These dudes ate a ton of sat fats and nothing bad happened

Study: 12 weeks, obese men, very high fat low carb (VHFLC) vs. low fat high carb (LFHC) (Veum et al., 2016) #FATFUNC






It wasn’t explicitly AD LIB, but pretty close.  I say this because that is the magnitude of appetite decline we might expect when people go on The Hunger Free Diet(s), eg,






Results: insulin went down slightly more in VHFLC:



And another minor blow to the insulin theory: fat mass went down slightly more in LFHC:



1. I don’t think there’s any magic happening: drop the processed food crap, spontaneously eat less, get healthier.  It happened in both groups.  I bet if the intervention included sleep & LIGHT hygiene, and resistance exercise, they could’ve maintained or even gained muscle mass.

2. These dudes ate a ton of sat fats and nothing bad happened (P<0.05).

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  • Kindke

    they went from 37% body fat down to 28% in 12 weeks on over 2000 cals per day? all subjects had that level of success?

    this makes dieting look easy,

    i wonder why its never that easy in the real world……………

    • Orion Antares

      Few people want to give up their ultra processed foods.

      • Kindke


        but even fewer people magically drift down 9-10% bodyfat just by eating “non-processed” foods, which makes me question the authenticity of the results

        if dieting was that easy we wouldnt have an obesity epidemic.

        • Orion Antares

          How many people do you honestly know that have cut out all ultra-processed foods (high refined sugars, refined grains, hydrogenated oils, and high omega-6 content oils), added in a significant amount of vegetables and fruit, and actually stuck to that dietary change for a meaningful amount of time without giving up? Don’t forget, cutting out the ultra-processed foods was only one part of it, the other part was adding in the high vegetable and fruit fiber content foods and actually sticking to it.

        • George

          We’re looking at a Nordic population. They’re still eating dairy, fish, meat, and so on – they’re unlikely to be total SAD victims, just people who like cake and sweets and deep-fried foods a bit too much.
          Pull those out, and perhaps they still have an ability to correct metabolism. The Spaghetti plots show at least one person in each arm not losing visceral fat, but there’s no plot for weight alone.

          • Kindke

            if I add plain boiled potatoes to my diet I steadily gain fat , doesnt matter how clean and unprocessed the rest of my diet is

            again most people just do not understand obesity and adipose morphology

  • Jim Jozwiak

    If the research subjects had fatty liver disease, I see nothing in either diet which would resolve NAFLD quickly, so why would different macros make any pronounced metabolic difference? Neither HCLF nor LCHF cures NAFLD when body composition remains poor after the intervention, as it does here..

  • Ben Green

    It doesn’t say calories were that strictly controlled–they weren’t confined to a metabolic ward, so to say they lost more on HCLF is an assumption calories were truly isocaloric..I doubt it. Nor does it say which group was hungrier or having more cravings. Not a particularly intriguing study.

      • Ben Green

        I meant *weight5, not fat. colpo, for example, will cite you 25 isocaloric studies in wards showing weight loss is the same. Body composition/ Fat loss is usually better on VLC though…

        • The studies I comment in the link are indeed those Colpo cited as supporting his dogmas. But, I don’t need to persuade anyone he is wrong or lying. People should read the articles instead of believing what anyone says.

          How many totally-controlled studies (done with animals) do you want, where body weight change and fat loss are clearly different even when diets have the same amount of calories and the same macronutrient proportions?

          The energy balance theory is just BS.

  • George

    Some observations –
    1 – these dudes were perhaps not as insulin resistant as they could have been – though insulin is high at baseline, TG/HDL is still healthy. I’m not exactly sure what this means.
    2 – Baseline differences in these small samples are too large to draw valid between-group comparisons.
    3 – For that reason people who see this as a “my diet is better than yours” study and reject or accept it for that reason are misguided. What this does is answer a very important question, viz, is there any point to restricting SFA in the kind of real-food primal LCHF diet we see here?
    Seemingly not, consistent with the role of CHO in controlling oxidation of long-chain SFAs.[1, 2]
    It should be better known by now (reference 2 being 60 years old) that all the proposed mechanisms for harm from SFA (by which is meant C:14, C:16, C18) – insulin resistance, bad lipoproteins, fat accumulation – depend on an interaction between these SFAs and the CHO, mainly from refined foods, that controls their fate.
    Take away this CHO, which is about 50-60% of the modern diet, and SFA is a non-event, a flatline of indifference to metabolism.

    [1] Volk BM, Kunces LJ, Freidenreich DJ, et al. Effects of Step-Wise Increases in Dietary Carbohydrate on Circulating Saturated Fatty Acids and Palmitoleic Acid in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(11):e113605. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113605.

    [2] Lossow WJ, Chaikoff IL. Carbohydrate sparing of fatty acid oxidation. I. The relation of fatty acid chain length to the degree of sparing. II. The mechanism by which carbohydrate spares the oxidation of palmitic acid. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1955; 57(1):23-40.

  • Cutting the junk foods is a good way to go from obese & unhealthy to non-obese & healthier… I’m not saying it’s going to make you 6-pack slim, but it’s a good place to start

  • oversimplified tips for improving body composition:

    -sleep more/better

    -low cal for fat loss (low carb or low fat, which ever you can adhere to better IRL)

    -high protein & resistance exercise for muscle

    • “low cal for fat loss”? Just bad advice, not evidence-based.