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The Saturated Fats Saga Is Approaching A New Era


by Jenny Thompson, e-Alert editor and Director with Health Sciences Institute,

01 November 2012

This might disappoint some vegetarians, but eating meat will not kill lyou.  You can completely ignore the scary headlines that link red meat to premature death because it doesn't deserve the headlines that classify it at a pandemic threat level.


QUESTION:  Guess who completely contradicts those headlines today?

ANSWER:  The lead author of the Harvard study that prompted the headlines in the first place has changed his mind.

More important, there's one word in this study that punctures the results.  It takes all the air out of the scare.  Are you ready?  

If you want good health, eat high quality meat.


Don't pay any attention to the nonsense about saturated fat dangers.  Eating large amounts every day is not a good idea, but saturated fats actually help your body absorb the critical fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. 


That's probably one reason why the lead author of the meat study told NPR that he's not advocating a vegetarian diet.  In fact, he said that a serving of red meat every other day is "fine".  Either the headlines are exaggerating (which they are) or this researcher is carelessly flirting with premature death (which he is not).


The study confirms that processed meats aren't healthy.  These include hot dogs, bacon, sausage, bologna, etc. and too much "Unprocessed red meat" (eaten daily) is linked to higher risk of heart disease and cancer mortality.  The Harvard team considers unprocessed meat main dishes like beef, pork or lamb and side dishes/sandwiches like hamburger, beef, pork or lamb.


Did you notice hamburger is listed as "unprocessed"?  Listing hamburger among the unprocessed meats sort of derails the study because people, who eat a hamburger out, also order a side of French fries which means they are getting plenty of trans fatty acids.  TFAs, research shows, are clearly linked to heart disease and cancer mortality. 


Harvard should rework its study, and headline writers should dial back their absurd fear factor by about 98%.




Un(saturated) means "not"

Mono(unsaturated) means "one"

Poly(unsaturated) means "many"


Saturated fats become hard at room temperature (meat, butter, milk, cheese, coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter)

You'll find poly-unsaturated fats in fish, liquid vegetable oils, corn or soybean oil.

Mono-unsaturated fats are found in avocados, olive oil, peanut oil and peanutbutter.


Many health professionals are taking another look at saturated fats, and for good reason:  Saturated fats were once the mainstay of the human diet and people managed to maintain their health.  It was not until industries saw a way to make a profit by speeding up and changing the make-up of products that the saturated fat discussion shifted into dangerous territory. 


Andrew Weil, MD, is one of those professionals who realized that "the scientific analysis of 21 earlier studies showed no significant evidence that saturated fat in the diet is associated with the risk of coronary heart goes against conventional medical wisdom of the past 40 years and now appears that many studies used to support the low-fat recommendation have serious flaws".


What is new today may be old tomorrow, and what was common in earlier generations may still be practical.  Everything in moderation was practiced by our ancestors and would be a good practice for us to continue.   


To your future good health, fh





The Ornish and Atkins diets claimed people were healthier when red meat protein was included. 

Actual trials showed that weight loss, heart disease and diabetes risk factors we not the problems claimed by opponents of the plans.


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Modern mass production of food has created a wide array of safety problems.  

Many people are still in the dark about the vast difference between concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and organically-raised, grass-fed beef, both in terms of nutrient content and contamination with veterinary drugs, GMOs and disease-causing grains versus a natural diet of plain grass.