The common notion that saturated fat and cholesterol are “bad” for our health began in the 1960s when the medical profession began to aggressively promote ideas such as the diet-heart hypothesis. Recently, this longstanding viewpoint is being challenged by several observers.
Heart Disease Facts
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes a fact sheet that describes the rate of heart disease in the United States. The latest CDC figures are summarized below:
• About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
• Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.
• Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually.
• Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack.
Dr. Weston A. Price’s Health Study
Dr. Weston A. Price (1870-1948) was a Cleveland dentist who traveled the world in search for the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration. During his frequent visits to isolated villages, Dr. Price noted that the so-called primitive peoples that he met were highly resistant to disease and had beautiful, decay-free teeth due to their nutritionally rich, traditional diets, which included foods naturally fortified with fat-soluble vitamins A and D — nutrients found only in animal fats.
The Impact of Refined Carbs, Sugar and Trans Fats on Health
On Mar 3, 2018, Dr. Mercola published a report entitled, “‘The Big Fat Surprise’ — Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Are Important Parts of a Healthy Diet” that focuses on refined carbs, sugar and trans fats found in processed foods as the major dietary contributor of heart disease, rather than saturated fat or cholesterol. Moreover, he added that the common recommendation to substitute vegetable oils like corn and soy may not be a healthy choice.
• Refined carbs, sugar and trans fats found in processed foods are the primary dietary culprits causing heart disease, not saturated fat or cholesterol
• While the dangers of trans fats are now becoming widely recognized, the recommended replacement — vegetable oils — may actually be even more harmful
• When heated, vegetable oils degrade into extremely toxic oxidation products, including cyclic aldehydes, which cause severe inflammation and may damage your gastrointestinal tract
• Concomitant with low-fat diets becoming the cultural norm, heart disease rates have soared, clearly demonstrating saturated fat is not a contributing factor
• Studies have confirmed that higher cholesterol levels are associated with better health and longer life
Another website, High Blood Pressure Be Gone, posted an article called, “Saturated Fat and High Blood Pressure” that substantiates the conclusion drawn by Dr. Mercola:
Studies in both the US and the UK now show clearly that cutting down on the amount of fat in your diet, especially saturated fat, isn’t linked to lower blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease or better health in general.
In fact, studies conducted in the States have recently shown that reducing carbohydrates and replacing them with fat is actually better for you, and can even help with weight loss and cholesterol reduction.
Christopher Masterjohn, Ph.D., who has written extensively about cholesterol and the benefits of consuming nutrient-dense, traditional foods, offered his input in his Weston A. Price Foundation article published in 2016 that was entitled, “Saturated Fat Does a Body Good.”
Saturated fats play essential structural roles in the body, and specific saturated fatty acids have specific benefits to energy metabolism, immunity, intestinal health and metabolic health. There is insufficient evidence to claim that we require some specific amount of saturated fat in our diets every day, so it makes little sense to make dietary decisions based on the fear that we are not getting enough saturated fat.
Conversely, because saturated fats play so many beneficial roles, and because our bodies will contain large amounts of saturated fat whether we embrace it in our diets or choose to avoid it, it makes little sense to make dietary decisions based on the fear that we are eating too much saturated fat. Instead, we should dispense with these fears altogether and look toward the menu of traditional fats, seeing a wide array of tools before us to meet our individual needs and priorities. Toward the top of that list for each of us should be preparing wholesome meals that we truly enjoy.
Click the Play button below to watch this Movietone video of Dr. Weston A. Price while he was on an international research trip.
Your browser does not support the video tag.
Heart Disease Facts
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Saturated Fat and High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure Be Gone
‘The Big Fat Surprise’ — Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Are Important Parts of a Healthy Diet
Dr. Mercola | March 3, 2018
Saturated Fat Does a Body Good
by Christopher Masterjohn
Weston A. Price Foundation
May 6, 2016
Weston A. Price, DDS
Weston A. Price Foundation
Jan 1, 2000