well.
p.s. — And in other news … after years of swearing he’d never open a social-media account, The Older Brother has suddenly started popping up regularly on Twitter. He mostly tweets his libertarian/conservative take on things, so if you’re one of those “I like your posts about nutrition, but I don’t like your politics” types, you’ve been warned. For the rest of you, check him out at @genaughton57.