These days, I enjoy more fat in my diet—particularly saturated fat. That’s because I have never been convinced that saturated fat causes heart disease.
Based on the research, it has always appeared that two of the primary factors for heart problems are inflammation and high blood sugar. At the risk of over-simplifying this, I could even narrow this down further by saying inflammation from rancid fats, uncontrolled free radicals, and excess sugar in the diet is the main trigger leading to cardiovascular disease.
Trying to convince people that saturated fat and cholesterol don’t cause clogged arteries and heart disease has been struggle, to say the least. A thorough review of decades of research has never shown either saturated fat or dietary cholesterol to be the real issue. It’s clearly been a fabrication started and perpetuated by the pharmaceutical industry. Marketing campaigns have been so successful that it will probably take several decades before the public gets over their fear of cholesterol and saturated fat. We saw the same thing when eggs were demonized a couple of decades ago. Believe it or not, most of the general public still thinks eating eggs on a regular basis is dangerous.
Studies on Saturated Fat & Heart Disease
A recent study analyzed 32 observational studies (530,525 participants), another 17 observational studies (25,721 participants), and 27 randomized, controlled trials (103,052 participants). After looking at all the results, the scientists found there was no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiovascular events. (Ann Intern Med 14 Mar 18;160(6):398–406)
Immediately after publication of this data, there was a firestorm throughout the medical community. The authors of the study were accused of causing a huge amount of damage. There were demands that the study be retracted. It has obviously been a huge embarrassment to mainstream medicine and a blow to “experts” who have continued to preach that meat, butter, cheese, and other foods containing saturated fat could lead to heart disease.
The pressure to stifle these conclusions was so great that a new “corrected” version of the study was published. But the study’s first author, Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury and many of his cohorts stand by their conclusions, saying they are still valid, even with the “corrections.”
The bottom line: People who eat higher levels of saturated fat do not have more heart disease than those who eat less. And those who eat higher amounts of monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil) or polyunsaturated fats (such as corn oil) don’t have lower rates of heart disease than those who eat more saturated fat.