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So what is the reality and why have we been fed this nonsense over the past fifty years?

Saturated fat does not cause heart disease

Dr Ross Walker
2 April 2014

by Ross Walker

In the March 18, 2014 Edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine, a very large meta-analysis involving 72 studies of around 600,000 people looked at the relationship between saturated fat intake and heart disease, something many august heart associations around the world have been telling us for years was a done deal. â€¨This comprehensive analysis from one of the most respected institutions in the world, Cambridge University, clearly showed that there is no link between saturated fat and heart disease risk. I actually wrote about the lack of association between saturated fat intake and heart disease in my fourth book, “The Cell Factor” in 2002. â€¨So what is the reality and why have we been fed this nonsense (so to speak) over the past fifty years. Well it all stems back to the 1950’s when a researcher known as Ancel Keys released the results of the Seven Countries Study, where he ,in fact, studied sixteen countries and only released the results of six. He basically excluded those who did not support his hypothesis, which was that saturated fat did cause heart disease. â€¨Last year the ABC Catalyst program caused a furore when it dared to suggest that there was no link between saturated fat intake and heart disease and additionally that statin drugs to lower cholesterol were being overprescribed. This even led some very conservative, ill-informed commentators to suggest that this TV show would cause death. Strangely, today, we have not seen a rush on funeral parlours since the Catalyst program aired on the ABC.

So, back to the recent Cambridge trial, what are the key points we should be taking from this study? â€¨1. It is highly likely that saturated fat consumption has little to do with the generation of heart disease.
2. Saturated fat consumption typically refers to natural meat, eggs and dairy but it is also present in varying degrees in many other food sources. For example, the main fat in olive oil is of course monounsaturated fat, which we know is good for us but  olive oil also has a significant amount of saturated fat as well. â€¨3. I am talking here about natural fats and not as some news outlets suggested, the more processed meats such as bacon or delicatessen meats, cakes and takeaway food. In fact, a large study was released last year that also showed there was no relationship between the intake of natural meats but a 40% increased risk for cardiovascular disease in people who regularly consume bacon and delicatessen meats. â€¨4. It is not just the meat but the way we cook the meat that is important as well. For example, people who regularly eat barbecued meats or well done meats, have a much higher rate of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Type II Diabetes because of the chemicals known as nitrosamines and also advanced glycosylated end products caused by the particular method of cooking. â€¨5. I am certainly not suggesting you should eat whatever you like, because one of the major problems in the modern world is excessive caloric intake. â€¨Therefore to summarise good nutrition: basically we were designed to eat wild plants and wild animals wondering around a jungle with a spear finding this food. Although we cannot eat like this anymore, of course, we can try to simulate this as much as possible.

Firstly and most importantly, we should reduce our caloric intake by eating smaller helpings, eating off smaller plates, not having second helpings and avoiding desserts most of the time. Also, we should not be grazing between meals. We should also limit our intake of processed, packaged muck masquerading as food, regardless of the graffiti written on the side of the box such as “low fat” or “no cholesterol”. We should also minimise our intake of bakery foods especially if they have pastry on them and also all takeaway food.  I would also suggest minimising your intake of what I call “white death” - sugar, salt, white bread, white rice, pasta and potatoes. â€¨The question you may then be asking is what is there left to eat? â€¨Firstly and most importantly, we should be having two-three pieces of fruit per day and three to five servings of vegetables everyday (a serving being for example,  half a carrot). This should be the central focus of what we eat and have lesser amounts of natural meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, fish, chicken, olive oil and natural grains. Basically, I am saying eat less and eat more naturally. â€¨I am delighted my long-term stance on saturated fat and heart disease has been further vindicated by yet another trial. Let’s hope the conservative nutrition and medical world will finally come out and admit they were wrong! I wouldn’t be holding my breath waiting.


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