Move over carbohydrates, time to welcome back saturated fats
This isn’t going to happen overnight. A great many reputations and vast amounts of money have been staked on saturated fat being at the root of our health ills: heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. It’s going to take time for the establishment that has continued this myth – at great cost to human health – to be dismantled.
In the meantime, information about the poor quality of this guidance is gradually moving into the public domain and last night on PM – Radio 4’s daily current affairs show, Becky Milligan broadcast a piece that neatly summarises some key points about the current thinking on saturated fat and carbohydrate.
Becky reported that today in Britain, 1 in every 7 deaths is attributed to poor diet. And the biggest culprit within these harmful dietary choices? The answer to that one is easy, we’ve had it drummed into us for as long as we can remember:
Over the last four decades, there’s been an open and shut case against saturated fats. It has been a fact universally acknowledged that these fats are the cause of increased rates of heart disease, cancer and obesity.
In addition, there has been no reduction in the incidence of heart disease and levels of diabetes have rocketed.
This is a pretty shocking revelation and implies that the dietary advice the western world has been given over the past 40-50 years has quite simply been incorrect and based on astoundingly bad science. The detrimental effect that this guidance has had on human health is beyond belief but let’s not go there now.
Note however, that alongside an increase in saturated fat intake, it is assumed that there is also little or no consumption of refined carbohydrates. The combination of high levels of fats and carbohydrates in the diet is a guaranteed way to pile on the pounds!
Far from being the health risk we have been told they represent, saturated fats are in fact good for you. Why?
And this list of benefits is far from exhaustive. It appears that pre- and post-menopausal women in particular can damage their health by eating a diet that is very low in saturated fat. Babies and young children suffer developmental delay if they have insufficient fat in their diets. It is also associated with a “feel good” factor as it seems to play a part in balancing serotonin levels. I could go on but I won’t.
Listen for yourself here: Radio 4 PM programme, broadcast 14 May 2019