It's Monday – and time for another Real Food Quote Monday (RFQM). Today, I'm sharing a few paragraphs from Dr. Mary Enig's and Sally Fallon Morell's book, “Eat Fat, Lose Fat.”
The topic is saturated fats, at the beginning of Chapter 2, where Dr. Enig and Sally Fallon Morell set the stage by pointing out where dietary conventional wisdom has gone wrong for the last four decades.
“If you're like most people we meet, when you hear about the benefits of coconut and other saturated fats, you may wonder, “If saturated fat is so great, why have I always been told it's bad?” The fact is that for the last four decades, saturated fats, including coconut oil, have been banned from general consumption, condemned and locked away for the misdeeds of polyunsaturated fats, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates, foods that are still at large wreaking havoc with American waistlines (not to mention our life expectancy).
If eating saturated fat caused heart disease and weight gain, then eliminating those fats should have resulted in a decline in heart disease and an increase in weight loss. But look around you. That's not what happened! While we American have been dutifully eliminating fat from our diet, eating low-fat foods, and avoiding saturated fats from tropical oils, butter, and red meats, obesity rates and the overall incidence of heart disease have continued to climb.
The truth is that the “diet police” condemned the wrong culprit. It was not saturated fat or coconut oil (a dietary staple in countries such as Thailand and the Philippines with consistently lower heart disease rates than our own) that caused our galloping heart disease rates. An entire body of research implicates refined grains and sugars (especially high-fructose corn syrup) — not saturated fats — as the cause of obesity, and vegetable oils and trans fats as key factors in heart disease.”
Shocking, isn't it? Then again, maybe not. In the rest of the chapter, Dr. Enig and Sally Fallon Morell go on to address four myths about saturated fat:
- Myth: High fat foods cause heart disease. Blog post here, 3/20/10.
- Myth: High cholesterol causes heart disease. Blog post here, 3/27/10.
- Myth: High-fat foods increase blood cholesterol. Blog post here, 4/5/10.
- Myth: Cholesterol causes plaque buildup in arteries. Blog post here, 4/12/10.
For the next four weeks of RFQM, I will briefly cover their answers to these myths through quotes from this book. For now, though, what do you think? Are you shocked? Have you known this for awhile? Are you still on the fence?
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