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Dr. Oz: Healthy fats and low carb diet more beneficial than statin prescriptions

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Dr. Mehmet Oz has become famed for managing his ongoing profession as a heart surgeon with a career as a popular TV host. On his talk show Wednesday, Dr. Oz combined his cardiology knowledge with his weight loss wizardry in exploring the implications about new guidelines for cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.

The guidelines are designed to prevent heart attacks and strokes. However, Dr. Oz and many other physicians have expressed concern that they bypass the potential for lifestyle changes such as dietary changes that could empower patients to control their cholesterol and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Moreover, Dr. Oz expressed concern that many consumers as well as health professionals are not using the latest research on diet to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke while boosting weight loss. In recent years, Dr. Oz has joined a growing number of physicians in advocating a low-carb diet that minimizes starchy carbohydrates and features healthy fats.

For decades, the American public has been fed a food pyramid that's high in grains and low in fat. The result: Increases in diabetes, heart disease and obesity, reported Business Insider on Wednesday.

Much of the most recent shift in thinking comes from a new book that compiles years of research highlighting how high fat low carb diets can benefit the body in terms of weight loss and health: "The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet."

The key point: The FDA food pyramid and standard low-fat diet prescriptions from health organizations are based on faulty studies. "At the time, it was thought that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat increased the ‘bad’ type of blood cholesterol, so the advice was to restrict those foods. All of that was wrong," noted Dr. William Lagakos in a blog Tuesday.

Dr. Lagakos highlights the newest studies showing that the original lipid hypothesis was inaccurate about how butter and eggs impact the risk of heart disease. For those suffering from fear of fat, the latest research shows that those supposedly "healthy" grains, as well as sugar, are what we should fear with regard to everything from succeeding at weight loss to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Author of "The poor, misunderstood calorie: calories proper," he emphasizes it's time to bid bye-bye to bagels and bring on the butter. And while fried pork rinds may not yet rank as a food group, Dr. Lagakos concurs with Dr. Oz that for most people, foods such as salmon and avocado can help decrease the risk of heart disease and lose weight much more successfully than the ubiquitous statin prescription.

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