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  #1   ^
Old Mon, Mar-15-10, 21:36
Mirrorball's Avatar
Mirrorball Mirrorball is offline
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Plan: Intuitive eating
Stats: 200/125/- Female 1.62m (5'4")
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Default Dr Kurt Harris answers the question 'Can dietary fat be stored as bodily fat?'

Short answer: yes.
Quote:
Heather asks on the forums:

Still not fully getting it, can dietary fat be stored as bodily fat?

Yes and no, but mostly yes.

Start thinking of dietary constituents as like money or commodities- amino acids and fatty acids are fungible. You can't say that this or that molecule becomes this or that thing, and it does not matter anyway. The more important thing is the "account balance" of the amino acid or fatty acid commodities

When you eat fats as TGs (triglycerides), the fatty acids are absorbed and either re-assembled into TGs for storage, or they are burned as fuel, or some of them may be used to make hormones or parts of cell membranes, etc.

There seems to be a predominant central misunderstanding , that this or that thing "turns into" or can't "turn into" something else in the body. Think of amino acids or fatty acids as like pounds sterling or euros and dollars - the body does not care where the currency it needs come from like your bank does not care where the dollars or euros or pounds in the vaults or on its digital ledgers came from. A molecule is a molecule, and there is no need to account for whether it came from last night's meal or one that occurred months ago, as it makes no difference.

As far as fat you eat being stored, think of it like this: What you eat, including the fat or carbohydrate or protein is one set of parameters that affect hormone levels that in turn affect fat storage. Your body does not decide what to do with each lipid molecule just like your bank doesn't decide what to do with each dollar you deposit. It does not "decide" to store fat because you ate too much of it. Instead, amounts of macronutrients you eat are one set of factors that influence the balance of fats in storage.

The question of whether the fatty acids you ate were stored or whether existing fatty acids were not released is meaningless becuase fatty acids are fungible- just like the bank reserves growing if money does not leave is the same as money coming in - think BALANCE or EQUILIBRIUM.

Let me explain further.

Net fat storage is just the difference between fats stored and fats released - both are happening at the same time. Just like the patron count in a busy night club can grow or shrink with people coming in and people leaving at the same time, depending on whether more come in than leave.

The hormones that are influenced by what you eat don't work by either locking the door or closing the bar and kicking everyone out. They work by changing the relative ease of entering or leaving the bar. So think of fat storage in fat cells the same way. Fat is constantly being stored and released at the same time - the question is not "on or off" but what is the ratio of the two processes.

If you have just been released from a POW camp on starvation rations, and you start eating 5000 calories a day of nothing but fat and protein, I can guarantee that you will start to store fat.

Alternatively, if you have lowered your caloric intake due to reduced hunger on a low carb diet, and have plenty of fat stores, and your body is seeing less glucose than it is used to, you will liberate and burn body fat wiht the randle cycle and low insuliin levels.

Is insulin involved? Yes. Do higher insulin levels, all other things being equal, shift the equilibrium towards storage and away from fat release? Definitely. Does any of this mean you cannot store fat without eating carbohydrate or that you cannot burn fat with insulin present? Of course not. You always have some level of insulin present if you are alive and healthy.

Insulin levels are an important factor in fat storage but they are not the only factor and IT IS NOT AN ON/OFF SWITCH. Insulin is ONE hormone that affects the storage/release equilibrium.

Source: Insulin is a doorman at the fat cell nightclub, not a lock on the door

I also liked the metaphor in the title.
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Mar-15-10, 22:21
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Plan: VLC, mostly meat
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Default

We already know all that. But the more appropriate question is can we grow fat, grow overweight, grow obese by eating a boatload of fat and if so how much fat must we eat to do so?
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Mar-15-10, 23:36
rightnow's Avatar
rightnow rightnow is online now
Every moment is NOW.
Posts: 18,185
 
Plan: Dirty Primal Mostly Keto
Stats: 520/398.8/350 Female 66 inches
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Progress: 71%
Location: Ozarks USA
Default

I swear Martin, I've grown so amused by the unpredictable (and mostly uninteresting) response of my body to various eating arrangements, that I'm seriously considering having some 1-week periods of rather bizarre food focuses. Like cream and protein powder, or something. I'm tempted to think that living on fat and some protein would not make anybody fat. If my carbs are <40, especially <30, I can eat damn near anything and any amount and not gain weight. But I can gain weight on calories allegedly waaaaay under my BMR if (a) they are way too low, or (b) the are high-carb, or (c) they contain low-carb slimfast (yes seriously). I know they say that too much fat/protein would cause weight gain but in the absence of most carbohydrate that just doesn't seem to happen. Not for me, not for some other folks I've seen who've tried things like that.
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 11:37
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TheCaveman TheCaveman is offline
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Plan: Angry Paleo
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Default

My eyes are bleeding! This guy needs an editor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Levac
We already know all that.


Right? Atkins, thirty or forty years ago? He might want to direct his readers to the basic literature, eh? (I know it's hard to write a blog when it has all been said before.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Levac
But the more appropriate question is can we grow fat, grow overweight, grow obese by eating a boatload of fat and if so how much fat must we eat to do so?

Yes. And can this amount of fat be consumed without puking? Difference between animal fat and plant fat? Did any of the blog commenters ask any good questions?
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 11:56
steve41 steve41 is offline
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Plan: atkins
Stats: 196/176/160 Male 5-9
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Default

Quote:
Right? Atkins, thirty or forty years ago? He might want to direct his readers to the basic literature, eh? (I know it's hard to write a blog when it has all been said before.)

I wasn't aware that Atkins fingered insulin in any of his literature.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 12:30
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svince6 svince6 is offline
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Plan: HighFat/LC
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Default

I realize I may sound very uneducated with this question but I need to ask it while this thread is new. (I am going back to read Atkins as well. I am already a true convert to this WOE, but I want to be able to explain it to others who have not yet adopted LC.):

What happens to the fat when someone eats high fat and high carb? (Would most of it be stored as TGs along with the excess carbs?) Does the high fat in addition to the high carb exacerbate the problems that the excess carbs cause?

Last edited by svince6 : Tue, Mar-16-10 at 12:37.
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  #7   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 12:48
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
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Default

Something happens to the fat you eat, other than getting excreted. If you were just passing it through, you'd have symptoms like taking Alli, pleasant things like fecal incontinence... i.e. pooping your pants, or "brown outs" as we called them in my family. You know, you think you farted but got a little something extra. My apologies to the squeamish!

So it requires insulin to store fat but as far as I know, there's always insulin around, you'd probably die if you had no insulin, and we can take type 1 diabetics for telling us about that. But what if you don't have lots of insulin?

Fat has to be converted to triglycerides to be burned. But so do carbs. I suppose the biggest difference is that there's loads of insulin around when you eat carbs.
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 13:28
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Mirrorball Mirrorball is offline
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Plan: Intuitive eating
Stats: 200/125/- Female 1.62m (5'4")
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Default

Remember the article was written in response to a question from a reader, so not everyone knows that. Myth spreads faster than science.

Quote:
What happens to the fat when someone eats high fat and high carb? (Would most of it be stored as TGs along with the excess carbs?)

The fat is stored until the carbs are burned, stored or converted to fat. Then, if you had a healthy metabolism, insulin levels would come down and the fat you ate would be released to be burned, and you wouldn't gain or lose weight.
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  #9   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 14:36
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Plan: VLC, mostly meat
Stats: 202/200/165 Male 5' 7"
BF:
Progress: 5%
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by svince6
I realize I may sound very uneducated with this question but I need to ask it while this thread is new. (I am going back to read Atkins as well. I am already a true convert to this WOE, but I want to be able to explain it to others who have not yet adopted LC.):

What happens to the fat when someone eats high fat and high carb? (Would most of it be stored as TGs along with the excess carbs?) Does the high fat in addition to the high carb exacerbate the problems that the excess carbs cause?

Well, first, the fat is not the problem regardless of how much carbs we eat. The problem is the carbs. Why would fat become bad once as we included carbs? See, it doesn't make sense. The fat still goes in fat tissue as normal, but the carbs shift the balance toward fat accumulation by stimulating insulin which inhibits fat release from fat tissue and by providing the substrate, glycerol, to form triglycerides for storage. Without the carbs, there is much less glycerol and there is much less insulin, so there is much less new trigs being formed and fat is allowed to flow freely from fat tissue. It's more complex than that and we can read about it in Taubes' GCBC but it will serve to answer your question at this time.
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  #10   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 16:10
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Posts: 45,211
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
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Default

Quote:
My eyes are bleeding! This guy needs an editor!

I don't think most people's blogs have editors. It's journalism for everyone, and not everyone is a copy editor.
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  #11   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 16:23
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avocado avocado is offline
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Plan: loosely PB
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Default

Actually, I mostly find him to be well-written. I would agree that this post was not so easy to follow. Maybe he's a little under the weather - his responses in the comments seemed a lot crankier than usual too!
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  #12   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 19:35
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Valtor Valtor is offline
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Plan: VLC 4 days a week
Stats: 337/279/200 Male 6' 1"
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Location: Québec, Canada
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avocado
Actually, I mostly find him to be well-written. I would agree that this post was not so easy to follow. Maybe he's a little under the weather - his responses in the comments seemed a lot crankier than usual too!

He is just losing some patience with what he calls the "Zero Carb cartoon ideas of metabolism". We should never forget that we always secrete some insulin. Zero Carb is not zero insulin.

Patrick
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  #13   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 19:39
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Seejay Seejay is offline
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Plan: Optimal Diet
Stats: 00/00/00 Female 62 inches
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy LC
I don't think most people's blogs have editors. It's journalism for everyone, and not everyone is a copy editor.
It's not journalism. Journalism had ethics and fact checking and editors. Blogging is opinion plain and simple, and he can have a bad day in my book, any time.
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  #14   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 20:07
TheCaveman's Avatar
TheCaveman TheCaveman is offline
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Plan: Angry Paleo
Stats: 375/205/180 Male 6'3"
BF:
Progress: 87%
Location: Sacramento, CA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seejay
he can have a bad day in my book, any time.

Then our advice to him is that he refrain from blogging on his bad days. As if there aren't enough amateur, unspellchecked Paleo blogs on the internet already!
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  #15   ^
Old Tue, Mar-16-10, 20:07
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Posts: 6,251
 
Plan: VLC, mostly meat
Stats: 202/200/165 Male 5' 7"
BF:
Progress: 5%
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtor
He is just losing some patience with what he calls the "Zero Carb cartoon ideas of metabolism". We should never forget that we always secrete some insulin. Zero Carb is not zero insulin.

Patrick

You know, I've never seen a fat carnivore. Have you? I mean, the carnivores that I've seen that do grow fat, do so by eating carbs. So they're not actually carnivore, they're omnivore. It's all well and good that we can store the fat we eat, but that doesn't prove we can grow fat that way. Where's the fat carnivore? He can lose all the patience in the world with the "zero carb cartoon ideas of metabolism" but in the end, he's gotta support his own cartoon hypothesis that we can grow fat by eating only meat. As far as I know, nobody who claimed that we can grow fat by eating only meat has ever supported that claim with evidence.
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