Hello My Friends
Welcome to The Vitality Project!
Today, I am going to discuss an issue which is and has been continually misunderstood for decades.
In the world of health care, it’s seems that it can take several decades to disprove previous assumptions, statements and motions that are now merely unfactual, self-serving and completely misleading.
I can’t think of any area in health care where this concept is represented to be more accurate than in the relationship between the intake of saturated fat and the development of heart disease. For years we have been told that the intake of saturated fat from our dietary choices leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, the number one killer globally.
So, drugs…drugs and more drugs, dietary guidelines, government position statements, special interest group statements, books, diets, gurus…you name it? Even the educational systems charged with producing well-meaning health care professionals have taught this unfactual information for decades.
You may even think that I am some kind of lunatic for actually challenging this holy-grail of misinformation in this manner.
Before you shrug me off…read-on!
A new published report published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine based upon a recent review of research findings from a leading group of internationally recognized cardiologists have indicated that there is no direct relationship demonstrated between the intake of saturated fat and a greater risk of heart disease!
According to the international panel of experts:
“It is time to shift the public health message in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease away from measuring serum lipids and reducing dietary saturated fat”.
In contrast, rather than focusing upon lowering blood fats and omitting saturated fat from our diet people should eat “real food”, participate in regular physical activity while minimizing stress.
According to the authors of this study, the concept or reducing plaque or preventing the narrowing of coronary arteries to reduce heart attack risk has also been shown by recent, various clinical trials involving stent surgery to be ineffectual at lowering heart attack risk.
In addition, the panel also made the following comments:
“Decades of emphasis on the primacy of lowering plasma cholesterol, as if this was an end in itself and driving a market of ‘proven to lower cholesterol’ and ‘low fat’ foods and medications, has been misguided,” These misconceptions may stem from “selective reporting of data”.
The most important cause of heart attack and stroke is atherosclerotic disease. This disease is caused by continual high levels of inflammation mainly driven by high insulin levels and insulin resistance. The consumption of the Mediterranean diet has previously been shown in many studies to greatly lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and premature death.
The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol is the best way to calculate your own risk of a heart attack or stroke. This ratio can be greatly lowered by consuming less refines carbohydrates and sugar (the mainstay of the western diet) with healthy fats from nuts, extra virgin olive oil, fatty fish and avocados.
Oh, and exercise (at least 30 minutes of moderate activity) and reducing stress can add 20 years to your life expectancy!
Here are some final remarks from this expert panel:
“there is no business model or market to help spread this simple yet powerful intervention”
Does this sound familiar?
Always be prepared to question any health claim, no matter how entrenched it happens to be in dogma!
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
The Vitality Project