Are you still eating low-fat or no-fat dairy products? If you are, you probably think you’re doing the right thing for your health. And if you check with virtually any public health agency, they’d wholeheartedly agree. The American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and American Cancer Society, for instance, all recommend low-fat or no-fat dairy. The US Department of Agriculture, in their nutrition guidelines for Americans, also advises, “Dairy Group choices should be fat-free or low-fat.” So what’s the problem? The advice to eat low-fat foods, including dairy, is antiquated, at least back to the 1970s, when low-fat diets were first recommended. It’s also not scientifically supported, and if you’re choosing low-fat over full-fat, not only are you missing out on taste, flavor and satisfaction, but you’re missing out on valuable benefits to your health – benefits that come from eating full-fat foods.
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.
Reps. G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) recently introduced the School Milk Nutrition Act of 2015, which seeks to increase dairy consumption in children by mandating low-fat and non-fat flavored milk for each school meal. As usual, there are powerful interests involved: the dairy industry, looking to regain market share, is very much in support of the new bill. The bill completely ignores the evidence indicating that whole dairy, as opposed to low-fat or non-fat, is the healthier option. Research has shown that consuming whole-fat dairy lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and bowel cancer, and causes less weight gain compared to low-fat and non-fat dairy. The federal government, and the sponsors of this bill, rely on outdated ideas pointing to saturated fat as the enemy despite current research that says otherwise.
The British Medical Journal has published a new 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?
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.
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.
Butter consumption in the US has hit a 40-year high, largely resulting from a shift in consumer preferences away from processed foods. Between 1920 and 1960, Americans’ butter consumption declined by over 75 percent, yet heart disease went from a relatively unknown condition to the number one killer. Butter, especially raw butter from grass-fed cows, is rich in beneficial nutrients including vitamins, trace minerals, CLA, and beneficial fats. Butter produced from CAFO milk is inferior nutritionally as it comes from cows fed almost entirely GE grain, some fattened up with additional sugar from GE sugar beets and cottonseed. Buying dairy products from reputable local farmers will allow you to enjoy butter without supporting the inhumane conditions too common at factory farms.
Our #1 top read news story from 2013 was: Sweden Becomes First Western Nation to Reject Low-fat Diet Dogma in Favor of Low-carb High-fat Nutrition. As we reported last year, Sweden became the first Western nation to develop national dietary guidelines that reject the popular low-fat diet dogma in favor of low-carb high-fat nutrition advice. The switch in dietary advice followed the publication of a two year study by the independent Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. The committee reviewed 16,000 studies published through May 31, 2013. Now, top Swiss researchers, led by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, have urged the National Cholesterol Education Program, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Heart Association in the United States to follow their lead, and reverse years of dangerous and harmful dietary advice that has led to an increase in the consumption of refined carbohydrates and Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fats. They have published their comments in the April 2014 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. So will American health "experts" reverse their dietary advice?