8 July 2014

In this issue...

  • What's New at StrongFast?
  • Feature Article: Change of Heart?
  • Fitness Found Online
  • Recipe: Chicken, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad

What's New at StrongFast?

optimist-rockWe had our first movement screens using the FMS (Functional Movement Screen). Expect to see a lot more about this stuff here in The Planet and at StrongFast. For a preview, visit functionalmovement.com.

More work happening on both strongfastfitness.com and blitzometer.com (despite some recent web hosting woes). Most of it behind the scenes for now, but it's all leading somewhere!

thai-padsAnd we have our new Muay Thai pads! Breaking them in with wapping class on Saturday mornings. Hope they last as long as the old ones, which are still going but pieces tend to fall off every time we hit them.


"I was at the gym a couple of weeks ago, and I was on the exercise bike, and it was close to closing time. And this heavyset lady came and sat on the bike right next to me, and she goes, 'I'm here to lose weight.' And I was like, 'Well, you waited 'til the last possible minute, didn't you?'"  -Chris Mata

Feature Article: Change of Heart?

butter-melting"Conventional Wisdom" is a "generally accepted belief." Something everyone just knows.

One of the things "everyone knows" is that saturated fat is very bad. And why wouldn't everyone know this? It's been repeated ad nauseum by authoritative and media sources alike since the flawed 1950s "Seven Countries" study that made Ancel Keys famous. (Moreso than his invention of K-rations.)

Despite repeated studies showing saturated fat is not the nutritional horror it was made out to be, only studies allegedly showing negative correlations were commonly promoted. It became uncontroversial to state matter-of-factly that saturated fat caused health problems (particularly cardiovascular), or more commonly, simply that it was bad. (The near-weekly reference to the evils of "artery-clogging saturated fat" by the infamous Dr. Oz became a running joke in our house. Although really, it was more sad than funny.)

Fortunately, we've recently seen a change in the dogma and it is picking up some momentum. Not only has Dr. Oz reconsidered his position (it's about freakin' time!), even old Time Magazine (they still print a magazine?)--which put Ancel Keyes on the cover back in 1961--had a cover story about the change of heart (get it?). (Of course, the cover put the blame on "scientists" and no culpability on the media that promoted bad science, cherry-picked results, exaggerated claims, or mis-reported findings. I must confess I didn't read their article.)

It won't be easy to overcome the long-held bad reputation of saturated fat, but let's look at just a few of the false fears.

"Since it's a solid at room temperature, it will clog arteries like plumbing pipes."

A solid at room temperature? You mean like broccoli? Also, the human body is not at "room temperature." At 98 degrees Fahrenheit, saturated fat is quite liquid. (I'm looking at you, tasty coconut oil.)

"Well, it still clogs arteries causing arteriosclerosis."

You can sort of forgive some people for still believing this since it was long believed this is how atherosclerosis clogged-pipe(hardening of the arteries) happened. But those much-maligned scientists have known better for quite a while now. "Atherosclerosis starts when the endothelium becomes damaged, allowing LDL cholesterol to accumulate in the artery wall." It's not fat getting "stuck" in the arteries; it all starts with damaged arterial walls. This damage is caused by inflammation. What causes the inflammation is less well understood, but it ain't saturated fat.

"Eating too much fat makes you fat."

Yes, yes it does. Because eating "too much" of anything is bad, by definition. (Drinking too much water can kill you.) The thing is, fat consumption tends to be self-regulating. Most people find butter quite delicious, but have you ever tried eating a stick of it? Not so pleasant. But spread it over bread or pour it over popcorn and you can consume a lot more. So don't blame the fat: it's an innocent bystander being abused against its will. Well, sort of. (You can make similar arguments about sugar and salt, but that's a different story.) Like butter (especially from grass-fed cows), I enjoy a small spoonful of coconut oil (not from grass-fed coconuts), but would never eat a bowl of it. Who would? Anyway, the point is this isn't an indictment of saturated fat, just Captain Obvious saying taking in more calories than you're expending will ultimately result in the body storing fat.

There's still (much) more to the story. Bottom line: saturated fat has been wrongfully convicted for many years. Let the available evidence set the record straight. As always, there's be more to be discovered and learned. (No nutrient can be properly examined in isolation. Nutrition is too complex a process.)

Be seeing you.


Fitness Found Online

wrong-way-signFollowing up on the Feature Article, here's one of seemingly dozens articles lately saying everything you know about fat is wrong. (Clearly they're not talking about us.)
fear-faceAnd one more, this time explaining why saturated fat is feared. (Because not enough people read The StrongFast Planet?)

Recipe: Chicken, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad

A blast from the past...

It's summer, so here's a tasty salad for you. Leftover grilled chicken makes it a lot simpler. And any sensible person would leave off the cheese. It's just milk gone bad, right? Come on, who's with me on this one? Hello? 

Chicken, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad.



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