Class 2: Saturated Fats and Trans Fats

Take Out The Trash

Saturated Fats

Definition Saturated Fat:
A fat that contains only saturated fatty acids, is solid at room temperature, and comes chiefly from animal food products and tropical oils. Saturated fats are abundant in meats, dairy products, chicken, eggs, coconut oil, and palm oil, tending to raise cholesterol levels in the blood and one of the chief causes of insulin resistance.

Look on page 19 of the pamphlet from the American Diabetes Association What can I eat?  available by calling 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383). It says that saturated and trans fats increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Which are the worst offenders? Click here.

USDA 2015-20120 Dietary Guidelines state that less than 10 percent of calories per day should come from saturated fats.
The World Health Organization states that no more than 7% of total daily calorie intake for people with type 2 diabetes should come from saturated fats.
The American Hearth Association states that no more than 7% of total daily calorie intake should come from saturated fats.
The McDougall Program recommends no more than 5% of total daily calorie intake come from saturated fats.
What does that translate to? Click here.


Trans Fats

Through the process of hydrogenation (adding hydrogen under pressure) and the addition of flavorings, vegetable oils are made to look and taste like hard animal fats. Margarine was designed to replace butter and shortening to replace lard. The process of hydrogenation changes the configuration of some of the nutritious unsaturated fats in the oil to a damaging form called “trans fatty acids.” Trans fatty acids act far more like saturated fats than unsaturated fats. In The Nurses’ Health Study trans fatty acids were strongly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, while polyunsaturated fats were associated with a reduced risk. Where are they found? Microwave popcorn, French fries, cookies, donuts, shortening, cake, margarine, crackers, potato chips, granola bars,  all deep-fried foods, and in small amounts naturally occuring in meat and dairy products according to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine.

When we have excess fat in our cells insulin does not work as well. As little as five pounds of excess fat on our frame can interfere with insulin’s ability to carry glucose into the cells. Free fatty acids released from the fat cells is one of the mechanisms promoting insulin resistance in liver and muscle in a phenomenon called lipotoxicity.

Insulin Resistance:
With type 2 diabetes, insulin production isn’t the problem. The key (insulin) is there to open up the cells to store glucose in the cells. Something gums up the lock. Intramyocellular lipid, fat inside our muscle cells prevent insulin from letting glucose into the cells. Fat in our bloodstream, either from our own fat stores or from our diet, can build up inside our muscle cells, where it can create toxic breakdown products and free radicals that block the insulin-signaling process. No matter how much insulin you produce, your fat-compromised muscle cells can’t effectively use it.

Here are a few websites  and videos for more info:

Vegetable & Fish Oils
Published Scientific Results of McDougall Program

From Oil to Nuts by Jeff Novick
Going Nuts over Nuts by Jeff Novick

Videos on Insulin Resistance at
Videos on Saturated Fats at


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