Until recently, asking “Is fat healthy?” would get you a look of disbelief from most people.
But the tide is turning.
Consider these excerpts from a June 24, 2015 article on Forbes.com:
The latest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – the government-sanctioned recommendations about what we should and shouldn’t eat – will include a game-changing edit: There’s no longer going to be a recommended upper limit on total fat intake.
Here’s why fats are coming back into style. The fats restriction largely stemmed from the fact that saturated fat was once thought to be a major culprit in heart disease – and this somehow extended to all fats. But in recent years, it seems that saturated fat may not be so bad, and may even be good in some ways (as in its effects on HDL or “good” cholesterol)…. This is especially true when compared to a diet high in refined carbs…. In fact, refined carbs and added sugars, which have typically been the alternative to fats, are linked to a laundry list of health ailments.
“Placing limits on total fat intake has no basis in science and leads to all sorts of wrong industry and consumer decisions,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, one of the authors of the new paper. “Modern evidence clearly shows that eating more foods rich in healthful fats like nuts, vegetable oils, and fish have protective effects, particularly for cardiovascular disease. Other fat-rich foods, like whole milk and cheese, appear pretty neutral; while many low-fat foods, like low-fat deli meats, fat-free salad dressing, and baked potato chips, are no better and often even worse than full-fat alternatives….”
Research has shown that high-carb diets, which have typically been the fallout of the low-fat movement, increase the risk of metabolic dysfunction, obesity, and even heart disease….
This echoes what the Harvard School of Public Health has been saying for some time:
Findings from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study show no link between the overall percentage of calories from fat and any important health outcome, including cancer, heart disease, and weight gain. (source)
Need another big name to convince you? I just ran across a stunning article from the Wall Street Journal. It’s kind of a long read, but if you want to learn how we got off on such a wrong track for so long, what role Big Food had in the early success of the American Heart Association, and why high total cholesterol may actually be good for women over 50 — yeah, you read that right…
If anything, high total cholesterol levels in women over 50 were found early on to be associated with longer life.
— then this read is well worth your time: The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease
Now, go enjoy some real food!