We have a deep conviction that saturated fats cause heart disease. Our whole dietary system is based on this notion. It is such a deep belief that we do not even question it.
But, despite years of research, scientists have not been able to confirm the link.
Quite the opposite!
A massive review article published in 2010 looked at 21 prospective epidemiological studies with a total of 347,747 subjects. Their results confirm that there is absolutely no association between saturated fat and heart disease. Another review published in 2014 looked at data from 76 studies with a total of 643,226 participants. They also found no link between saturated fat and heart disease.
And yet, we still teach our children as well as health specialists the same repeated mantra: Saturated fats cause heart disease.
The proof that high fat intake is dangerous for your health comes from a single research project done by a pathologist named Ancel Keys. Looking back at this study, researchers had a lot of question marks. Keys selected countries for his study that confirmed his hypothesis. He excluded France, where the diet is rich in fat but heart disease is rare. Most importantly, after reviewing the study, researchers found that heart diseases correlated best with high sugar diets and not saturated fat.
Studies that tested low-carbohydrates diets, which are usually high in saturated fat, confirmed that this diet does not increase the levels of cholesterol in your blood and had positive impacts on cardiovascular disease risk markers.
A meta-analysis covering 17 low-carb trials that included 1,140 obese patients found an association between low-carb diets and a decrease in body weight, in triglycerides, fasting glucose, blood pressure, BMI, abdominal circumference, plasma insulin and c-reactive protein as well as an increase in HDL cholesterol.
The idea that saturated fat raises the risk of heart disease is still wildly accepted and deeply rooted in the population. And the fact that there is a whole food sector relying on selling low-fat and hydrogenated products is not going to help things change. But you can..
An educated choice is always a healthy one!
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