Think, Read, Cook

Because no single way of eating works for everybody.

A Question of Fat

DeepFriedButter

What’s really going on about saturated, animal-based fat, from a nutritional point of view?

You may be wondering why I’m even bothering to ask such a silly question. After all, we’veΒ  been told for years that the best option for heart health is to stay away from saturated fat, such as you find in butter, cheese, cream, and meats.

And yet, look at what I’ve come across: this analysis from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – surely a respected and authoritative source. It’s a summary of “the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic studies.”

In other words, the purpose of the analysis was to discover whether eating fewer saturated fats really makes you less likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke.

The document shows the results of 5 to 23 years of followups for 347,747 people. The analysis takes into account the differences in age and sex of the subjects, and the differences in the qualities of the studies being summarized.

The conclusion?

“A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD [coronary heart disease] or CVD [cardiovascular disease].”

This study was accepted in 2009, and copyrighted 2010. It’s now 2013. Had you heard about it? Well, I hadn’t. It’s news to me.

I don’t know for sure, but my cynical nature suspects that since the medical and nutritional establishments seem committed to a particular line of thought – ie. animal fats are bad, vegetable fats are good – this study hasn’t received a huge amount of press. But it appears that whatever your opinions about processed vegetable and seed oils, the above analysis indicates that eating animal-sourced fats isn’t going to make your risk for heart problems any higher.

And no, I am not suggesting that we can all go out and gorge ourselves on a steady diet of deep-fried butter; that wouldn’t be sensible. I’m saying that eating fats that come from animals, in reasonable quantities as one would eat any fat, is apparently not the risk we’ve been told it is.

And that sometimes science has to scream its head off in order to be heard. And that we all really should think, and read, before we start cooking.

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38 comments on “A Question of Fat

  1. Alison
    May 22, 2013

    I completely agree! Reasonable quantities of any food will not hurt you. I’d take real butter over canola oil any day.

    • thinkreadcook
      May 22, 2013

      Absolutely! The less processing seems to be the better. πŸ™‚

  2. Sam Han
    May 22, 2013

    everything in moderation. Vegetable oil is still fat! and worse still if processed to solid state. I have read that margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC… and shares 27 ingredients with PAINT. Please verify, i’m not claiming anything πŸ˜€ Si i’d rather eat butter, at least i know where my food comes from.

    • thinkreadcook
      May 23, 2013

      I know just what you mean. Not sure about the margarine info, but I wouldn’t be surprised; I’ll look it up. It certainly tastes a lot like paint! πŸ™‚

  3. judy
    May 22, 2013

    Hi. Long time no talk see etc. I’m in hospital. Hope you are ok.

    • thinkreadcook
      May 23, 2013

      Hey, it’s good to hear from you, Judy – but I’m sorry you’re in hospital. What’s the problem?
      Sending you good vibes… let me know how you’re doing!

      • judy
        May 25, 2013

        I’d been feeling bad for a few days. One night my ex called for a doc. I was having a sort of thing. My blood pressure had dropped and I was all about the place. Couldn’t talk coherently. Sweat pouring. All sorts of stuff. Just before. She arrived started to feel a bit better. Typical. Anycase had a high temperature and stuff. Still got a whatever. Few days later really got bad. Vomitted blood and fainting. Off to hospital. All sorts of tests and still here. My hemoglobin keeps jumping up and down. My cocex hurts. Lousy beds. Lousy food. Home. Please

      • thinkreadcook
        May 25, 2013

        So sorry to hear you’re still in hospital, Judy – it sounds like a whole lot of No Fun. Sending you good vibrations, and hoping they’ll soon get you diagnosed, treated, and back home!

  4. AlcoholTourism
    May 23, 2013

    What is a little bit surprising is that the animal food company lobbies have huge budgets, and have used them for decades to get Americans to consume ridiculous amounts of meat, so why haven’t they been peddling this scientifically-supported, grounded evidence in support of their product?

    • thinkreadcook
      May 23, 2013

      Good question. Maybe they know they don’t need to, because they have the whole USA addicted to fast-food hamburgers? Dunno; it bears investigation!

  5. judy
    May 25, 2013

    From what I can remember marge was invented by the French during a world war. I don’t think anyone knows what’s in it. Yes. Please check.

  6. judy
    May 26, 2013

    Yay I’m home but got loads of yucky invasive tests. My feet are so swollen they look round like hephilump’s feet. Oh well I love hephies. Just showered the hospital smell away. I love De beurre with salt. Did you check the marge thing?

    • thinkreadcook
      May 27, 2013

      Glad to hear you’re home, and hope you keep getting better! πŸ™‚

      Margarine is made from vegetable oil. It is usually hydrogenated, which makes it solid at room temperature and very bad for your system. The non-hydrogenated versions are still heavily processed. Here is a website describing how margarine is made; the picture it paints is not encouraging: http://www.stop-trans-fat.com/how-is-margarine-made.html

  7. judy
    May 27, 2013

    You mean like coke can clean a car motor.

    • thinkreadcook
      May 27, 2013

      My friend’s nephrologist says cola can eat away your kidneys. Since he’s a kidney-doctor I figure he should know. 😦

  8. judy
    May 28, 2013

    My son’s kids can’t get enough of the stuff when they’re here. I used to have an addiction. My ex bought a case a week. Can’t stand the stuff now.

    • thinkreadcook
      May 28, 2013

      I find that when you stop drinking it for a while, and then you taste it again, it strongly resembles something you’d clean the floor with! I don’t drink it either. The diet version tastes even worse.

  9. judy
    May 28, 2013

    The diet stuff??? Oh yuk. I love fresh squeezed orange juice or plain soda water.

    • thinkreadcook
      May 28, 2013

      And I’m addicted to soda water with a slice of lime in it. And tea with milk.

  10. judy
    May 28, 2013

    I ought to buy lemons. Don’t know where I can find limes. Do they really make a difference? A slice in a glass of soda?

  11. judy
    May 28, 2013

    I’d like the choice and what does a lime taste like?

    • thinkreadcook
      May 28, 2013

      Limes taste citrusy, sweet, sour… they have a unique flavor that I can’t describe.

  12. judy
    May 28, 2013

    I have a cousin who lives in the north. I think he has lime trees. I’ll ask him to bring some next time he comes to tel Aviv

    • thinkreadcook
      May 28, 2013

      Oh, that would be lovely! In Canada we can’t grow limes, so they have to be imported, which means they ripen during the journey. Let me know what a fresh one tastes like! πŸ™‚

  13. judy
    May 28, 2013

    You just told me how they taste πŸ˜‰

    • thinkreadcook
      May 30, 2013

      Ah, but not how they’d taste when they’re ripe and fresh off the tree! I’m sure there’ll be a wonderful difference there. πŸ™‚

  14. judy
    May 30, 2013

    Difference between lemons and limes?

    • thinkreadcook
      May 30, 2013

      They taste different. It’s like saying, “What’s the difference between lemons and oranges?” Limes aren’t as sour a taste as lemons, and they’re… different. πŸ™‚

  15. judy
    May 30, 2013

    Ok. Gotcha.

  16. argentumvulgaris
    June 4, 2013

    I have often touted this on my Eco-Crap blog. Natural fats don’t harm you. It’s the manufactured fats that do. The reason you don’t see this in the press is that it is against the wishes of the corporations making a profit from the lies about natural fats. Did you know that margarine is one molecule short of being a plastic? The lies were to scare people into buying their products.

    • thinkreadcook
      June 4, 2013

      We are in accord. The more altered, denatured, and processed a food is, the less food-like it is, and the less frequently we humans should eat it. Seems only logical. πŸ™‚

    • thinkreadcook
      June 4, 2013

      P.S…. Nice blog you’ve got there… πŸ˜€

      • argentumvulgaris
        June 4, 2013

        Thank you. Comments like that make me feel good all over. πŸ™‚

        I like visiting your place too.

        AV

      • thinkreadcook
        June 4, 2013

        To be honest, I’ve never used margarine; don’t like the taste. I’d rather do without than eat it.

      • thinkreadcook
        June 4, 2013

        Hey, thanks! I appreciate that very much! πŸ™‚

  17. judy
    June 4, 2013

    I knew marg was disgusting.

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