The studies published last week indicating that a low-fat diet has negligible effect on the risk of chronic diseases validate what leading health authorities have been saying for the past decade: it’s not just fat – it’s the saturated fat in meat, eggs and dairy products. The studies found that those women who cut down on saturated fat had a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and colon cancer. Other studies over the past three decades confirm that consumption of saturated fats raises substantially the risk of contracting these diseases.
Consumers who find the message of health authorities confusing have been listening to the wrong messenger. The national nutritional consensus, supported by the 2005 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” and leading health advocacy organizations, has been simple, direct and unwavering: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, unsaturated fats – good; saturated fats and cholesterol (present only in animal products), trans fats, sugar, salt -bad.