Monday, January 18, 2010

Ban butter ? Now things are getting stupid.

One minute we get a metanalysis published in a quality journal saying that

intake of [more] saturated fat was NOT associated with an increased risk of CHD [coronary heart disease], stroke, or CVD [cardiovascular disease].

Then we get lunatics saying Ban Butter! The story in the Telegraph is laughable:

"It's because most kids start the day with some toast and butter, it's a staple of breakfast, but not very good for you." FAIL - most kids do not eat butter but have a dodgy margarine anyway or cereal and semiskimmed milk

"People should also avoid any foods that are solid at room temperature like cheese and red meat." FAIL - yeah, avoid solid food like pasta, vegetables and bread. Stick to liquids like cream."

People are fixated on saturated fat...but the evidence says that it does no harm.....and actually does a lot of good!

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

Background: A reduction in dietary saturated fat has generally been thought to improve cardiovascular health.

Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to summarize the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic studies.

Design: Twenty-one studies identified by searching MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and secondary referencing qualified for inclusion in this study. A random-effects model was used to derive composite relative risk estimates for CHD, stroke, and CVD.

Results: During 5–23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.

Conclusions: 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. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.


Lincoln Bryden said...

Thankfully someone that speaks sense! Our bodies can actually process butter and full fat milk. It is only when these substances are begin being processed, that the molecular structures of them become altered which then affects how effectively the body processes them.

pieter d said...

Finally!, I thought after reading the meta analysis on several paleo related sites and blogs. The times, they are a changing...

And now the butter ban thing!

That awful saturated-fat-clogs-your-arteries meme is so strong.

Does anybody know someone famous and intelligent (like Nassim N Taleb) the spread the good meme? Someone that gets it, and when he talks, people listen? Maybe some evolutionary biologist? Dawkins? E O Wilson? Daniel Dennett? or Penn and Gilette? Brad Pitt? Obama? Nobody?



pieter d said...

And Chris,

Speaking of changing memes... Thanks for your continuous efforts to spread some nice memes on fitness, diet and health! It is much appreciated...


Ian Simon said...

The strangest quote from an alleged expert I think I've ever heard - don't eat foods that are solid at room temperature!! Just need to check the date - its not 1 April?

Chris said...

To be fair I think he was probably misquoted - he must have meant that your fats should be liquid at room temperature.

He is still stupid.

check out the facebook group -

Do not ban butter - it is a healthy fat!

Chris said...

Thanks Pieter.

O Primitivo said...

Anthony Colpo has some new articles about heart disease, cholesterol and saturated fat.