Certain myths are ingrained in our culture and are hard to change. One major nutritional myth is that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease and that a diet low in fat, high in carbohydrates with a dose of statin drugs will help prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. Another myth is that the reduction of dietary fat will result in improved health status. The “bad fat good fat” hypothesis emerged in the 1950’s. The theory stated that saturated fat found in animal products and tropical oils contributes to heart disease by raising cholesterol levels and that the opposite effect of lowering cholesterol would be achieved by consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) found in vegetable oils. “Fat quality” has largely been ignored and saturated fat has become the evil culprit responsible for weight gain and heart disease.
Food industry advertising and pharmaceutical advertising have promoted “heart healthy” foods that have caused fear in the minds of many Americans. They said low fat, non-fat foods, and egg substitutes are effective in reducing cholesterol. Their anti-saturated fat agenda has essentially worked because the average American, physicians, nutritionists, dietitians, and cardiologists all mistakenly believe and promote that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease.
All these professions recommend taking statin drugs to control cholesterol. Unfortunately, statin drugs tend to stress the liver, are associated with impaired mitochondrial (tiny energy units within the cell) function and are linked to skeletal muscle myopathy. This “Standard of Care” has become the medical mantra and ignores the consequences to health. We cannot change this medical model; therefore, we are compelled to educate ourselves.
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