Friday, 28 March 2014

High Fat Diets: Cardioprotective?

High fat diets are diets that contain mainly protein and fat. They exclude carbohydrates almost entirely and as a result they have been demonised by the mainstream medical community. Atkins popularised the high fat diet, but such diets had been in existence well before The New Diet Revolution was published. The fact that high fat diets are cardioprotective is counterintuitive as we are told that saturated fat is the cause of cardiovascular disease.

Early Saturated Fat Research

The evidence that saturated fat is a cause of cardiovascular disease is weak. It was Ancel Keys who popularised the idea that high intakes of saturated fat are a cause of cardiovascular disease. However, his early research has been shown to be fraudulent, as he manipulated the data. Many studies since that time have followed this practice and many of these papers have been discredited for methodological faults.

Saturated Fat And Atherosclerosis

The claim that saturated fat is a cause of cardiovascular disease pivots on two main points. Firstly that saturated fat causes atherosclerosis, and secondly, that atherosclerosis is a cause of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately for proponents of this hypothesis, neither of these things are true. Firstly, there is no evidence to show that saturated fat causes atherosclerosis. Secondly, atheroscleotic individuials do not always suffer from cardiovascular disease.

Eat Fat, Lose Weight

One of the interesting things about high fat diets is that they seem to cause weight loss. This is especially true for those who have found their belly fat particularly stubborn to shift. The reason that high fat diets cause weight loss, is in my opinion, because they exclude sugar and refined carbohydrates. Both fructose and fibreless carbohydrates are implicated as the primary drivers of obesity, and excluding them reverses the metabolic dysfunction that causes weight gain.

Weight Loss Equals Cardioprotection

Because high fat diets cause weight loss they are cardioprotective. Abdominal fat is an outward manifestation of an inward metabolic dysfunction. As abdominal fat and metabolic dysfunction develop, they cause systemic inflammation and this leads to endothelial dysfunction in the arteries of the body, increasing blood pressure. High fat diets, also low sugar diets, reverse abdominal obesity and metabolic dysfunction and so protect from cardiovascular disease.

Saturated Or Trans Fats?

Saturated fats have been blamed as a cause for cardiovascular disease. However, this vilification is not justified. In fact, many of the studies that have implicated saturated fatty acids as a cause of cardiovascular disease, may actually have been measuring, directly or indirectly, another group of fatty acids called trans fats. The trans fats are now suspected to cause cardiovascular disease, a hypothesis supported by many well written scientific studies.
RdB

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