Saturated fats & heart disease: Was the science wrong all along?

Eat the yolk; drink the cream; enjoy the marbled ribeye. New research negates the old science linking saturated fats to cardiovascular disease.

Amanda Radke

June 23, 2020

3 Min Read
dijon-beef-rolls-horizonta copy.png
Beef Checkoff

If it seems like 2020 has been nothing but negative headline after negative headline, today I hope to change that with some positive news that every beef producer and beef lover can celebrate!

So fire up the grill; throw on a well-marbled ribeye; and enjoy the best meal on the planet — BEEF!

Why am I so excited?

It’s because today, my friends, the beef industry is vindicated. No longer do we have to compare ourselves to lean, skinless chicken breast, because our rich-protein source also provides an excellent nutrient that is finally being recognized by the health and nutrition community.

It’s saturated fats.

And yes, I realize that many may bristle at this change of tune. After all, we’ve been told for 40 years to eat low-fat everything, to trim our steaks, pat the grease off our bacon, drink skim milk instead of whole, and only eat the egg whites.

No more.

Now you can literally eat your juicy steak, and heck, have that egg yolk and heavy cream, too! It tastes good and it’s good for you, too.

So here’s the skinny — on June 17, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a white paper titled, “Saturated Fats and Health: A Reassessment and Proposal for Food-based Recommendations.”

In this comprehensive review of previous literature, researchers are backtracking on the current advise to limit fats to ward off heart disease.

Related:96-year old athlete credits health to eating animal protein & fat

According to the article, “The recommendation to limit dietary saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake has persisted despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Most recent meta-analyses of randomized trials and observational studies found no beneficial effects of reducing SFA intake on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and total mortality, and instead found protective effects against stroke.

“Although SFAs increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, in most individuals, this is not due to increasing levels of small, dense LDL particles, but rather larger LDL which are much less strongly related to CVD risk.

“It is also apparent that the health effects of foods cannot be predicted by their content in any nutrient group, without considering the overall macronutrient distribution. Whole-fat dairy, unprocessed meat, eggs and dark chocolate are SFA-rich foods with a complex matrix that are not associated with increased risk of CVD. The totality of available evidence does not support further limiting the intake of such foods.”

In layman’s terms — saturated fats aren’t the cause of cardiovascular disease. With this information going against the grain, literally, it begs the question — what else have nutrition experts gotten wrong in the last generation?

Related:Kids need fewer screens & more nature

And has the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee seen this information? If so, will they ignore it? Acknowledging this information would mean they would have to change their recommendations, which limited saturated fats to no more than 10% of total daily calories.

In response to this news, Shawn Baker, author of “The Carnivore Diet,” writes, “We won’t see this information pushed as it goes against the fake food future narrative!”
Ken Berry, MD, author of “The Proper Human Diet,” writes, “Breaking: The American College of Cardiology has just published a state-of-the-art review announcing their new stance on saturated fat. Limiting saturated fat intake is not supported by the evidence. Your doctor needs to know!”

Call it confirmation bias when a study concludes something you already believe. However, when we look at the history of the planet, and seeing how entire societies of people like the Inuit thrived largely on meat with nary a vegetable in sight, one has to consider that maybe meat isn’t the problem to our modern-day obesity-related diseases.

I, for one, am glad that research is finally reflecting what we have known intuitively, from experience and from Beef Checkoff-funded research all along — beef, along with full-fat dairy and eggs with the yolks, fuels your brain, builds muscles, boosts your immune system, promotes happiness and improves cognitive function. Plus, it can’t be beat in taste.

I’m sure it won’t be long until another negative headline beats us down. But for now, we celebrate! This headline is worth cheering about! Eat beef and be well, everybody!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

Subscribe to Our Newsletters
BEEF Magazine is the source for beef production, management and market news.

You May Also Like