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.
Since graduating from medical school in 1989, I have come to the conclusion that much of what I was taught was wrong. In fact, at my medical school graduation, the dean said, “Fifty percent of what we just taught you was wrong, your job is to figure out which part was correct and which was incorrect.” When medical students come to my office, I always encourage them to question everything I tell them and, furthermore, to question what they have been taught. I was taught in medical school that a lowered salt diet was a healthy diet—for everyone. Furthermore, it was drilled into my head that anyone with heart disease, particularly heart failure, should limit salt in his/her diet. In fact, it is still standard-of-care for a cardiologist to tell his/her heart patient to limit salt in their diet. This is especially true when the patient is suffering from heart failure. So, does limiting salt in the diet of a patient with heart failure result in a better outcome? Not according to a recent study.
Coronary artery calcification has been found to be associated with cardiovascular events. In other words, there are more cardiovascular events when there is a higher coronary artery calcification score. The coronary calcium score can be measured with a coronary CT scan or a coronary intravascular ultrasound scan. Coronary scans are frequently ordered by cardiologists and primary care physicians. If the coronary calcium score on the CT is elevated, the doctor is most likely to prescribe a statin medication. You might think that a statin medication, if it was effective at treating and preventing heart disease, would be shown to decrease coronary calcium burden. Well, you would think wrong. Statin drugs are the most profitable drugs in the history of Big Pharma. Presently, over 28% of all U.S. adults take a statin drug. Statins are prescribed by doctors to treat high cholesterol levels and heart disease. Furthermore, the Powers-That-Be proclaim that statins will prevent a healthy person from getting heart disease. Remember, just because the Powers-That-Be continue to make the above statements does not make them true.
My father was a cardiologist who started his practice in the 1970’s. In those days, the beauty and art of medicine were in the diagnosis of heart disease. They didn’t have many “tools” to treat patients. There were only a few pharmaceuticals and surgery was new on the scene. Fast forward to 2015. If you walk into a cardiology office you will walk out with a stack of prescriptions and orders for testing such as treadmills and ultrasounds. But what are the benefits?
2014 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year the dietary belief that saturated fats are bad and lead to heart disease began to crumble in the mainstream media. This "news" of course is not "news" at all for those of us in the alternative media, as we have been saying this for well over a decade now. The research in the scientific literature showing the health benefits of saturated fats in the diet has been around for even longer. What should be carefully noted in the mainstream media's reporting on saturated fats, however, is that it is almost exclusively related to dietary advice, and the sale of certain groups of food high in saturated fats, such as butter. The reason for restricting the change in the saturated fat myths of the past 50 years or so to only dietary advice is most likely due to the fact that processed food companies (such as Big Dairy) can still produce products that take advantage of this shift in consumer trends, as consumers wise up to the fact that when you restrict saturated fats in the diet, you tend to replace them with refined carbohydrates, which are linked to many health problems that are historically blamed on saturated fats. Undoubtedly, the processed food industry's answer will be more highly processed saturated fatty foods now. Where the change in the saturated fat myth is still not applied in the mainstream media is in the lipid theory of heart disease related to cholesterol. This is a holy grail in the pharmaceutical industry that supports a hundred BILLION dollar drug industry to lower people's cholesterol levels. So the cholesterol myth will die a hard death. Sadly, it will live on to bring in billions of dollars in pharmaceutical profits for the foreseeable future. The latest study showing the fallacies of the saturated-fats-are-bad belief system comes from Ohio State University.
Just one serving a day of tomato-based foods can have an incredibly beneficial effect on your health. Not only can they reduce heart disease, but they could potentially prevent and reverse dozens of diseases if eaten daily. This is one fruit you don't want to leave out of your diet.
The American Heart Association’s woefully outdated dietary guidelines are hurting Americans’ health. Last December, we told you about the American Heart Association’s (AHA) new new cholesterol guidelines that would make 33 million healthy Americans dependent on statins. These are the most widely prescribed class of drugs in the world—drugs so dangerous that the FDA mandates their side effects be disclosed in labeling. The problem with AHA’s “logic?” Not only has this bad/good cholesterol dichotomy been solidly debunked by study after study—it was never proven in the first place. According to the Wall Street Journal, the notion that saturated fats and LDL clog our arteries came from a “derailment” of nutrition policy “by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics, and bias.” This article takes a look at some of the other AHA dietary guidelines, accompanied by reasons why they actually are bad for your heart.
Over the past 60 years, research has repeatedly demonstrated that there’s NO correlation between high cholesterol and plaque formation that leads to heart disease. Despite that, the saturated fat/cholesterol myth has persisted. Dr. Fred Kummerow, who is nearly 100 years old, was the first scientist to document the toxicity of trans fats. Over the past 60 years, his research has repeatedly demonstrated that there’s NO correlation between high cholesterol and plaque formation that leads to heart disease. Dr. Kummerow’s work shows that it’s not cholesterol that causes heart disease; rather it’s the trans fats and oxidized cholesterol that are to blame.
Does the thought of a rare-cooked, grass-fed steak, a couple of over-easy eggs cooked in butter, or a tall glass of raw whole milk make your mouth water? These satisfying foods that have been enjoyed for ages are now taboo, according to US health agencies, because saturated animal fats “cause heart disease” and should be severely restricted in a heart-healthy diet. As recently as 2010, the current recommendations from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) call for reducing your saturated fat intake to a mere 10 percent of your total calories or less. This is astounding, and quite the opposite of what most people require for optimal health! Fortunately, there are signs that the saturated fat phobia is lifting in the US, and not a moment too soon, as increasing research banishes the myth that saturated fats harm your health.
Dr. David Diamond, who is an expert in neuroscience, explains how he was forced to become an expert in heart disease. Faced with the problems of obesity, high triglycerides, and bad cholesterol lab results, making him a prime candidate for a heart attack, Dr. Diamond decided to forsake the standard statin drugs treatment and try to treat his problems through dietary intervention alone. He embarked on a dietary course endorsed by the medical system to supposedly reduce his cholesterol levels and triglycerides, by cutting back on meats and fat and exercising more. After a couple of years, he found out that this dietary course not only did not reduce his risk for heart disease, it actually increased it. His triglycerides and cholesterol ratios got even worse. His cardiologist told him he needed to go on statin drugs immediately and that he was kidding himself by believing diet could change anything. Dr. Diamond then decided to study heart disease himself, researching the published literature, so that he could become an expert on heart disease. During the day he was a neuroscientist, but in the evenings and weekends he was studying about heart disease. What he found was that the idea of saturated fat and cholesterol causing heart disease was not based on any real science and is a myth. Modern dietary advice is actually causing obesity and most modern diseases.