Saturated Fat is Good for You
There it was, in the March 30 edition of the Palm Beach Post, part of the syndicated People’s Pharmacy column by Terry & Joe Graedon: “The researchers found no link between saturated-fat consumption and a higher risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications.”
The research they referenced was a meta-analysis involving 72 studies – you read that right, SEVENTY-TWO – and more than 600,000 participants.
The American public for decades has been fed false information, based on data collected from a Ph.D. named Ancel Keys and his colleagues, that supposedly showed a correlation between saturated-fat intake and heart disease. Mainstream medicine convinced all but in-the-know alternative doctors and researchers that a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet helped prevent heart disease. Research physicians such as Denmark’s eminent Uffe Ravnskov, M.D., Ph.D., whose books include Fat and Cholesterol Are Good For You, were given short shrift.
This new, thoroughly comprehensive analysis “now contradicts that traditional wisdom,” the Graedons wrote.
The Graedons did not name the source of the new finding, so I Googled and found that it was reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Normally, when such prestigious medical journals publish articles of such enormous importance, the news media jump all over it, devoting prominent coverage in newspapers and broadcasts. So what happened with this report?
Nary a word was printed or uttered in newspapers, radio or television.
And this was the second such meta-analysis in four years. The first one, reported in February 2010, also was ignored by the media. That research, by the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Center in California, analyzed 21 studies involving 348,000 people and found no difference in the incidence of heart disease and stroke between those with the lowest and highest consumption of saturated fat. What happened to that report, carried in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition?
A former president of the American Heart Association, which recommends adult calorie intake be no more then 7 percent saturated fat, cautioned against “over interpreting” the finding. And that was the end of that. The media paid little or no heed.
Yet when so-called experts proclaim that new research has shown the need for wider use of statin drugs to lower cholesterol, which they wrongly assign as a major cause of heart disease, newspapers give it front-page coverage and cable TV channels duly report it.
What is going on here? Is advertising revenue from pharmaceutical companies, retail outlets and food processors playing a role in these decisions by the media? As an ex-newspaperman of many years, I am reticent to think so, by am beginning to wonder. Or is it just that journalists to not feel competent to assess scientific phenomena and rely on officialdom? That would be a big mistake, because not a lot of investigation is required to learn, for example, that FDA scientists concurred overwhelmingly about health risks associated with genetically modified organisms but were ignored by their superiors. It wouldn’t take much digging to discover that the FDA does no GMO safety testing, relying instead on the safety claims provided by the companies that grow the GM crops.
What would happen if the media did their job and informed the public of the findings showing saturated fat is not harmful and polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, rich in the omega 6’s that our diets are too high in, hold no heart benefits? It would transform the entire food processing industry, which would stop manufacturing those low-saturated-fat foods ubiquitous on grocery shelves. Gone would be the low-fat, reduced-fat, no-fat and fat-free labels. The healthy saturated fat in whole milk would no longer be removed and the resulting thinness corrected with powdered milk, which has been treated to very high temperatures that damage its cholesterol, causing inflammation in those who consume it. And inflammation is what doctors would have to blame as the real culprit in heart disease.
The best advice for consumers, of course, is to avoid packaged, processed foods, which are full of substances detrimental to health.
Said the Graedons: “We think grandmothers got it right: real foods, lovingly prepared.” Conceding that cooking from scratch takes longer, they added that “the taste and health benefits are big.”