One of the biggest myths, if not the biggest myth of our times is: animal fats cause heart disease.
Back in the 50s and 60s, we started seeing an increase in heart disease. That was a new phenomenon.
Obviously, doctors were concerned.
There were 2 schools of thought:
1. Sugar is causing heart disease.
2. Fat is causing heart disease.
Unfortunately, the “fat” clan won. It had nothing to do with science, but everything to do with politics.
Indeed, as Senator George McGovern, who was leading the US Senate Select
Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, was a very good friend of the vice-president at the time.
But enough about politics, let’s get into the science of this topic 😊
Today, we will look at the MONICA study.
From their website:
“The MONICA (Multinational MONItoring of trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease) Project was established in the early 1980s, in many Centres around the world,
to monitor trends in cardiovascular diseases, and to relate these to risk factor changes in the population over ten years. It was set up to explain the diverse trends in cardiovascular disease mortality which were observed from the 1970s onwards. There were a total of 32 MONICA Collaborating Centres from 21 countries. The total population monitored was ten million men and women, aged 25-64 years”.
So we can see it was a big endeavor.
The results were surprising to the researchers. They expected to see a connection between the intake of animal fats and heart disease.
But they did not! 😊
Let’s look at the top 2 graphs (see below). These graphs were done by my colleague Dr. Malcolm Kendrick.
On the left, they plotted the countries that eat the least saturated fats, against the rate of mortality.
On the right, they plotted the countries that eat the most saturated fats, against the rate of mortality.
As we can observe, France, who eats the most animal fats, had the lowest rate of mortality.
On the contrary, Georgio, who eats the least animal fats, had one of the highest rates of mortality.
We know today that animal fat consumption is protective of health issues.
The bottom graph represents the total blood cholesterol vs the rate of mortality.
As we can see on the left side of the graph, the lower the blood cholesterol, the higher the rate of mortality.
On the other side, the higher the blood cholesterol, the lower the rate of mortality.
Quite the opposite of what we have been told!
This observation could explain why people taking statins have more health issues like diabetes, cancer, heart failure, neuropathy, cataracts, etc.
See, blood cholesterol has nothing to do with animal fats.
As a matter of fact, as we just saw, animal fat consumption helps to reduce cholesterol.
I see this phenomenon with my clients. People who switch to a paleo or even keto diet see their cholesterol going down.
Personally, I have been doing paleo for about 10 years and my cholesterol is perfect!
There are 2 main factors causing high cholesterol: sugar intake and stress level.
Cutting back on sugar consumption is the primary change that needs to happen to lower
Followed by, finding ways to lower your stress level.