The saturated fat falacy

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Professor Timothy Noakes is writing a series of articles to try to put the nail in the coffin of the modern western diet and dispatch forever the shoddy work of Ancel Keys.

This is why you should immediately distrust anyone that says, “The science is settled.” Science by it’s very nature is never settled. Those people saying these things are more likely than not just like Ancel Keys. Pushing their theories and searching desperately for studies to confirm their own bias.

This first article is a great read.

So when, in the late 1960s, Keys became one of the original beneficiaries of research funding from the newly formed National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), he discovered, to his utter dismay (and perhaps horror) that, far from supporting his claims, his brilliantly designed and perfectly executed test — the Minnesota Coronary Experiment  (MCE) (6) — comprehensively disproved both his hypotheses. According to Karl Popper’s description that a real scientist is someone imbued with a “ruthless scepticism toward your own work,” had Keys been just such a scientist, this should have been the end of his hypotheses.

The MCE established that the replacement of dietary saturated fat with the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) linoleic acid, which lowered average blood cholesterol concentrations by 15% to the apparently “safe” level of 175 mg/dL (4.6 mmol/L), had absolutely no effect on heart disease outcomes. Instead, “no differences between the treatment and control groups were observed for cardiovascular events, cardiovascular deaths or total mortality” (6, p. 129).

This finding fatally dispatched Keys’ hypotheses because the MCE established that, when tested in a rigorous and essentially flawless trial, using Keys’ dietary recommendations to lower cholesterol failed to prevent CHD as Keys had promised.

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How many eggs a week are too many?

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An article from the Cleveland Clinic tells us there is no current recommendation as to how many eggs are too many and then goes on to tell us that too many eggs are bad.

I think if you’re suffering from heart disease then you need to keep a close watch on your cholesterol with your doctor. Your test results should be the determining factor as to what you eat and how much.

“There is no current recommendation on how many eggs you should consume each week,” says Zumpano. “Research indicates that total saturated fat contributes more to LDL (bad) cholesterol than dietary cholesterol.”
She points out that egg whites are safe and a good source of protein. It is egg yolks that have the cholesterol and saturated fat you’re trying to avoid.

The Cleveland Clinic