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Diabetes Update 165: Saturated Fat

April 1, 2012

By David Mendosa


A  Mountain Bluebird
Rests on Mullein

In Colorado's Betasso Preserve
on March 24, 2012 

  • My New Diabetes Articles for HealthCentral:

    Last month HealthCentral published six more of my diabetes articles about all aspects of the condition:

    The Trouble with Saturated Fat Saturated fat is controversial, even among people with diabetes who follow a very low-carb lifestyle. When we eat very little carbohydrate, we have to get our energy from fat. I interviewed Ron Rosedale, M.D., one of the nation's top diet educators to find out why he particularly recommends one type of saturated fat.

    Coconut Oil: A Different Kind of Saturated Fat
    Dr. Ron Rosedale says to limit the amount of saturated fat during our first few weeks on a very low-carb diet. Otherwise, we will feel our lack of energy and tire easily. But this doesn't hold for coconut oil.

    The Best Saturated Fats The best saturated fats are those that our bodies can burn most easily to fuel our energy. These are the fats that are highest in medium-chain triglycerides.

    Coconut, Palm, and MCT Oil The fats that our bodies can burn most easily are the ones that have medium-length chains of carbons. These fats are those that we call medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. Coconut oil is the natural fat highest in MCT. Palm kernel oil is next, but finding it here is difficult, if not impossible. And what about pure MCT oil? Myths about

    Coconut and MCT Oils
    Too many people avoid these great fats because they believe myths about them. My interview with Ron Rosedale, M.D., debunks the top two myths.

    Protein Powder for Diabetes Is whey protein, egg, or some other type of protein powder best for people with diabetes? Or should we be skipping it entirely? My most recent post explores these questions.

  • Fitness and Photograph for Fun:
    Last month I published 11 more of my articles on staying fit by getting the activity we need. Photography gets me to hike, and hiking keeps me fit:

    In Jackson Hole, at the start of my tour of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, I took a two-horse open sleigh ride through the refuge and saw literally thousands of elk.

    Grand Teton National Park in Winter Snow fell constantly on my winter tour of Grand Teton National Park. The journey itself was the reward. Near the entrance to Yellowstone National Park I boarded one of the most interesting vehicles I have ever ridden it. Snow coaches have skis in front and tank tracks in back in order to move through the deep snow.

    Surprise! Snow Falls on Yellowstone in Winter The snow, of course, was no surprise. I was ready for it and dressed appropriately. It also set me up to more fully appreciate the sunnier weather that I experienced ahead.

    Yellowstone in Winter Sun The sun came out and I saw many bison. In fact, I captured classic shots of them with their faces covered with snow from their digging for food.

    Yellowstone's Old Faithful Geyser in Winter Yellowstone's signature scene is, of course, an eruption of Old Faithful. I saw it go off three times.

    Yellowstone's Lamar Valley in Winter The Lamar Valley is in the remote northeast corner of Yellowstone. Known as one of the best places to see wildlife, it showed me many more bison, some elk, and the first Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep I ever saw with really big horns.

    The Heron Rockery at Crane Hollow Back home in Colorado, I visited the colony of breeding Great Blue Herons in Crane Hollow, 20 miles north of my Boulder apartment. Not only did I see many herons, but also got a great view of a Harlan's Hawk and a glimpse of a  Great Horned Owl.

    St. Vrain State Park Not until the end of my hike around Pelican Pond Trail in St. Vrain State Park was I able to get any good bird shots. But then I got some of my best photographs ever of a rather small bird called a Killdeer and a rather large one called a Bald Eagle.

    Walden Ponds The high points of my hike around Walden Ponds were watching an American Robin take a bath and seeing a muskrat swim by right in front of me.

    The Bluebirds are Back Bluebirds have returned to the Boulder area in the Betasso Preserve. No bird has such bright blue plumage as the male Mountain Bluebird. Females of that species have some blue as do male and female Western Bluebirds. I saw them all.

    Back to Betasso Just a few days after seeing the bluebirds at Betasso Preserve I just had to go back. This time I saw them and more. The more was the first flowers of spring and the rare and seldom photographed Abert's squirrel.

    It took three attempts, but I finally got to see the Rosy-Finches at Red Rocks, one of the few places where all three species live.

  • New Flickr Site
    I keep added some of my favorites nature photographs on In the past month I have added several more. You can find them the easiest way by clicking here

  • Dr. Bernstein's Webcast
    If you have any interest in controlling your diabetes by low-carb eating, one of the best resources is Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's monthly webcast. It's an hour of excellent diabetes education available free either on the Internet or by phone. You can click here to register

    Dr. Bernstein's next live webcast will be on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at 7 p.m. CST, 8 p.m. EST, 6 p.m. MST, and 5 p.m. PST. He designed it to answer your most important questions concerning diabetes and to offer his thoughts on the latest developments in this area. The special topic for this webcast will be "Why you should try to avoid unnecessary steroid treatments."

  • Searching for My Articles
    Whenever you want to find anything that I have written about diabetes -- whether on my website or on HealthCentral Network -- the easiest way is to use the search tool on my site. You can search for all of the articles on my site or for the "Diabetes Developments" blog or the "Fitness and Photography for Fun" blog or what I have written at HealthCentral, which is now a part of Remedy Health Media.

    Just go to and check which one of the four sites you want to search and enter what you want to find in the search block.


  • Health Central
    The Health Central Network will now notify you by email of new articles (SharePosts) by me or anyone who posts at Just click on "Subscribe" at the top of each of my articles or on my "Profile" page.

    Each month I describe and link my new Health Central articles here. But you can also use a blog reader to keep up with my articles more quickly. I use Bloglines, as I describe in my article, “Reading Health Blogs.

  • This Newsletter:
    1. Is and will remain free.
    2. Will never include advertising (except targeted Google ads at the bottom of the web page and not in the email newsletter).
    3. Nor will I ever sell, rent, or trade your email address to anyone.
    4. I will link sources of information.
    5. I will disclose any conflict of interest.
    6. If and when I learn of any errors of fact, I will correct them.
  • Archives: I now send out Diabetes Update once a month.

  • Previous issues are online at Older Issues.
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