I was literally shocked to read an editorial in Medscape titled, Saturated Fat Does Not Clog the Arteries – about the relationship between saturated fat and heart disease.
This was an editorial in the popular mainstream medical website, Medscape – picked up from the British Journal of Sports Medicine article, with research references from mainstream medical journals.
The Weston Price Foundation, nutritionists and functional medicine practitioners have been saying this saying this for years.
Saturated fats have been blamed for the ailments of western societies, when the true culprits are the sugars, carbohydrates and processed foods of modern western culture.
In this article the introduction goes on to say,
Coronary artery disease pathogenesis and treatment urgently requires a paradigm shift. Despite popular belief among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong.
These startling statements are based on a review and meta-analysis of observational studies which showed that there is no association between the consumption of saturated fat and:
These statements contradict what physicians and the public have been told for years.
Additionally, they found from these studies that there is no benefit from reduced fat (including saturated fat) on myocardial infarction, cardiovascular or all-cause mortality.
Furthermore, they found that in post menopausal women with heart disease,
…greater intake of saturated fat was associated with less progression of atherosclerosis whereas carbohydrate and polyunsaturated fat intake were associated with greater progression.
Is your doctor reading this current research or is he or she still recommending statins for your cholesterol?
Saturated fats are critically important for the development of the brain and the proper function of the immune system. Saturated fats need to be present in order to fully process and assimilate minerals and the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2.
It has been shown that inflammation contributes to cholesterol deposition within the artery wall and subsequent plaque formation. According to the authors, these plaque formations or lesions are more like pimples. When the pimples burst or rupture, coronary thrombosis and myocardial infarction can occur within minutes.
The standard remedy for this is stenting, however, there have been a series of randomized controlled trials that have shown that stenting obstructive but stable lesions in the arteries fails to prevent heart attack (myocardial infarction). (source)
One source of inflammation is from autoimmunity.
Autoimmune disease is a newly considered factor in the development of endothelial dysfunction (the endothelium is the inner lining of the blood vessel), peripheral vascular disease, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and other types of cardiovascular illness.
When there are antibodies to tissue transglutaminase, (a blood marker of gluten intolerance for Celiac) – those antibodies can also affect the inner lining of the blood vessels, the endothelium.
As an example, when the gluten sensitive patient eats gluten, the body sees this as an invader and responds in the three ways:
The blood vessel is an innocent bystander and it develops disease as a consequence of the inflammatory response to gluten.
It is gluten that is the trigger.
Read more about what cardiologist, Dr. Houston has found out about the connection between gluten and heart disease.
The authors of this opinion piece go on to bust the myth of the dangers of LDL cholesterol and the protocol of prescribing low fat foods and cholesterol lowering medications as misguided. They say,
Selective reporting may partly explain this misconception. Reanalysis of unpublished data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and the Minnesota coronary experiment reveal replacing saturated fat with linoleic acid containing vegetable oils increased mortality risk despite significant reductions in LDL and total cholesterol. (source)
Note: Safflower, sunflower, sesame, soybean and canola oil contain linoleic acid. These vegetable oils are the real culprits in heart disease.
Read more about vegetable oils here.
Interestingly, these researchers state that a high triglyceride to HDL ratio is the best predictor of cardiovascular risk. This high ratio is also a marker for insulin resistance – a root cause of of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
A recent systematic review concluded that LDL cholesterol is not associated with cardiovascular disease and is inversely associated with all-cause mortality. A high triglyceride to HDL ratio drops rapidly with dietary changes such as replacing refined carbohydrates with healthy high fat foods. (source)
The authors suggest that the best way to prevent cardiovascular disease is to practice brisk walking at least 150 minutes a week. They state that this can increase life expectancy by 3.4 – 4.5 years.
Moderate exercise is a well known healthy lifestyle habit. Personally, I exercise every day and recommend moderate, consistent exercise to my patients, family and friends.
Frankly, I do not feel well if I do not exercise each morning. It energizes me for the day.
Obviously, diet is a factor in reducing insulin resistance and inflammation as well. A diet of real food, lots of clean vegetables and saturated fats from clean sources such as grassfed beef and dairy from local biodynamic farms, organic glyphosate-free coconut products, butter and cheese or ghee from grassfed cows.
Hopefully this published meta analysis will widen the direction of mainstream medicine away from the current tunnel vision established by the use of statins and the pressure from the pharmaceutical industry.
The True Cause of Heart Disease and What to Do About It
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