True or False? – questions about fat

| November 2, 2012
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lard2.thumbnailWe’ve been told to remove chicken skin because it is saturated fat?

True – that’s what we’ve been told, but chicken fat is 70 percent unsaturated fat! Chicken fat is dominantly monounsaturated oleic acid, the dominant fat in olive oil (and in our bodies). Chicken fat is also our best source of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that kills harmful bacteria and viruses.

There are animal fats distinct from plant fats?

False – Fatty acids are universal – shared by plants, animals, and microorganisms. As an example, your body can’t tell the difference between monounsaturated oleic acid in chicken fat and monounsaturated oleic acid in olive oil – they are identical.

High cholesterol foods raise blood cholesterol?

False – In 1937, Columbia University biochemists David Rittenberg & Rudolph Schoenheimer demonstrated that dietary cholesterol had little or no effect on blood cholesterol. Also, dietary cholesterol is poorly absorbed – 50 percent at best. (Mary Enig, PhD, lipid biochemist). Since our bodies must synthesize between 1200-1800 milligrams of new cholesterol daily – and dietary cholesterol is poorly absorbed – there is no medical reason for limiting dietary cholesterol to 300 mg.

Total Cholesterol (TC) is a good predictor of heart disease risk?

False – Elevated Triglycerides (blood fats made in the liver from excess carbs) are a better, more reliable predictor of heart disease. In 1950, University of California medical scientist John Gofman, using a newly invented one-of-a-kind centrifuge, discovered that there were several fat-like substances circulating in the blood, including VLDL and LDL. Gofman concluded that total cholesterol (TC) was a “dangerously poor predictor” of heart disease.

Excess dietary carbohydrates are stored as sugar or glucose?

False – A small amount of carbohydrate is stored as glycogen in the liver and in muscle, but excess carbohydrate is converted by the liver into fat. In blood work, these liver-made-fats circulating in the blood are referred to as Triglycerides (TG). Elevated TG reliably predict increased risk of heart disease. A high carbohydrate diet is associated with elevated TG.

Diabetics need the extra potassium found in bananas?

False – There is potassium in most food. Bananas are carbohydrate dense. For the carbohydrate-sensitive, bananas may constitute excess carbohydrate – elevating triglycerides.

Lard is a “bad” artery-clogging saturated fat?

False – Lard is approximately 60 percent unsaturated fat – dominantly monounsaturated oleic acid same as olive oil. It is more accurate to say that lard is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat! (But, since 1961, without scientific foundation, the American Heart Association has been condemning lard and other animal fats as “bad” in order to promote vegetable fats because vegetable oil interests are donors to the American Heart Association.)

Butter is more fattening than olive oil?

False – Olive oil is more “fattening” than butter. First, fats do not make us fat if we are restricting carbohydrate intake. Second, butter is the lower fat fat – it’s 20 percent water. Third, butter contains 15-17 percent short and medium chain fats that are sent directly to the liver and do not enter the general circulation. Olive oil is 100% fat and only contains the long chain fatty acids that enter the general circulation.

 Health-food-store Canola oil is a “good fat.”

False – Canola is genetically-altered rapeseed – subject to high temperature, high pressure processing. Although labeled “trans free,” Canola may contain trans fatty acids formed during the final deodorization process. According to Dr. Mary Enig, Canola in baked goods can promote invisible mold growth in just a few days. Instead of Canola, use butter, coconut, palm, lard, sesame and olive oil – the traditional fats we have eaten for centuries!

Carbohydrates are essential in the human diet?

False – The biological requirement for carbohydrates is zero. You can live long and healthy without carbs!  A number of medical doctors agree with the late Dr. Atkins that most of us should choose our carbs wisely and restrict carbs to fewer than 60 grams per day.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs reduced the incidence of heart failure.

False. The incidence of heart failure per capita has more than doubled since cholesterol-lowering statin drugs were introduced in 1987.

The FDA and National Academy of Sciences rejected the original 1977 Dietary Guidelines.

True – the original 1977 low fat dietary guidelines were rejected by the FDA – calling it a “political document.” Philip Handler, president, National Academy of Sciences, said the guidelines were an experiment on the American people with very little evidence that Americans would benefit. In 1980 – it was the U.S. Department of Agriculture that joined the American Heart Association’s low fat bandwagon.

Fiber is a key aspect of a heart healthy diet?

False – Fiber is roughage; we don’t need much of that! Vegetables provide fiber, as does fruit in season. Fat – not fiber – is what we should fill up on. Fat is nutrient dense – stopping food cravings. In the federal Women’s Health Initiative Study, there was no evidence that the 29,000 women in the “intervention group” eating a high fiber, low fat diet were protected against cancer or heart disease.

The European country with the highest average cholesterol levels has the lowest life expectancy?

False – Switzerland has the highest average cholesterol levels (264 mg/dl) and the highest life expectancy (MONICA study). The Russians had the lowest cholesterol levels and the highest rates of heart disease.

The standard recommendation of 300 mg per day of cholesterol is based on a major clinical trial?

False – It was grabbed out of thin air.

Whole grains are a good source of zinc?

False. Red meat and shell fish are the best sources of easy-to-absorb zinc. Whole grains must be properly prepared by soaking or sprouting to prevent the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients they contain from binding with zinc and carrying it out of the body.


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Category: Lipids

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  1. True or False? – tricky questions about fat : Diet Heart News « into ewe | November 5, 2012
  1. Nancy McMurtrie says:

    I appreciate this e mail. Really helpful information. My cardiologist, Dr Peter Langsjoen in Tyler Tx is a strong believer in the cholestrol myth. He is a member of Thincs, same organization Mary Enigs belongs to. He does not prescribe statins unless cholesterol is way up (600s). I wrote you awhile back looking for ways to reduce plaque in my carotid arteries. Do you have any suggestions?
    I have been directed to read information like you wrote on fat. I’ve been reading Gary Taubes books in search of some answers. I have been on and off the Atkins diet. People attempt to scare me away from that diet. I always felt better on it. Do you think the Atkins diet has any plaque reducing benefits?
    I was born in Minneapolis, graduated South High School years ago. I live I Austin now.
    I appreciate your newsletter.

    Thank You

  2. Alan Watson says:

    Atkins tested his diet on himself and his patients for 10 years before writing Diet Revolution in 1972. That’s 10 years of clinical experience with a high fat diet. I don’t believe any other dietary approach has had as much clinical evidence of efficacy and safety. Magnesium (google ConcenTrace from Trace Minerals Research) is very critical as it keeping your blood sugar and triglycerides under 100. Best approach: a high natural fat whole foods diet.