Dr. Mehmet Oz examined common health conspiracy theories and debunked the myth that saturated fat is unhealthy on the April 17 episode of the "Dr. Oz Show." Dr. Oz said there are many Americans who subscribe to shocking medical conspiracy theories, but most of them aren't true.
Dr. Oz was stunned to learn that 37% of Americans believe the Food and Drug Administration is deliberately hiding natural cures for cancer from the public because of financial and political pressure from drug companies.
Do Vaccines Cause Autism?
Dr. Oz's guest was CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, who said she doesn't believe the U.S. government is hiding the cure for cancer because such ground-breaking information would be too hard to keep from the public.
Another widely held health conspiracy theory is that doctors are pushing vaccines on children even though they know vaccines cause autism. Both Dr. Oz and CNN's Cohen disagreed with this theory. Cohen pointed out that a 1998 study that suggested a link between autism and vaccines was later retracted after it was found to be fraudulent. Dr. Oz, a father of four and grandfather of one, said he believes vaccines are necessary.
Finally, Dr. Oz said 20% of Americans believe health officials are hiding evidence that cell phones cause cancer. Some experts do believe cell phones cause brain cancer while others think this is hogwash. There are conflicting studies, so no consensus has been reached. As a precaution, Dr. Oz suggested using a headphone when using a cell phone and keeping cell phones away from your head.
Dr. Oz: Unprocessed Saturated Fat Is Healthy
On a separate segment of his show, Dr. Oz's guest was Dr. Peter Attia, president of the Nutrition Science Initiative. Dr. Attia is among a growing number of medical experts who say unprocessed saturated fat does not clog arteries or cause heart attacks.
According to Attia, a high-carb diet — especially one high in sugar and refined grains — is the true cause of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity, and dietary fat has been wrongly blamed for these illnesses for the past 40 years.
Dr. Oz, a longtime proponent of a low-fat, high-carb diet, has slowly begun to reverse his longstanding position in light of new scientific evidence showing that unprocessed saturated fat actually protects against heart disease, diabetes and dementia.
Dr. Oz doesn't recommend gorging on red meat and bacon, but said unprocessed saturated fat, like the kind found in olive oil, wild salmon, avocados, nuts and coconut oil, are healthy and should be included in your diet.
However, all medical experts agree that trans fat (the artery-clogging kind which is found in processed junk foods) is unhealthy and should definitely be avoided.
On a previous episode of the Dr. Oz Show, neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter said a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet prevents and even reverses Alzheimer's disease. "The brain thrives on a fat-rich low-carbohydrate diet," said Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain.
Dr. Oz and Dr. Attia both agreed that full-fat dairy products are healthier than low-fat or no-fat varieties, which are usually loaded with sugar and chemicals. Dr. Oz said these healthy fats should be included in your diet:
- coconut oil
- uncured bacon
- Greek yogurt
- eggs, including the yolks
- pumpkin seeds
- full-fat cheese
Weight-Loss Experts: 'Eating Fat Doesn't Make You Fat'
In October 2013, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra rocked the nutrition world with his declaration that unprocessed saturated fat is good for you. In his research, Malhotra found no evidence that a high-fat diet causes heart attacks, obesity or diabetes. If anything, he said consuming healthy fats (like those found in grass-fed meat, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, salmon and avocados) protect against these diseases.
Similarly, obesity expert Dr. Eric Westman, author of A New Atkins for a New You, underscored that a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet not only produces rapid weight loss, but also combats epilepsy and reverses type 2 diabetes. "Eat lots of fat," said Dr Westman. "Fat makes you feel full. There's no problem with fat."
And Dr. Jeff Volek, author of the Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living, told me the high-fat ketogenic diet reverses type 2 diabetes, prevents heart disease, and causes fast weight loss without hunger. "There are very few people a high-fat ketogenic diet could not help," he said.