It’s Time to End the Low-Fat Myth
One highly-publicized report analyzed the findings of 21 studies that followed 350,000 people for up to 23 years. Investigators looked at the relationship between saturated fat intake and coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Their controversial conclusion: “There is insufficient evidence from prospective epidemiologic studies to conclude that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD.”(21)With headlines like “Saturated Fat is Not Your Heart’s Enemy,” and “NOT GUILTY: The Long-Standing Vilification of Saturated Fat Finally Turning to Vindication,”(23,24) some of the media and blog coverage of these studies would have you believe that scientists had given a green light to eating bacon, butter, and cheese. But that’s an oversimplified and erroneous interpretation. Read the study and subsequent studies more closely, and the message is more nuanced: Cutting back on saturated fat can be good for health if people replace saturated fat with good fats, especially, polyunsaturated fats. (16,25) Eating good fats in place of saturated fat lowers the “bad” LDL cholesterol, and it improves the ratio of total cholesterol to “good” HDL cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease. Eating good fats in place of saturated fat can also help prevent insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. (26)
Cutting back on saturated fat will likely have no benefit, however, if people replace saturated fat with refined carbohydrates—white bread, white rice, mashed potatoes, sugary drinks, and the like.
21. Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91:535-46.
My case study documented in my book, The Tubby Traveler from Topeka, replaces carbs with mostly animal fat. I eat bacon, sausage and steak 3-5 times a week. I eat three eggs at least five times a week. My CIMT is stable, my LDL-P is < 1,000. Harvard makes the mistake of not using LDL-P instead of LDL-C.
See a longer summary of the article and my comments at: