A growing number of physicians are saying when it comes to heart disease, it's not the butter that's the problem, it's the bread. That's a complete reversal of what Americans were told the last few decades, during which time heart disease rates went through the roof.
For years we were told not to eat saturated fats like steak, cheese, eggs and butter because they "clog" the arteries. Now more and more doctors say that's nonsense.
The latest to debunk the "saturated fat causes heart disease" theory are three cardiologists: not just any type of doctors, heart doctors.
The three physicians lay out their case in the British Journal of Sports Medicine stating that a landmark systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies showed no association between saturated fat consumption and heart disease, stroke or diabetes.
So if saturated fat isn't to blame, what does cause heart disease? Inflammation.
Scientists only recently discovered the link between inflammation and disease, and not just heart disease. The latest data suggests all disease, including those in the brain, like Alzheimer's, is fundamentally caused by chronic inflammation.
Sugar is the Enemy
Inflammation is caused by a number of factors. A bad diet tops the list. Perhaps the most inflammatory substance is sugar. Consuming too much sugar leads to massive inflammation. The sad thing is, when we got rid of the saturated fats in our diet, we replaced them with sugar. Saturated fat is not inflammatory. Sugar is.
Bread and other refined grains are also inflammatory because when we eat them, our body converts them into sugar. So from a metabolic standpoint, eating a piece of white bread is just like eating a spoonful of sugar.
The wrong kinds of fats are also inflammatory. As mentioned above, saturated fats are fine, and some unsaturated fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts and fish are, too. But there are two types of fats that are inflammatory: Trans fats and Omega-6 fats.
Terrible Trans Fats
Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated oils, are so bad for us the FDA ordered food companies to stop putting them in their foods beginning next year. That's because Trans fats are proven to cause heart disease. Again, the tragedy here is for decades, we were told Trans fats were better for our heart than saturated fat. Many years and countless deaths from heart disease later, we found out the opposite was true. Trans fats are things like shortening (Crisco) and margarine and are contained in many packaged baked goods and other processed foods.
Avoid Vegetable Oils
Consuming too many vegetable oils also leads to inflammation. These are the highly processed oils that line the grocery store shelves. Again, these have been erroneously touted as "heart healthy" because they are low in saturated fat. These oils are known as Omega-6 fats. Our body needs an equal amount of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are found in fish. The problem is, most Americans consume twenty times as many Omega-6 fats than Omega-3 fats, and that imbalance causes massive inflammation.
Healthy Gut Biome
Not having enough good bacteria in our gut also causes inflammation. Good bacteria are killed with antibiotics and processed foods. Replace them with probiotic foods like fermented vegetables (kimchi), yogurt (unsweetened) and probiotic supplements. Grow the good bacteria in your gut with prebiotics like dandelion greens (add to your daily salad) and a prebiotic supplement.
Stress, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle also contribute to inflammation.
11 Lifestyle Choices That Reduce Inflammation
- Avoid sugar
- Avoid other refined carbohydrates like white bread
- Avoid processed foods
- Eat plenty of vegetables
- Eat healthy fats
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce Stress
- Avoid antibiotics when possible
- Consume foods/supplements containing good bacteria (probiotics)
- Consume foods/supplements that promote good bacteria (prebiotics)
- Don't smoke