Fats and Longevity – Part 1

Fats and longevity

Wadams / Pixabay – There is a myth that eating dietary fat causes you to gain more weight.

Our bodies need dietary fat for good health. It is interesting how certain beliefs are introduced into our society without any real testing to verify the claims of those nutrients. One example is coconut and palm oil. In the 1980s, there was a claim (unsubstantiated – no testing done, just a plain statement) that these were saturated plant oils; and, therefore, acted like saturated animal oils and were bad for our health. There was absolutely no testing done. It was a position taken by certain companies. It was later supported by the government. Follow the money to find the real story.

In the 1940s, scientists believed that high-fat diets caused heart disease. They found a correlation between high-fat diets and high cholesterol. Correlation does not mean causation. Just because something is like something else, it doesn’t mean that it caused it. It just means that there is some similarity. For high-risk cardiac patients, it was believed that a low-fat diet might reduce their risk heart disease. Therefore, some companies convinced the medical community that a low-fat diet would reduce the risk of heart disease. Was there any testing? No! By the 1960s, the low-fat diet regime expanded into our whole society. If it was good for high-risk heart patients, it would be good for everyone. These companies (along with several new ones) claimed that low-fat diets would cause patients to lose weight because fat was fat. Reduce fat and we reduce weight. We know today that fat doesn’t cause us to be fat – carbohydrates do.

low fat label

Products abound on almost every aisle in the grocery store touting low-fat or fat-free.

In the 1980s, this low-fat doctrine permeated every aspect of our health and medical communities (physicians, the federal government, food industry, health professionals, media, etc.). In the subsequent decades, we have seen Americans get fatter and develop more heart problems while adhering to the low-fat diet. We have actually created an obesity epidemic. This epidemic is not totally caused by low-fat eating, but it has contributed.

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