Butter unlikely to harm health, but margarine could be deadly


a block of butter 
Butter is not likely to kill you 

Saturated fat found in butter, meat or cream is unlikely to kill you, but margarine just might, new research suggests.

Although traditionally dieticians have advised people to cut down on animal fats, the biggest ever study has shown that it does not increase the risk of stroke, heart disease or diabetes.

However trans-fats, found in processed foods like margarine raises the risk of death by 34 per cent.

 “For years everyone has been advised to cut out fats,” said study lead author Doctor Russell de Souza, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, at McMaster University in Canada.

“Trans fats have no health benefits and pose a significant risk for heart disease, but the case for saturated fat is less clear.

“That said, we aren’t advocating an increase of the allowance for saturated fats in dietary guidelines, as we don’t see evidence that higher limits would be specifically beneficial to health.”

Saturated fats come mainly from animal products, such as butter, cows’ milk, meat, salmon and egg yolks, and some plant products such as chocolate and palm oils.

In contrast Trans unsaturated fats or trans fats – are mainly produced industrially from plant oils for use in margarine, snack foods and packaged baked goods.

Guidelines currently recommend that saturated fats are limited to less than 10 per cent, and trans fats to less than one per cent of energy, to reduce risk of heart disease and stroke.

However the new research which looked at 50 studies involving more than one million people found there was no evidence that saturated fat was bad for health.

It backs up recent research from the University of Cambridge that found saturated fat in dairy foods might protect against diabetes.

Cheese counter at a shop
Cheese and other saturated fats are unlikely to be harmful to health   

Last year leading heart scientist Dr James DiNicolantonio of Ithica College, New York, called for health guidelines on saturated fats to be changed in an article in the British Medical Journal.

The “vilification” of saturated fats dates back to the 1950s when research suggested a link between high dietary saturated fat intake and deaths from heart disease.

But the study author drew his conclusions on data from six countries, choosing to ignore the data from a further 16, which did not fit with his hypothesis, and which subsequent analysis of all 22 countries’ data.

Nevertheless the research stuck and since the 1970s most public health organisations have advised people to cut down on fat.

However the new research found no clear association between higher intake of saturated fats and death for any reason, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, ischemic stroke or type 2 diabetes.

In contrast, consumption of industrial trans fats was associated with a 34 per cent increase in death, a 28 per cent increased risk of death from coronary heart disease, and a 21 per cent increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Despite the research British health experts cautioned against changing to a diet which was high in saturated fat.

Prof Tom Sanders, Emeritus Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, King’s College London, said: “It would be foolish to interpret these findings to suggest that it is OK to eat lots of fatty meat, lashings of cream and oodles of butter.

“Death rates from CVD have fallen in the UK by about 55 per cent since 1997 despite the rise in obesity for reasons that remain uncertain but this may in part be due to changes in the food supply particularly fewer trans and more omega-3 fatty acids.”

 

Victoria Taylor, Senior Dietitian, British Heart Foundation, added: “While saturated fats were not robustly associated with total or deaths from CHD, this does not mean we should all go back to eating butter – the studies that this review is based on can’t show cause and effect.

“Rather, it highlights how difficult it is to understand the true relationship between diet and our health.

“Diets high in saturated fat are linked to raised cholesterol levels, a risk factor for CHD. But when one nutrient is reduced it will be replaced by another and, depending on what this is, it can have positive or negative health consequences.”

Source: British Medical Journal.

The Big Fat Lie You’ve Been Told About What’s Hurting Your Heart


Despite multiple studies showing that carbohydrates hurt your heart, and not saturated fats, misguided advisories and Big Pharma profiteering both persist.

There is no need to stay away from meat, butter, cheese and eggs to keep your heart healthy. Credit: RitaE/pixabay

There is no need to stay away from meat, butter, cheese and eggs to keep your heart healthy.

I’ve been taught since my undergraduate days in medical college that eating saturated fats was to ask for trouble. Meat (red or white), cheese, butter and egg yolk were prohibited. Repeated guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology and even the World Health Organisation were clear that fats in general, and saturated fats in particular, were to be strictly avoided to prevent a heart attack. The message was to reduce fats to less than 30% of the total calories consumed in a day, and with saturated fats to be kept well below 10%. Why, most people on the planet followed these dietary commandments from the two most powerful and respected cardiology associations.

The AHA declared in 1961 that saturated fats were bad because they increased blood cholesterol, which blocked coronary arteries and caused heart attacks. Surprisingly, the AHA was driven this conclusion by the hypothesis of one physiologist who didn’t bother to submit a shred of evidence. Ancel Benjamin Keys, a physiologist with a PhD from Cambridge University, stamped his ‘diet heart’ hypothesis into the consciousness of Paul Dudley White, a founder-member of the AHA. White was attending to Dwight Eisenhower, then the US president, who suffered his first heart attack in September 1955. Many middle aged Americans were succumbing to heart attacks in the 1950s and the situation demanded convincing answers from the health community. Eisenhower had helmed NATO and, before that, had been the supreme commander of the Allied forces that wrenched Europe back Europe from the Nazis.

Eisenhower managed the brilliant generals George Patton and Bernard Montgomery, and famously warned the American public in his farewell address of the “military-industrial complex”. But as president, he had no clue of the new and rapidly developing “health-pharmaceutical-industrial complex.”

Keys was able to launch his ‘diet heart’ hypothesis because there was little science available in the 1950s that could explain the near-epidemic heart attack among middle-aged Americans. He presented his “seven countries study” that displayed a clear association between eating greater amounts of saturated fats and deaths due to heart disease. The seven countries were the US, Japan, Yugoslavia, Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Finland. The method behind the study was seriously flawed, however.

The biggest was that Keys had cherry-picked these countries because they supported his hypothesis. He left out 15 countries that did not reveal any association between saturated-fat consumption and heart mortality. He conveniently ignored Denmark, Sweden and Norway, each of which had relatively few deaths from heart attacks in spite of sporting diets with lots of saturated fats. And Chile, on the other hand, had a high cardiac mortality despite eating little saturated fats. An unbiased investigator would have realised these problems in Keys’ hypothesis – as they do now – but didn’t: they hadn’t been presented with the complete data.

Keys also checked food samples for fats in less than 4% of the 12,000 participants he studied, and when the food was studied it was checked for a single day among the American and for less than a week among the European participants. Keys had been impressed by the large number of long-lived people on the Greek island of Crete, but had tested them when they’d been fasting for more than a month during a religious festival. In this period, more than 60% of the population abstained from meat, butter and cheese. This led Keys to the wrong conclusion that a low-fat diet was the key to longevity.

The AHA was so impressed by the ‘diet heart’ hypothesis that it made an official policy of it, and voila! By 1977, more than 220 million Americans were being urged by the US government to adhere to a low-fat diet. The British, true to form, officially imposed the same diet guidelines by 1984 on their subjects.

Remarkably, the AHA ignored no fewer than six randomised studies – including almost 2,500 heart patients – that showed no difference in mortality between the intervention group (low saturated-fat diet) and the control group (which continued with its regular eating habits). Both the intervention and control cohorts had 370 deaths each. Moreover, no women were being studied, and in the absence of a single primary prevention trial, the AHA and the US government had formulated their advisories.

The food industry also got in on the action. Vegetable oils started being manufactured in the millions of tons. Leading them all was Procter and Gamble, which began to aggressively market cottonseed oil – as well as make a sizeable donation to the AHA, an amount worth $20 million today. The corresponding “diet-food-health-industrial complex” has not looked back in the 60 years since.

The largest randomised trial assessing the effects of a low-fat diet on heart and cardiovascular diseases was the Women’s Health Initiative. It followed up 49,000 postmenopausal women who had been on a low-fat diet (alongside an increased intake of fruits, vegetables and grains) for eight years but had failed to lower their risks of death, heart attack, stroke or diabetes.

Two large reviews and meta-analyses (this and this) involving more than 600,000 participants have also failed to show any reduction in cardiovascular events, or death, by replacing saturated fats with vegetable oils. There was an increase in cardiovascular events due to trans-fats.

The Minnesota, DIRECT, Framingham and PURE studies

In 1967-1973, doctors intervened in the diets of a group of people randomly picked from a cohort of 9,000 for the famous Minnesota Coronary Experiment. The intervened group had saturated fats replaced by a polyunsaturated vegetable oil. The control group continued with their regular American diet. These people were from enrolled from mental institutions and from homes for the elderly. More than 2,500 participants continued on their respective diets for at least a year, and autopsy reports were available for about 140 deaths. This trial’s results were never published until a group of investigators got its hands on all the raw data.

They were dumbstruck to learn that the autopsies revealed 42% of the people in the intervention group had suffered a heart attack against only 22% in the control group. Both groups had similar amounts of atherosclerosis in their coronary arteries.

The other major finding was that, in spite of a 13% reduction in blood cholesterol with a vegetable-oil diet, there was a paradoxical 30% higher mortality in people older than 65 years. To explain this, the investigators hypothesised that the lowered cholesterol had the denser LDL particles that are oxidised more easily and so invade the coronary faster. As it happened, the principal investigator of the Minnesota Coronary Experiment was none other than Ancel Keys.

The other distinct possibility (to explain the mortality paradox) is that polyunsaturated vegetable oils produce hundreds of oxidised molecules that are toxic to the human body. For example, the aldehydes are carcinogenic apart from being able to compromise cognition. Another randomised trial assessing the replacement of saturated fats by corn oil also showed an increased mortality against the control group.

More recently, the DIRECT trial finished up in Israel in 2008. It divided participants into three groups. The first was kept on a low-fat diet; the second, a Mediterranean diet; and the third, a low-carbohydrate high-fat diet. At the end of follow-up period, the low carbohydrate high fat group was found to have lost the most weight, have the highest levels of HDL (a.k.a., ‘good cholesterol’) and have triglyceride levels lower than the high-fat group. In fact, the low-carbohydrate high-fat group also had better metabolic markers across the board.

The Framingham study, which began in 1948 and still continues, has been following the consumption of dietary fats and the development of heart disease among its 5000+ inhabitants, chosen from Framingham, Massachusetts. At the end of the first follow-up, the investigators were unable to find any correlation between fat-intake, cholesterol and heart disease.

But like with the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, the data was never deliberately published. In William Kannel, who served as the study’s the chief investigator in 1969-1979, at one point even stated: “That blood cholesterol is somehow intimately related to coronary atherosclerosis is no longer subject to reasonable doubt.” After a 30-year follow-up, the study reported that 1 mg% per year reduction in cholesterol was associated with 14% increased cardiovascular mortality and 11% total mortality.

Finally: the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) survey examined cardiovascular risk factors around the world in 2003-2009, with more than 150,000 participants. Though the results are yet to be published, a recently leaked (and now unavailable) video stated that there seemed to be no correlation between saturated fats (red meat, white meat, dairy products) and heart disease but a positive correlation between carbohydrates and heart disease. Moreover, a very sensitive cardiac-risk-factor marker was found to have increased with carbohydrates and reduced by saturated fats. Vegetables and fruits had no effect on the marker.

Though the PURE trial was very large, it was an observational that, strictly speaking, can’t explain causality.

So, based on the evidence obtained from well-conducted clinical trials, Keys’s ‘diet heart’ hypothesis is wrong. However, it remains to be seen when the big cardiac bureaucracies will begin to edit their guidelines. The ‘big cholesterol is bad’ maxim remains firmly in place because its persistence allows drugmakers to persist with large profit margins on drugs that may not even be necessary. Precisely this was confirmed by the FOURIER trial presented in the American College of Cardiology Meeting held in March 2017.

FOURIER was a ‘mega-trial’ that randomised 28,000 cardiac patients to a statin-plus-evelocumab versus a only-statins for two years. The annual cost of an evelocumab regime is $14,000 (Rs 9 lakh). In the end, LDL cholesterol levels had plunged to about 30 mg% in the evelocumab group versus about 90 mg in the only-statins group. There was also a 1.5% absolute reduction in stroke and myocardial infarction risks but – get this – no reduction in mortality. Implication: 75 patients will need to be treated for two years to prevent a single heart attack or stroke, at a total cost of Rs 13.5 crore. You’re likely to get a better deal without spending a penny by following the Copenhagen study: 10 minutes of slow-jogging per day reduced mortality by 70% compared to being sedentary the whole day.

It’s difficult to not feel dizzy when confronted by organisations like the AHA and the WHO, which have converted hypotheses into dogma etched on stone without any evidence in the past. But what then would be good and sane dietary advice to a layperson? There has to be an application of common-sense, a request to continue to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. At the same time, there is no need to stay away from meat, butter, cheese and eggs. There is no evidence that eating saturated fats along with reasonable amounts of proteins, with about 45% of calories as carbohydrates will, trigger a heart attack. Au contraire: evidence has emerged that increasing carbohydrates to 55% or more can actually be harmful to the heart. Even the current obesity epidemic and type-2 diabetes are most likely the handiwork of an increased carbohydrate intake that has replaced fats in people’s diets.

Source:thewire.in

Better Late Than Never: Finally, the Truth About Butter Is Revealed


Unless you are knowledgeable about the history of nutrition science, it is likely that you believe that butter is just terrible for you – that it causes heart disease, obesity, and all sorts of other horrible ailments.

Butter

Maybe you, like many others, believe that conventional advice – advice that is provided in influential publications such as the U.S. government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans – can be trusted.

Well, here’s the truth: Despite what the federal government and nutrition “authorities” have been saying for decades, butter isn’t bad for you.

In fact, it is actually GOOD for you.

Surprised?

A combination of flawed studies, political bias, hidden data, and clever marketing by the food industry led to the demonization of dietary fat and the birth of the low-fat craze – a trend that has lasted for many years.

To think that for DECADES people avoided the deliciousness that is butter based on erroneous information is, well, a bit heartbreaking.

Now, lo and behold, a big new study published in the journal PLOS ONE (it analyzed nine papers that included more than 600,000 people) concluded that consuming butter is not linked to a higher risk for heart disease and might be slightly protective against type 2 diabetes. This goes against the longstanding advice to avoid butter because it contains saturated fat. [1]

In four of the nine studies, people who ate butter daily had a 4 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As of now, researchers don’t fully understand why, but it may be due in part to the fact that dairy fat also contains monounsaturated fats that can improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. [2]

In fact, a growing body of research that suggests that saturated fat is better for you than processed carbohydrates like sugar and white bread, which have been linked to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

If you’ve been avoiding butter, here’s what you’ve been missing…

Butter is rich in vitamins: One of the many beneficial vitamins we get from butter is Vitamin A, which is needed to maintain good vision and keeps our endocrine system functioning well. In addition to Vitamin A, butter also contains fat-soluble vitamins D, E, and K2. Vitamins A, D, and K2 are essential for the proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for strong bones and teeth. Butter is also a good source of Vitamin B-12.

Butter contains valuable minerals: It is rich in manganese, chromium, zinc, copper, iodine, and selenium (which is a powerful antioxidant). Iodine – and Vitamin A – are important for thyroid health.

Butter has beneficial fatty acids: It contains short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which support immune function, boost metabolism, and have antimicrobial properties – they fight against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract. Butter provides the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Arachidonic acid in butter is important for brain function, skin health, and prostaglandin balance.

Other beneficial factors in butter include: rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), Glycospingolipids, a good source of dietary cholesterol, saturated fats, butyrate and more…

The BEST butter is raw butter from grass-fed cows, preferably organic.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/054813_butter_healthy_natural_foods.html#ixzz4FqyO7uMo

It’s Foolish to Pretend You Can Fool Mother Nature: Butter is Better!


Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me! Is butter really bad?
Even back in the 60s and 70s sufficient scientific evidence indicated that butter was far better than margarine for your health. Nevertheless, the fake, chemically laced, processed food industry along with its partner in crime junk science relentlessly convinced millions upon millions of Americans to eat margarine instead, because it was “scientifically” proven to be superior to butter for health reasons. The establishment mantra repeated over and over again has been that saturated fats make you obese and sick and are the primary culprit behind the explosion in cardiovascular disease. But is it true?

Consider this from LewRockwell.com:

Feeding high doses of fat and cholesterol to omnivores, like rats and dogs, does not produce atherosclerotic lesions in them …
In fact, it turns out that people who have highest percentage of saturated fat in their diets have the lowest risk of heart disease …
The last word on this subject should go to Julia Child … Enjoy eating saturated fats, they’re good for you!”

The processed, food industrial complex successfully created an unholy alliance with Madison Avenue, the AMA, and the lame-stream media to con Americans into believing that margarine, a highly synthetic, plastic like, nutritionally devoid, additive laced substance made from cheap, low grade, refined oils was somehow superior to real butter from grass fed cows.

“Not only does butter taste incomparably better, it’s a natural product that human beings have been eating and cooking with for centuries without -damaging their health.”

Fake Fat Damage

Partially hydrogenated fatty acids found in margarine damage arteries and blood vessels. They lower good cholesterol, and raise blood levels of triglycerides and lipoproteins leading to cardiovascular damage. They also raise C-reactive protein, an inflammatory and cellular dysfunction marker. Worse yet, they inhibit the utilization of essential omega 3-fatty acids as wells a prostaglandins, which eliminate blood clots. Additionally, a diet high in partially hydrogenated fatty acids has been linked to insulin resistance and type 2 Diabetes.

While the NY Times covers the negative health effects of hydrogenated oils, they are still promoting  many of the myth based evils of saturated fat. In order to function properly, your lungs, heart, immune system liver, bones, hormones and cell membranes all require high quality saturated fats – in moderation of course. Fatty acids and cholesterol are needed for healthy cell membranes, hormone and vitamin D production, and the transport and utilization of important vitamins and minerals. The New England Journal of Medicine recently solidified the link between trans fats and heart disease. Even low levels of trans fats consumption (1%-2%) substantially increase heart disease.

Furthermore, many have now realized that it’s the trans fat found in margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils that is the true villain, causing far more significant health problems than saturated fat ever could! Still, despite the scientific evidence, the low-fat dogma remains a favorite among most government health authorities. Case in point: the most recent food chart issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in December of last year, recommends reducing your saturated fat intake to a mere seven percent of caloric intake—down from its previously recommended 10 percent.

Five Solid Reasons to Eat Real Butter

• 1. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) – Raw organic, pastured butter has loads of anti- tumor CLA. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the skin, colon, breasts and lungs. It’s anti-fungal and it stimulates muscle growth while preventing weight gain.

• 2. Butyric Acid – Butter contains 4% butyric acid – a short chain fatty acid that research indicates can inhibit tumors. It also signals the immune system into action when an infection is brewing.

• 3. Vitamin K2 – Raw, organic, pastured butter and cream contains vitamin K2 – a necessary co-factor in vitamin D synthesis. K2 also ushers calcium out of your bloodstream and into bone cells which increases bone density instead of calcifying arterial and heart tissue.

• 4. Fat–Soluble Vitamins – Butter is a good source of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, and E. It’s also an excellent vehicle for their assimilation.

• 5. The Wulzen Factor – Raw, unpasteurized butter, cream and milk contain the “Wulzen factor” an anti-stiffness agent. It protects against calcification of the joints (osteoarthritis) as well as cataracts, and the calcification of the pineal gland. Pasteurization destroys the Wulzen Factor.

mother nature

Raw, organic butter from pastured cows is a superfood that won’t make you fat if wisely consumed based on your nutritional needs, current health status and your body type. It fact, butter consists of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) and medium chain fatty acids(MCFA), which are not significantly stored as fat but easily used as energy.

 

So what should you be looking for? The Butter pyramid:

• At the top of the pyramid is organic butter made with raw milk from pastured, grass fed cows.

• The middle level is organic butter made with pasteurized milk from grass fed cows without rBGH, rBST, or antibiotics.

• The pyramid’s base is butter made from pasteurized milk from confined, grain fed, factory farmed, antibiotic and likely rBGH or rBST injected cows.

Amazingly, the butter at the bottom of the pyramid is still better for you than margarine! Margarine is merely a lab created plastic food-like substance, not by any means a real food. It’s cheap to make, lacks nutritional merit, and damages health. But it has a longer shelve life and a higher profit margin than real butter.