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Goat 04-18-2012 12:06 PM

dietary saturated fat
What is the truth here, I have read many times on this forum that sat fat is not the root cause of CHD, CVD and stroke.

Its not that I am challenging this Idea, but that I do not believe what my dietitian is telling me.

Where can I find some real, reliable info on the subject.

IronManlet 04-18-2012 12:18 PM

ChAoS & PAIN: Can't Gain Weight? Guess What- You're Doing It Wrong #1

Lift Big Eat Big: The Real Deal With Saturated Fat

Plenty of sources for both.

High cholesterol is not the root cause of heart problems, and many low cholesterol individuals suffer from clogged arteries and fatty deposits near the heart. The problem seems to stem more from lifestyle and other aspects of diet taken as a whole.

In addition, cholesterol is a basic building block of testosterone in the body; and is therefore positively correlated with higher testosterone levels.

BendtheBar 04-18-2012 12:18 PM

Dig into some of the more seasoned Paleo books, blogs and site. The "Fat Head" documentary is also a good time investment.

FatHeadMovie - YouTube

Also, the books "Good Calories, Bad Calories", and "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" are 2 must read books when talking about fats, health and the the modern diet.

This post is a good read as well:

Fat Head Book Review: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Prevent Heart Disease

Another book I enjoyed:

And some random videos that may or may not be helpful:

Goat 04-18-2012 12:24 PM

Fat head is what led my to this question. Thanks for the responses fellas. Will read and come back for more discussion.

Tannhauser 04-18-2012 01:39 PM

The best available scientific evidence indicates that dietary satuarated fat IS linked to all of the health risks you mention.

What complicates the issue is that the chances of developing those conditions is dependent on a number of other factors, which obviously include:

obesity, especially visceral fat deposits
genetic predisposition
other dietary factors (e.g. ingestion of trans-fats)
sleep patterns

It is not the case that the medical establishment believes dietary fat is the only cause of heart disease. In fact most research points to a modest link between saturated fat and CHD/CVD. However, it is one factor that people can alter with comparative ease.

This evidence comes from multiple sources - huge studies done over many years involving tens of thousands of participants - and is scientifically robust. There are a lot of sources on the internet that are still criticising evidence from thirty or more years ago.

Why wouldn't you believe your dietitian, a professional with hundreds of hours of specialist experience and training? But OK, fair enough, if you want to do your own research, then you need to look at something credible like the Cochrane review - gold standard meta-analyses which summarise current research in plain language terms.

Goat 04-18-2012 02:05 PM

Found this.

Modifying fat in our food (replacing some saturated (animal) fats with plant oils and unsaturated spreads) may reduce risk of heart and vascular disease, but it is not clear whether monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats are more beneficial. There are no clear health benefits of replacing saturated fats with starchy foods (reducing the total amount of fat we eat). Heart and vascular disease includes heart attacks, angina, strokes, sudden cardiovascular death and the need for heart surgery. Modifying the fat we eat seems to protect us better if we adhere in doing so for at least two years. It is not clear whether people who are currently healthy benefit as much as those at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (people with hypertension, raised serum lipids or diabetes for example) and people who already have heart disease, but the suggestion is that they would all benefit to some extent.

" may reduce risk of heart and vascular disease " Hardly sounds conclusive.

The research continues.

Tannhauser 04-18-2012 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by Goat (Post 234075)
" may reduce risk of heart and vascular disease " Hardly sounds conclusive.

The research continues.

I haven't looked at that study, but that's the language that scientists do use and should use. Science always deals in balance of evidence, and couches itself in the most cautious terms possible. Not until a result has been repeated and reapeated is it considered robust.

Very few scientists ever use the phrase 'scientifically proven'.

Tannhauser 04-18-2012 02:27 PM

Sorry, my bad, I have seen that before.


This updated review suggested that reducing saturated fat by reducing and/or modifying dietary fat reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 14% (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.77 to 0.96, 24 comparisons, 65,508 participants of whom 7% had a cardiovascular event, I2 50%). Subgrouping suggested that this reduction in cardiovascular events was seen in studies of fat modification (not reduction - which related directly to the degree of effect on serum total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides), of at least two years duration and in studies of men (not of women). There were no clear effects of dietary fat changes on total mortality (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.04, 71,790 participants) or cardiovascular mortality (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.04, 65,978 participants). This did not alter with sub-grouping or sensitivity analysis.

Few studies compared reduced with modified fat diets, so direct comparison was not possible.

Authors' conclusions:

The findings are suggestive of a small but potentially important reduction in cardiovascular risk on modification of dietary fat, but not reduction of total fat, in longer trials. Lifestyle advice to all those at risk of cardiovascular disease and to lower risk population groups, should continue to include permanent reduction of dietary saturated fat and partial replacement by unsaturates. The ideal type of unsaturated fat is unclear.

MC 04-18-2012 02:45 PM


Originally Posted by Tannhauser (Post 234077)
Very few scientists ever use the phrase 'scientifically proven'.

That's because very rarely can we saw that we "proved" causation with 100% certaintly.

Even with things we know are true, the is a 1 chance in a 1000 or 1 chance in 10,000 that it isn't true.

Hence, as you mentioned, why repetition of research is key. Each time we repeat a study with similar and different populations and get similar results, we reduce the chances that the results are just by random chance.

Goat 04-18-2012 05:47 PM

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 or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.

Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease

So who is right?

I was taught while in school that our meals should consist of mainly grains. Remember the food pyramid. Fast forward 30 years a boom, I am fat and diabetic. I guess that's what I get for following the great government education I received..

Now my VA dietitian says oh no now we have my plate. Its all figured out for you.

Well color me skeptical.

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