Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Should fats, eaten for millions of years, be innocent until proven guilty?
This non-profit nutritional foundation shows a lot science saying fats are high in vitamins and innocent.
For example, a study comparing Jews when they lived in Yemen, whose diets contained fats solely of animal origin, to Yemenite Jews living in Israel, whose diets contained margarine and vegetable oils, revealed little heart disease or diabetes in the former group but high levels of both diseases in the latter.14
(The study also noted that the Yemenite Jews consumed no sugar but those in Israel consumed sugar in amounts equaling 25-30% of total carbohydrate intake.) A comparison of populations in northern and southern India revealed a similar pattern. People in northern India consume 17 times more animal fat but have an incidence of coronary heart disease seven times lower than people in southern India.15
The Masai and kindred tribes of Africa subsist largely on milk, blood and beef. They are free from coronary heart disease and have excellent blood cholesterol levels.16
Eskimos eat liberally of animal fats from fish and marine animals. On their native diet they are free of disease and exceptionally hardy.17
An extensive study of diet and disease patterns in China found that the region in which the populace consumes large amounts of whole milk had half the rate of heart disease as several districts in which only small amounts of animal products are consumed.18
Several Mediterranean societies have low rates of heart disease even though fat—including highly saturated fat from lamb, sausage and goat cheese—comprises up to 70% of their caloric intake. The inhabitants of Crete, for example, are remarkable for their good health and longevity.19
A study of Puerto Ricans revealed that, although they consume large amounts of animal fat, they have a very low incidence of colon and breast cancer.20
A study of the long-lived inhabitants of Soviet Georgia revealed that those who eat the most fatty meat live the longest.21
In Okinawa, where the average life span for women is 84 years—longer than in Japan—the inhabitants eat generous amounts of pork and seafood and do all their cooking in lard.22
None of these studies is mentioned by those urging restriction of saturated fats.
The relative good health of the Japanese, who have the longest life span of any nation in the world, is generally attributed to a lowfat diet. Although the Japanese eat few dairy fats, the notion that their diet is low in fat is a myth; rather, it contains moderate amounts of animal fats from eggs, pork, chicken, beef, seafood and organ meats. With their fondness for shellfish and fish broth, eaten on a daily basis, the Japanese probably consume more cholesterol than most Americans. What they do not
consume is a lot of vegetable oil, white flour or processed food (although they do eat white rice.) The life span of the Japanese has increased since World War II with an increase in animal fat and protein in the diet.23
Those who point to Japanese statistics to promote the lowfat diet fail to mention that the Swiss live almost as long on one of the fattiest diets in the world. Tied for third in the longevity stakes are Austria and Greece—both with high-fat diets.24
As a final example, let us consider the French. Anyone who has eaten his way across France has observed that the French diet is just loaded with saturated fats in the form of butter, eggs, cheese, cream, liver, meats and rich patés. Yet the French have a lower rate of coronary heart disease than many other western countries. In the United States, 315 of every 100,000 middle-aged men die of heart attacks each year; in France the rate is 145 per 100,000. In the Gascony region, where goose and duck liver form a staple of the diet, this rate is a remarkably low 80 per 100,000.25
This phenomenon has recently gained international attention as the French Paradox. (The French do suffer from many degenerative diseases, however. They eat large amounts of sugar and white flour and in recent years have succumbed to the timesaving temptations of processed foods.)
A chorus of establishment voices, including the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and the Senate Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, claims that animal fat is linked not only with heart disease but also with cancers of various types. Yet when researchers from the University of Maryland analyzed the data they used to make such claims, they found that vegetable fat consumption was correlated with cancer and animal fat was not.26
The Skinny on Fats - Weston A Price Foundation