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Dr. Oz and Andrew Weil: Saturated fat does not cause heart disease

Dr. Oz and Andrew Weil talk health scares: Saturated fat, cell phones and Wi-Fi
Screengrab from Fox TV

Dr. Mehmet Oz examined controversial health scares with alternative-health expert Dr. Andrew Weil on the Aug. 7 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.

Dr. Oz asked Dr. Weil what is the single most important health issue people should be aware of. Weil said sugar tops the list. "There's so much research about the dangers of sugar," said Weil. "Stop drinking sugary drinks, including sweetened tea, fruit juice, coffee and energy drinks."

A high-sugar diet has been shown to spur diabetes, but research also indicates too much sugar can cause heart attacks, even if you are not obese.

Low Carb Ketogenic, Paleo and Atkins Diets Aid Weight Loss

Next, Dr. Oz asked Dr. Weil, a lacto-pesco vegetarian (a vegetarian who eats fish and milk), whether saturated fat clogs arteries and causes heart disease.

Dr. Weil said he does not think healthy saturated fats such as olive oil clog arteries, but trans fat definitely does. Weil said a diet that's high in sugar and simple carbs is responsible for heart disease, and said we should feel free to consume healthy saturated fats like salmon, cheese, and olive oil in moderate amounts.

Weil echoed the sentiments of other medical experts, who say unprocessed saturated fat does not cause obesity or heart disease. If anything, what causes these degenerative illnesses is a high-carb diet.

Obesity diet expert Dr. Eric Westman, author of Keto Clarity, said the low carb, high-fat ketogenic, Paleo and Atkins diets are the best eating plans for weight loss and disease prevention.

Westman, who has helped thousands of morbidly obese patients lose hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years on the ketogenic, Paleo and Atkins plans, said a low carb, high-fat diet helps people maintain their weight loss long-term — something the vast majority of diets cannot claim.

"I tell my patients not to fear the fat," said Dr. Westman. "Eat lots of fat. Fat makes you feel full. There's no problem with fat. In fact, saturated fat, the fat that we've been taught not to eat, raises your good cholesterol best of all the foods you can eat."

Do Wi-Fi Systems and Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

Dr. Oz and Weil then discussed the health dangers of cell phones and Wi-Fi systems. Dr. Weil said there is no clear-cut scientific evidence linking the electromagnetic fields emitted by Wi-Fi systems and cell phones to cancer, but he thinks they are a bigger threat to our health than we realize.

As a precaution, Weil suggested keeping Wi-Fi routers outside the bedroom, keeping cell phones away from your head, using an ear piece for cell phones, and refraining from the use of electric blankets, mattress pads, or heating pads.

Next, Drs. Oz and Weil examined the hidden dangers of airport scanners. Weil said airport scanners only use small amounts of ionizing radiation (the kind used in X-rays and CT scans), but said you should ask for a pat-down instead of going through a scanner as a precaution. Research has shown that ionizing radiation can damage DNA and fuel cancer.