Is saturated fat healthy? For half a century, the common wisdom has been that saturated fat makes you fat and is harmful to heart health. Amazingly, for this same half-century, Americans have gotten fatter and fatter, while suffering skyrocketing rates of chronic disease! Could the theory that saturated fat is bad for you, and a low fat diet good, be wrong? Dr. Mercola explains where the saturated fat “research” went wrong.
The Saturated Fat Myth
The myth that saturated fat causes heart disease has undoubtedly harmed an incalculable number of lives over the past several decades. While it may have begun as an unsupported marketing strategy for Crisco, this mistaken belief began solidifying in the mid-1950’s when Dr. Ancel Keys published a paper comparing saturated fat intake and heart disease mortality. Keys based his theory on a study of six countries, in which higher saturated fat intake equated to higher rates of heart disease. However, he conveniently ignored data from 16 other countries that did not fit his theory.
Had he chosen a different set of countries, the data would have shown that increasing the percent of calories from fat reduces the number of deaths from coronary heart disease. And, if all 22 countries for which data was available at the time of his study are included, you find that those who consume the highest percentage of saturated fat have the lowest risk of heart disease.
Unfortunately, the idea that saturated fat is bad for your heart has become so ingrained in the medical and health community that it’s very difficult to break through that misinformation barrier. Still, the fact of the matter is that the saturated fat – heart disease link was a hypothesis that did not stand up to further scrutiny. Gary Taubes discussed this lack of evidence in an interview I did with him last year.
Is Saturated Fat Healthy?
Listen to the interview here – full length is 1 hour 23 minutes, but you can listen in while you work on something else. The video portion is merely the image seen below. Enjoy the interview with Gary Taubes, author of “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?”
What do you think – is saturated fat healthy? What type of diet do you follow, and how has it affected your health? Let us know in the comments.