A Big Fat Lie

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Noah Providence | October 16, 2018 | no comments |

A Big Fat Lie

by Noah Providence

Saturated fat causes heart disease.

“If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” This quote is from nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

I know, I know, invoke the nazi’s and lose the argument, states “Godwins Law” of internet debate. But I’ll take that risk. That’s how strongly I feel about public health authorities that knowingly distort and misrepresent health information for financial gain. And this lie has led to immeasurable suffering…. and profit.

The US govt. food guidelines tell us that saturated fat is so dangerous we should limit it to less than 10% of our diet. So why do I have a problem with that? What’s the big deal with limiting saturated fat intake? Is that dangerous? No, not in and of itself. But calories have to come from somewhere and we only have 3 choices of macronutrients- fats, proteins and carbohydrates. If we radically limit our fat intake, we have to make up the difference with the other macronutrients. We can only digest a finite amount of protein a day, so that leaves the balance to come from carbohydrates.

Following the official US dietary guidelines to eat a high carbohydrate diet has lead more than 42% of American adults into obesity. Worse yet, type II diabetes and coronary artery disease are caused by the very diet the US govt. encourages us to eat.

Could it be that the dietary “powers that be” are just being cautious in integrating new and relatively scant information? No, the research is not that new and is overwhelming. A search of “is heart disease caused by saturated fats” will return page after page of peer reviewed studies exonerating saturated fat and implicating its replacement-carbohydrate as the risk.

The journal “Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism” published findings in 2017 that:

“For decades, the consumption of long-chain saturated fatty acids (SAFA; containing 12-18 carbon atoms) was thought to undermine cardiovascular health. However, recent meta-analyses of prospective observational studies [1, 2] reported that SAFA intake was associated with neither coronary heart disease (CHD) nor stroke mortality nor myocardial infarction

One of the biggest and most relevant controlled studies including 59,000 people found no benefit to reducing saturated fat intake. PubMed Cochrane et al. 2015

The forces committed to the flawed research and bad policy are powerful and have deep pockets. They include the corn industry (if you’re not familiar with the incredible reach of this industry watch the documentary King Corn), and the pharmaceutical industry. Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, a cholesterol lowering drug, averaged more than 10 billion dollars a year from 2003-2017. Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in propping up the idea that by simply lowering cholesterol you’ll prevent heart disease. Well, its not that simple, but it is that profitable. And if dietary saturated fat/heart disease myth fell, it would erode their market position.

In the culinary perspective, fat is where the flavor is. It’s what makes foods savory and satisfying. So when we remove the fat from our foods, they lose flavor. But no worries, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to the rescue. A huge low-fat food industry has emerged, powered by HFCS. Those same low fat foods could be accurately called high sugar foods, but… that doesn’t have the same marketing appeal.

You might say..but Noah, you can still find studies linking heart disease to saturated fat intake. Sure, a few, but those studies can be sourced to the same usual suspects pushing the same discredited hypothesis and conducting the same flawed experiments to prop it up. It has begun to sound like the research tobacco attorneys were citing before their “scientific” studies were totally discredited.

We should be able to rely on official dietary authorities to provide reliable, accurate information. Unfortunately, at this point we cannot. So even if you’re not ready to accept saturated fat as a health food, current research clearly demonstrates that you can eat your delicious steaks, pork chops, turkey and other fat containing foods without worrying about clogging your arteries.

(Future posts: What is the Ketogenic diet?/How low carbohydrate diets causes weight loss-the mechanisms/What is intermittent fast and how to start/Are carbohydrates needed for high performance?/Fats and brain health)

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