The most dangerous fat of all

I have often warned you about the government’s misguidance when it comes to fats in your diet. In fact, it looks like the main problem with fat is what lies between the ears of all the so-called government health experts.

In a new scientific review published last month in the journal Advances in Nutrition, researchers found that saturated fats (SFs) aren’t nearly as bad as they’ve been made out to be.

In fact, the lead author wrote, the new evidence “makes one wonder how saturated fats got such a bad reputation in the health literature.”

You find saturated fat naturally in foods like butter and red meat. But we now know that replacing butter with margarine was a dietary disaster for millions of Americans. We also now know that cutting back on red meat can lead to protein malnutrition. Science shows that we need red meat to maintain muscle mass, especially as we get older. In fact, we need about twice as much as what the government experts recommend!

Secondly, the new review found that the saturated fat = cholesterol equation just doesn’t add up. The government has insisted for years that saturated fats lead directly to higher cholesterol. But the lead author of this review wrote, “the influence of dietary fats on serum cholesterol has been overstated.”

We now know for a scientific fact that cholesterol taken in through your food has no impact whatsoever on cholesterol in your blood. In fact, your stomach breaks down dietary cholesterol during digestion. Subscribers to my Insiders’ Cures newsletter will learn more about this process in an upcoming issue.

Of course, many scientists now even question whether cholesterol in the blood is all that bad for you either.

Studies show that lowering blood-serum cholesterol with statin drugs does not lower heart disease death rates. And in international studies, researchers link lower blood cholesterol with higher overall death rates.

On top of all that, the list of dangerous side effects associated with statin drugs themselves grows longer and more worrisome by the day. I will discuss this too in the upcoming issue of my newsletter.

The Advances in Nutrition review found that polyunsaturated fats (PUFs) may, in fact, be the real problem. This is a type of fat found mostly in plant-based foods and oils. You also find polyunsaturated fats in foods like margarine.

Here are some of the take-home points presented in the new review:

  1. PUFs seem to impact the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease more strongly than SFs.
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts seem to protect against the inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids (found in carbohydrates and other PUFs).
  3. The adverse health effects linked to foods with SF are actually due to the PUFs and carbohydrates in those foods–and their byproducts. These byproducts are produced depending upon how you cook and prepare your food. So, for example, the PUF in vegetable oil turns into trans fat when heated at high temperatures. That’s why you should never bake or cook with vegetable oil. I don’t suggest you drizzle it on your salad either.
  4. Studies suggest that dairy fats and tropical oils (such as coconut oil) have positive health benefits. Both are high in SFs and had been mislabeled as unhealthy. See this month’s issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter for more on coconut oil.
  5. Many health-conscious folks follow low-fat diets, high in carbohydrates. They do this to supposedly lose weight and improve their health–especially their heart health. But these diets are actually hazardous.

No wonder chronic disease rates continue to climb. And no wonder “baby boomers” are less healthy than their parents as they age. For the past generation, the government has been giving out all the wrong guidelines. And focusing on all the wrong risk factors.

The reviewers said we should revise our recommendations about saturated fats. They also said it’s time to revise dietary recommendations that focus on lowering serum cholesterol.

Better yet, let’s stop focusing on individual, single components of the diet. And instead, let’s look at overall nutrition. As I said all last week, try to eat a variety of different foods. Dietary diversity is the key to achieving optimal nutrition.


1. “Dietary Fats and Health: Dietary Recommendations in the Context of Scientific Evidence,” Adv Nutr May 2013; 4: 294-302