Saturated fat does not cause cardiovascular disease, according to a new Cambridge University study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The real cause of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes is a high-sugar, high-carb diet, said researchers.
“It’s not saturated fat that we should worry about," said Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, lead author of the study and a cardiovascular epidemiologist at Cambridge University.
It’s the high-carbohydrate or sugary diet that should be the focus of dietary guidelines. If anything is driving your low-density lipoproteins in a more adverse way, it’s carbohydrates.”
Dr. Chowdhury joins a growing list of medical experts to dispel the myth that saturated fat is the cause of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. A high-carb diet (particularly one high in sugar and refined carbs) is to blame for these illnesses, he said.
Dr. Chowdhury and his colleagues drew their conclusions after reviewing data from 72 published studies of more than 600,000 people from 18 countries.
Chowdhury is not the only heart doctor who holds this opinion. Cardiologist Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, said a low-carb, high-fat, wheat-free diet reverses diabetes and prevents heart disease.
'The Food industry Has Profited from the Low-Fat Mantra for Decades'
In October 2013, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra rocked the nutrition world with his declaration that unprocessed saturated fat is good for you.
In his research, Dr. 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.
"The mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades," Dr. Malhotra wrote in the British Medical Journal:
It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity.
The food industry has profited from the low-fat mantra for decades because foods that are marketed as low-fat are often loaded with sugar. We are now learning that added sugar in food is driving the obesity epidemic and the rise in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
Similarly, obesity expert Dr. Eric Westman underscored that a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet not only produces rapid weight loss, but also combats epilepsy and reverses type 2 diabetes.
Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, told me the low-carb ketogenic diet prevents — and in some instances reverses — Alzheimer's disease and ADHD.
"Carbs are devastating for the brain," said Dr. Perlmutter. "Even slight elevations in blood sugar have been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease."
Dr. Jeff Volek, author of The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living, told me the ketogenic diet reverses type 2 diabetes, prevents heart disease, and causes fast weight loss without hunger. "There are very few people that a ketogenic diet could not help," said Dr. Volek.
Cancer researcher Dr. Thomas Seyfried recently told me the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet can replace chemotherapy for almost all cancers.
Dr. Eric Westman, director of the Duke University Obesity Clinic, is pleased that mainstream media is finally debunking the myth that eating fat makes you fat and sick. To the contrary, he said: Eating fat makes you skinny and healthy.
"I tell my patients not to fear the fat," said Dr. Westman, author of A New Atkins for a New You. "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."