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Peanut butter and saturated fats

Old 03-30-23, 11:01 AM
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Daniel4
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Peanut butter and saturated fats

I have already read through this old thread and did not want to be criticized for resurrecting a zombie thread.

https://www.bikeforums.net/training-nutrition/762575-peanut-butter-sandwiches.html

Lately, I've been eating a lot more peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat bread.

I'm generally not a big eater so gaining muscle mass has always been a challenge to me even when I do free weight exercises. However, I'm maintaining 140lb +/- 1.5lb and being 61 years old, I guess that's good news otherwise I would be losing 1.5% each year as older guys do.

So I looked at the nutrient label of the 100% pure peanut butter and for each tablespoon not only does it have 5gm of protein, it has 1gm of saturated fat (5% of daily recommended).

Saturated fats is the bad fat. So 20% of the protein I'm consuming is bad fat. Obviously, I'm not going to eat 20 tablespoons a day.

My latest blood test shows I have borderline LdL level. It turns out, I was at that level since 2018. My doctor doesn't have a problem since it's not increasing and as long as he has known me for over 30 years, I've been healthy and active.

Regardless, at my age, I really shouldn't be taking the same kind of risk as a younger man would.

I had another thread in this Training and Nutrients section about cheat diets. Combining my cheat diet during a bike ride with more peanut butter I might be being overly confident with my health or overly worried. Eventhough I don't constantly over exert myself like some elderly marathon runners, I'm also conscious of skinny-fat people dying of heart attacks.

The 20% saturated fat per gm of protein in peanut butter just highlights how complicated it can be to have a complete daily diet holding the big three (sugar, fat, salt) all within daily limits.

Last edited by Daniel4; 03-30-23 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 03-30-23, 11:08 AM
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Meh, olive oil has saturated fat too. The only way to look at this is in terms of the benefits of PB, including the fact that a little is highly satisfying, and what you would substitute if you stopped eating it. I eat a ton of peanuts and peanut butter because I need the protein and calories and there are very few palatable alternatives that are as healthy.
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Old 03-30-23, 11:15 AM
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Peanuts aren't the healthiest nut you could eat, but they aren't bad. Just stay away from the hydrogenated stuff and don't eat tons and tons of it.

I recommend you start reading up on holistic medicine and diet. Conventional medicine has really created a mess of things.

I will give you a few items to look into:

Saturated fats are not necessarily bad. Oxidative damage from polyunsaturated seed oils is.
LDL is a poor measure of your blood lipid situation - it's not finely divided enough, and there are other factors like A1C, ApoB, HDL, and LDL particle count that should get your attention.
Small oxidized LDL is the stuff that invades your endotheium. This is just one component of the total LDL number.
High insulin levels are a problem for more than just type 2 diabetes.
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Old 03-30-23, 11:38 AM
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Here is a good deep dive on protein.

Lessons learned, among others:

No less than 30 grams of complete protein is needed in one sitting to stimulate tissue growth. Spreading it out doesn't have the same effect.
First meal of the day is the most important for getting your protein. Last meal is 2nd most important.
Be conscious of how complete your protein is. (peanuts are low in methionine and lysine, for example)
Don't think of protein in terms of percentage of calories. Think of it in terms of being a daily prescription of grams of protein / kg of body weight.
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Old 03-30-23, 11:46 AM
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We don't need nearly as much protein as most of us eat daily. So don't think that protein in itself is any better than the fat or the carbohydrates that may also have been in that peanut butter.

Proteins, carbohydrates and fats are just building blocks. It depends on what else those building blocks contain as to whether it's good for you or not.
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Old 03-30-23, 12:24 PM
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The hypothesis that saturated fats cause arterial inflammation and result in higher risk of heart attacks has no basis in science. But repeat anything enough times and people start to believe it to be true. Inflammation is what results in heart disease and there is a great deal known about sources for that inflammation which is based on the consumption of animal protein in the form of meat and dairy products. Even worse are meats that have nitrates added as with salami, luncheon meats, bacon, and sausage. Many people are snacking on beef jerky that is high in sodium and nitrates based on a belief that it is keto and therefore good.

Not at all difficult to make your own nut butters to avoid the sugar usually found in off the shelf nut butter products. All you need is a blender.
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Old 03-30-23, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
We don't need nearly as much protein as most of us eat daily.
The exception may be vegetarian endurance athletes, who need 1.4-2 gm of protein per kg of body weight.

For me (riding enough hours to have the same needs as an "endurance athlete"), that's up to 120 gm, which is hard to get from just nuts and twigs.

My high protein choices: peanut butter, soy milk beverage, greek yogurt, egg whites, black beans. I do a smoothie with whey protein some days.

Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
The hypothesis that saturated fats cause arterial inflammation and result in higher risk of heart attacks has no basis in science.
No basis in science, as in none whatsoever? That appears to be an overstatement.

There is at least some evidence that reducing saturated fat reduces heart attack risk.

"The included long‐term trials suggested that reducing dietary saturated fat reduced the risk of combined cardiovascular events by 17%...

Evidence supports the reduction of saturated fat to reduce risk of combined cardiovascular events in people with and without existing cardiovascular disease, in men and women, over at least two years and in industrialised countries.
"

-- Hooper L, Martin N, Jimoh OF, Kirk C, Foster E, Abdelhamid AS. Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD011737. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011737.pub3.
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Old 03-30-23, 01:45 PM
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It's complicated. Saturated fat is not a single nutrient. Different types of saturated fatty acids have different effects. And there is the question of if you remove saturated fat from your diet, what do you replace it with and what effects on your CV and overall health does that thing have? What the saturated fat is paired with also counts. If you combine saturated fat with oxidized unsaturated fat and sugar that spikes insulin, then you have combined oxidative effects on damaging your endothelium and providing the small LDL that is there a window to get in and then cause the plaque to form.

Eating the most natural and unprocessed forms of fat are healthiest. Pasture raised beef and eggs are better than grain fed beef and eggs. Wild caught salmon is better than farm raised. Cold pressed oils like olive and coconut are better than oxidative vegetable oils that required unnatural forces to create them (e.g. canola, corn, soybean, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower, etc.). Raw nuts and seeds are better than roasted nuts and seeds. Natural peanut butter is better than the sweetened, hydrogenated garbage.

If your saturated fat is in the form of a McDonalds Big Mac and fries, and chased with a large Coke, the effect that saturated fat will have on your body is very, very different than the effect the saturated fat found in Alaskan salmon paired with asparagus and broccoli drowning is pasture raised butter will have.

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Old 03-30-23, 01:59 PM
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I have 24 grams of Whey protein in my coffee each morning... The rest of the day is a toss up... In Texas the pickings are good and I don't mean sweets!



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Old 03-30-23, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
The exception may be vegetarian endurance athletes, who need 1.4-2 gm of protein per kg of body weight.

For me (riding enough hours to have the same needs as an "endurance athlete"), that's up to 120 gm, which is hard to get from just nuts and twigs.

My high protein choices: peanut butter, soy milk beverage, greek yogurt, egg whites, black beans. I do a smoothie with whey protein some days.
Well even 2 grams per kg of body weight isn't really a lot. Though we might differ on what an endurance athlete is. And since you are at least ovo-vegetarian it should not be to difficult. Unless you are using a lot of pasta as filler. I don't consider myself a endurance athlete.

When I was ovo-pescatarian I shunned pasta and other things that were just empty carb's. And I also realized that the serving size suggestions for vegetables were really out of whack. The RDA essentially was just several nutritionist's, some with PhD's, opinion based on what the typical meal looked like that was considered a good meal circa 1940's. Back then most plates consisted of fresh meet meat and fresh vegetables. Maybe some minimally processed stuff. So it probably worked well then.

That ain't so now, but IMO, even the later revised RDA figures seem to have us thinking that we only need a small amount of vegetables. And that might be true if we had 20 different servings of vegetables on our plate. <that's just a wild exaggeration, but if anyone want's to check, I wouldn't be surprised if it's close.>

I think those serving size suggestions might be part of the reason many on the SAD eat a 14 ounce ribeye or other large piece of meat daily and well exceed their necessary protein of about 63 grams for the entire day since most aren't endurance athletes.

Last edited by Iride01; 03-31-23 at 03:26 PM. Reason: meat not meet... geesh!
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Old 03-30-23, 03:15 PM
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My former GP had me read the Omega Diet when I first started seeing him. The book that started the Omega 3 awareness. It talks of the vegetable oils. Very roughly, there are the oils of the common grains that are Omega 6 sources and oils from the dark green veggies and some others like flax seed. And olive oil which has neither but is in many other ways, simply excellent. That author postulated that the optimum blend of human health was 6 parts Omega 6 to one part of Omega 3.

The 6:1 ratio makes it sound like getting enough Omega 3 is a breeze. It isn't. Agriculture has effectively tailored our food to be entirely Omega 6. Putting cows, goats and pigs out to pasture in fields and woods with a lot of the dark stuff isn't efficient. They fatten up far faster eating pure grain. And over-eaten fields have don't have much in the way of dark greens. Things have gotten better. Here in Portland, the stores offer what I call "goat food". Kale, chard, spinach greens, mustard greens ... The veggies that used to be just weeds.

I take a fish oil capsule every night for its 1000mg of Omega 3. Or, it that isn't to be had, flax oil capsules. Use peanut oil only when I need an oil that can handle the hot wok. For everything else, I use olive oil. I do love and consume peanut butter. I have access to freshly made, 100% peanut every Saturday at the farmer's market. A farmer's grand mother makes it. So thick it doesn't spread until it's warm. (Kept refrigerated.) I do a small jar a week.

The pursuit of the Omega 3s seems to work for me. The pasty 20 years I have felt much better than I did the 15 years prior. I've never matched the feeling of my 20s when I was a bike racer, totally in form and ate well, no meat, milk and little white powders. (Salt - very low, sucrose - next to none, little white flour, none bleached ...) Now I have to live with the crash damage I compiled then and later. Blah, blah blah. Aging sucks. But my gut works very well. I feel fully alive. Life is good.
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Old 03-30-23, 06:38 PM
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Thank you all for your explanations. I won't worry too much about it. I already add assorted nuts to my oatmeal and eat eggwhites every morning. Also need more fish.
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Old 03-31-23, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Thank you all for your explanations. I won't worry too much about it. I already add assorted nuts to my oatmeal and eat eggwhites every morning. Also need more fish.
You're eating your eggs the wrong way. Yolks is where majority of valuable nutrition is found....Also eating more fish is a really bad idea. Fish found at your grocery store is just a cocktail of chemicals and toxins and is probably one of the most contaminated foods out there.
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Old 03-31-23, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post

Saturated fats is the bad fat.
That's just a theory that originated way back in 1950s. and there is absolutely no evidence to support it.
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Old 03-31-23, 06:12 AM
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Anyone who has strong and categorical opinions on anything in nutrition beyond the basic consensus hasn't read or understood the literature or listened to how carefully the people who actually came up with the data present them when talking to other scientists.

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Old 03-31-23, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
You're eating your eggs the wrong way. Yolks is where majority of valuable nutrition is found....Also eating more fish is a really bad idea. Fish found at your grocery store is just a cocktail of chemicals and toxins and is probably one of the most contaminated foods out there.
Agree on the eggs. They are throwing the best part away.

It's worth it to try to find a source of local eggs from chickens that have grass. Or the pricey ones at the store from chickens given the same ("pasture raised"). Factory eggs from hens eating grain all day in a building aren't nearly as healthy. We used to get all of our eggs from my wife's hairdresser, but then a coyote decimated her flock.

Wild caught fish that is not a large predatory fish that accumulates toxins (like tuna or swordfish, for example) is ok. Wild caught salmon is a good example of a very healthy fish to eat.
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Old 03-31-23, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
That's just a theory that originated way back in 1950s. and there is absolutely no evidence to support it.
I personally would describe the evidence as "highly mixed" and, on the surface, contradictory. I suspect the truth lies in subtleties that studies just don't get into.
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Old 03-31-23, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Anyone who has strong and categorical opinions on anything in nutrition beyond the basic consensus hasn't read or understood the literature or listened to how carefully the people who actually came up with the data present them when talking to other scientists.
Yep. A relatively young science that is notoriously difficult to study and experiment on. The people who are genuinely trying to advance the field, and not just grift off of people looking for a miracle cure, are the first to caution others that we don't really know very much.

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Old 03-31-23, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
[Saturated fats are bad is] just a theory that originated way back in 1950s. and there is absolutely no evidence to support it.
Not true, there is evidence to support the claim that saturated fats are bad.

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
You're eating your eggs the wrong way. Yolks is where majority of valuable nutrition is found.
That's certainly what the egg lobby wants you to believe. However, egg yolk consumption has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"The first study – the Health Professionals Study – included physicians and nurses, and showed a doubling of cardiovascular disease in men who became diabetic during the course of the study. It also showed a significant increase of new-onset diabetes with regular egg consumption...The second study also showed a doubling of cardiovascular risk with regular egg consumption in participants who became diabetic during the course of the study, but not in people who remained healthy and free of diabetes."

-- Spence JD, Jenkins DJ, Davignon J. Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease. Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;26(9):e336-9. doi: 10.1016/s0828-282x(10)70456-6. PMID: 21076725; PMCID: PMC2989358.
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Old 03-31-23, 10:04 AM
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Peanut butter should be #4,502 on the "risk register." Right behind, "getting my eye knocked out by a bird in flight while riding."
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Old 03-31-23, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
Peanut butter should be #4,502 on the "risk register." Right behind, "getting my eye knocked out by a bird in flight while riding."
Lower than that, I think, and the effect of regular exercise grossly outweighs anything about diet as a factor in longevity and healthspan.
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Old 03-31-23, 10:56 AM
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My long ride staple in my high mileage racing days was a whole wheat PB and honey with sharp cheddar cheese sandwich. Jersey pocket food. Worked.

Edit: Fish - I eat the canned oily fish, sardines, salmon and tuna. (And occasionally mackerel.) Mostly sardines as they are very low on the food chain. Some pink salmon. I love tuna but stick to the occasional Albacore. All big sources of Omega 3. I do struggle with the fact that we are depleting our oceans of the predatory fish with real impacts to ocean health overall. (And a lot of farmed fish facilities are environmental disasters as well as being much poorer Omega 3 sources. You gotta eat Omaga 3s - or their building blocks; the dark greens, seaweed ... - to have Omega 3s in you to pass on to whoever eats you.)

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Old 03-31-23, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Lower than that, I think, and the effect of regular exercise grossly outweighs anything about diet as a factor in longevity and healthspan.
Hope that's right. I'd rather be a very fit guy with a bad diet than a very unfit guy worshiping at the food pyramid. "Eat real food, lotsa green stuff. Don't sweat the rest."
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Old 03-31-23, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
Hope that's right. I'd rather be a very fit guy with a bad diet than a very unfit guy worshiping at the food pyramid. "Eat real food, lotsa green stuff. Don't sweat the rest."
Me too. Peter Attia, who has surveyed the longevity literature as well as anyone, says he doesn't want to hear about diet from anyone who can't dead-lift their own weight. First things first.
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Old 03-31-23, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Not true, there is evidence to support the claim that saturated fats are bad.



That's certainly what the egg lobby wants you to believe. However, egg yolk consumption has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"The first study the Health Professionals Study included physicians and nurses, and showed a doubling of cardiovascular disease in men who became diabetic during the course of the study. It also showed a significant increase of new-onset diabetes with regular egg consumption...The second study also showed a doubling of cardiovascular risk with regular egg consumption in participants who became diabetic during the course of the study, but not in people who remained healthy and free of diabetes."

-- Spence JD, Jenkins DJ, Davignon J. Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease. Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;26(9):e336-9. doi: 10.1016/s0828-282x(10)70456-6. PMID: 21076725; PMCID: PMC2989358.
The study which you speak of was done on doctors and nurses, not a very healthy job to begin with....High stress, erratic sleep schedule. lack of sleep, poor diet, lack of exercise are all factors that can contribute to heart disease or diabetes., Has the study investigated their overall lifestyle ?. Did they drink a lot of alcohol, did they smoke, did they exercise, how was their overall diet like ?. What other foods did they eat that might of contributed to their heart disease or diabetes ?..I highly doubt it was eggs alone, but unfortunately eggs have became a scapegoat in this particular study. Science has been flip / flopping on egg consumption for a long time. Me personally I eat whatever makes me feel good, I've been eating 5 - 6 whole eggs daily for breakfast for the past 30 years. and will continue to do so regardless of what any study has to say.
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