Cardiologist Speaks Out On The Myth of Bad Saturated Fat, Stating Carbs Are More Damaging Than Butter
A false interpretation of scientific studies has led to millions being "over-medicated" with statin drugs due to the proliferation of myths in the medical community regarding the role of saturated fat in heart disease. A Cardiologist is speaking out stating that almost four decades of advice to cut back on saturated fats found in foods such as butter and meat has paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks.
More physicians and medical specialists are speaking out on what really causes disease. Just last year, world renown heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell, made headlines when he stated the facts on the actual causes of heart disease. "As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries,today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact," he was quoted in a statement.
Experts such as Dr. Ron Rosedale have been exposing the facts
on cholesterol myths for years. Perhaps one of the biggest health myths propagated in western culture and certainly in the United States, is the correlation between elevated cholesterol and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Unfortunately, despite dozens of studies, cholesterol has not been shown to actually cause CVD. To the contrary, cholesterol is vital to our survival, and trying to artificially lower it can have detrimental effects, particularly as we age. What we have found after years of being told the opposite, is that there is no such thing as bad cholesterol.
Cutting back on butter and fatty meats may have done more harm to heart health than good.
Governments here and abroad have been cautioning the public for decades on the dangers of high fat diets. The low-fat mantra has been questioned for years by clinicians and nutritional scientists - not least because it has failed to halt the obesity epidemic. The fact is, low-fat diets make you fat, and contrary to official advice by our diet dictocrats, high-fat diets lower blood sugar, improve blood lipids, and reduce obesity.
Dr. Aseem Malhotra - Saturated Fat Is Not The Problem
Experts say the belief that high-fat diets are bad for arteries is based on faulty interpretation of scientific studies and has led to millions being 'over-medicated' with statin drugs.
Doctors insist it is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease.
Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra says almost four decades of advice to cut back on saturated fats found in cream, butter and less lean meat has 'paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks'.
He leads a debate online in the British Medical Journal website bmj.com that challenges the demonisation of saturated fat.
Earlier this summer, Dr. Malhorta
stated in a BMJ publication, that a fundamental misunderstanding exists in the scientific community and among the lay public that has interfered with our collective ability to curb the obesity epidemic. The belief that we make our food choices deliberately and that they reflect our true desires sustains the status quo and obscures the reality that decisions about the food we buy and consume are often automatic and made without full awareness.
"Progress in reversing what now poses to be the greatest threat to our health worldwide can be made only once we take seriously the root cause of diet related disease: the food environment. An oversupply of nutritionally poor and energy dense foods loaded with sugar, salt, and trans fats--fuelled by the junk food industry's aggressive and irresponsible marketing--has even been allowed to hijack the very institutions that are supposed to set an example."
A landmark study in the 1970s concluded there was a link between heart disease and blood cholesterol, which correlated with the calories provided by saturated fat.
"But correlation is not causation," said Dr Malhotra, interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital, London.
Nevertheless, people were advised to reduce fat intake to 30 percent of total energy and a fall in saturated fat intake to 10 percent.
Recent studies fail to show a link between saturated fat intake and risk of cardiovascular disease, with saturated fat actually found to be protective, he said.
One of the earliest obesity experiments, published in the Lancet in 1956, comparing groups on diets of 90 percent fat versus 90 percent protein versus 90 percent carbohydrate revealed the greatest weight loss was among those eating the most fat.
Professor David Haslam, of the National Obesity Forum, said: "The assumption has been made that increased fat in the bloodstream is caused by increased saturated fat in the diet...modern scientific evidence is proving that refined carbohydrates and sugar in particular are actually the culprits."
Another US study showed a "low fat" diet was worse for health than one which was low in carbohydrates, such as potatoes, pasta, bread.
Dr Malhotra said obesity has 'rocketed' in the US despite a big drop in calories consumed from fat.
"One reason" he said "when you take the fat out, the food tastes worse."
The confusion has led to people being 'over-medicated' with statin drugs, such as Rosuvastatin.
The food industry compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar but evidence is mounting that sugar is a "possible independent risk factor" for metabolic syndrome which can lead to diabetes.
Dr Malhotra said the government's obsession with cholesterol "has led to the over-medication of millions of people with statins".
But why has there been no demonstrable effect on heart disease trends when millions are being prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, he asked.
Mediterranean Diet 3 Times More Powerful Than Statins At Reducing Death Rates
Adopting a Mediterranean diet after a heart attack is almost three times as powerful in reducing death rates as taking a statin, which have been linked to unacceptable side effects in real-world use, he added.
Dr Malhrotra said "the greatest improvements in morbidity and mortality have been due not to personal responsibility but rather to public health."
"It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity."
Sweden - The First Nation To Develop Guidelines Rejecting Low-Fat Myth
Dr Malcolm Kendrick, a GP and author of The Great Cholesterol Con, said Sweden had become the first western nation to develop national dietary guidelines that rejected the low-fat myth, in favour of low-carb high-fat nutrition advice.
He said "around the world, the tide is turning, and science is overturning anti-fat dogma. Recently, the Swedish Council on Health Technology assessment has admitted that a high fat diet improves blood sugar levels, reduces triglycerides improves 'good' cholesterol - all signs of insulin resistance, the underlying cause of diabetes - and has nothing but beneficial effects, including assisting in weight loss."
Aseem Malhotra is to be congratulated for stating the truth that has been suppressed for the last forty years.
Professor Robert Lustig, Paediatric Endocrinologist, University of San Francisco said "Food should confer wellness, not illness. And real food does just that, including saturated fat."
But when saturated fat got mixed up with the high sugar added to processed food in the second half of the 20th century, it got a bad name. Which is worse, the saturated fat or the added sugar?
The American Heart Association has weighed in - the sugar many times over. Instead of lowering serum cholesterol with statins, which is dubious at best, how about serving up some real food?
Timothy Noakes, Professor of Exercise and Sports Science, University of Cape Town, South Africa said "focusing on an elevated blood cholesterol concentration as the exclusive cause of coronary heart disease is unquestionably the worst medical error of our time. After reviewing all the scientific evidence I draw just one conclusion - Never prescribe a statin drug for a loved one."
Natasha Longo has a master's degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.