Joyous Blog

Saturated Fat Does Not Increase the Risk of Heart Disease

Feb 17, 2014 BY Joy McCarthy

Hello Joyous Readers,

I've been a busy bee the last 6 weeks doing workshops and touring for my book and many people have been asking me why as a nutritionist and in my book I recommend organic butter, ghee and coconut oil.

This is because:

SATURATED FAT DOES NOT INCREASE THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE.

This might be a tough fact to swallow because it's so ingrained in our belief system. But what if I told you that we've been incorrectly advised of this for years and it's all a lie - completely false. You may be raising one eyebrow right now and thinking "but how could this be?". Let's look at the research and make our own decisions:

  • A meta-analysis (meaning a study looking at other studies, 21 to be precise) from 2010, of nearly 350,000 people concluded that the intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD (coronary heart disease), stroke, or CVD (cardiovascular disease).
  • Another study (this one from Japan) looking at 58,000 men found that saturated fat did not increase the risk of heart disease and in fact lowered the risk of stroke.

The reason I'm sharing this with you now is because while on my book tour and talking to the public at large, I've found this question continues to come up again and again.

This morning I was on the Global TV Morning Show talking about healthy oils to use when cooking (plus herbs for a healthy heart -- timely since it's heart health month!).

You might be wondering, why have we not been told this information?

Food is big business and big money.  The belief that saturated fats are bad for our health was heavily lobbied by the corn and soybean industries as they looked to gain a stronger foothold in our food chain. Based on the sheer amount of corn and soybean products used in processed 'phood' today, it would seem that they have succeeded - until now!

What I'm sharing with you today has actually been told by hundreds of other nutritionists, naturopathic doctors and even some cardiologists and medical doctors, and yet unfortunately there are still many experts not up on the latest science of the last 50 years.

You may also be thinking "but my uncle reversed his heart disease by going vegan or vegetarian, so it has to be the saturated fat".

One of the main reasons people tend to get healthier when they become vegan or vegetarian is because of the increase in fruits and vegetables and the decrease in processed foods (less sugar, refined carbs, omega 6 oils). I highly recommend eating plenty of fruits, veggies and eliminating processed foods.

Live in fear no more and Love Thy Butter!

These are my favourite fats to use in high-heat cooking:

  • Ghee
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Camelina oil (very little saturated fat but I like it because of it's high smoke point)

These are my favourite oils when there's no heat in my cooking (or very little):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Hempseed oil (definitely NO heat)
  • Flaxseed oil (definitely NO heat)

Wish to read more? Check out Chris Kresser's blog on The Diet-Heart Myth as he quotes Ancel Keys (the founder of the diet-heart hypothesis) in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1991.

So the next time your healthcare advisor tells you to cut out the butter in favour of margarine, you can print off those studies I've linked in my article and show him or her.

Here's to a joyous heart!

Joy

Feb 17, 2014 BY Joy McCarthy
1 Comments
Stephanie dooley   •   October 1, 2014

Thank you for writing this. I'd take a little pat of proper butter over buzzard chemical land margarine any day. Healthy fats make my heart sing!

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