February 23

Another reason it’s good to be Swiss (or Japanense, or Austrian, or Greek!)

So I’ve been digging around and researching about fats; the good, bad, and the simply disgusting. What I’m discovering is almost completely opposite from what I had thought. It turns out the basic animal and vegetable sources of  fats provide a concentrate source of energy in our diets. They also help slow down nutrient absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry, and act as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

There is an endless world of research dedicated to fats, claiming high fat diets to be the main culprit of cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer.  However, nearly every research study I have read has essentially turned up no solid evidence against healthy fats. I could name many studies out that debunk the low-fat diet ideologies, but here are a few that really stood out:

  • The Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial (LRC-CPPT), a study that is often cited by low-fat supporters, I found to be very inconclusive. In the study all subjects were given a low-cholesterol, low-saturated-fat diet. Dietary cholesterol and saturated fat were not tested. Despite independent researchers who tabulated the results of the study, finding no significant statistical difference in coronary heart disease death rates, both the media and medical journals touted the study as the long-sought proof that animal fats are the cause of heart disease.
  • The second study is based on the diets of Japanese, who are famous for their longevity. What is interesting about the Japanese diet is that it contains moderate amounts of animal fats from eggs, pork, chicken, beef, seafood, and organ meats. They also consume more cholesterol, through shellfish and fish broth,  than the typical American. However the most significant factor about their diets when compared to the American diet  is their lack of vegetable oil, white flour, and processed foods.
  • Next in line to the Japanese for longevity and overall health are the Swiss, who interestingly live on one of the fattiest diets in the world. They are  followed by the Austrians and Greeks.

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Posted February 23, 2010 by Revel in category "General

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