We’ve had it drilled into our heads that saturated fat will cause heart disease and kill us. Well the truth is, that we’ve been mislead.
Another new study shows saturated fats in the diet are NOT linked to cardiovascular disease. Well why hasn’t this made it to to front page new yet?
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition all the way back in February 2010, reports saturated fat in the diet is NOT associated with an increase in coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.
This was no small study either. Data came from 350,000 subjects in twenty-one different studies, and no link at all was established between the subject’s saturated fat intake and the incidence of CHD, stroke, or Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).
This is pretty big news.
“Our meta-analysis showed that there is insufficient evidence from prospective epidemiologic studies to conclude that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD,” wrote the researchers, led by Dr Ronald Krauss from the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California.
The old “lipid hypothesis” or the high cholesterol leads to heart disease theory just does not hold up under scrutiny. But for some reason, this lipid hypothesis persists. We have very effectively been brainwashed.
While vegetable oils and have been pushed as the “healthy choice” over saturated fats for the last forty years, heart disease has gone way up, and heart disease is the number one cause of death U.S. Excessive consumption of grains, carbs and sugars have made this go up even higher still.
While the rates of heart disease have gone up with the use of vegetable oils, the useage of saturated fats have decreased.
Clearly something is a big out of whack here.
Processed vegetable oils like canola, corn, soybean, and sunflower fuel inflammation in the body with all their omega 6 fatty acids.
Carbohydrates and sugars from food we eat are converted into a type of fat called triglycerides. Elevated triglycerides in the blood are usually linked to a higher than average potential for heart disease, but triglycerides do not come directly from dietary fats. Triglycerides are made in the liver from sugars that have not been burned for energy. Excess sugars in the body are from starchy carbohydrates, particularly refined sugar and white flour. It appears that triglycerides and vegetable oils and excessive Omega 6 fatty acids are causing much of the problem.
Saturated fats play an important role in the body in several ways:
• Saturated fatty acids make up at least 50% of the cell membranes. They give cell walls their necessary stiffness and integrity.
• Saturated fats are extremely important for bone health. For calcium to be effectively utilized in our bones at least 50% of dietary fats should be saturated–so skim milk will not help your bones.
• Saturated fats are vital to the liver and help protect it from toxins such as alcohol and other drugs.
• Saturated fats strengthen the immune system.
• They are needed for the proper utilization of other essential fatty acids – Omega 3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues and utilized by the body when the diet is rich in saturated fats as well.
• The fat around the heart muscle is actually highly saturated. The heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of physical stress.
• Saturated fats lower a substance in the blood called Lp(a), or Lipoprotein(a), that indicates a tendency towards heart disease.
• Short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids have important antimicrobial properties. They protect us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
The scientific evidence is beginning to pile up and does not (and never did) support the assertion that saturated fats clog arteries and cause heart disease.
So while saturated fats have not yet been exonerated in the mainstream public, the tide is beginning to turn. You as an educated consumer, and your own health advocate know the truth about saturated fats vs. the evils of vegetable oils and refined foods. Enjoy your grass fed steaks, butter, cheese and lard and know you are doing your body good.
Mary G. Enig, PhD, and Sally Fallon, “The Skinny on Fats”, Weston A. Price Foundation, Jan, 1999.
Stephen Daniells, “Saturated Fats Not Linked to Heart Disease: Meta Analysis”, Food Navigator.com, February 2010.
P.W. Siri-Tarino, Q. Sun, F.B. Hu, R.M. Krauss, “Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2010.