Media Continues The Saturated Fat Myth
While I sat at the table this morning, I saw a headline in The Daily Mail (pictured) stating coconuts are not ‘good for you’. Knowing what I know about nutrition and health, my curiosity was engaged. (Granted, The Daily Mail has a lot of false nutrition “advice”.) As I flipped to the section, I was dumbfounded at the continued myth the media continues to push, even with all of the mounting evidence and retractions made against natural saturated fats. These fallacies continue the spread of ignorance.
When most people thing about ‘fatty foods’ (I’m using that term only as a way to convey most people’s mentality.), they think about things like hamburgers, pizzas, doughnuts, french fries, icecream, etc. The issue lies in what the main ingredients are in these foods. I’ll give you a hint, it’s actually not fat! The main ingredient in a plain hamburger is the bun; in pizza, it’s the crust; in doughnuts, it’s the bread; in fries, it’s the potato; in icecream, it’s the sugar added! These foods aren’t ‘fatty’ but more ‘carby’. I’m not saying carbs are all bad. I want to make people think about what they’ve been led to believe and question it.
Natural saturated fats are actually healthy for people. Saturated fats assist with hormone creation and balance. Cholesterol, from fatty acids, is needed for cells to even function (as previously stated). When the “research” (using that term loosely for this instance) came out and bits and pieces were used, that’s when ‘fat is evil’ came to be.
A scientist, named Ancel Keys, researched 22 countries, but only a handful of countries were used for this hypothesis. His study did not take into account lifestyle, such as smoking, processed food products, and other inflammatory causes.
At the time, plenty of scientists were skeptical of Keys’s assertions. One such critic was Jacob Yerushalmy, Ph.D., founder of the biostatistics graduate program at the University of California at Berkeley. In a 1957 paper, Yerushalmy pointed out that while data from the six countries Keys examined seemed to support the diet-heart hypothesis, statistics were actually available for 22 countries. And when all 22 were analyzed, the apparent link between fat consumption and heart disease disappeared.
…We’ve spent billions of our tax dollars trying to prove the diet-heart hypothesis. Yet study after study has failed to provide definitive evidence that saturated-fat intake leads to heart disease. The most recent example is the Women’s Health Initiative, the government’s largest and most expensive ($725 million) diet study yet. The results, published last year, show that a diet low in total fat and saturated fat had no impact in reducing heart-disease and stroke rates in some 20,000 women who had adhered to the regimen for an average of 8 years. (MensHealth – Saturated Fat)
In addition to this study, there was a previous study, done by a scientist named Anitschkow, involving a rabbit and cholesterol. A rabbit, being a herbivore, not an omnivore or carnivore, was fed cholesterol. This caused inflammation and the rabbit developed plaque in it’s arteries. Of course it would, a rabbit is not meant to eat anything other than plant based food! This flawed science created the notion that cholesterol was bad for everyone.
A spin-off from these flawed science ‘studies’ was man-made fats, in the form of vegetable oils and man-made trans-fats, and a turn towards carbohydrates. Again, carbohydrates are not ‘bad’. The problem lies with processed foods and using man-made fats in the food products. We’ve gone away from eating real foods, such as animal fats, coconut, avocados, etc, but switched to what was ‘claimed’ to be ‘healthy’ because it was ‘low in fat’. These are things such as vegetable spread/margarine instead of butter, low-fat skimmed/semi-skimmed milk instead of whole milk, low-fat non-dairy creamer instead of whole cream, low-fat yogurt laden with sugar and fructose… the list goes on. Has low-fat actually helped us as society or hurt us? Looking at the data, low-fat actually causes cholesterol to be created by the body. Then, we’re given statins to ‘fix’ the issue, which is a horrible thought! It can be fixed through diet!
Fat is also more satiating. That means, it keeps you from feeling hungry for longer periods of time. As a society, we’ve completely done away with listening to our bodies and instead, went with ‘everybody knows’ advice. We should go back to paying attention to our bodies. If you’re hungry, eat! If you’re not hungry, don’t eat! We don’t have to follow set ‘rules’. We were all meant to self-regulate our food intake, not allow other people to decide how our own bodies feel. Only we know the answer to that. The key is learning to listen again to your own body and question ‘advice’ given that we ignorantly follow.
When I was on the low-fat craze, my cholesterol was the high end of ‘normal’. After switching to whole foods with a lot of fat, my cholesterol is in perfect range. I feel my best when I eat high fat/moderate to low carb. It stresses my body less and also gives me health benefits. I am living proof that the ‘science’ we’ve been brainwashed to believe is false. Everyone is different, but at least take the time to question what you’re being told is right. Saturated fats are not bad, even for people with gallstones.
In regards to coconut flour being ‘unhealthy’ because it contains fat (*gasp*), I’m grain-free due to allergies and, as this entire post mentions, natural fat is not ‘bad’! Coconut flour is a low carb substitute for the occasional grain recipe. If you do choose to use coconut flour, be aware it is not a 1:1 substitution. It absorbs a lot of moisture. It also doesn’t work in all recipes.
If you’re interested in more about using fats for cooking, look up “paleo”, “primal”, “keto”, or check out the OurTwistedHealth Food Boards on Pinterest.
AuthorityNutrition – Saturated Fat Good Or Bad
ChrisKresser – TheDiet Heart MythCholesterol And Saturated Fat Are Not The Enemy
EmpoweredSustenance – Low Fat Diet Bad
FatHeadMovie – No Bologna Facts
Greatist.com – Saturated Fat Healthy
HealthImpactNews – We Were Wrong About Saturated Fats
Independent.co.uk – The Science Of Saturated Fat A Big Fat Surprise About Nutrition
MarksDailyApple – Saturated Fat Healthy
MensHealth – Saturated Fat
MensJournal – Why Experts Now Think You Should Eat More Fat
Mercola – Debunking The Science Behind Lowering Cholesterol Levels
Mercola – Enjoy Saturated Fats They’re Good For You
Mercola – Saturated Fat Cholesterol
NY Times – What If It’s All Been A Big Fat Lie
NY Times – Why Is The Federal Government Afraid Of Fat
Time – 6 Facts About Saturated Fat That Will Astound You
T-nation – Truth About Saturated Fat
Telegraph.co.uk – Saturated Fat Is Not Bad For Health
WellnessMama – Reverse Tooth Decay