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Trans Fat Is Good For You, But Only If It's From Meat and Butter: Vaccenic Acid and the Conjugated Linoleic Acids
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October 5, 2011
3:47 am
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First-Eater
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February 22, 2010
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We've been bombarded for years with the evils of trans fat...

...and for once, the mainstream advice appears to be mostly correct. Trans fats cause coronary heart disease, they're strongly associated with obesity, depression, infertility in women, and breast cancer, and they interfere with critical liver enzymes. (More.)

I've written about trans fats before: if you want to learn their basic chemistry—and more importantly, how to avoid them when shopping for food—read my article Eat More "Heart-Healthy" Trans Fats! (We hid them in plain sight).

"Help! There's Trans Fat In My Grass-Fed Beef!"

However, an alert commenter (Steven) pointed out that…

October 5, 2011
4:36 am
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Halifax, UK
Gnoll
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So, if you're doing it right already … don't worry about the details. For those inquisitive individuals who enjoy the detail it was good to see the distinction.

"… keep eating delicious fatty red meat and butter!" … will do 🙂

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

October 5, 2011
5:35 am
Hipparchia
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Your blog is one of those things that makes me appreciate living in Bulgaria, although the Bulgarian dream is to move out of the country and to a more "civilized" place.

It's a weird looking place and I love it: you can see a horse-drawn cart in the street, next to a BMW X5.

It's a place where it's OK to be a bit wild. Did I mention most meat is grass-fed because it's easier that way?

So I live here: the purchasing power parity is ridiculously low in developed country standards, but I get what I need, and more. I can reach good education and trinkets of civilization, and I can be a wild thing, too.

Come and visit if you wish!

October 5, 2011
5:39 am
UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 47
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June 14, 2011
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I'm glad to see your emphasis on grass-fed meat. The health of the animals we eat is intrinsic to our health.

Aspiring Gnolls should also frequent themselves with the highly nutritious (and cheaper) cuts of meat such as tongue and liver.

Use of a slow-cooker to extract nutrients from bones by way of a stock, is also recommended - and superior to a vitamin pill.

October 5, 2011
5:56 am
Greg
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Asclepius,

I love putting marrow bones, knuckles, what have you in my slow cooker with other meat and vegetables and letting it crank for hours on end. It tastes great, and you and I know how healthy all those dissolved minerals are, esp. in combination with the leached gelatin and fat. I'll take slow-cooked soul food over a supplement any day (except vitamin D, I'll still pop a pill for that one). Oh, and tongue is surprisingly fabulous - I was expecting tough meat, but it was the most tender cut I've yet eaten.

October 5, 2011
6:32 am
Dave, RN
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I have a grass fed beef tongue waiting in me freezer. I need to figure out how to cook that thing...

October 5, 2011
6:32 am
Sean
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A long time back I pointed (http://praguestepchild.blogspot.com/2010/10/kiwi-cows-now-with-built-in-crisco.html) to an article about New Zealand cows having increased trans fat--palmitelaidic acid--from being fed palm kernel cake. I'm not sure if this is a bad thing or not, I think you totally nailed it about natural trans fats vs the artificial kind. But my preference would be to eat cows that are not eating seeds of any kind.

October 5, 2011
7:08 am
Jan's Sushi Bar
Guest

Dave - boil it. Then skin it an chop, shred or slice it. Really, it's that easy, and it tastes like a beef roast.

October 5, 2011
8:46 am
UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 47
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@Greg - pretty much as Jan suggested:

1. Put the tongue in a pan and cover with cold water.
2. Bring to the boil.
3. Remove pan from stove, drain off the water and refill the pan with cold water.
4. Bring to boil once again.
5. Once boiling, turn the heat down to allow the pan to simmer.

Periodically stick a fork in to the tongue and if the fork slides easily in and out of the tongue it is ready. The outer skin of the tongue turns white with cooking and you have to peel it off - which is strangely satisfying.

Once cooked I usually dice it and put it in the fridge (I have to dice it as the though of biting into something tongue shaped is something I cannot get my head around!).

It makes a great snack when eaten cold, can be added to soups or simply used as the 'meat portion' of an evening meal (serve with steamed cabbage and diced potatoes - all covered in butter).

October 5, 2011
11:13 am
anand srivastava
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I am not sure if mice are obligate herbivores. I can't really find anything definitive, but Paul says in the following message that rats love pork. Peter's rat does eat lard, and I expect some meat.

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2011/03/ratty-at-year.html?showComment=1299010990361#c7686429462279399815

Rabbits on the other hand are obligate herbivores.

October 5, 2011
11:27 am
eddie watts
Guest

yeah i don't think mice are obligate herbivores. i had pet mice as a child and they loved bugs, i know because i fed them bugs when the time of year was right.
(so not winter pretty much)

otherwise great update, i did wonder about CLA when bought as a supplement as clearly it would be unlikely to come from beef due to cost, mass produced from seed oils though i can readily believe.

October 5, 2011
12:56 pm
Auckland New Zealand
Immigrant
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May 5, 2011
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I was going to mention the trans fats produced when cows are fed palm kernel expeller also. I've got links in this post:
http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/new-zealand-cows-fed-palm-kernel-expeller-producing-a-new-type-of-trans-fat-is-it-safe/

Great post - thanks JS

October 5, 2011
5:36 pm
Uncephalized
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@anand, rats are more omnivorous than mice. They're not all that similar in diet or behavior really, just appearance.

Mice definitely do eat bugs, though.

October 5, 2011
5:53 pm
California
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 35
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June 20, 2011
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Now I want a giagantic prime rib. Thanks a lot JS.

October 7, 2011
8:53 pm
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First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2045
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February 22, 2010
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Hello, everyone!  Thanks for your patience in waiting for my responses: I'm bumping up against the limits of my time and ability.

Paul:

Absolutely.  If I find data that requires me to dramatically revise my recommendations, I'll do so and let everyone know.  Meanwhile, I find it interesting to know why things work as they do -- and Steven had a legitimate question about why there's so much trans fat in beef.

Hipparchia:

I hope I will someday have the opportunity to accept your generous offer!

Asclepius:

Liver especially: it's nature's vitamin pill.  There's a reason carnivores eat it first.  Someday I'll write another article on quick and dirty meat preparation.

Greg:

Bison tongue was highly prized by Native Americans, who in times of plenty would occasionally kill a bison for the tongue, nose (also fatty AFAIK), and visceral fat, and leave the rest to the wolves.

Dave:

What Jan said.  Or you can just slice it thinly and flash-fry it, Korean BBQ style.  Anyone ever made carpaccio from tongue?

Sean, Julianne:

I suspect palmiteliadic acid is just as Not Good as other trans fats, since it's a) not a conjugated fat (TRA has both a cis- and trans- bond) and b) it's nowhere in our evolutionary history.

Jan:

It's surprising how normal beef tongue tastes.

Asclepius:

That's the traditional way.  And you raise a good point about changing the water.

Anand, eddie:

Mice are herbivores, unlike rats.  Though you're correct that they're not obligate herbivores: they do eat insect larvae.  I'll revise to reflect that.

Uncephalized:

Exactly.  Analogy: mice are to rats as pigeons are to crows.

Chris:

The question is: when DON'T you want a prime rib?

Fortunately they're the easiest thing in the world to cook so long as you have the old-school Taylor meat thermometers that go down to 105 degrees.  Just stick them in a 260 degree oven and wait until the temperature hits 110-130, depending on how done you like it.  (I think 115 is about right.)  Warning: the government says you'll die if you cook them to anything less than 135.

JS

 

October 8, 2011
4:54 am
eddie watts
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stanton: Warning: the government says you'll die if you cook them to anything less than 135.

this made me lol at work!

October 8, 2011
4:56 am
eddie watts
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also not meaning to be picky, but if mice eat bugs surely they are omnivores with a heavy leaning towards more vegetable matter.

kind of like we are omnivores with a heavy leaning towards meat consumption. (certainly with regards to caloric split anyway)

October 10, 2011
1:23 am
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First-Eater
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eddie:

Deer are theoretically obligate herbivores, but here's video of one eating a dead goose:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqdfgfZvV10

And here's one killing and eating a live bird:

So, strictly speaking, deer are omnivores too!

Note that I can't find any good figures on the percentage that insect larvae make of the mouse diet -- and apparently it differs between species of mouse, with some being strict herbivores and some willing to snack on insects.  But I generally see mice classified as herbivores (example).

More importantly, they're very well adapted to eating grass seeds, which humans are not.

JS

October 10, 2011
1:40 am
eddie watts
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actually i remember years ago an elephant in london zoo ate a keeper so you have a good point!!

October 10, 2011
1:16 pm
California
Gnoll
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J. Stanton said:

 Chris:

The question is: when DON'T you want a prime rib?

Fortunately they're the easiest thing in the world to cook so long as you have the old-school Taylor meat thermometers that go down to 105 degrees.  Just stick them in a 260 degree oven and wait until the temperature hits 110-130, depending on how done you like it.  (I think 115 is about right.)  Warning: the government says you'll die if you cook them to anything less than 135.

JS

 


 

Ha ha, best quote ever: "the government says you'll die if you cook them to anything less than 135."

 

I guess I have more lives than a cat. I always order bleu for tender/flavorful cuts and hardly ever like anything past rare. Guess I'm going to die soon. Though I generally get my meat from trusted sources.

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