Researchers in the UK are now saying the image that saturated fats clog up arteries is just “plain wrong.” According to the results of a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine those types of fats are not the leading cause of coronary heart disease.
For decades, public opinion on saturated fats has, like many things, been informed by the medical community. This type of fat is considered to be one of the major contributing factors towards our national health crisis: obesity is on the rise and more people than ever are contracting cardiac disease. But why?
Most saturated fats — found in animal products such as beef, pork, chicken, and butter — are considered hazardous because they cause plaque build-up within arteries. That plaque sticks to the artery walls, hardens, and makes it more difficult for proper blood flow throughout the cardiovascular system.
The authors of the study found that this is not the case whatsoever, stating that there is no evidence that saturated fats cause coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, type 2 diabetes, death from heart disease or early death in healthy adults.
The team, which consists of cardiologists Dr Aseem Malhotra, of Lister Hospital, Stevenage, Professor Rita Redberg of UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco (editor of JAMA Internal medicine) and Pascal Meier of University Hospital Geneva and University College London (editor of BMJ Open Heart), embarked on an analysis of existing studies before arriving at their conclusion.
Exercising three times a week, lowering stress levels and eating “real food” are the recommendations put forth:
“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,” they write. “Coronary artery disease is a chronic inflammatory disease and it can be reduced effectively by walking 22 minutes a day and eating real food.”
This is the basis of nutrition therapy we promote at the clinic, that includes a concerted effort towards lowering stress levels, consuming a diet of protein-rich, high-fat, low-sugar foods, and adopting a modest amount of daily exercise.
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