Here is a video presentation by Dr. Donald Miller on facts and myths on saturated fat. This video is going to take you about an hour long time to watch it….but it is really worth watching it for the great information.
Enjoy Saturated Fats, They’re Good for You! By Dr. Miller
In this video, Dr. Miller, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Washington, gives very convincing arguments and several points to prove to us saturated fats are good and do not harm the body.
Since many decades, the medical fraternity and dietitians have been vehemently holding on to the view that the major cause of all cardiovascular diseases is the consumption of saturated fat.
Dr. Miller earnestly tries to dispel the mistaken fear and hatred that we have developed towards saturated fats. His arguments are amply backed by scientific proofs and established facts take from several studies conducted in the past on saturated fats.
As we take a glance into our past, we can remember that in our younger days we were constantly taught and advised to avoid food like bacon, red meat, eggs and oil with saturated fats. These foods were considered as cholesterol manufacturers.
The idea of ‘saturated fats as leading cause of heart diseases’ is so much ingrained in our cultural psyche, most of us don’t even question it. The well-informed people in the past decades fearfully avoided any food that contained saturated fats for the sake of a healthy heart.
But the truth is very different…..most people gave up having foods that contain saturated fats, even then there was no reduction in heart ailments.
Dr. Miller Condemns Lipid Hypothesis And Diet–Heart Hypothesis
Dr. Miller is in total disagreement with lipid hypothesis that advocates low-fat diet as a solution to overcome the rise of bad cholesterol that causes cardiovascular diseases. Recent controlled studies in humans have not found the merit of a low-fat diet in reducing heart ailments.[7,8]
Miller is critical of the many health organizations and medical experts who still support the diet-heart hypothesis of the past. It is time to change with diet principles that have evolved for the better over the years. It is time to forgo the old theories that are already proven wrong.[9,10]
The mainstream diet recommendations have evolved from low-cholesterol diet to low-fat diet to low-saturated fat and currently to low-calorie diets with no trans-fats.
In spite of evidence from several controlled studies, most health organizations and governmental health advisory bodies are yet to change their stands. Most of them still propagate the idea that saturated fats are bad and must be avoided.
If you have a look at the USDA’s website, you can still find a warning on saturated fat consumption.
Many of the old theories are still firmly ingrained in the minds of the people. Even the evidence-based study results have not changed the mental disposition on established diet habits.
Americans, in general, follow the low-fat diet and exercise more than people did decades ago……yet diabetes and heart diseases are still the biggest two health issues in America.
Dr. Muller is of the opinion that LDL cholesterol is not an especially useful indicator unless it has reached an extreme level and causes discomfort in the body.
The main point he tries to impress us with is the danger of perpetuating high-carb and low-fat diet as healthy. He says ‘the supposed to be safe’ high-carb diet has put the health of the people at risk…the instances of obesity and type-2 diabetes has become rampant more than ever before.
What Is Saturated Fat?
A fat can be called saturated when its molecules have the most number of hydrogen bonds within its structure. This fat is chemically more stable than the rest. We can easily identify the saturated fats as they will always remain in a solid form at room temperatures.[13,14]
Coconut oil, dairy fats and animal fats are the common saturated dietary fats we use. Both these fats were condemned to be the worst cooking oils before…but not now coconut oil is considered to be the best cooking oil as many recent studies have proven it to be the healthiest oil for many reasons.[15,16]
Millions of people living in the tropical island countries have been very liberally using coconut oil for cooking….and generations and generations of them have outlived a healthy life without any major heart diseases.
There are no scientific studies that can clearly prove the connection between saturated fats and heart diseases.
The fat in our body mostly remains in the saturated form, and we have more fat in the body than other essential macronutrients like protein. But nobody is facing any health issues because of this. Otherwise, even the newborn children would be suffering from heart ailments because of the saturated fats that already exist in the body.
Has Science Gone Wrong On Saturated Fat And Cholesterol Relation?
The low-fat “diet–heart hypothesis” has been controversial for nearly 100 years.
The diet–heart hypothesis theory was vigorously promoted and propagated by National Institutes of Health and the National Cholesterol Education Program since the Lipid Research Clinics-Primary Prevention Program in 1984.
The historical and famous food pyramid by the U.S. Department of Agriculture considered as the holy book of diet by several health experts. This food pyramid is actually wrong and has given rise to a lot of diseases. It has played an unintentional role in the current epidemics of obesity, type II diabetes, lipid abnormalities, and metabolic syndromes.
Every normal person has at least 1,100 milligrams of cholesterol in the body and even up to 1,700 milligrams are considered to be normal.
Interestingly, nearly 75% of cholesterol is produced by the liver, and only about 25% is directly absorbed from the food we eat.
Even if we eat fat rich food, a good lot of that fat will not be absorbed by the body.
In every normally healthy person, the body has a good natural system to regulate the amount of cholesterol to afloat in the blood. The liver produces the cholesterol according to this amount required.
When we eat a lot of cholesterol-rich food, the body instantly reduces the internal production of cholesterol, and when we have only the low-fat and low-carb foods, the body will increase the internal production of cholesterol.[20,21]
Some of the study results also prove the well-designed cholesterol regulation system that exists in the body.
In one of the study, the volunteers were fed with 2 to 4 eggs per day throughout the observatory study period with a daily measure of cholesterol level in the blood.
The results of this study showed that dietary cholesterol made very little difference in the rise of cholesterol levels in 75% of the participants. But 25% of the participants were “hyper-responders” to the dietary cholesterol as they showed a noticeable increase in both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels.
This is just one example to prove that eating cholesterol is not going to increase the cholesterol levels in the blood, or cause a heart attack.
Only a couple of short-term studies indicated that the saturated fats are bad as it increases the level of cholesterol in the blood. But all those studies had their share of inaccuracies and poor methodology that made the results unreliable.[23,24]
On the other hand, none of the long-term studies could establish a relation between cholesterol level increases in the blood with higher cholesterol foods intake.
Similarly, the studies on low-carbohydrate diets showed the saturated fat in it did not alter the levels of cholesterol in the blood. In fact, the intake of low-carb diets with saturated fats helped in restricting conditions that are favorable for cardiovascular diseases.
One of the studies which made a meta-analysis of 17 low-carb trials that had 1,140 obese people as participants showed that the LDL cholesterol levels did not increase with consumption of low-carb diets. This analysis also indicated a substantial decrease in body weight and positive improvement in cardiovascular risk factors. This meta-analysis study also indicated a substantial decrease in triglycerides, c-reactive protein, plasma insulin and belly fat.
The highly propagated idea of saturated fats as a cause for heart diseases is proved to be a MYTH. More and more extensive studies in the recent times are proving that saturated fat is not the culprit that promotes LDL cholesterol.
Another meta-analysis study that had close to 350,000 participants did not find any verified relation between heart diseases and cholesterol foods. 
A Japanese observational study that followed 58,000 men for 14 years did not find a relationship between heart diseases and saturated fats. In fact, this Japanese study indicated that the intake of saturated fats helps in reducing the conditions and risks that can cause stroke.
It must be noted here, the individual physical response to dietary saturated fat (or any fat) varies from person to person.
All misunderstanding with regards to dietary fat became a serious concern with that infamous diet–heart hypothesis theory of the past.
Certain controlled studies in the past showed that dietary fat caused LDL cholesterol increase in rabbits and chickens….unfortunately, those findings were falsely applied to the human beings with no substantial evidence for the same.
Recent controlled studies on humans showed dietary fat have very limited influence on cholesterol.
Sylvan Lee Weinberg, former president of the American College of Cardiology, brought out several important points in a 2004 editorial in the Journal of American College of Cardiology. He vehemently condemned the low-fat and high-carbohydrate diet as the number one cause of today’s obesity epidemic coupled with Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Sylvan Lee Weinberg wants all prestigious medical organizations to out-rightly reject the diet principles based on diet–heart hypothesis.
Saturated Fats And Carbohydrates
Many studies have shown that the insulin and cholesterol issues are mostly caused by the high-carb foods than the fat. The carbohydrate is the actual villain even for the heart disorders.
Saturated fats have no effect on the body when a low-carb diet is maintained by the person. The blood sugar and cholesterol levels seem to remain unaffected by the sat-fats intake.
In one of the studies conducted by Jeff Volek’s team, results showed that the group that consumed three times more animal fat and had low-carb diet at the same time was found to have less saturated fat in their blood than the other group which had low-fat diet with the same amount of calories as the former group.[30,31]
The diets with saturated fat along with low-carb diet are healthy because the body burns the fat for the energy as carbohydrates were not sufficient. The fat was released into the blood was very little as most of the fat was used up by the body for energy.
The Bottom Line
There is no reason to panic about saturated fat in your diet. It is not the reason for the heart diseases and Type2 diabetes as it was wrongly blamed before for the same.
The carbohydrate is the real villain that plays a major role in causing heart diseases and Type-II diabetes. We need to be more careful about the high blood SUGAR and Insulin that actually promote the storage of blood triglyceride in the blood vessels which eventually causes inflammation that triggers all heart diseases. It is not the fat intake that is responsible for the heart diseases and Type-II diabetes, but the higher the intake of carbohydrates that acts as the real culprit.