But now The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (via Scientific American) has published a meta analysis of major studies on dietary fat that refutes once and for all the assumption that saturated fats are to blame for heart disease.
In March the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis—which combines data from several studies—that compared the reported daily food intake of nearly 350,000 people against their risk of developing cardiovascular disease over a period of five to 23 years. The analysis, overseen by Ronald M. Krauss, director of atherosclerosis research at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, found no association between the amount of saturated fat consumed and the risk of heart disease.
The finding joins other conclusions of the past few years that run counter to the conventional wisdom that saturated fat is bad for the heart because it increases total cholesterol levels. That idea is “based in large measure on extrapolations, which are not supported by the data,” Krauss says.
But wait, it gets better: “Stampfer’s findings do not merely suggest that saturated fats are not so bad; they indicate that carbohydrates could be worse.” The article goes on to discuss research that shows that eating a diet high in refined, processed carbohydrates is correlated with heart disease. All those Snackwell’s are sitting a little heavy now, aren’t they?
So will the FDA update their guidelines to reflect the new research? “Right now, Post explains, the agency’s main message to Americans is to limit overall calorie intake, irrespective of the source.” That would be a big no.
It looks like Michael Pollan and your great-grandma were right again: the less processed your food is the better it is for you. Whole milk beats skim. Whole wheat bread beats white. Virgin, unprocessed coconut oil is amazingly good for your health. And butter is not the great evil we have been led to believe. That noise you are hearing? All my gears grinding as my whole food paradigm shifts.
Read the rest of this story on Frugivore, an online magazine dedicated to black women’s health.