You have probably already seen the June 23, 2014 cover of TIME Magazine that’s been all over the internet. Viral. If you haven’t read the article, you should. Bryan Walsh does a very good job of finally introducing the concept to the general public that it’s not the fat that is hurting our health – It’s about TIME!
We’ve had the science, but for the past 40 years there has been a vendetta against saturated fats. Dr. Walter Willett, presently the head of the department of nutrition at Harvard University School of Public Health, told Bryan Walsh that in the 1990’s, he had scientific evidence that the recommendations for eating a low fat diet for the reduction of heart disease was much more complex than simply vilifying saturated fat. However, none of the leading American science journals would publish his research.
No one wanted to hear something opposite of what has become the basis of our economy.
It was finally published in the British Medical Journal in 1996.
Willett had been following 40,000 middle aged men for diet and heart health. He found that those people who replaced foods high in saturated fat with foods high in carbohydrates, experienced no reduction in heart disease.
But this was exactly what the health officials and the government was telling the public to do – replace foods high in saturated fat with foods high in carbohydrates. The basis of our economy is wheat and soy (mainly GM).
Ancel Keys, the Food Industry and the Sickening of America
Ancel Keys, the physiologist who mandated that Americans reduce their saturated fat intake in order to avoid heart disease, made a name for himself on this theory – even appearing on the cover of TIME in 1961. He vehemently defended his theory, but his Seven Countries Study actually had 22 countries. He simply left out the countries whose statistics did not support his hypothesis. Yet, the scientific community and the public embraced this mistake (or deception).
For the past 4 decades the food industry has assiduously complied with the food mandates initiated by Keys and taken up by health officials and have supplied the public with oodles of sugary, starchy, low-fat and fat-free processed foods made with fake flavorings, additives and unhealthy, rancid vegetable oils (trans and hydrogenated oils).
As a result of this giant food experiment by the health officials and aided and abetted by the food and vegetable oil industries who both profit tremendously from these mandates (in fact, one could make the argument that these industries started this whole thing because of the enormous profits they have enjoyed – Ancel Keys notwithstanding), Americans are sicker than ever.
The prevalence of Type II diabetes has increased 166% from 1980 to 2012 and an estimated 86 million citizens are pre-diabetic with a cost of $245 billion a year. Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in this country today, in spite of these dietary recommendations and widespread use of statin drugs to lower cholesterol. Fully one third and more citizens are obese.
Americans have been told to cut back on fat to prevent heart disease for the past 40 years.
Clearly that is not working.
It’s Not Simple
Other researchers jumped on the band wagon and simply advised people to lower saturated fats and eat only polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils. Read more about the different types of fats and which fats to use when cooking.
Walsh quoted Dr. Robert Eckel, a past president of the American Heart Association and co-author of AHA’s recent guidelines (one of my favorite corporations) – not! But I love the quote:
When you replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, you lower LDL cholesterol… that’s all I need to know. (my emphasis)
There’s the American Heart Association for you – sticking with science that involves one parameter and stonewalling new research.
What the Research REALLY Shows
A meta analysis (a study of all the studies) in 2014 of 80 studies that involved more than half a million people, conducted by Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, a cardiovascular epidemiologist at Cambridge University concluded that,
Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.
This is what the Weston Price Foundation and real foodies have been saying for years. Dr. Mary Enig blew the whistle on polyunsaturates in the 1980’s. Sadly, she was blacklisted and public health has suffered immeasurably.
For more current research that supports the health aspects of saturated fats read Chris Masterjohn’s blog.
How to REALLY Get Healthy and Avoid Heart Disease
Health is not only about the fat, it’s the quality of the food you buy, where you buy it and who you buy it from. Here are some tips to get you started:
Replace all Vegetables Oils
Replace all vegetable oils (including margarine) with healthy animal fats such as butter, ghee, lard and tallow from pastured animals. For vegetables oils use only coconut oil, organic extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil. (Learn the truth about fats here and here and cholesterol).
Replace Refined White Sugar
Replace all refined white sugar with natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup, molasses, stevia, sucanat, rappadura (these last two are forms of unrefined cane sugar which contain minerals). Use sweeteners sparingly. There is a clear association between sugar and cancer.
Eat Truly Nutrient Dense Foods From Pasture Raised Animals
Eat more truly nutrient dense foods such as pastured eggs, pastured beef, fish roe and organ meats like liver. The saturated fats from pasture raised animals is completely nutrient dense and full of critical fat soluble vitamins and mineral activators. These are the fats our ancestors ate and they served them well.
Find out where to get these nutrient dense foods from your local Weston price Chapter Leader.
Get off the low fat bandwagon and enjoy your food again. It will satisfy you and help you maintain your natural weight. Where are you on this journey? Leave a comment and let me know!