Sunday, October 3, 2010

Data on Saturated Fat and Low Carb Diets

This was an interesting article. Thought I would pass it on.

Think saturated fat contributes to heart disease? Think again.

The short of it: Saturated fat is really not the problem, carbohydrates are. Low carb diets are good.

And this sentence really highlights the problem with modern nutrition advice: "'Carbohydrate intake has been intimately linked to metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of risk factors that can increase CVD risk."

Answer this question. What foods primarily comprise the recommended low fat diet? Packaged carbs--pasta, cereal, rice etc... Even fruit is a problem, if you eat enough (I used to eat way too much thinking I was being super healthy in doing so. Like 8-10 servings a day which I could justify because they were low calorie, low fat and they prevented cancer/heart disease).

So, to review: Low fat diets = High carb eating = Obesity/Metabolic Syndrome.

Some salient quotes:

"....replacing saturated fat with mono-unsaturated fat yielded uncertain effects on CVD risk, while replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates was found to be ineffective and even harmful especially when refined carbohydrates such as starches or sugars were used in place of fat . Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat gave a small reduction in CVD risk, but even with optimal replacement the magnitude of the benefit was very small. According to Mozaffarian it would be far better to focus on dietary factors giving much larger benefits for CVD health, such as increasing intake of seafood/omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and decreasing intake of trans fats and sodium."


''Carbohydrate intake has been intimately linked to metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of risk factors that can increase CVD risk,'' said Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut. His research showed that very low carbohydrate diets can favorably impact a broad spectrum of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors, even in the presence of high saturated fat intake and in the absence of weight loss


Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH. Cardiovascular Research Center and Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, focused on the role of carbohydrates and fats on atherogenic dyslipidemia - a new marker for CVD risk often seen in patients with obesity, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. He showed that low-carbohydrate diets appear to have beneficial lipoprotein effects in individuals with atherogenic dyslipidemia, compared to high-carbohydrate diets, whereas the content of saturated fat in the diet has no significant effect."

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