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It’s the saturated fat

The studies published this week indicating that a low-fat diet has negligible effect on the risk of chronic diseases validate what leading health authorities have been saying for the past decade: it’s not just fat Ð it’s the saturated fat in meat, eggs and dairy products. The studies found that those women who cut down on saturated fat had a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer. A wealth of other studies over the past three decades confirm that consumption of saturated fats raises substantially the risk of contracting these diseases.

The “all-fat-is-bad” crusade probably dates back to the U.S. Senate’s 1977 “Dietary Goals for the United States,” which originally recommended that Americans reduce their meat consumption. The outraged meat industry forced the Senate to recommend reduced fat consumption instead.

Consumers who find the message of health authorities confusing have been listening to the wrong messenger. The national nutritional consensus, supported by the 2005 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” and leading health advocacy organizations, has been simple, direct, and unwavering: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, unsaturated fats – good; saturated fats and cholesterol (present only in animal products), trans fats, sugar, salt – bad.



Gerold Lawson

Grass Valley


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