A recent article in The Scientific American offers up even more evidence that saturated fats may not be the culprit linked to heart disease, rather, refined carbohydrates. YES! (This is me fist pumping) I have been preaching this for years, and finally some reprieve.
“Eat less saturated fat” has been the take home message from the US government for the last 30 years and we have listened. While Americans have dutifully reduced caloric intake from saturated fat since the 1970’s, the obesity rate has doubled, diabetes has tripled, and heart disease is still the country’s biggest killer.
It seems that we have implicated the wrong macronutrient this whole time (or, there was too much money to be made on promoting grains as “heart healthy”). In March the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis—which combines data from several studies—that compared the reported daily food intake of nearly 350,000 people against their risk of developing cardiovascular disease over a period of five to 23 years. The analysis found no association between the amount of saturated fat consumed and the risk of heart disease. More recent research indicates that not only is saturated fat NOT bad for you, but carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cookies, cakes) could actually be worse. In numerous studies, those that consumed the most carbohydrates weighed the most, had the highest risk for diabetes (47%) and were more likely to suffer from heart disease.
This is a major breakthrough as I see it in helping disseminate the popular belief that “whole grains are good for you”. I have first hand knowledge, both from personal and clinic practice that the elimination of refined grains is one of the “healthiest” things that someone can do for himself or herself. In addition, making sure to consume enough quality animal fat can help regulate hormonal imbalances and improve energy levels and actually reduce body fat.
“So the next time that bread and butter plops down at the table, consider for a moment that the butter may actually be the more healthful component.”