Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

Saturated Fat or Not?

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Studies will support or refute almost any position about “what is the healthiest diet?” We have defamed almost any food or diet  at times including saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, salt, and total fat. The latest advice on the saturated fat debate has risen again from the American Heart Association.  Recently, the American Heart Association renewed its previous stand that saturated fats are not heart healthy and that switching to polyunsaturated vegetable oils (corn, soybean, safflower, etc) will be a better choice. This debate will continue until there is new information based on clinical trials involving thousands of people and that is unlikely to happen in the near future. It would also take years of follow-up for results to surface and the same flawed aspects of these studies of the past would probably still exist.

This debate is troublesome in several ways.  People are told to limit saturated fat, then it’s OK to  eat butter and bacon, and now it’s back to the vilification of saturated fat in the diet. This undermines any chance that the average consumer would believe anything they hear about nutrition, diet and health.  CLICK HERE.

Why is the AHA advice promoting polyunsaturated vegetable oils for heart health?  Research shows that these oils lower LDL cholesterol while saturated fats raise LDL. However has the hypothesis that these vegetable oils are heart healthy (lower coronary events or deaths) ever been thoroughly tested in a reliable randomized clinical trial? Critics claim methodology flaws in previous studies;  therefore, the evidence is weak.

At the same time many doctors are recommending following the ketogenic diet which promotes a very low carbohydrate, high fat diet often saturated fat as coconut oil.

No wonder the consumer seeking a healthy fat is confused. Stay tuned. In the meantime, the old advice is the best – everything in moderation. The upcoming Dietary Guidelines for 2020 should be interesting.




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