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Friday, April 22, 2011

Fat Friday - No Correlation Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

I came across a great 5 part blog post about Saturated Fat and Coronary Heart Disease. The blog is He is a very enthusiastic person who truly wants to help people be healthy. He's good at sifting through all the BULL SHIT and telling it how it is.

His posts on Saturated Fat and Coronary Heart Disease are very well researched and well written. I will give a quick overview of each part below BUT my overview is not nearly as in depth as his insights. Do yourself a favor and spend some time to read through all 5 parts.

Saturated Fat and Coronary Heart Disease, Part I: Introducing Professor Rod Jackson

  • "Rod Jackson is Professor of Epidemiology and Head of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland."
  • This guy believes there should be a health tax in New Zealand on butter, much like the health tax on alcohol and cigarettes, because it is "pure, natural poison".
  • He believes the incidence of death from heart attacks have decreased within the past 40 years because of the decreased consumption of saturated fats within that time period.
Saturated Fat and Coronary Heart Disease, Part II: The Paleo Principle
  • Homo Sapiens (human beings, people, us...) outlasted Homo Erectus and Homo neanderthalensis. We did this by being very efficient at adapting to our environment and eating nutrient dense foods.
  • Telling humans not to eat saturated fat is like telling a bear or lion to not eat saturated fat. It just doesn't make sense!
  • The only way Homo Sapiens could have evolved so successfully was to eat saturated fat!
Saturated Fat and Coronary Heart Disease, Part III: Cognitive Dissonance
  • If a researcher wants to prove that the reduction of saturated fat intake has been successful then he will point to the fact that deaths from cardiovascular disease have decreased in the past few decades.
  • It is true that deaths from cardiovascular disease have decreased. BUT: Incidence of cardiovascular disease is as high as ever!
  • "Is the reduction of death more likely a function of decreased saturated fat intake or more likely some other factor like improved urgent and emergency care in the face of a heart attack?"
  1. Christopher P. Cannon, MD; grants: Accumetrics, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Sanofi- Aventis, Schering Plough
  2. Prakash C. Deedwania, MD; consultant of AstraZeneca and Pfizer
  3. David Dai, PhD; employee of Duke Clinical Research Institute
  4. Gregg C. Fonarow, MD; research from Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline; consultant and honorarium from Abbott, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, and Schering Plough; and chair of the Get With the Guidelines Steering Committee
  • Conclusions of the study: People that died of heart attacks had average LESS cholesterol levels of the general population.
  • What were their recommendations?: Lower LDL levels even more and take medication to raise HDL!
Saturated Fat and Coronary Heart Disease, Part IV: The Smell Test
  • 100% of excess carbohydrate intake is stored as fat
  • Composition of Lard and Human fat: Lard: 38% saturated, 45% monounsaturated... Human Fat: 35% saturated, 51% monounsaturated... Pretty similar, so why is consuming saturated fat bad if your body uses it at 35% of all fat storage?
  • Human breast milk is 41% saturated fat: You're telling me nature is giving our babies heart disease?
Saturated Fat and Coronary Heart Disease, Part V: The "Science"
  • Look at THIS GRAPH. Is there a link between Saturated Fat Intake and Coronary Heart Disease? I don't see one!
  • Look at THESE GRAPHS: There is evidence that shows the higher natural saturated fat intake the less years of lost life there is!
Saturated fat has gotten a bad wrap over the years. But why? If you look at the evidence there is no correlation between natural saturated fat intake and disease. If anything, natural saturated fat intake is linked to positive health! From what I have seen, through the research I have done, all studies that link saturated fat intake to any disease have not separated natural fat from processed fat. So their conclusions are that saturated fat is bad. Any study that has separated natural fats from processed fats have come to the conclusion that it is the processed fats that are causing the problems.

If you look at my "Diet + Workout Log" you will see that I have been eating a lot of fat and have been seeing some great results. I will be posting my exact results from this past months "One Ingredient Diet" next week. What is your diet like? How much fat do you consume in your diet?


I think you got HDL (bad) and LDL (Good) mixed up. YOu can over eat good food. Too much fruit could make you fat (high sugar content). My first reaction to my high cholesterol levels was maybe its not something i'm doing wrong but rather something i'm not doing. Science is headed in the right direction with regional diets where people live longer without disease. But, another complication is not every human evolved in the same way in the same env.

Oh Drake, you need a lesson in health! HDL is considered the "good cholesterol" and LDL is considered the "bad cholesterol". Go ahead and google it. It is recommended that lowering LDL will lower our risk of heard disease, but the evidence isn't there. Read part III closely. A better strategy is to increase HDL, even if that means increasing LDL as well.

Natural sugar is not the enemy, processed sugar is the enemy. Yes, fruit has sugar but it also has a bunch of fiber which slows down the insulin response. I agree, you CAN overeat good food, but it is darn hard! I have never seen an obese person that eats a lot of fruit and vegetables. Have you?

I agree everybody is different. There is no perfect diet for everybody. Some people are more insulin resistant than others, which means some can eat more high glycemic carbohydrates than others. I believe what we can agree on is natural foods are our best choice. Whether that's natural carbs (fruit, vegetables) or natural proteins and fats (grass fed beef).

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