Low Carb Diet and Saturated Fat

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Saturated fat is not the major issue

"Yet scientific evidence shows that this advice has, paradoxically, increased our cardiovascular risks. Furthermore, the government’s obsession with levels of total cholesterol, which has led to the overmedication of millions of people with statins, has diverted our attention from the more egregious risk factor of atherogenic dyslipidaemia."

Abstract: Aseem Malhotra, Saturated fat is not the major issue. BMJ 2013;347:f6340


Dietary fats and health: dietary recommendations in the context of scientific evidence.

"The replacement of saturated fats in the diet with carbohydrates, especially sugars, has resulted in increased obesity and its associated health complications. Well-established mechanisms have been proposed for the adverse health effects of some alternative or replacement nutrients, such as simple carbohydrates and PUFAs. The focus on dietary manipulation of serum cholesterol may be moot in view of numerous other factors that increase the risk of heart disease"

Abstract: Lawrence GD. Dietary fats and health: dietary recommendations in the context of scientific evidence. Adv Nutr. 2013 May 1;4(3):294-302. doi: 10.3945/an.113.003657.


Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease

"A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD."

Full Text:Siri-Tarino PW et al., Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr March 2010 vol. 91 no. 3 535-546


Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease.

" Furthermore, particularly given the differential effects of dietary saturated fats and carbohydrates on concentrations of larger and smaller LDL particles, respectively, dietary efforts to improve the increasing burden of CVD risk associated with atherogenic dyslipidemia should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intakes and a reduction in excess adiposity."

Full Text: Patty W Siri-Tarino et al, Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 March; 91(3): 502-509.


Comparison of Low Fat and Low Carbohydrate Diets on Circulating Fatty Acid Composition and Markers of Inflammation.

"In summary, a very low carbohydrate diet resulted in profound alterations in fatty acid composition and reduced inflammation compared to a low fat diet."

Abstract: Forsythe et al, Comparison of Low Fat and Low Carbohydrate Diets on Circulating Fatty Acid Composition and Markers of Inflammation. Lipids. 2007 Nov 29


Saturated fat prevents coronary artery disease? An American paradox

" In conclusion, the hypothesis-generating report of Mozaffarian et al draws attention to the different effects of diet on lipoprotein physiology and cardiovascular disease risk. These effects include the paradox that a high-fat, high-saturated fat diet is associated with diminished coronary artery disease progression in women with the metabolic syndrome, a condition that is epidemic in the United States. This paradox presents a challenge to differentiate the effects of dietary fat on lipoproteins and cardiovascular disease risk in men and women, in the different lipid disorders, and in the metabolic syndrome."

Full Text: Robert H Knopp and Barbara M Retzlaff, Saturated fat prevents coronary artery disease? An American paradox. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 5, 1102-1103, Nov 2004


Reducing the serum cholesterol level with a diet high in animal fat.

Multiple food allergies required a group of seven patients with elevated serum cholesterol levels to follow a diet in which most of the calories came from beef fat. Their diets contained no sucrose, milk, or grains. They were given nutritional supplements. This is the only group of people in recent times to follow such a diet. During the study, the patients' triglyceride levels decreased from an average of 113 mg/dl to an average of 74 mg/dl; at the same time, their serum cholesterol levels fell from an average of 263 mg/dl to an average of 189 mg/dl. At the beginning of the study, six of the patients had an average high-density lipoprotein percentage of 21%. At the end of the study, the average had risen to 32%. These findings raise an interesting question: are elevated serum cholesterol levels caused in part not by eating animal fat (an extremely "old food"), but by some factor in grains, sucrose, or milk ("new foods") that interferes with cholesterol metabolism?

Abstract: Newbold HL, Reducing the serum cholesterol level with a diet high in animal fat. South Med J. 1988 Jan;81(1):61-3.