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From a Chris Kresser Newsletter (things we've been saying for years)

One of the “sacred cows” of mainstream dietary dogma is that saturated fat clogs your arteries and increases the risk of heart disease.

Over the last several years, an overwhelming amount of research has shown that low-carb, high-fat diets can help people lose weight, improve their blood sugar, and address other metabolic issues.

Even hardcore proponents of the American Heart Association-style, low-fat dietary guidelines were forced to admit that low-carb diets could be useful interventions for addresing the epidemics of obesity and metabolic disease.

But, despite evidence to the contrary, these low-fat diet advocates continue to insist that low-carb, high-fat diets are harmful to the heart—even if they have metabolic benefits.

Well, that argument just got even harder to make!

A rigorous clinical trial, led by Boston Children’s Hospital, was published on September 28 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It was published by a group led by Dr. David Ludwig, a physician and researcher who has been a leading proponent of low-carb, high-fat diets for both cardiovascular andmetabolic health.

In the trial, patients were randomized to 1 of 3 weight-loss diets that they then followed for 5 months (20 weeks). The diets all contained 20% protein but differed in carbohydrate and fat content as follows:

  • Low-carb: 20% carbohydrate, 21% saturated fat
  • Moderate-carb: 40% carbohydrate, 14% saturated fat
  • High-carb: 60% carbohydrate, 7% saturated fat
This was a tightly controlled study. We’re not talking about food frequency questionnaires where people try to remember what they ate 14 days ago. Instead, participants in this trial received fully prepared, customized meals that they could either eat in the cafeteria or take to go.

Here’s what the researchers found:

“A low-carbohydrate diet, high in saturated fat, improved insulin-resistant dyslipoproteinemia and lipoprotein(a), without adverse effect on LDL cholesterol. Carbohydrate restriction might lower CVD risk independently of body weight, a possibility that warrants study in major multicentered trials powered on hard outcomes.”

Let me translate this for you. People on the low-carb, high saturated fat diet experienced better improvements in markers like triglycerides, adiponectin, blood pressure, and lipoprotein(a) than people on the moderate- and high-carb diets. And they got these benefits without any negative impact on their cholesterol or cardiovascular markers.

This is a solid and robust finding and will make it difficult for the low-fat diet holdouts to justify their continued attacks on low-carb diets.

In health,
Chris
 
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It will take time for the doctors and nurses and dietitians who long ago committed "high fat = bad" to memory to come around on this. But at one time leeches were an adequate response to illnesses. So there's hope that someday processed carbs will be recognized the same way we recognize smoking tobacco now. :)
 

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So, both parents and both brothers have/had CAD; parents died with CHF, both brothers have had heart surgeries; stents, 5-vessel bypass, and one a STEMI. I'm the one who never gave up eggs and butter and have used eggs as a primary protein source for decades. I stopped using oleo margarine years ago and NEVER used the supposed 'heart-healthy' margarine. Yes, I have T2D and am overweight. I'm also the only one in the immediate family who has a very healthy heart and almost totally clear veins. A plethora of auto-immune disorders contribute to my chronic health issues beginning with Hashimoto's, but for being 190#, 5' tall, just defy the old traditional medical views. I would love to be normal weight and basically just keep on keeping on toward that but learned about 15 years ago that eating 'healthy' just did not work for me; I steadily gained weight when following the ADA guidelines, so finally began listening to my body and dropped 40 pounds—so far. Oh yeah, I’m also 80 years old on the calendar.
 

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Yes, we've been mislead, whether by accident or on purpose, by the medical/nutritional community. I watched a 5 part series on You/Tube called the Big Fat Fiasco and the trends they had showed that when butter and other saturated fats started being demonized and the usage dropped, there was a corresponding increase in heart disease. Like I said, I don't know if the intentional or not, I do know that the medical, especially big pharma, makes little to no money off of healthy people. Makes you want to go hmmmm.
 

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when butter and other saturated fats started being demonized and the usage dropped, there was a corresponding increase in heart disease.
Not to defend studies of that time, because some of them had serious flaws in their assumptions and methodology, but the time we stopped using butter and lard and other saturated fats was also the time people quit working on farms and doing other forms of manual labor and went to work at a desk in the city and before supersized fast food meals and before artificial sweeteners went beyond saccharine. Lots of conflating factors and it would take a good long study among unreliable subjects (humans) to come up with unassailable conclusions.
Like I said, I don't know if the intentional or not, I do know that the medical, especially big pharma, makes little to no money off of healthy people. Makes you want to go hmmmm.
However, this I agree with 100%. Our current (U.S.) health system is not built with outcomes in mind and our devotion to Wall Street makes it easy to be okay with any way that a company can be profitable. If diabetes (at least Type 2) could be put into remission for most people by simply changing what they ate, tens of millions of dollars in advanced diabetic drugs and periodic treatments and surgery for eventual complications would go... where? It's difficult not to be cynical.
 

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I'd be interested in seeing the data of migration from laboring jobs to desk jobs and then comparing that to the reduction of saturated fats and the increase in heart disease over the same time. Population migration from rural to urban areas does not necessarily mean an easier lifestyle. Likewise thanks to John Deere, migrating from urban to rural areas doesn't mean a more laborious one.
 

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Agreed on all counts; just pointing out that there were several things that happened at one time so it makes what actually caused the change less obvious. Kind of like changing two things at once while troubleshooting -- it muddies up which change actually fixed things.
 
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