Does fat cause atherosclerosis and clog arteries?


Does fat cause atherosclerosis and clog arteries? The biggest claim to ketogenic dieting, or even before the ketogenic dieting was even “invented” people feared (and still do) fats because they believed fats would clog your arteries and give you asatherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, damage other elements to your health, and even make you fat. So does fat cause atherosclerosis and clog arteries?

Ketogenic dieting and atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease: Does fat cause it and will it clog arteries?

A clinical study objective was “To determine whether a diet of high saturated fat and avoidance of starch (HSF-SA) results in weight loss without adverse effects on serum lipids in obese nondiabetic patients….Twenty-three patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease participated in a prospective 6-week trial…and had been treated with statins before entry in the trial. Fifteen obese patients with polycystic ovary syndrome…and 8 obese patients with reactive hypoglycemia…were monitored during an HSF-SA diet for 24 and 52 weeks, respectively” (1).

So in short the twenty three patients had atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, had been treated with statins, 15 of them had ovary syndrome and 8 had reactive hypoglycemia. They all had no starches and had a diet high in fat.

So if fat was the cause of their atherosclerotic cardiovascualr disease then wouldn’t going on a high fat diet kill them? Especially without their statins? Wouldn’t it mean that they are committing suicide and the people monitoring them are murdering them?


Let’s look at what happened with the results:

In patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, mean total body weight (TBW) decreased 5.2%+/-2.5% as did body fat percentage…analysis of lipids showed decreases in total triglycerides, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) triglycerides… High-density lipoprotein (HDL) and LDL concentrations were unchanged (this is talking about cholesterol here)…Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome lost 14.3%+/-20.3% of TBW and patients with reactive hypoglycemia lost 19.9%+/-8.7% of TBW at 24 and 52 weeks, respectively, without adverse effects on serum lipids.” (1)

You read right! They lost weight, had no ill-effects with cholesterol levels, lost triglycerides and a lot of weight even in their conditions! Best of all? They all lived and are much healthier because of the weight loss achieved!male___22_by_BODYSTOCKS

So bottom line from this study is ”An HSF-SA (high saturated fat-no starch) diet results in weight loss after 6 weeks without adverse effects on serum lipid levels verified by nuclear magnetic resonance, and further weight loss with a lipid-neutral effect may persist for up to 52 weeks” (1).

So why does fat get such a bad reputation then? Where does this whole myth about clogging your arteries and getting fat by eating fat come from? To know the answer we first have to understand the different kinds of fats.

All about fats: What’s good and what’s bad

Fats are very important for the body. They help provide the building blocks for cell membranes (every cell membrane is comprised of 40% fat), they can be converted to other substances to perform tasks and namely are important to hormones and they can also be used as energy. In fact fat even contributes to 60% of brain function! Did you know phospholipids have an electrical charge and interact with other molecules in your body such as water? That’s right! Fats help the electrical signals in your body. When your communication of your nervous system is impaired just think of the dire consequences with even moving in every day life!

The types of fat in food consumed are: saturated and the unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). Saturated fats are the fats that are solid in room temperature such as butter and unsaturated fats are the fats that are liquid. The body can digest the monounsaturated and saturated fat much easier than the polyunsaturated fat.

Trans fat (which is what you find in the INGREDIENTS section of your food and is called hydrogenated vegetable oils, or anything with the word hydro in it) and highly refined vegetable oils are the unhealthy fats you should avoid. The reason is that they are highly unstable and they become rancid as well as oxidized when they come in contact with heat and even oxygen. Think about why the polyunsaturated fat supplements become rancid quite quickly and tend to have very small shelf life. Why is being oxidized a bad thing? The answer is that they contain reactive compounds which I am sure everyone has heard by now called free radicals. Imagine free radicals like murderous psychopaths with no emotion and only have on purpose: To wreck havoc and kill. These free radicals will attack everything in your body from the cell membranes, the red blood cells and even down to your DNA! When someone says that something causes inflammation from free radicals they are talking about the damage done by these. I’m sure by now you’ll figure what consequences this has on a body. For you fit indestructible men it can mean a variety of chronic ailments, and for you beautiful women it can mean accelerated aging and losing your beauty.


Fats are categorized of either short chain (contains 8 or less carbon atoms), medium chains (8 to 14 carbon atoms), long chain (16 or more carbon atoms) and finally very long chain fatty acids (more than 22 carbon atoms). This is important to know because of how each fat is digested. If you are to replace long chain fatty acid type foods such as any of those vegetable oils (soy, safflower etc.), canola oil or margarine as an example with short and medium chained fatty acids such as butter and coconut oil, you would do your body much more benefit and lose weight much better too. It takes enzymes to even attempt to digest the long chained fatty acids, while the short and medium chains much more readily digested. This means that instead of the fats causing harm to your body you can use the fats for more energy.

Not only that but the short and medium chained fats such as coconut oil is shown to have antioxidant properties to fight free radicals (2) and impede fat gain as well as help lose it! I don’t often like referencing a study done on rats to humans but a study has shown that when rats where overfed medium chained fatty acids they had significant results to be noteworthy. “After 4 weeks the rats fed the Medium chained triglycerides compared to the Long chained triglyceride diet weighed significantly less and at the end of the experiment the medium chained triglyceride fed rats had 20% reduction in weight gain and possessed fat depots weighing 23% less.” (3).


My advice on oils in terms of which is best to use is coconut oil, olive oil and grass fed butter. The reason is not only the fact they are  tasty to cook with and can be used with many recipes but it has an array of benefits such as helping diabetics in regulating blood sugar (of course fat and coconut oil alone isn’t the primary cause of regulating blood sugar, if you have a balanced meal with protein that alone is a big reason to help carbohydrates digest slowly), has vitamin E for all you ladies that want good skin and silky hair (think of all the vitamin E and coconut health and skin products on the shelves), has immediate energy and provides antioxidants (it is a medium chained fatty acid) and is a natural antioxidant which means it can help with the immune system and help the body heal and repair (4).

What about the essential fatty acids (EFA’S)?

The essential fatty acids are the omega 3’s and omega 6’s. They are the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats respectively. Our body does require them since the body cannot make any by itself and it must be taken through our daily food. The problem I want to bring up is as discussed, polyunsaturated fats cause the havoc on your body in excess as you can see. Truth is we do not need plenty of these fats. If you intake an excess of the omega 6’s (polyunsaturated) you will undoubtedly wreck havoc. So what can you do without wrecking havoc by going into excess?


Avoid the oils mentioned and unnatural and all other unnatural products and get the fats from WHOLE FOODS. The foods are examples; the nuts, the meats and fish, avocado etc. If you want to take it a step further with the essential fats that your body needs the most eat foods that are high in EPA and DHA (notice I said food not oils).

So the bottom line is this; get your polyunsaturated fats from foods, monounsaturated fats and saturated fats aren’t detrimental to your health and stay the heck away from trans fat which is any ingredient with the name “hydro” in it.

Have a good grass fed butter with steak. Cook with coconut oil or olive oil and the next time someone tells you that saturated fats should be avoided or fats in general go laugh at his face and eat some meat and tell him/her you feel great!


And that you just don’t give a fudge like this guy.

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(1) Hays, J.H., DiSabatino, A., Gorman, R.T., Vincent, S., Stillabower, M.E. (2003). Effect of a high saturated fat and no-starch diet on serum lipid subfractions in patients with documented atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Mayo Clin Proc. Nov;78(11):1331-6.

(2) Marina, A.M., Man, Y.B., Nazimah, S.A., Amin, I. (2009). Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil.

(3) Geliebter, A., Torbay, N., Bracco, E.F., Hashim, S.A., Van Itallie, T.B. (1983). Overfeeding with medium-chain triglyceride diet results in diminished deposition of fat

(4) Gupta, A., Malav, A., Singh, A., Gupta, M.K., Khinchi, M.P., Sharma, N., Agrawal, D. (2010).

Coconut oil: The healthiest oil on earth. International journal of pharmaceutical sciences and research.

Image credits

Male22 by bodystocks

prowling death by moni158-d3bm314






Ceps Weston Domingo is a personal trainer and nutritional consultant, and best selling author of the 30 day paleo weight loss plan and 30 day paleo slow cooker recipe cookbook.


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  • What’s up, every time i used to check website posts here in
    the early hours in the dawn, because i enjoy to find out more and more.

    • CepsWeston

      Reply Reply March 22, 2014

      Glad you like it! more to come!

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