The "Fat" Deception

For years nutritionists and doctors have touted that eating fat is wicked, it will kill us. On the surface, this seems to make sense. Most doctors that I have seen tell me to do just that, reduce fat intake. Eliminating fat can mean eating more sugar and carbohydrates. We can all agree that there needs to be balance in our diet. Feeding our body and protecting our health is the purpose of food. And now we have new research showing that fat is not so anti-heart after all. Nurses General Nursing Article

First, Let's Review The Different Types Of Fat

Beginning with the good fats, because we all need some good in our lives, they are liquid at room temperature. There are the two extensive categories of good fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats: peanut oil, avocados, nuts, sunflower oil, canola oil, and olive oil.

Polyunsaturated fats: salmon, mackerel, sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, unhydrogenated soybean oil

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, and are considered in between the good and bad fats. Milk, red meat, and coconut oil are examples of saturated fats.

The worst is saved for last - trans fat. These fats are marketed as partially hydrogenated oil found in solid margarine and vegetable oils.

Trans fats can be found in many commercial pastries, cookies and fast foods.

*Fat is a needed by the body to absorb needed minerals and vitamins as well as energy.

According to the article, "Saturated fat may not increase heart disease after all" by Hannah Nichols, the following are the conflicting recommendations.

Current Contrasting Conclusions

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - recommend de-emphasizing the role of saturated fat in developing heart disease, due to the lack of evidence connecting the two

American Heart Association - agree with government warnings and echo that the consumption of saturated fat can lead to levels of bad cholesterol in the blood that may raise the risk of heart disease

For more than 50 years it has been taught that saturated fat is bad to have in our diets, however, a new study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that challenges this body of thought.

New Research

Professor Simon Nitter Dankel along with his colleagues put the philosophy that foods containing saturated fat such as meat, butter, and cheese should be limited in our diets to the test. Their research included 38 men with abdominal obesity broke into two groups with one group following a low fat, high carbohydrate diet and the other followed a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Fat mass was measured in the abdomen, heart, and liver along with risk factors for heart disease.

Their diets contained limited sugar and intake was similar between the two groups with protein, energy, and polyunsaturated fats. After twelve weeks, Ottar Nygard, contributor, professor and cardiologist tells us, "The very high intake of total and saturated fat did not increase the calculated risk of cardiovascular diseases."

In fact, they found that the participants who were on the high fat diets were found to have improved blood pressure, blood lipids, better blood sugars. "Our findings indicate that the overriding principles of a healthy diet is not the quantity of fat or carbohydrates but the quality of foods we eat," Johnny Laupsa-Borge PhD tells us.

Furthermore, it was established that the high fat diet resulted in a higher LDL. The outcome of the study shows that the health risks related to fat in our diets that have been the standard for many years have been excessive guidelines. The focus should be to reduce processed foods, flour based and sugar added products.

Now For The Piece De Resistance

In the past few years (for those paying attention) we have become acutely aware of fake news. False information changed the diet recommendations over 50 years ago. Academic researchers from the University of California uncovered documents from the 1950s derived by the Sugar Research Foundation about dietary concerns and heart disease at that time.

Thousands of pages of "correspondence and documents at Harvard and other academic libraries that showed leading sugar industry officials devising a plan by the mid 1960s to shift the nutrition heart disease debate away from the sugar and toward fat through a combination of research, lobbying and public relations efforts."

These documents were published showing that the sugar industry whitewashed the link between sugar and heart disease. In 1965 the Sugar Association published research that blamed fat for heart disease while downplaying the effects of sugar on heart disease. Present day federal diet guidelines are based on this very data. The article can be found here.

In response to this information, the present Sugar Research Foundation states that there is no proven link between heart disease and sugar. They admit that there should have been more transparency regarding the research from the 1960s and that that research didn't require peer review.


Disregarding research, it has been true for over 50 years that America has been told to eat low fat. Unfortunately, due to the accepted dietary guidelines, there are many people that feel it is good to eat low fat and high sugar.

Personally, as a diabetic, when I eat low carbohydrate my sugars are much lower which translates into less insulin use. Also, my cholesterol levels are fantastic and I have hyperlipidemia. Yes, I take medications for the hyperlipidemia, which keeps it controlled, but a low sugar, low carb diet takes it to a different level.

What has been your experience?


Nesbit, Jeff. "Fat Might Not Be Bad for You After All." 12 Sept. 2106. USNews.Com. 12 Dec. 2106. Web.

Nichols, Hannah. "Saturated Fat May Not Increase Heart Disease Risk After All." 27 Dec. 2016, Tuesday. MedicalNewsToday. 28 Dec. 2016. Web.

"The Truth About Fats: The Good, The Bad, and The In-Between". Feb. 2015, ud. 7 Aug. 2015. Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School. 28 Dec. 2106. Web.

Specializes in Gastrointestinal Nursing.
Brilliant article. And I'm so lucky to have stumbled across LCHF recently proscribed by an excellent General Practitioner (GP).

One is very lucky to have this new information tries and tested. I have PCOS and was finding hard to lose weight... doc suggested this new way.. hardly any refined carbs, no sugar and even fruit... unrefined carbs and fruit can be introduced in small amounts as weight/fat begins to fall of or has reduced.

It's sad that millions of people are hungry on their lo cal, lo fat, high carb diets and wondering what the hell is going on and why a lot of us are failing the diet/"healthy eating plan", or becoming frustrated with not being able to lose and/or maintain weight.

Obviously healthy/normal enough weighted people don't have to be too strict with carbs (the unrefined ones), but just a bit of extra good fats, incl. the inbetween good fats (saturated), and less and/or avoidance of refined carbs, i.e. pastries, flour.

Plus, way less/no sugar, i.e. chocolates, candies, added sugar/juice/cordial/soft drinks/teaspoons of sugar....

It's all good, it can be a bit tough, (But gets easier over time/tastebuds change with better LCHF diets).

The better off, satiated and healthier we'll be!

More people will be better off... things need to change, in this case, the faster the better!

Yes, exactly. It is all backwards, but now there current research that will hopefully change the mindset!

Specializes in ER.

Just my personal anecdotal story here. I was raised on a low sugar diet (compared to most Americans). Back then the main worry was dental health. My Mom was generally very health conscious.

As an adult I've never been a carb junkie. I've never restricted fats. I avoid low fat dairy products like the plague. I love the skin on chicken, butter and cheese on veggies, fatty meats. I hate soda pop, and don't indulge in bread regularly even.

I've always been slim and quite healthy. I'm almost 60 and take no meds.

As is stated in the article, the American Medical Association still stands by a low fat diet, so many people and doctors follow that. It may be old news to some, but now we have real research to back it up

The hidden research was exposed years ago, and not received well. Gary Taubes received a media beating and was ridiculed due to permeated politics despite having the real research. It has been so readily available that anyone doing a simple search could have found it, and probably did, but again it was and continues to be rejected as fad by many, including many still on this site.

I do appreciate the ongoing exposure but our industry as a whole has denied it even on a personal level.

Love the article! If you want to find out more try looking up "the big breakfast banting debate" on Facebook or reading research that Tim Noakes has done. There are a myriad of different opinions, but personally, I've truly seen the results of panting in my

Specializes in Med-Surg., Oncology, Observational Units.
You have a point,but wouldn't we swipe those for other health problems like kidney disease and liver diseases?

How would we be swapping these for kidney disease and liver diseases. Even if that was the case, CAD, obesity and DM2 are much bigger drains on our health care system than kidney or liver disease would ever be. Just by lowering blood pressure and DM2 would virtually eliminate much of the kidney disease.