Free Fatty Acids: SFAs vs. PUFAs

jandrade1997

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Nov 7, 2013
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I know from reading Ray Peat's articles on fats, free fatty acids are bad things. However, I have a few questions on this that hopefully you guys can enlighten me on. Firstly, are ALL free fatty acids bad, or just free PUFAs? I ask this because many well-researched nutrition "gurus" advocate ketosis as an ideal metabolic state (this is a high free fatty acid state). I know Ray Peat dislikes fat oxidation and I'm under the impression that this is ONLY because it suppresses glucose oxidation which he considers superior. Are there any other reasons Peat recommends against fat oxidation? If not, I have a theory. I'm thinking that these dietary gurus tend to have diets very high in butter and coconut oil, two fats espoused by Peat. They also tend to have low PUFA intakes. This is just speculation, but perhaps the free SATURATED (not PUFAs) fatty acids in the blood are actually protective against free PUFAs. Ray Peat has even stated that saturated fatty acids have the opposite effects of PUFAs and reduce stress and inflammation. Perhaps, the high saturated free fatty acid content in the blood protects against free PUFAs, reduce inflammation and provide all the benefits that others say ketosis provides and low PUFA intake would protect against the negative effects cited by Peat. It seems, as long as the mitochondria are able to adapt, saturated fats and ketones could become as anti-stress, if not more so, than glucose. Am I missing anything here? Could a low carb, high saturated fat diet provide the same protective and anti-stress effects as a high carbohydrate diet, with all the benefits cited by researcher like Kruse, Sisson and Asprey? What are the reasons that glucose metabolism is superior to fat metabolism in Ray Peat's mind?
Thanks,
JJ
 

Blossom

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I believe Ray's stance on glucose oxidation as superior to fat oxidation is explained well in lay terms by Danny Roddy. I was considering rehashing it here but I find his articles on this a perfect rebuttal of the low carb paleo camp. I myself experienced life for quite a while in that state and it resulted in a rapid decline once the catacholamine honeymoon was over. Modern people on a standard western diet will have stored PUFA liberated on a ketogenic diet. Ray I believe favors an approach that inhibits PUFA liberation by avoiding ketosis and minimizing PUFA intake.
 

Blossom

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Instead of glucose I probably should of just said SUGAR.
 

pboy

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im not sure the exact mechanism, but Ray says that saturated fat doesn't suppress metabolism, mono fats slightly suppress it, and PUFA's suppress it significantly. It has to do with the amount of thyroid conversion happening, based on the thyroid gland sensing what's in the bllodstream. I suppose it has to do with starvation...the body thinking sugar in the bloodstream exceeding minimum amounts indicating abundance, whereas free fatty acids in the bloodstream indicated that you are burning reserves, and that there isn't abundance. I think ketogenic diets, so long as the fat is mainly saturated, having enough thyroid support, and still enough calories consistently would be fine metabolically...though still some sugars would be necessary. You must still speak to your body that there is abundance...by telling yourself mentally that you are preferring a fat based diet, but that you have no hangups about still getting enough nutrition (you do this by appropriate eating and thoughts, behaviors) you'll be good
 

Mittir

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Feb 20, 2013
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Another thing RP mentioned about PUFA is that stored PUFA is the most harmful.
If a person burn ingested PUFA as energy without storing it then there is very little
harm. This probably explains why calorie restricted diet resulted in good health
by not storing PUFA .
 

jyb

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pboy said:
I suppose it has to do with starvation...the body thinking sugar in the bloodstream exceeding minimum amounts indicating abundance, whereas free fatty acids in the bloodstream indicated that you are burning reserves, and that there isn't abundance.

If you have an abundance of calories, does it matter whether you eat high sugar or high (saturated) fat? After reading RP, I assumed high sugar was best, because the aim is the oxidative metabolism of glucose. But its not entirely clear to me, what if an individual uses fat but has good thyroid function? I'm not talking about the case when an individual is trying to heal, where sugar even is more useful because efficient at suppressing FFA.
 

pboy

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from my personal experience, as long as youre still getting enough nutrition and calories, the body adjusts and understands whats going on. Its even easier to ward off extreme hunger in my case, as long as I eat enough by the end of the day, but I don't feel an extreme need to re up blood sugar every few hours. Having good thyroid function is probably key to this...so having enough tyrosine, iodine, and selenium in particular amongst other things
 
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