Today I would like to openly state my rage against a campaign based on faulty research and greed. For a while now I have been suspicious about low fat diets and their supposed health benefits. As our society suffers from an all time high in chronic disease, including obesity, hearth disease and diabetes I wonder how we got here.
Here is a tiny little bit of history. In the 1950’s America was facing a health epidemic. Cardio Vascular Disease, rarely seen before the 30’s, had become one of the leading causes of death. As doctors desperately seeked for an answer a man called Ancel Benjamin Keys blamed saturated fats. His research paper titled the Seven Countries Study supposedly proved the correlation between saturated fats and heart disease. The study has been surrounded with controversy since the beginning. It is argued that the final data was “Cherry Picked” (which means it was selectively picked in order to support Keys theory). But as usual economic interests got the best of the situation. The American Heart Association jumped on the bandwagon and the rest is history.
Now keep in mind that the AHA was basically launched by Procter & Gamble, the maker of Crisco oil. ” In 1948, P&G made the AHA the beneficiary of the popular “Walking Man” radio contest, which the company sponsored. The show raised $1.7 million for the group and transformed it (according to the AHA’s official history) from a small, underfunded professional society into the powerhouse that it remains today.” states Nina Teicholtz in the “Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease“. So it is no wonder that their dietary guidelines included the radical reduction of saturated fats and the inclusion of vegetable oils . This happened in spite of other medical opinions. Dr. Dudley White noted that the increase of hearth disease coincided with the increased consumption of vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats! His opinion was that Americans should stick to traditional foods and avoid these oils. But by this point mayor industries where already behind the saturated fats theory. Skip to present times, the hearth disease epidemic is rampant and so is obesity and a myriad of other diseases. Trans-fats, like those found in vegetable oils, oil spreads and baked goods, have been recognized as a mayor contributor to heart disease. The same fats that once where deemed good for you have been destroying our health. Yet Americans are still advised to use these oils and follow a diet low in fats. So what gives?
Please keep in mind that once upon a time cigarettes where marketed as good for you, and approved by doctors!
Today I am not going to go into details about the benefits of saturated fats in our diet. Healthy saturated fats from good sources, such as those in butter, eggs, coconut oil and healthy animals support our digestive, nervous and immune system. Fats do not make you fat. Healthy fats nourish your body. A diet low in fat leads to malnutrition, cravings, obesity and many health problems. If you would like to know more about the subject visit Eat Fat Loose Fat, I highly recommend it. You can also find more on saturated fats here.
Today I would like to invite you to do a little digging. I would like to invite you to use critical thinking and maybe depart from dogmatic or blind faith. Could it be possible that the AHA and their board of businessmen was wrong about saturated fats? Could it be possible that your great-grandparents cooking with lard instead of canola oil was one of the factors heart disease wasn’t an epidemic back then? Could it be possible that traditional cultures had it right all along? Even if you disagree with me I would just like to open the debate. The decision to avoid fats like the plague should be based on your personal experiences and research.
I have witnessed family and friends struggle with weight and health issues and sadly low or fat-free diets don’t seem to help. I have seen loved ones suffer from a number of diseases raging from diabetes to dementia brought on by a low fat, high sugar diet. From my personal experience I can say that a diet rich in healthy fats, including saturated fats, has lead me to my ideal weight, good health and emotional well being. You will never see me ask for an egg white omelet and a cup of fat-free yogurt. I will take bacon and eggs over a bowl of cereal and low-fat milk every time. I know this is a personal decision. I also know the same diet does not work for everyone. But I also know that substituting healthy fats (saturated included) for refined carbohydrates and diet drinks is a recipe for poor health.
As always I wish you health and wisdom. Health is a journey of constant discovery. It is a precious gift that only you can gift yourself.