Busting the Low-Fat Myth

Discussion in 'Health & Advice' started by Aden, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Aden


    May 23, 2017
    In the video above, Joe Rogan interviews Teicholz on her 2014 book, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet,” which grew out of that initial exposé.

    Teicholz points out the fact that saturated fat has been a healthy human staple for thousands of years, and how the low-fat craze has resulted in massive sugar consumption that has increased inflammation and disease.5 The American Heart Association (AHA) started encouraging Americans to limit dietary fat, particularly animal fats, to reduce their risk of heart disease in 1961, and maintains this position to this day.

    Just last summer, the AHA sent out a presidential advisory to cardiologists around the world, reiterating its 1960s advice to replace butter and coconut oil with margarine and vegetable oils to protect against heart disease. Yet historical data clearly shows this strategy is not working, because concomitant with low-fat diets becoming the cultural norm, heart disease rates have soared. The AHA also ignores research demonstrating the low-fat, low-cholesterol strategy does more harm than good. For example:

    1. In 2012, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology examined the health and lifestyle habits of more than 52,000 adults ages 20 to 74, concluding that lower cholesterol levels increase women’s risk for heart disease, cardiac arrest and stroke. Overall, women with “high cholesterol” (greater than 270 mg/dl) actually had a 28 percent lower mortality risk than women with “low cholesterol” (less than 183 mg/dl).6
    2. In 2013, prominent London cardiologist Aseem Malhotra argued in the British Medical Journal that you should ignore advice to reduce your saturated fat intake, because it’s actually increasing your risk for obesity and heart disease.7
    3. A 2014 meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, using data from nearly 80 studies and more than a half-million people, found those who consume higher amounts of saturated fat have no more heart disease than those who consume less. They also did not find less heart disease among those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including both olive oil and corn oil.8,9
    The following graph, from a British Journal of Nutrition study published in 2012, also shows how Europeans who eat the least saturated fats have the highest risk of heart disease, whereas those who eat the most have the lowest rates of heart disease — the complete opposite of conventional thinking and AHA claims.

    Source: British Journal of Nutrition, 2012 Sep;108(5):939-42
    Your Body Needs Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
    Cholesterol is not only beneficial for your body, it’s absolutely vital for optimal functioning. For example, cholesterol is needed for the construction of your cell membranes and helps regulate the protein pathways required for cell signaling. Having insufficient amounts of cholesterol may negatively impact your brain health, hormone levels, heart disease risk and more.

    Your body also needs saturated fats to function properly. One way to understand this need is to consider the foods ancient humans consumed. Many experts believe we evolved as hunter-gatherers and have eaten a variety of animal products for most of our existence on Earth. To suggest that saturated fats are suddenly harmful to us makes no sense, at least not from an evolutionary perspective.

    Reducing saturated fat to extremely low levels, or shunning it altogether, also doesn’t make sense when you consider its health benefits and biological functions, which include but are not limited to:

    Providing building blocks for cell membranes, hormones and hormone-like substances

    Facilitating mineral absorption, such as calcium

    Acting as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K

    Converting carotene into vitamin A

    Helping to lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids)

    Antiviral activity (caprylic acid)

    Optimal fuel for your brain

    Providing satiety

    Modulating genetic regulation and helping prevent cancer (butyric acid)

    High-Carb Versus High-Fat Diets
    As noted by Teicholz, by eliminating saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods we’ve also eliminated many of the most nutrient-dense foods from our diet — eggs and liver being just two examples — and this also has its repercussions for human health and development. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, which means you need the fat that comes naturally in animal foods along with the vitamins in order to absorb those vitamins.

    Additionally, fat is very satiating, so you’re far less likely to overeat on a high-fat diet than a high-carb diet. Most people who complain about “starving” all the time are likely just eating too many carbs (quick-burning fuel) and not enough fat (slow-burning fuel).

    Then there’s carb-addiction, of course, which further fuels the cycle of hunger and overeating. What’s worse, when you eat a high-carb diet for a long time, it blocks or shuts down your body’s ability to burn fat, which means all of your body fat remains right where it is, as it cannot be accessed for fuel.

    By shifting your diet from high-carb to high-fat, you eventually regain the metabolic flexibility to burn both types of fuel — fat and sugar — which solves most of these problems; the hunger and cycle of overeating, weight gain, inflammation and related disease processes. Cyclical ketogenic diets are very effective for this, as is intermittent fasting and longer water fasts for those who are overweight.

    The Problem With Vegetable Oils
    As mentioned earlier, Teicholz’s book also delves into a new nutritional twist that has developed as the dangers of trans fats have been exposed and accepted. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has removed partially hydrogenated oils — the primary source of trans fats — from the list of “generally recognized as safe” ingredients, the vegetable oils (such as peanut, corn and soy oil) that have replaced them may have even more harmful health ramifications.

    When heated, vegetable oils degrade into extremely toxic oxidation products. According to Teicholz, more than 100 dangerous oxidation products have been found in a single piece of chicken fried in vegetable oils. As early as the 1940s, animal experiments showed animals would develop cirrhosis of the liver or enlarged liver when fed vegetable oils. When fed heated vegetable oils, they died prematurely.

    Cyclic aldehydes are among the most toxic of these byproducts, and animal research has shown even low levels of exposure cause serious inflammation, which is associated with heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Findings like these make the AHA’s recommendation to use margarine and vegetable oils all the more troubling.

    In her book, Teicholz also cites research in which aldehydes were found to cause toxic shock in animals by damaging the gastrointestinal tract. We now know a lot more about the role your gut plays in your health, and the idea that aldehydes from heated vegetable oils can damage your gastric system is frighteningly consistent with the rise we see in immune problems and gastrointestinal-related diseases.
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