Once Again, Fat Is Good for You


Want to live long and prosper? Avoid avoiding fat. The lo-fat, no-fat craze of the last three decades is a killer.

A new paper in the prestigious medical journal Lancet, abstract here, finds that higher intake of all sorts of fat, including the much-maligned saturated fat was associated with lower mortality—people lived longer.


One type of fat, trans fat that is man made and is very bad for you. This should be avoided. Naturally occurring trans fat is OK. Fortunately most packaged food proudly states “No Trans Fat,” which, unfortunately does NOT mean what is says. It means that there is less that ½ gram per serving. Not exactly the same thing. Better advice: avoid all packaged food.

If you go to an American supermarket looking for “high fat” products, good luck. It is all “low-fat,” “no-fat,” “no saturated fat,” etc. Further, every prestigious medical site you can find will at least rail against saturated fat, and possibly the other sorts of fats as well. And typically will push potatoes and grains.


The lancet abstract concludes:

“High carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality. Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease mortality, whereas saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke. Global dietary guidelines should be reconsidered in light of these findings.”

What does this mean?

The paper has 37 authors, possibly a record. According to The Telegraph, the lead author, Dr. Mahshid Dehghan, had this to say:

“A high carbohydrate diet – greater than 60 per cent of energy – is associated with higher risk of mortality.

“Higher intake of fats, including saturated fats, are associated with lower risk of mortality.”

But diet had little impact on heart death risk, suggesting it had a greater impact on other killers such as cancer, dementia, and respiratory disease.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said it was time “for a complete U-turn” in Britain’s approach to diet, and demonisation of fat.

“The sooner we do that the sooner we reverse the epidemic in obesity and diabetes and the sooner start improving health.”

He is saying that low-fat makes you fat. Isn’t that the ultimate irony?

We hope we are preaching to the choir.

This has been the Quantitative Medicine position for 25 years. And why? Two reasons, one logical, and the other experimental.

First, we are evolved from low-carb eaters. Metabolizing fats is what we do best. Some animals (humming birds, for instance) efficiently run on sugar. We can’t. But haven’t we evolved since our cave-man days? Yes, a bit. Remaining hunter-gatherers get a lot sicker on our Western diet than we do. But bear in mind that 500 years ago, half the planet was hunter-gatherers, and for the new world, almost 100%. That amount of time just isn’t enough for evolution to solve the problem.

Second, Dr. Mike has 25 years of data on the effect of diet on health, and in particular, on the propensity toward degenerative disease, which is measurable and modifiable. Almost without exception, his entire cohort has benefited dramatically from reducing starches and sugars and increasing fats. “Don’t worry about fat,” Dr. Mike will say again and again.

The ideal diet: clean meats, fowl, and fish and colorful organic vegetables in portions about the size of you palm. One meat per two or three veggie portions. And similarly composed snacks. More here.


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