Saturated Fats Do Not Cause Heart Disease!

hh-10.jpgThe latest scientific evidence does not support the hypothesis that so-called ‘artery clogging’ saturated fats hinder heart health.

It turns out that the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets touted to prevent heart disease and heart attacks are not effective as the best diet for heart health and longevity. For a generation, a mis-conception has been promoted that has little scientific basis. The concept that saturated fats are the culprits in heart disease is just plain wrong!

According to one medical expert, “Lowering cholesterol by dietary means does not improve health.” It’s not that there is a questionable shortage of solid scientific evidence for the cholesterol = death equation, some respected researchers say there isn’t any at all!

The Framingham Heart Study, involving 6,000 residents of Framingham, MA, reported that, “The more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol… the people who ate the most cholesterol [and] ate the most saturated fat… weighed the least and were the most physically active.” They actually found an inverse relationship between fat intake and weight gain.

A multi-year study in Britain asked thousands of men to greatly reduce the saturated fat in their diets while increasing their intake of unsaturated oils like margarine. A similar number of men stayed on their typical high-fat ‘bad’ diet. What happened? A year later those consuming the ‘good’ low-fat diet had 100% more deaths than the men on the ‘bad’ diet!

A Medical Research Council survey revealed those who ate butter rather than margarine developed 50% less heart disease. Yes, butter! Each year in the USA, 315 men die of a heart attack per 100,000 population. In those regions of France where butter and goose fat are consumed in large quantities, the rate of heart attacks is an astoundingly low 80 deaths per 100,000. Saturated fat and cholesterol are not the problem.

Serum cholesterol levels are an inaccurate indicator of heart health or future heart disease, and are a poor gauge of one’s risk of dying from a heart attack. Cardiologist Michael DeBakey reported he’s found no relationship between cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis. What’s a more accurate indicator? Having high levels of homocysteine in the blood, which strongly correlate with plaque buildup in one’s arteries and a tendency to create heart-stopping blood clots.

The best deterrent to a heart attack no longer appears to be based on low-fat diets or drugs, but may instead be from lowering homocysteine levels by consuming good fats, along with folate, betaine, vitamins B6 and B12. Omega-3 fish oils and Co Q10 can also benefit heart health by preventing arrhythmias, decreasing blood clotting, reducing endothelial dysfunction (of the arterial linings) and lowering triglycerides.

If these supplements are coupled with moderate exercise, smoking cessation and avoidance of trans-fats, the New England Journal of Medicine claims one’s risk of heart disease can be lowered five-fold!

Want to improve your heart health? Eat more fish, take your vitamins and pass the butter!

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