Dilemma of Cholesterol & Saturated Fat
Written by Dr Harold Gunatillake FRCS, FICS, FIACS, AM(Sing), MB,BS-
Health writer to magazines, newsletters, newspapers and other organs
“Cholesterol has been on the “naughty” list of nutrients for nearly 40 years, with health officials warning us to stay away from high-cholesterol foods since the 1970s to avoid heart disease and clogged arteries.
But US officials have finally given the green light for a U-turn on previous warnings, which means eggs, butter, full-fat dairy products, nuts, coconut oil and meat have now been classified as “safe” and have been officially removed from the “nutrients of concern” list.”
This article has become breaking News today and viral, many readers may be cautious to accept this new concept as Gospel truth or as hype. They will want further clarification, explanations and confidence and time would enlighten them.
We said it over a decade ago repeatedly in our health articles published in the mass media and newsletters that some of the so called fat containing foods is healthy and heart-friendly and not to worry about the cholesterol numbers
We said especially eggs and coconut oil considered unhealthy foods demonised by vested Western interests, were healthy and heart friendly, for you. Why did we put up this bold front when all health pundits in the developed world condemned them right along, including the researchers?
Eggs are a part of healthy low fat diet-in moderation. A single egg contains around 180 mg of dietary cholesterol, and research casts doubt on there being a direct link between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol numbers in the blood.
Liver manufactures cholesterol and any dietetic cholesterol are excreted with the bile.
An egg has 5g of fat of which only 1.5g is saturated and the rest is unsaturated healthy fat.
It is the saturated fat in food that we are concerned, as the liver is waiting for this raw product to convert into cholesterol through the HMG cycle.
As we said, eggs have such low concentrations of saturated fat and it is reasonable to eat two eggs a day with no guilt. There you are –that’s what we propounded years ago, but no one believed us, because such information should come from the white West and not from us.
So the US officials have finally given the green light and to forget the previous warnings.
About coconut oil
If you read www.ozlanka.com/ health links the 8th line on the subject of “Cooking Oils” under ‘Health related issues’, written in the year 2000, the benefits of using coconut oil for cooking have been detailed well. At that time, we were condemned even by colleagues for writing such unacceptable articles with no proof to substantiate.
It took over 15 years for the US officials to classify coconut oil as safe.
It is true that coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are medium chained carbon atoms with hydrogen links (MCT). The liver metabolises them and none sent to the blood stream as cholesterol (LDL and HDL)
US cardiologist Dr Steven Nissen says, “It’s the right decision, and that we got the dietary guidelines wrong and he estimated that about 20 per cent of cholesterol levels in your blood comes from your diet and the rest is produced by your liver, needed by the body.
Now that these fatty foods such as butter, meat, coconut oil, nuts are considered safe the tendency would be for people to eat quite liberally such foods containing high cholesterol with high saturated fats.
Just the way when people were asked to eat less fat the tendency was to eat more carbs and the problems of heart disease, obesity among others, got no better.
Furthermore, Cardiologist Steven Nissen says that only about 20 per cent of blood cholesterol comes from your diet.
It is common sense that if you eat more fatty foods with high cholesterol and saturated fat more than 20 per cent would be absorbed resulting in higher serum cholesterol numbers.
Most fatty diets contain both cholesterol and saturated fats such as meat. If you believe the current safety guidelines you may eat invariably lot of meat liberally, without realising the saturated fat in the meat will raise your blood (serum) cholesterol.
Don’t be complacent with the above U turned safe guidelines. If you are on a diet with high cholesterol and high fat your serum (blood) bad cholesterol (LDL) is bound to go up.
Our advice is eat fatty foods with high cholesterol with low saturated fat content like eggs, seafood, and avoid those diets with high saturated fat like the blazes. Coconut oil is okay because the fatty acids are medium chain totally metabolised by the liver. Butter is better than margarine containing trans-fat. Nuts contain unsaturated healthy fats: eat liberally, not if you have an obesity problem.