By John Huntington
Special to the Pinal Nugget
That’s a dinner-table command Homer Simpson, of the social-commentary TV cartoon “The Simpsons’”, gives to his son in one episode. His son’s replies, “but Dad, my heart hurts!”
This exchange is comical but unfortunately perpetuates the low-fat diets that have been promoted for decades as best for heart health.
It all started in the early 50’s when medical researcher Ancel Keys set out to prove that eating saturated fat caused heart disease. This came to be known as the Six Country Study, and it proved him right – but only when the results from 16 other countries were excluded! (Just like so many of our drug studies – unfavorable data is commonly ignored!).
When results of all 22 countries were later assessed, countries with higher saturated fat consumption had better cardiovascular health.
In 1948, The Framingham Study followed 6000 people in Framingham, Massachusetts, comparing one group that consumed large amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol, and the other that did not.
Over 40 years later, the director of the study admitted:
“In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. The opposite of what … Keys et al would predict … We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”
Most of us are now aware that real butter is superior to the chemically-altered oils used to make margarine. These processed oils contain trans-fats, which have a molecular shape not often found in natural foods and has been found to be a primary driver of our 6 decades of worsening heart health (in 1950 there were 500 cardiologist, today 30,000!!)
Doubling down on this diet disaster, has been the promotion and wide substitution of quality saturated fat with high carbohydrate intake, especially refined carbs and sweet drinks. These result in insulin resistance, obesity and a great chance of subsequent diabetes. They raise triglycerides (the liver makes fat out of excess sugars) and cause the body to produce the small LDL particles that are so hard on heart and vessel health.
The main thrust of this column is to encourage lifestyles that align with our ancestral habits. When you realize breast milk is over 50% fat, most of it saturated fat, and is one of the highest cholesterol foods, you begin to get that maybe we’d best get little more humble, honor natural processes and realize our Science for Money approach reaps much damage.
(The American Heart Association now advises low-fat and low cholesterol diets and formulas for infants and children. This approach has been linked to failure to thrive in children.)
So maybe you don’t like buttered bacon. But your body needs quality fats. Just make the move to grass-fed beef, wild game, organic eggs (especially yolks), butter, nuts and seeds, avocado, coconut oil, and unheated olive oil. Ease up on the refined carbs. Your taste buds, and waist-line, will like it!
Dr. Huntington practices Chiropractic, Biomedical Acupuncture and Physiotherapy in Oracle, Az. 520-896-9844 firstname.lastname@example.org.