Is Saturated Bad For You Or Not?

There has been a huge debate going on over the past few years about whether we have got this whole fat thing right or wrong, given the fact that the population is getting ever bigger. Many experts are questioning the logic of the ‘low fat’ lifestyle and I have to say I am one of them (not an expert, but someone who thinks we may have it slightly skewed). I constantly see the problems of a low fat diet in clinic – with depression, learning disabilities, aggression, skin problems, allergy etc all on the rise and in each their own way linked to a paucity of the right fats and essential fatty acids, which have lowered along with our obsession with saturated fat and general fat consumption. 

This week, I read a fascinating blog conversation between Dr John Briffa (who is one of the experts who thinks we’ve got it wrong) and an expert who believes saturated fat is the cause of all nutritional evil as far as heart disease is concerned. Fascinatingly, even the World Health Organisation has been able to find no significant correlation between the intake of saturated fat and heart disease. Also, here is what John Briffa says about a study that came out very recently:

“Just this week saw the publication of another huge study which assessed the relationship between saturated fat and heart disease [2]. This study was actually an amalgamation (meta-analysis) of 21 epidemiological studies. Taken all together, this review monitored almost 350,000 people over between 5 and 23 years. And here’s what it found:

1. No association between saturated fat and risk of heart disease

2. No association between saturated fat and risk of stroke

You know what this all means, don’t you? That there really is no evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease or cardiovascular disease generally.”

Interestingly though in the media following this announcement, there was NOTHING reported about it. How weird is that? But I’ll leave it to Dr Briffa to explain what DID happen:

“This week in the UK saw an anti-saturated fat media blitz fronted by a Unilever-backed heart surgeon (Mr Shyam Kolvekar). The timing of this blitz is interesting, because it comes on the back of some very recent evidence which appears to vindicate saturated fat with regard to heart disease. This week I had an email exchange with Mr Kolvekar in which I asked him to provide the evidence for his assertions. As yet, it seems Mr Kolvekar has been unwilling or unable to provide relevant supportive evidence. To read more about this, click this link. John Briffa, Feb 1 10.”

If you want to read more about this, click on these links:

http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17/101174/broken-saturated

http://www.drbriffa.com/blog/2010/01/15/two-major-studies-conclude-that-saturated-fat-does-not-cause-heart-disease/

http://www.drbriffa.com/blog/2010/01/21/heart-surgeon-waging-war-on-saturated-fat-seems-seriously-short-on-science-to-support-his-claims/

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