Time magazine’s cover story, Ending the War on Fat, declares “Eat Butter” to improve cholesterol and health. This historic message reverses 30+ years of bad nutritional advice largely based on unproven hypotheses, inconclusive research, opinion and bureaucracy. Although the front cover might imply we slather butter on everything, the predominant theme of the story illustrates how saturated fat should have never been vilified as an evil artery-clogging substance. When it comes to cardiovascular disease and health, redefining nutrition goes beyond looking at a single macronutrient.
We belong to a small and growing group of nutritionally-minded people whose message is finally reaching mainstream and challenges the status quo. The federal dietary guidelines (once described as a “vast nutritional experiment”), now decades old, still advise replacing saturated fat with often highly refined and processed carbohydrates, sugars, grains, and polyunsaturated vegetable oils. During those years we saw a steep rise in the occurrence of chronic disease, exactly the opposite of what was expected. Meta-analyses here and here looking at decades of research show that replacing saturated fat with the aforementioned foods have no favorable effect. The “nutritional experiment” has been a complete failure as saturated fat alone was never the problem.
It’s now evident that consuming foods containing processed carbohydrates drive hormones like insulin to promote chronic disease including obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Restricting dietary carbohydrates and replacing them with nutrient dense foods containing natural saturated fats (both animal and plant based) improves health and cardio-metabolic markers as demonstrated in recent meta-analyses here and here.
Like authors Gary Taubes, and Nina Teicholz have written, Time magazine’s senior writer Bryan Walsh once again tells this story, and when Time speaks people tend to listen. We hope to see more research looking at nutrition and its long-term effects on health, but in the meantime let’s see if federal policy, big industry, and healthcare follow suit based on today’s knowledge.
Watch our Cholesterol OMG presentation and see how saturated fat consumption improves cholesterol and health as is discussed in Time magazine and by registered dietitian Joy Bauer in her NBC Today show segment. I’m encouraged to see mainstream now discussing advanced lipid testing including cholesterol particle count, size and quality!
Here is a link to the Cholesterol OMG PowerPoint in .pdf format.
Our presentation takes an entertaining look at the history of cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, and includes patient examples. We discuss cholesterol, cardiovascular risk assessment and non-standard high-quality nutrient dense diets that are lower in carbohydrate, higher in saturated fat, and higher in food quality. Diets such as Low carb high fat (LCHF), Paleo, Primal and Weston A. Price improve inflammatory markers, cholesterol quality, and health.
In our office, we perform standard and advanced lipid testing including total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, LDL-P, small-LDL-P, sdLDL, ApoB, particle size, and markers of cardiovascular inflammation and oxidative stress. There are several companies who perform these tests including Liposcience NMR, Berkeley Heart Lab, Atherotech VAP, Health Diagnostics Lab HDL, and Cleveland Heart Lab inflammatory testing. We also perform or order cardiovascular imaging studies including carotid intima media thickness (C-IMT), carotid doppler, and EBCT heart calcium scores.
We’d enjoy discussing the new ACC, AHA, NHLBI cholesterol guidelines with you in our office and also addressing your personal concerns regarding medication, statins, and the inflammatory and oxidative components of cardiovascular disease.