Heart disease and fat, a new study questions the link between the two; the NY Times investigates.

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Heart disease and fat, a new study questions the link between the two; the NY Times investigates

You have heard it again and again about how we must limit fats in our diet, or at least certain fats such as the triglyceride type which would increase our risk to heart disease, or would it? All around the world, there are people who eat many fatty foods who are living into their 80’s which is impressive since according to our experts, they should have had a heart attack or something.

On the other hand, there have been those who have pushed the low carbohydrate or no carbohydrate type diets such as Atkins diet. Of course, there are some dangers such as ketosis if this diet is not applied properly, however, when tested against people on many other popular so called healthy lean diets, these folks had blood tests showing normal cholesterol and no problems whatsoever.

Then of course, there is the great cholesterol/statin scare where normal people with slightly elevated cholesterol levels are told to take a medication that creates liver disease (which is why you must be monitored by a doctor) or else they are likely to have a heart attack. Some of the latest information actually shows that cholesterol is one of 18 cardiac risk factors, yet we spend so much of our resources on a drug that has created so many problems for people who were trying to exercise to improve their cardiac health. Cholesterol is essential for proper muscular function and it is necessary for many other functions in the body. Read more about it here.

Now, there is new evidence beginning to show we can eat fatty foods and live to tell about it. What do I know, I love butter which by the way is much safer than margarine or many substitutes. Anyway, check out the NY Times article here.

Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR
Many of us have long been told that saturated fat, the type found in meat, butter and cheese, causes heart disease. But a large and exhaustive new analysis by a team of international scientists found no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiac events.

The new findings are part of a growing body of research that has challenged the accepted wisdom that saturated fat is inherently bad for you and will continue the debate about what foods are best to eat.

For decades, health officials have urged the public to avoid saturated fat as much as possible, saying it should be replaced with the unsaturated fats in foods like nuts, fish, seeds and vegetable oils.

But the new research, published on Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find that people who ate higher levels of saturated fat had more heart disease than those who ate less. Nor did it find less disease in those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including monounsaturated fat like olive oil or polyunsaturated fat like corn oil.

“My take on this would be that it’s not saturated fat that we should worry about” in our diets, said Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, the lead author of the new study and a cardiovascular epidemiologist in the department of public health and primary care at Cambridge University.

But Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said the findings should not be taken as “a green light” to eat more steak, butter and other foods rich in saturated fat. He said that looking at individual fats and other nutrient groups in isolation could be misleading, because when people cut down on fats they tend to eat more bread, cold cereal and other refined carbohydrates that can also be bad for cardiovascular health.

“The single macronutrient approach is outdated,” said Dr. Hu, who was not involved in the study. “I think future dietary guidelines will put more and more emphasis on real food rather than giving an absolute upper limit or cutoff point for certain macronutrients.”

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