I’ll bet that it’s not where it should be.  Because of modern “conventional wisdom”, we have gone away from diets that were eaten centuries ago.  And with the USDA just releasing their latest version of nutritional guidelines, it only gets worse.  Since about the 1960 (when the first food guide pyramid was released), the government has been telling us that grains are good and fats are bad.  Especially the saturated fats that come from animal products.  I am not here to argue with the former, but rather the latter statement of the two.  Over the last half-century, we have been fed that animal fats are bad fats, and that they directly lead to heart disease and death.  This is based on research done by Dr. Ancel Keys in the late 50’s.  He studied the diets and incidences of heart disease in 22 different countries and cultures all around the world, under the hypothesis that diets that were high in fat and saturated fat would lead to higher incidences of heart disease.  The problem came about when Dr. Keys numbers didn’t match his theory with only 7 of the 22 countries studied supporting his hypothesis.  So what did he do?  He simply ignored the other 15 and counted only the 7.  This is what our USDA guidelines are based on…faulty research.  And there have been various studies over the years that have refuted Dr. Keys’ research, as well.  The Framingham Study in Massachusetts, The British Heart Study and others have actually ended up saying over the years that having fair amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are good things.  Here’s why.  Saturated fats, by nature are much more stable molecules, therefore don’t become “rancid” as easily and oxidize in the body, creating free-radicals.  Whereas polyunsaturated fats and trans-fats (anything hydrogenated) does.  This creates mutations in the cells and causes your body to use up its stores of anti-oxidants.  Plus, cholesterol is your body’s natural patching mud.  When blood vessels get damaged (like a nick in a wall), the body uses cholesterol to patch the damage.  Sort of like spackle.  Now it is said that high cholesterol leads to heart disease, but the high cholesterol is only a reactive symptom of vascular damage.  Which is caused more so by high levels of SUGARS in the diet.  Excess sugar is like little shards of glass floating around your blood stream.  These sugars bang up against the blood vessel walls and create damage and inflammation.  So what does your body have to do to respond to the damage?  The body’s natural reaction will be to repair it.  And with what, you ask?  You got it, cholesterol.  Therefore, the cholesterol levels go up and we perceive that as bad.  Fact is, at the turn of the 1900’s, Coronary Artery Disease was not all that common.  And at that time, people’s diet consisted of animal food, butter, lard, etc.  Things that are “bad foods” today.  Now, the percentage of animal fat in our diet has gone down significantly and heart disease is up over 400%.  Even in the last 20 years, the amount of fat in our diet has decreased significantly, but obesity is more prevalent than ever!  Now, I’m not advocating using a stick of butter as chewing gum or spooning fresh lard, or anything like that.  I’m not saying go overboard, but don’t avoid saturated fat and cholesterol, either.  Fact is is that animal foods have nutrients that you don’t get anywhere else.  Vitamins, like A and D, Iron, Creatine (for you lifters), etc.  The thing that should be avoided is anything hydrogenated or partially so.  Margarine, Shortening, processed snack foods, etc.  These things are BAD BAD BAD.  And moderate the sugars.  We spoke about that one already in my previous post, thetruthaboutexercise.wordpress.com/why-people-struggle-with-weight-loss.  Choose wisely, fats aren’t necessarily bad, but you have to make good choices.  All of your fat should not be saturated, but you should get things in your diet, like meat, eggs, coconut, fish, and olive oils.  These are healthy fats and will ultimately benefit the body more than anything and keep you and your heart healthy.

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