For years, saturated fat has been unfairly maligned as the root cause of heart disease. Dr. Mark Pettus sets the record straight in this interview.
As a functional medicine physician, I’m used to helping my patients find the solutions to their health problems. When they start gaining weight and feeling fatigued, for example, I become a kind of detective, searching for clues as to how their diet and lifestyle might be interfering with their bodies need to achieve optimal function.
So, when I myself began putting on some extra pounds and struggling with late-afternoon exhaustion, I had to look at my own food choices.
Rest assured, you can still have some comforting, familiar dishes when cutting back on carbohydrates or cutting out grains. Here are some of my favorite healthy swaps for pasta, bread and wraps.
Dr L: Is Protein Heart Healthy?
Jonathan: The Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed a whopping 147 studies on diet’s impact on health and found zero correlation between meat consumption and cardiovascular disease.  Further, distinguished researcher Dr. Halton at Harvard University found: “Exchange protein for carbohydrates [eating protein in place of carbs] has been shown to improve blood lipids [cholesterol], and in epidemiologic [observational] studies, higher protein diets have been associated with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of coronary heart disease.”
In the world of nutrition and science we tend to point to “food villains” and look for for quick fixes. For a long time, fat was a “food villain.” People went on low-fat diets to try to lose weight. When that didn’t work, the pendulum swung back and it became all about avoiding carbs like the plague. But all carbs are not created equal!
Our bodies need carbohydrates. It’s not for nothing that we tend to crave “sweet” things – our instincts tell us that we need the energy and nutrients that hide in these foods. But a whole food is always superior to a processed food. Instead of loading up on candy bars and soda, we can satisfy our body’s need for carbohydrates with whole foods from nature.
New research has weakened the perceived link between saturated fat and heart disease. Today, many experts agree that refined carbs pose a much greater danger. Is it possible — even imaginable — that nearly everyone has been wrong about saturated fat and its connection to heart disease? Brace yourself. Based on a wave of new research, all the dietary admonitions about saturated fat could end up being little more than a huge mistake.