British Medical Journal: Is It Time To End The War On Saturated Fat?

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    Oct 23, 2013 4:32 AM GMT
    http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-saturated-fat-20131022,0,2193813.story#axzz2iW4ASjeR

    The British Medical Journal has issued a clarion call to all who want to ward off heart disease: Forget the statins and bring back the bacon (or at least the full-fat yogurt). Saturated fat is not the widow-maker it’s been made out to be, writes British cardiologist Aseem Malhotra in a stinging “Observations” column in the BMJ: The more likely culprits are empty carbs and added sugar.

    Virtually all the truths about preventing heart attacks that physicians and patients have held dear for more than a generation are wrong and need to be abandoned, Malhotra writes. He musters a passel of recent research that suggests that the “obsession” with lowering a patients’ total cholesterol with statins, and a public health message that has made all sources of saturated fat verboten to the health-conscious, have failed to reduce heart disease.

    Indeed, he writes, they have set off market forces that have put people at greater risk.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Oct 26, 2013 6:12 PM GMT
    I still drain hamburger meat. I just can't bring myself to eat it!!icon_neutral.gif
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    Oct 31, 2013 8:36 AM GMT
    Some saturated fat is necessary in a diet, but like anything else it goes back to moderation. The problem with the modern diet is we have too much sugar, fats, and fillers. I'd still avoid overdoing saturated fats -- the reality is there are healthier sources of fats such as unheated extra virgin olive oil and nuts in moderation. The positive of saturated fats is it tends to stay stable at higher temperatures.
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    Oct 31, 2013 11:14 AM GMT
    Despite the LA Times claiming this is the position of the British Medical Journal, isn't it actually an article submitted by 1 doctor to their "Observations" column?

    It is not a peer-reviewed scientific study, but an opinion piece. Its assertions may ultimately be correct, but I wouldn't disregard decades of genuine research solely on the basis of what is essentially an op-ed.
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    Oct 31, 2013 2:00 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidDespite the LA Times claiming this is the position of the British Medical Journal, isn't it actually an article submitted by 1 doctor to their "Observations" column?

    It is not a peer-reviewed scientific study, but an opinion piece. Its assertions may ultimately be correct, but I wouldn't disregard decades of genuine research solely on the basis of what is essentially an op-ed.


    Except it cites peer reviewed studies if you actually bothered to read the article. If you actually look into the science - the idea that a low carb diet and one in high saturated fats is a good one pre-dates the second world war. I'm guessing you eat neither low carb nor one high in saturated fats?
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    Oct 31, 2013 2:18 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    ART_DECO saidDespite the LA Times claiming this is the position of the British Medical Journal, isn't it actually an article submitted by 1 doctor to their "Observations" column?

    It is not a peer-reviewed scientific study, but an opinion piece. Its assertions may ultimately be correct, but I wouldn't disregard decades of genuine research solely on the basis of what is essentially an op-ed.

    Except it cites peer reviewed studies if you actually bothered to read the article. If you actually look into the science - the idea that a low carb diet and one in high saturated fats is a good one pre-dates the second world war. I'm guessing you eat neither low carb nor one high in saturated fats?

    I read the article quite carefully. With better reading comprehension skills than you applied to it, evidently. This doctor actually presents no evidence except for cherry-picked reports. And claiming an anecdotal correlation between reduced cholesterol intake and "rocketing" obesity levels is not even science.
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    Nov 01, 2013 3:15 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    riddler78 said
    ART_DECO saidDespite the LA Times claiming this is the position of the British Medical Journal, isn't it actually an article submitted by 1 doctor to their "Observations" column?

    It is not a peer-reviewed scientific study, but an opinion piece. Its assertions may ultimately be correct, but I wouldn't disregard decades of genuine research solely on the basis of what is essentially an op-ed.

    Except it cites peer reviewed studies if you actually bothered to read the article. If you actually look into the science - the idea that a low carb diet and one in high saturated fats is a good one pre-dates the second world war. I'm guessing you eat neither low carb nor one high in saturated fats?

    I read the article quite carefully. With better reading comprehension skills than you applied to it, evidently. This doctor actually presents no evidence except for cherry-picked reports. And claiming an anecdotal correlation between reduced cholesterol intake and "rocketing" obesity levels is not even science.


    You call them cherry picked reports, but those reports happen to be peer reviewed studies. You might actually try improving on those comprehension skills.

    I'm guessing you've never tried a low carb/high saturated fats diet? Certainly not substantive by any means and understandably anecdotal. But you claim his evidence of a correlation between cholesterol intake and obesity is "anecdotal" and "not even science and yet here's that passage:

    Indeed, he writes, they have set off market forces that have put people at greater risk. After the Framingham Heart Study showed a correlation between total cholesterol and risk for coronary artery disease in the early 1970s, patients at risk for heart disease were urged to swear off red meat, school lunchrooms shifted to fat-free and low-fat milk, and a food industry eager to please consumers cutting their fat intake rushed to boost the flavor of their new fat-free offerings with added sugar (and, of course, with trans-fats).

    The result is a rate of obesity that has "rocketed" upward, writes Malhotra. And, despite a generation of patients taking statins (and enduring their common side effects), the trends in cardiovascular disease have not demonstrably budged.

    Malhotra cites a 2009 UCLA study showing that three-quarters of patients admitted to the hospital with acute myocardial infarction do not have high total cholesterol; what they do have, at a rate of 66%, is metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of worrying signs including hypertension, high fasting blood sugar, abdominal obesity, high triglycerides and low HDL ("good" cholesterol).


    Let me guess, you eat a low cholesterol high carb diet?
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    Nov 02, 2013 1:26 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    ....... This doctor actually presents no evidence except for cherry-picked reports......


    That is so true of so many "emergency-du-jour" (salt, fat, coffee, sweeteners, etc } in today's new cycle, why bother to write about it?
    Next month will be a report saying exactly the opposite!
    THE main reason most people ignore so-called warnings.
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    Nov 02, 2013 2:31 PM GMT
    StudlyScrewRite said
    ART_DECO said
    ....... This doctor actually presents no evidence except for cherry-picked reports......

    That is so true of so many "emergency-du-jour" (salt, fat, coffee, sweeteners, etc } in today's new cycle, why bother to write about it?
    Next month will be a report saying exactly the opposite!
    THE main reason most people ignore so-called warnings.

    That's almost a whole topic unto itself. I've watched chicken eggs go from healthy, to unhealthy, to healthy again, to dangerous, and I believe the general consensus at the moment is that they're mostly OK. But who knows? It changes yearly.

    Same thing happened with cow's milk, and also alcohol. Some studies say moderate amounts of red wine can be beneficial in certain cases, others suggest all alcohol is bad. And now I'm reading that dietary sodium may not be as bad for hypertensive patients like myself as previously believed.

    But in this specific case regarding saturated fat, this isn't even a published and peer-reviewed study. It's just an opinion piece, stitching together other work that contravenes a larger, established body of scientific evidence on this issue. It's not only poor science, but also poor journalism, in the way the LA Times bannered it.

    But if anyone wants to start gorging on saturated fat, based on this flimsy opinion piece, be my guest. And contradicting it is this, that I found on the subject:

    Medical, heart-health, and governmental authorities, such as the World Health Organization, the American Dietetic Association, the Dietitians of Canada, the British Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, the British Heart Foundation, the World Heart Federation, the British National Health Service, the United States Food and Drug Administration, and the European Food Safety Authority advise that saturated fat is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD).