Is saturated fat really the health hazard it’s been made out to be? Dr. Aseem Malhotra is an interventional cardiologist consultant in London, U.K., who gained quite a bit of publicity after the publication of his peer-reviewed editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2013. In it, he seriously challenges the conventional view on saturated fats, and reviews how recent studies have failed to find any significant association between saturated fat and cardiovascular risk. In fact, Malhotra reports that two-thirds of people admitted to hospitals with acute myocardial infarction have completely normal cholesterol levels.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology challenged a long-held belief that high fat diets contributed to colon cancer. The authors of the study correctly stated that the lipid profile of the fats being consumed is very important to understand: "High-fat-diet (HFD) consumption is associated with colon cancer risk. However, little is known about how the lipid composition of a HFD can influence pro-oncogenic processes." This study out of the University of South Carolina looking at the effects of saturated fats on colon cancer is a very welcome study, and many more similar theories about the "dangers" of high fat diets should be challenged and looked at more carefully, studying the lipid composition of the fats being consumed. The conclusions of their experiments showed that a high fat diet rich in saturated fats, specifically coconut oil, protected against colon cancer.
Saturated fats: Increase your LDL levels, but they increase the large fluffy particles that are not associated with an increased risk of heart disease, Increase your HDL levels. This more than compensates for any increase in LDL. Do NOT cause heart disease as made clear in all the above-referenced studies. Do not damage as easily as other fats because they do not have any double bonds that can be damaged through oxidation. Serve to fuel mitochondria and produce far less damaging free radicals than carbs.
Saturated fats are commonly solid fats like animal and dairy fats and plant fats like nuts, avocado, and coconut oil. Unprocessed coconut oil remains solid up to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. It's impossible to know about a food's health benefits if the food is officially taboo. The nutritional taboo of saturated fat started by one man's highly publicized hypothesis that declared dietary saturated fats as the major source of heart disease. His name was Ancel Keys, a physiologist and researcher with the University of Minnesota who conducted a massive international study called the Seven Countries Study. Even then, several scientists questioned Keys' epidemiological evidence that led to his hypothetical conclusions. Ancel Keys made the cover of Time Magazine in 1961, the year when he managed to persuade the American Heart Association (AHA) to issue dietary guidelines that excluded saturated fats. In their place came refined carbohydrates and processed vegetable oils. The false causation of heart disease from saturated fats true cause is currently scientifically disputed by iconoclastic cardiologists such as Dr. Dwight Lundell, Dr. Stephan Sinatra, Dr. Ron Rosedale, Britain's Dr. Aseem Malholtra and other cardiologists and health experts who have been courageous enough to publicly speak against the unproven theory of the saturated fat causing heart disease theory.
About one in three Americans now has diabetes or pre-diabetes. That's nearly 80 million people, the majority of whom suffer from type 2 diabetes – a preventable and, often, reversible condition. The problem is that many Americans are unaware that the foods they're eating could be setting them up for a dietary disaster, and this isn't their fault. Public health guidelines condemn healthy fats from foods like butter and full-fat dairy and recommend whole grains and cereals – the opposite of what a person with diabetes, or any person really, needs to stay healthy. For the last 50 years, Americans have been told to eat a high complex carbohydrate, low saturated fat diet. Even diabetics have been told to eat 50 to 60 percent of their daily calories in the form of processed carbs! Research, including a new study involving dolphins, again suggests that this movement away from traditional full-fat foods is contributing to the rising rates of diabetes and metabolic syndrome across the globe.
Mice fed soybean oil had significant increases in weight gain, body fat, diabetes, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance compared to those fed coconut oil. The soybean-oil diet was also found to upregulate genes involved in obesity, diabetes, inflammation, mitochondrial function, and cancer. In one study when heart-disease patients replaced saturated animal fats with omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean oil it led to an increased risk of death.
“In 2015, the British Medical Journal published a meta-analysis looking at randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that were available to US and UK regulatory committees that adopted low-fat dietary guidelines in the 1970s and 1980s to supposedly reduce coronary heart disease (CHD). The authors of the study state that to date, no analysis of the evidence base for recommending a low-fat diet to reduce heart disease has ever been studied. So the authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the RCTs that were published prior to 1983, which examined the relationship between dietary fat, serum cholesterol and the development of coronary heart disease. After analyzing multiple studies that included 2467 males, the authors found "no differences in all-cause mortality and non-significant differences in CHD mortality, resulting from the dietary interventions." They therefore concluded that: "Dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from RCTs." How many lives have been ruined by the low-fat theory of heart disease?
Most people actually need upwards of 50-70 percent healthful fats in their diet for optimal health!
Fats in general are considered the dietary villains, especially saturated fat, which many people still claim will increase your risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. However, this is simply untrue. Saturated fats are actually vital for optimal health.