The saturated fat myth debunked in two minutes and thirty five seconds

April 30, 2010 in Heart Disease, Myths & Truths | 26 comments


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Christian W April 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I love this video!

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Chris Kresser April 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Pretty funny, huh? He’s got a dry sense of humor that appeals to me.

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Christian W April 30, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Yeah, it’s great ironic humor, and he manages to communicate the essence of the issue very effectively.
Also, the faux 1950s aesthetic is awesome.

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Vic Shayne, PhD April 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm

This little video is the tip of the iceberg. The fat-heart disease connection via the cholesterol “problem” is one in several campaigns of mass deception. The goal? Maybe to sell billions of dollars worth of cholesterol drugs along with diagnostic “services” and so forth. Today’s processed foods, bad fats, sugar and nutrient-depleted diets result in damaged arteries. Once damaged, these arteries crack and hemorrhage, which the body attempts to repair with cholesterol as a “patch.” But to blame cholesterol is to kill the messenger. It’s a shame that money and politics rule our nation’s medical system because the real people who suffer are our friends and relatives. This cholesterol scam is analogous to the fluoride scam. It’s not that we lack the science to prove the falsehoods, it’s that we lack the media oversight and there is no separation between politics and big pharma money. In the simplest of terms, natural fats are good while those created by scientists in a lab are bad.

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Chris Kresser April 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Vic,

Welcome to the blog. I couldn’t agree more. See my section on heart disease and cholesterol for more.

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Ellen April 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I bought “Fat Head” just so I could show it to as many family members as possible!  It does the trick.
Your blog is wonderful.

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Musings of a Housewife May 1, 2010 at 4:48 am

Love it.

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z. craig October 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm

don’t believe THEM and also approach this blog skeptically as well…

i would love to believe this…but this argument is flawed.

the prologue is particularly specious.
think for a moment……
in terms of human history, when humans did not eat grains and vegetable oils, etc. human beings lived half as long or less.
we live longer now, at an unpredicted rate of longevity. cures for diseases are a cause, as is awareness in food groups….and a skeptical approach to everything…including skeptic blogs.

my personal experience was that i lowered my saturated fat intake and my cholesterol level went from an unhealthy level to a healthy level. saturate fat intake was the only thing i changed in my life, and before and after, my weight and exercise regimen stayed the same.

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Chris Kresser October 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm

So-called “unhealthy” cholesterol levels, by which I assume you mean high total cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol, have a very weak association with heart disease.

What matters much more is triglycerides, HDL and LDL particle size. And guess what? Saturated fat increases HDL, decreases triglycerides and promotes large, buoyant LDL (which does not cause heart disease).

See these videos for more info.

Numerous studies have been published in recent years exonerating saturated fat in the pathogenesis of heart disease. You can read about one of them here.

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Rowdy Mason November 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm

RE: z. craig…

The prologue isn’t particularly specious, just incomplete.

Anthropological records of human remains show that pre agrarian hunter gatherers were taller, had fewer or no teeth cavities, lower infant mortality, no cancer etc. Their low life expectancy was because they mostly died of trauma (then subsequent infection)… predation, conflict with other humans.

We do not live longer because of a change in diet, we live longer because 1) sanitation, 2) penicillin, 3) drop in crime.

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Tim Brown May 3, 2011 at 5:11 am

Hi Chris,
Thanks for your articles and podcast.

On this topic, I thought you might be interested in a Review appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition March 2010:

“Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease”

http://www.ajcn.org/content/91/3/535

Thanks again,
Tim Brown

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Chris Kresser May 3, 2011 at 7:18 am

Thanks, Tim. I’ve seen that review and I wrote about it in my heart disease series. I’m generally not a fan of meta-analyses, but this one certainly confirms what other individual, well-controlled trials have shown. Krauss has done some great work.

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Sean June 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Don’t we have layers of saturated fat under our skins to keep us warm in the winter months?

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shandor July 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Um, grains have always been in our diet. That grain consumption is new is false. Take an anthropology course. And just Keys left out data, this video leaves out data about cultures that consume large amounts of grain without obesity or adverse health effects.

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Chris Kresser July 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Please provide support for the statement “grains have always been in our diet”. I’ve read several anthropology texts, and I’ve never seen such a statement.

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shandor July 13, 2011 at 8:20 am

http://smithsonianscience.org/2011/01/starch-grains-found-on-neandertal-teeth-helps-debunk-theory-their-extinction-was-caused-by-dietary-deficiencies/

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shandor July 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

I put this to my Anthropology Professor last night and asked directly about the earliest hard evidence of grain consumption in man. It apparently goes back much further than even I thought to australopithecus boisei at about 2.5 million years ago. So grain has been with us since the beginning.

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Chris Kresser July 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

No. The bulk of the evidence clearly shows that grains were not a significant part of human diets until about 300 generations ago. That does not mean that some humans in some places didn’t eat some limited amount of grain, but studies clearly show that grains did not comprise a significant portion of energy intake for early hominids.

http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/12/grain-consumption-by-neanderthals.html

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shandor July 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

That’s called moving the goal posts. Quantity of grain consumption is a different question than “did we or didn’t we”, which what we were discussing.

So are you anticarb or antigrain?

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Chris Kresser July 16, 2011 at 9:06 am

I’m not anti-anything. I’ve pointed out in other articles (see: https://thehealthyskeptic.org/9-steps-to-perfect-health-1-dont-eat-toxins) that grains have food toxins in them that inhibit nutrient absorption and damage the gut. In some cases, properly preparing grains (i.e. soaking, fermenting, sprouting) before consuming them can significantly decrease levels of those toxins.

Quantity makes all the difference in the world. Humans are able to deal with small amounts of the toxins in grains, which is why traditional cultures in the last 300 generations that prepared them properly were able to eat them without problems. But today, almost no one in the west goes through these important steps.

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shandor July 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Your article makes so many assumptions I would be here all night addressing them. But for startrrs you muddy the water from the beginning by moving between “toxin IN grains” and “grains are toxins” as if those two statements are equivalent, they are not. And your fructose stance is just plain wrong. To claim that fruit is bad for you is just silly.

http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/

http://weightology.net/?p=434

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