I hope that you can join our next exciting discussion of functional medicine on Tues Sept 29 at 6 pm with some healthy food sponsored by Metagenics. Please let me know via email or phone if you will be able to attend.
For many years we advised our patients to avoid saturated fat and cholesterol in their diet, since they were linked with increased LDL cholesterol, which would increase cardiovascular disease risk. This would mean avoiding butter, cheese, egg yolks, red meat, poultry skin, whole fat dairy, etc. In recent years, studies have not found as clear a link between dietary cholesterol or saturated fat intake with heart disease. For example, the study by Mozaffarian in 2004 (1) found no relation between saturated fat intake and heart disease in postmenopausal women. Similarly, a meta-analysis published in 2010 by Siri-Tarino found that the intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of heard CHD, stroke, or CVD.(2)
Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra in The Great Cholesterol Myth (2012) pointed out the problems with the Diet-Heart Hypothesis first p8ut forth by Ancel Keys back in the 1950s, who claimed to have found a clear link between dietary fat intake and heart disease after examining epidemiological data from various countries around the world. Looking at the chart below, it’s hard to see how you could draw a straight line connecting the dots:
Nina Teicholz in The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet published in 2014 made this case in even more exhausting detail that saturated fat intake was not the cause of heart disease. The problem she argued is the carbohydrate and trans fat intake. Teicholz and other practitioners who promote the Paleo or Primal nutrition approaches often argue that saturated fats do not contribute to cardiovascular disease and it is fine to eat plenty of eggs, butter, cheese, red meat, bacon, coconut oil, etc., though it is often recommended that we choose meat that has been grass fed and not farmed and butter that is from grass fed cows. They recommend avoiding commercial seed oils (vegetable oils) other than olive oil.
Please look at the attached papers before the next discussion group on September 29