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35: Dr. Steven Gundry | High-Fat Diets: Good vs. Bad

AIR DATE: January 17, 2013 at 7PM ET
FEATURED EXPERT: Dr. Steven Gundry
FEATURED TOPIC: “High-Fat Diets: Good vs. Bad”

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Depending on who you ask these days, a diet described as “high-fat” can either be a very good thing or a really bad thing for your health. For those of us who embrace a healthy low-carb lifestyle change, we understand the significant role that dietary fat plays in providing satiety, as an alternative fuel for our body in the absence of significant amounts of carbohydrates and other important health functions. But are all fats created equal? Absolutely not!

That’s why we’re so pleased to welcome a bona fide expert in this area who knows just a thing or two on differentiating between the outstanding good fats and the truly bad fats. His name is Dr. Steven Gundry and he is one of the top heart surgeons and researchers in the world. But his real passion is in helping people stay off of his operating room table through the healthy nutritional principles he shares in his book Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline (listen to my two-part “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” interview with Dr. Gundry about his book in Episode 179 and Episode 180). He’s joining us in Episode 35 of “Ask The Low-Carb Experts” to learn more about what fats you should embrace and which ones you should run away from on your low-carb, high-fat diet.

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Here are a few of the questions we addressed in this podcast:

RENEE ASKS:
My husband’s family has a very strong family of heart disease. He is doing better with controlling his carbs. However, he is not low-carb and will not do low-carb. My question for Dr. Gundry is this: if my husband is eating a moderately high level of carbohydrates, is it dangerous to combine that with more saturated fat? I always buy good quality fats like Kerrygold butter, coconut oil and red palm oil. We only use extra virgin olive oil at room temperature poured liberally over steamed vegetables after they are cooked. I’m wondering if the combination of higher than optimal carbs with higher saturated fat is heart healthy or not. I believe that saturated fats are heart healthy if you eat moderately low-carb or even higher-carb. Or, should we lean more toward the monounsaturated fats like olive oil for him?

TYLER ASKS:
I am a patient of Dr. Gundry and he’s changed my life as well as several of my family members. I’d like to ask him to discuss the ApoE 3/4 or 4/4 genotype and why those who have it should be eating animal fats sparingly? It seems like many in the Paleo community seem to neglect this and Dr. G. has a different take on it.

DUSTIN ASKS:
Is it possible to eat too many macadamia nuts?

TESS ASKS:
Although Dr. Gundry is probably more interested in heart health than thyroid health, perhaps he can tell me more about what impact omega-6 fats have on thyroid function.

MICHELLE ASKS:
I have been aiming for consuming the best quality nutrient-dense foods, including fat sources like Kerrygold butter, organic cream cheese, olive oil, lard from foraging pigs and coconut oil. I have been eating high-fat cheeses, pastured beef, wild caught fish and salmon, dark meat with the skin from pastured chickens, bone broth, eggs, seaweed, olives, avocados and spinach. My first question for Dr. Gundry is: In light of my food choices, what information can I offer to my very sweet and concerned mother-in-law (who follows a low-fat, “healthy whole grains” diet) when she tells me she is afraid I will have a heart attack because of all the fat I am eating? And what can you tell women of childbearing age about nutrient-dense high-fat diets during pregnancy?

WENDY ASKS:
Is eating more fat from grass-fed and pastured animals than fat from expeller pressed organic oils good or bad for you while eating a low-carb diet? Are there any health concerns I should be aware of?

RAYMUND ASKS:
I would like to ask what Dr. Gundry thinks is an optimal ratio of the various fat types while on a ketogenic diet. What are the proper amounts of monounsaturated, saturated and polyunsaturated fat (including both omega 6s and 3s) that should make up our daily intake?

MARY ASKS:
In the optimal diet, where should I be getting most of my dietary fat from and how much fat is too much?

AMY ASKS:
Is eating one whole avocado daily providing too many omega-6 fats? We take fish oil supplements but my understanding is that it does not necessarily cancel out the other foods we are consuming.

MIKE ASKS:
I’ve heard a lot about the dangers of polyunsaturated fats but I don’t really understand where to draw the line. My general understanding is that trans fats are evil, mono and saturated fats are awesome, and polyunsaturated fats are somewhere in between. How much polyunsaturated fat is too much? Eating grass-fed beef means I have a half-hour drive to Whole Foods, making my own mayo means I have high fat tuna fish or egg salad less often, avoiding processed foods at restaurants makes it nearly impossible to enjoy a guilt-free night out with friends. I feel as though all of these “rules” make it nearly impossible for anyone to succeed on what is supposed to be a relatively straightforward approach to eating. How do you personally decide when to compromise food and/or fat quality for your sanity’s sake? Is it possible to drop that last bit of weight without complete and militant adherence to every rule under the sun?

SUSAN ASKS:
Why are the fats found in eggs not bad for us? Can I eat half a dozen eggs a day without any health consequences? And does eating too much saturated fat in your diet lead to an increase your uric acid levels and give you gout?

GEZ FROM THE UK ASKS:
Do you agree that a low-carb diet should also be moderate in protein and high in fat from a longevity and health perspective? And what are you thoughts on intermittent fasting which seems to happen naturally in people who eat enough quality dietary fats while limiting their carbohydrate intake?

VINCENT ASKS:
Can you please explain what if any connection there is between a high-fat diet and blood glucose levels? I know there is something that fat does in the metabolic process that reduces or eliminates sugar spikes, but I would like to hear an explanation about this.

BETH ASKS:
I would like to ask Dr. Gundry his thoughts on Organic Macadamia Nut Oil and grass-fed ghee, both of which I get online. I saw Dr. Gundry speak at a women’s health expo in November and am hoping he could clarify his thoughts on American chickens and the estrogen levels: Did he mean ALL chickens, including organic? And why is the estrogen in them so bad for us?

JEAN ASKS:
What do you think about using bacon fat in cooking?

LAURA ASKS:
I have a friend who is on insulin who is doing low-fat, high protein diet. I’m worried about the low-fat part of her diet for long-term success and the high-protein for her kidneys. What does Dr. Gundry think about what my friend is doing?

MICHALEA ASKS:
Are plant sources of fat good to consume although they may be higher in carbohydrates? What role does the fiber in these high-fat plant foods play?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Swaringen/100000250965440 Jonathan Swaringen

    Wondering if Dr. Gundry is against all expeller-pressed products? There seems to be decent companies out there that are expeller-pressed…I’m wondering if he was against expeller-pressed because it usually means its extracted with chemical solvents instead of mechanically…?

    • LLVLCBlog

      I don’t know.

  • http://twitter.com/dankoifman Dan Koifman

    I learned a lot from this interview. Did not know that Omega 3′s can be depleted by up to 90% in pregnant women to shunt these essential fats to the baby, and that is a probable source of post-partum depression, Keep up the great work Jimmy!

  • JollyRoguer

    What a great interview and Q & A. I am so glad he has gone back to earlier phases of his Diet Evolution. (Towards the end of that book, he was advising a heavy vegan agenda, ditching salmon for Boca Burger. ?!?!?)

    • LLVLCBlog

      His positions have solidified more with modern Paleo in recent years.

  • Peter Silverman

    Similar to warnings by William Davis and Ronald Krausse that eating a very high fat diet can be a godsend or a curse depending on your genetics.

  • Don in Arkansas

    Great podcast Jimmy. But disturbing as well. With his condemnation of all things store-bought, it seems we are all doomed. Many people don’t have access or means to buy all pastured meats and organic vegetables. I’m fortunate in that I can get farm fresh pastured eggs but grass-fed meats are not usually available, even though I live out in the sticks. :) I guess I have to just rely on the “do the best you can, with what you have, where you are” adage.

    • LLVLCBlog

      I wouldn’t be disheartened. Truly do the best you can and that’s all you can do.

  • Jane Vera

    Just finished this podcast and learned so much!! I jotted down lots of good information and some things I had never heard of. Being 63 I have the AGE’s (brown spots) and was excited to hear that they can disappear with less sugar and protein in my diet. I have been low-carb for a month and have learned so much from you and your podcasts. Thank You ever so much!! Keep up the great work!!

  • Robert

    I have the ApoE 3/4 genes and only discovered this after developing Xanthelasma (cholesterol deposits under my eyes) i already eat ketogenic and i always felt better eating fish over meat but i’m wondering if clarified butter still ok as its technically an animal fat? Some people are also saying that if you are ApoE 3/4 you shouldn’t eat very high fat and should actually raise carbs, confused!

    • LLVLCBlog

      We address the ApoE genotype and what diet is appropriate for the individual in CHOLESTEROL CLARITY: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1936608383/?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=ur2&tag=livilavidalow-20

      • Robert

        Thanks Jimmy i’ll check it out, i’m back on the LC wagon & sticking to seafood/coconut oil after hearing this interview with Dr Gundry last night. I think that being VLC for a while and then reintroducing daily carbs in the form of ice cream w/refined sugar caused the Xanthelamsas (which are also strongly linked to low HDL & ApoE3/4) I hope it was the carbs and not a butterfat sensitivity, I do love my Ghee!

        • LLVLCBlog

          Perhaps running a food sensitivity test could help you identify if there is an issue with any particular food. :)

  • Aristotle

    Hello Jimmy and friends. Thank you so much for changing my life. I love
    this diet. If a person tests positive for the ‘frailty’ or
    ‘alzheimer’s’ gene from the apo test, where should they get their
    arachidonic acid from? Thank you so much.