A user guide to saturated fat - and the 50-year attack on saturated fat has poor science behind it
For decades, consuming saturated fat has been considered an unhealthy practice that can lead to heart disease. But is this reputation warranted, or has saturated fat been unfairly demonized? This guide explains what is known about saturated fat, discusses the scientific evidence about its role in health, and explores whether we should be concerned about how much we eat it.
The belief that saturated fat is unhealthy has been widely held since the 1960s. For decades, we’ve repeatedly heard terms like “artery-clogging saturated fat” and as of 2018, the message hasn’t really changed among mainstream health authorities and their leading spokespeople.
When discussing new recommendations to restrict saturated fat to less than 10% of daily calories in early 2018, Director of the WHO’s Department of Nutrition and Health Development Francesco Branco stated: “Dietary saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids are of particular concern because high levels of intake are correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.”
Recently, a Harvard professor characterized coconut oil as “pure poison” due to its high saturated fat content.
The fear of saturated fat can be traced back to the diet-heart hypothesis first proposed in the 1950s by American scientist Ancel Keys who promoted his theory that dietary fat raises cholesterol levels, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease.
And of course the mention of Ancel Keys should bring to mind his cherry-picked "Seven Countries Study" that started the fear around eating fat. If you are not aware of it you may still believe that eating cholesterol is also bad, even though it is vital to the functioning of the body which is why the body also produces it? If so do yourself a favour and just read a bit more about modern revelations and independent studies from the mid-2000's that find no such correlations. Things are changing but there are still many vested interests profiting off the old school of thought.
|A user guide to saturated fat – Diet Doctor
For decades, consuming saturated fat has been considered an unhealthy practice that can lead to heart disease. But is this reputation warranted, or has saturated fat been unfairly demonized?