For many decades, the idea that saturated fats caused heart disease reigned supreme, and diets shifted sharply away from saturated animal fats such as butter and lard, toward partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarine. However, as people abandoned saturated fats and replaced them with trans fats, rates of heart disease continued on a steady upward climb. And, the more aggressive the recommendations for low-fat diets, the worse this trend became. Last year, butter consumption in the US reached a 40-year peak, and the resurgence of butter has been attributed to a shift in consumer preferences away from processed foods and back toward natural foods. This is a positive trend, showing that the old myth claiming that saturated fat is bad for you is finally starting to crumble. People are also starting to recognize that refined sugar is far worse for your heart than dietary fat was, and processed low-fat foods are typically loaded with sugar. According to the film, the long held view that saturated fats and cholesterol caused heart disease came under closer scrutiny in the 1990s, when researchers like Kurt Ellison with the Boston University started taking notice of what became known as the French Paradox. The French eat a lot more fat than many other nations, yet they don't have higher rates of heart disease. For example, in the UK people on average eat 13.5 percent of their total calories as saturated fat, whereas the French eat 15.5 percent saturated fat, yet their rate of heart disease deaths is about one-third of that in the UK — just 22 heart disease deaths per 100,000 compared to 63 per 100,000 in the UK.
The researchers decided to use children who were obese and experiencing metabolic disorder (prediabetic). The study's purpose was to determine whether isocaloric (equal calorie) substitution of starch for sugar would improve metabolic parameters in 27 Latino and 16 African-American children with obesity and metabolic syndrome aged 8 through 18, with a mean age of 13. No attempt was made to change the essential dietary food habits of the children. Foods provided were purchased from nearby regular supermarkets. Their processed and junk food levels remained the same except for their sugar content. Sugar caloric intake was reduced from 28% to 10%. The missing calorie count from the decreased sugar was compensated by an equivalent amount of calories using starchy foods. The study diet contained comparable percentages of protein, fat, and carbohydrates as their reported normal diets. Chips and pizza were not excluded. They were not converted to a whole food organic diet. Foods loaded with added sugars such as high-sugar cereals, pastries and sweetened yogurt were excluded. Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom number indicating the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests, was reduced significantly, as were lactate, triglyceride, and LDL-cholesterol blood levels. Glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia (excess insulin) also improved significantly. These improved markers for metabolic disorder or prediabetes in such a short time with only one dietary change are very significant.
Our national government's attempts at issuing dietary guidelines are usually inappropriate and ludicrous. Unfortunately, those guidelines dictate what the average certified dietitian offers as sound dietary advice. If you've ever had to eat hospital food, you were the recipient of a dietitian's control over the hospital's kitchen. Today there are virtual food fights over different dietary approaches. It seems the advocates of each diet want to create a following and promote how their particular approach to eating assures longevity and good health. But there is no one size fits all diet. This isn't about therapeutic diets for overcoming specific diseases, especially cancer. Rather, this commentary is about assigned bureaucrats effort to decree a day to day dietary intake for maintaining one's health. A recent article decrying current national efforts at dictating dietary advice by journalist Nina Teicholz was recently published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal). Nina authored The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. Her book received accolades from literally hundreds of Amazon reviewers and some New York based magazines. Those responses struck this author as a carnivores' chorus of affirmation with a prolonged amen.
Soybean oil is the most common oil used in the US, but this is a relatively new phenomenon. Prior to 1900, cooking was done with lard and butter, and the processed foods that are now primary sources of soybean oil (and other soy ingredients) were nonexistent. In the 1950s, saturated fats were condemned on the basis of them raising your cholesterol and causing heart disease – a theory that has since been proven wrong, but which is still lingering in medical offices and public nutrition regulations. Partially hydrogenated soybean oil was developed to replace saturated fats like butter and lard in the food supply. Not only did consumers embrace it, but food manufacturers did even more so because of its low cost, long shelf-life, and stability at room temperature. There was just one problem: partially hydrogenated oils are sources of trans fats, which are now known to cause chronic health problems such as obesity, asthma, auto-immune disease, cancer, and bone degeneration. Yet, even if you take the hydrogenation process out of the picture, soybean oil is still detrimental to your health. While trans fats are now being pulled out of processed foods due to their extreme health risks, soybean oil is still fair game… but it shouldn’t be – and here’s why.
For the past 60 years, saturated fat and cholesterol have been wrongfully vilified as the culprits of heart disease. Refined carbs, sugar, and trans fats found in processed foods are the real enemy—not the saturated fats found in foods such as butter, lard, or eggs. Butter, especially raw butter from grass-fed cows, is rich in beneficial nutrients including vitamins, trace minerals, CLA, and beneficial fats.
Reversing over 50 years of negative press on the "dangers" of saturated fats, Time Magazine has finally admitted that the war on saturated fats was based on bad science and was wrong. Why this sudden change of heart, and can we expect other mainstream media sources to follow suit? Will the USDA dietary guidelines now finally change? Don't count on it. There is much more at stake here than just butter verses margarine. At stake is a multi-billion dollar statin drug industry to lower cholesterol. The cholesterol drug war rages on.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine made waves through the mainstream media. In a stunning meta-analysis of the relationship between dietary fats and heart disease that included over 600,000 people, the researchers came to the following conclusion: "Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats." This conclusion flies in direct contrast to the USDA dietary guidelines, which recommends polyunsaturated fats (think corn and soybean oils) as healthy, and saturated fats as unhealthy (think dairy, animal fat, and coconut oil) in terms of cardiovascular health.
The “war” on saturated fat is the biggest mistake in the history of nutrition. As people have reduced their intake of animal fat and cholesterol, many serious diseases have gone up. We are now in the midst of worldwide pandemics of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. Studies conducted in the past few decades conclusively show that neither saturated fat nor dietary cholesterol cause harm in humans. Scientists are now beginning to realize that the entire low-fat dogma was based on flawed studies that have since been thoroughly debunked. Here are 6 graphs that clearly show how incredibly damaging it has been to advise people to reduce their consumption of saturated fat.
Governments here and abroad have been cautioning the public for decades on the dangers of high fat diets. Their claims based on "their science" concluded that it's best to avoid fat because of its extra calories - and saturated fats raise the risk of heart disease. You'll still see this on most food pyramids regulated by government policy on diet and nutrition. However, just as mandated healthcare policies fail at the federal level, so do those related to nutrition. This low-fat mantra has been questioned for years by clinicians and nutritional scientists - not least because it has failed to halt the obesity epidemic. The fact is, contrary to official advice by our diet dictocrats, high-fat diets lower blood sugar, improve blood lipids, and reduce obesity.
The Diet Dictocrats told us to drop butter decades ago and switch to a so-called healthier substitute called margarine made with what they claimed would be less harmful polyunsaturated fats. Their promise was it would prevent disease. People around the globe questioned this advice, especially those who have valued butter for its life-sustaining properties for millennia. Today we know that butter is light years healthier than margarine ever could be. It's a lesson to never go against the wisdom of our ancestors and always distrust corporate and malicious propaganda designed to generate profits not health.