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Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

It's amazing how modern research is overturning many old wives' tales. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that there is no relationship between eating saturated fat and having heart disease.

This brings to mind the infamous study in the 1960s - done by the cereal lobbying group! - which found eating eggs in the morning was not good for you. Not surprisingly, cereal sales soared after that! Similarly, doctors in the 1970s convinced everyone to eat margarine rather than butter because it was "better for you". It was only years later that they realized how nasty the trans fats in margarine were!

So here we have a similar situation. Doctors assumed that saturated fats in foods somehow clogged up arteries, and told people to eat low fat food instead. People converted en masse to low fat foods. The result? We have skyrocketing rates of obesity and heart problems. The Harvard School of Public Health and the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found this baffling and poured years of research into the issue.

Their summary?

"There is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk for heart disease."

The researchers feel very strongly about it. Cheese is not a risk, chicken is not a risk. Sure, these things have saturated fats in them - but they're also chock full of calcium, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and many other important nutrients. The small amounts of saturated fats in them are hardly important in comparison with the "whole package" of benefits!

Many nutritionists have embraced this wisdom for many years. Natural foods like cheese and chicken are FAR better for you than the processed fat-free alternatives. Dr. Ronald Krauss, who headed the research, says "There is no evidence that cheese causes heart disease."

The critical thing is for all of us to eat balanced diets. This means reducing sugar, increasing fiber, and drinking lots of water - as well as eating healthy, fresh, nutritious food. That is the pathway to a healthy body!

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