A Big Fat Fallacy
Wouldn’t you think that a country ranking at or near the bottom of the advanced nations in life expectancy and infant mortality would question the axioms of its leading health organizations and doctors?
Dr. Mehmet Oz
The United States holds that distinction, while erecting halos around the heads of such institutions as the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association, and high-profile physicians the likes of Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz, aka The You Docs.
Yet health care spending in the U.S. in 2018 totaled $3.65 trillion, which comes to an average of $11,121 per person, by far the most among developed countries. It exceeded the gross domestic product of countries such as Brazil, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Spain and Canada.
The You Docs, Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz
The You Docs’ column appears in media across the country, and Oz has a network TV show that’s immensely popular. This health guru, with the backing of the AHA and AMA, has millions of viewers believing that saturated fats contribute to heart disease. In late August, the You guys wrote that one way to prepare for surgery was to avoid “any trans or saturated fats.” He was half right: trans fats are awfully unhealthy. Alternative, or holistic, doctors and leading nutritionists have long held that saturated fats – found mainly in eggs, coconut oil, palm oil, meats, butter, lard and cream – range from neutral to healthy.
Dr. Karin Michels
A year ago, a Harvard medical school doctor, Karin Michels, called coconut oil “pure poison” and “one of the worst foods you can eat” because it’s loaded with fatty acids which, Business Insider reported, clog heart arteries, raise so-called “bad” cholesterol, and increase the risk of heart disease. Prior to Michels’ lecture, the AHA also warned of the supposed dangers of coconut oil. And the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory found that the oil appeared to raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Wow, scary stuff, right? Guess I’d better get rid of that big jug of coconut oil that I use every day, usually twice, for frying and scrambling eggs, stir-frying vegetables, sautéing meats and making nut-flour pancakes. Geez, my LDL cholesterol must be through the roof. Oh, wait a minute … the last umpteen blood tests my doctors have done showed low LDL levels and high HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels. As a matter of fact, those levels, with extremely good ratios of HDL to the total, began improving a decade or so ago when I started using coconut oil and eating high-saturated-fat eggs daily. Those revered medical organizations and celebrated doctors couldn’t be wrong, could they?
Dr. David Brownstein
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that’s exactly what they are. Somebody has to do it: The media sure don’t, pumping out reports by these so-called experts while totally ignoring contrarian, independent medical researchers and doctors such as Dr. David Brownstein of Michigan and Dr. Uffe Ravnskov of Denmark and Sweden, author of The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease. Ravnskov said his research showed that “the successful dissemination of the diet-heart idea is due to authors systematically ignoring or misquoting discordant (contradictory) studies.”
Atli Amarson, Ph.D., presented a nuanced analysis of the effects of saturated fats on July 1 in the online
Saturated Fat Fraud
“Evidence suggests that they don’t cause heart disease,” he wrote.
Atli Amarson, Ph.D.
Amarson analyzed the 10 most common types of saturated fat. Stearic acid, the second most common, is found in animal fat, and appears to have no deleterious health effect, and possibly a modicum of benefits.
Palmitic acid is the most common, found in both animals and plants. It raises LDL, which doctors believe causes heart disease. But, Amarson said, “not all LDL cholesterol is the same. More accurate markers of heart disease” are the number of small, dense LDL particles compared to large ones. “Though palmitic acid raises total LDL cholesterol, this is mainly due to an increase in large LDL particles. Many researchers consider high levels of large LDL particles to be less of a concern.”
It should be noted that top alternative doctors think LDL is produced in the liver when an artery becomes inflamed, and shoots to the site to protect it. But the LDL is not the problem: It’s the inflammation, caused mainly by most vegetable oils and sugars.
Myristic acids are relatively rare, but certain oils and fats contain them. They’re high in LDL, but like palmitic, this LDL is the large kind, not of much concern.
Lauric acid is high in palm kernel and coconut oils, but raises HDL, on which there is universal agreement of health benefits.
Caproic, caprylic and capric acids are found mainly in goat’s milk, and in small amounts in palm kernel and coconut oils. They are believed to have several health benefits.
Bytyric, propionic and acetic acids, known as short-chain fatty acids, “are formed when friendly bacteria ferment fiber in your colon and have many potential health benefits,” Amarson wrote.
The article on the Harvard professor’s trashing of coconut oil, which ran in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, concluded with this advice by the newspaper on combating heart disease: “Simple dietary swaps could help tackle the problem and health experts have recommended that a good start is to replace saturated fats with products that include lots of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as rapeseed and flaxseed oil, soybean, sunflower and corn oil.”
This is precisely the opposite of what doctors and researchers such as Amarson, Brownstein and Ravnskov, and a host of other highly credentialed alternative doctors advise. It spouts the company line, unquestioningly accepting the biased studies and agendas of the big names in medicine, the so-called experts and authorities who for many decades have hoodwinked the American public.
What Ravnskov said bears repeating: They are guilty of “systematically ignoring or misquoting discordant (contradictory) studies.”
And the media are complicit.
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