Ancel Keys Time Cover 1961

Ancel Keys on the cover of Time Magazine in 1961. He claimed that saturated fats in the diet clogged arteries and caused heart disease.


Time Magazine cover story in 2014. Scientists were wrong about saturated fats. They don’t cause heart disease after all.

But Don’t Expect More Mainstream Media to Follow this Repentance on Saturated Fats

Brian Shilhavy
Health Impact News Editor

Reversing years of negative press on saturated fats, Time Magazine has finally admitted defeat on this issue, reversing course and admitting that the war on fat was wrong. They even expose the junk science that supports this dietary philosophy.

So why this sudden change of heart on saturated fats?

We reported earlier this year on how commodity food manufactures have admitted defeat in the war pitting margarine against butter: butter won. Butter consumption is at an all-time high now, as consumers wised up before mainstream media told them it was OK to start eating it again.

So with major commodity food manufacturers beginning to put REAL butter back into some of their processed foods, it would seem they have given the OK to the mainstream media to report what has been known to consumers for many years now, and validated by REAL science: saturated fats are not the enemy.

So here we are in 2014. The consumers have spoken:

“We don’t believe you. Give us back our butter.”

The food manufacturers have admitted defeat and the Time Magazine cover story reads: “Ending the War on Fat

Don’t be fooled by Time’s assertion, however, that it is “new science” that has uncovered this truth about saturated fats not being bad for us after all.

It is not new. The science supporting the health benefits of saturated fats has been around for decades.

In another story covering this topic, Time Magazine’s Bryan Walsh reviews the recently published book by Nina Teicholz: The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.

However, this recently published book reveals nothing new. Nina has been publishing this information for years now. In 2007, she published an article for Men’s Health which was also published for NBC News titled: What if bad fat isn’t so bad? No one’s ever proved that saturated fat clogs arteries, causes heart disease.

Years before this, in 2002, science writer Gary Taubes made waves with his article in the N.Y. Times: What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie? Taubes wrote how the scientific consensus had changed the previous 10 years before that, showing that the low-fat diet did not work and only led to the consumption of more carbohydrates which was ruining the health of Americans and contributing to obesity. He has written several books since then.

And even years before Gary Taubes’ landmark article in the N.Y. Times, a PhD. biochemist nutritionist from the University of Maryland by the name of Mary Enig was documenting the history of fats and oils in America, showing that the anti-saturated fat campaign that ushered toxic trans fats into the U.S. market was based on politics and not science. Her article “The Oiling of America” in the Weston A. Price magazine in 1999 remains one of the best articles ever written on the politics versus science of edible oils in America.

This video clip of an actual CBS news report in the 1970s covering the “McGovern Report” Congressional Hearings where the low-fat anti-saturated fat dogma became an official part of the USDA dietary guidelines that exists until this day, will show that even the scientists of that time opposed this junk science:

When Gary Taubes wrote his article in the N.Y. Times in 2002, he mentioned how Dr. Atkins had been right all along with his dietary guidelines of a high-fat diet limiting carbohydrates, and the consumers listened. Low-fat and high-carb was out. Low-carb and high-fat was in. Consumer demand completely changed the food industry.

But still, with few exceptions, mainstream media and Big Pharma did not listen and continued to push a dietary philosophy that still exists to this day, and which continues to do great harm to people’s health.

How Many Lives have the Bogus Research of Ancel Keys Ruined?

So as some in the national mainstream media have now been apparently given the green light to start printing the truth regarding saturated fats, the sordid history of how the attack on saturated fats began is being told. Here it is according to

The war against fat was started by one man: Much of what we think we know about the supposed dangers of high fat intake comes from a single research project by a charismatic Minnesota pathologist named Ancel Keys. His Seven Countries Study compared the health and diet of nearly 13,000 middle-aged men in the U.S., Japan and Europe, and ostensibly found that populations that consumed large amounts of saturated fats in meat and dairy had high levels of heart disease, while those who eat more grains, fish, nuts and vegetables did not. The influential Keys relentlessly advocated the theory that fat caused heart disease, persuading the AHA in 1961 to issue the country’s first-ever guidelines targeting saturated fat—and he wasn’t shy about shouting down any researcher who questioned his data.

Yet it turns out there was a lot to question. Keys chose the countries most likely to confirm his hypothesis, while excluding nations like France—where the diet is rich in fat but heart disease is rare—that might have challenged it. “When researchers went back and analyzed some of the data from the Seven Countries study, they found that what best correlated with heart disease was no saturated fat intake but sugar,” says Teicholz. (Source.)

But this story is not being told for the first time. This is a summer re-run of an old story that has been in print for decades, as Dr. Mary Enig wrote about the short-comings of Ancel Keys work numerous times in the 1990s and beyond.

In 2011, Paul John Scott wrote an editorial for the Star Tribune criticizing the University of Minnesota research of Ancel Keys. In a very astute commentary he clearly showed just why the mainstream media and Big Pharma were not so eager to criticize the junk science of Ancel Keys, and why even today this anti-saturated fat myth will continue to be official USDA dietary dogma:

In fact, one could argue that Minnesota-based research has its fingerprints on the most damaging wrong turn ever taken in how we think about cardiovascular illness, a mistake that continues to cost our nation in sickness and in dollars, and one for which health authorities remain too embarrassed, confused, blinded by ideology or loyalty to tribe to concede.

We told the world that heart disease is caused by elevated cholesterol and that reducing saturated fat in the diet reduces this risk. That led the country to embrace the lowering of cholesterol with medications.

All of those assumptions have proven themselves to be either overstated, oversimplified or wrong, and that has led us astray. Would it be too much for the leading cardiologists in our community to admit as much?

“It was also nearly 60 years ago,” as Dr. Daniel J. Garry extolled on these pages (“Treating heart disease at the U: A story of steady innovations,” April 14), “that University of Minnesota scientists — Dr. Ancel Keys along with Drs. Francisco Grande and Joseph Anderson — defined the relationship between dietary fat and serum cholesterol, which linked cholesterol to heart disease.”

Garry went on to praise the creation of cholesterol-lowering drugs that stemmed from Keys’ work.

Keys constructed his hypothesis after studying the diets and heart disease in countries across the globe.

But his research left out nations with data that did not match the hypothesis, and even within the data he published, populations existed in which diet and heart disease were wildly out of synch with his model.

By 1970, an English researcher named John Yudkin would argue that sugar in the diet was the cause of heart disease in wealthy nations, but Keys, sensing that his theory was suddenly vulnerable to reconsideration, aggressively led the charge to have that research discredited.

Today, the low-fat advice that ensued from Keys’ research is seen as having had a blowback. It caused a rise in our consumption of refined carbohydrates and added sugars, thereby causing metabolic syndrome characterized by a rise in triglycerides and a lowering of HDL, or good cholesterol.

Statins lower LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” and thanks to Keys, the lowering of LDL has become “the primary focus of preventive medicine in the United States,” in the words of Dr. John Abramson, author of “Overdosed America.” (Source.)

Yes, the research of Ancel Keys led not only to poor dietary guidelines which have fooled people for decades, but it also led to the development of the most lucrative class of drugs ever sold in the history of mankind: cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.


Time Magazine Cover from 1984 blaming cholesterol from saturated fats as a cause of heart disease.

So while Time Magazine has repented of the anti-saturated fat junk science, don’t expect Big Pharma and the USDA dietary guidelines to change anytime soon. They have much more to lose in the market place than just slumping sales of margarine due to consumer demand for butter. No, what is at stake here is a multi-billion dollar industry of lowering people’s cholesterol levels through medication.

So until Americans wake up and realize that statin drugs are one of biggest scams in the history of health care, the cholesterol anti-saturated fat myth will persist. Butter is healthy (if comes from milk of healthy cows), and adding healthy saturated fats back into the diet (including coconut oil) is a positive step in the right direction.

But until consumers start “saying no to drugs” – statin drugs – the nation’s health will continue to suffer. The cholesterol drug war rages on.

See: Heart of the Matter Part 1: Dietary Villains

Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You!
What REALLY Causes Heart Disease
by Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD

fat and cholesterol are good for you Forget Cholesterol, Inflammations the Real Enemy

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