Does a high-fat diet contribute to heart disease?

Since the dawn of the 70’s, fats have become branded as a sort of evil villian among macronutrients. Many reknown and reliable nutritional sources (such as AHA and CDC) blamed an elevated fat intake for the rise in cardiovascular disease. They believed that dietary fat consumption could increase LDL levels thereby leading to a higher risk for artheriosclerosis. Along with this theory came a recommendation to boycott most fats for a healthy heart. However, since the rise of low-fat diets, our obesity rates have done the same! Here are some graphs I pulled from a Brittish nutrition journal and the National Center for Health Statistics.

The Obesity Epidemic in The USA Started at Almost The Exact Same Time The Low-Fat Dietary Guidelines Were Published

Source: National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar. Chartbook.

Obesity Epedemic Increased as Butter and Lard Were Replaced With Vegetable Oils and Trans Fats

Source: Dr. Stephan Guyenet. The American Diet. 2012.

With the rise of low fat diets, the high carb diet nightmare began. Not only sending obesity rates soaring but also encouraging higher triglyceride levels. Higher triglyceride levels promote a higher risk for heart disease. So in essence, the very thing that low-fat diets try to prevent is the thing they cause… heart disease.

Shockingly, there has been absolutely no correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease. This myth began after a poorly conducted and very biased study [Gunnars]. New research now shows that it is actually high sugar intake and high processed food consumption that does the most harm. In fact, the Journal of American College of Cardiology states that “Dietary cholesterol has an important effect on the cholesterol level in the blood of chickens and rabbits, but many controlled experiments have shown that dietary cholesterol has a limited effect in humans. Adding cholesterol to a cholesterol-free diet raises the blood level in humans, but when added to an unrestricted diet, it has a minimal effect.” It also goes on to say that low-fat, high-carb diets play a major role in the obesity epidemic.

So to summarize, now you can fry your bacon and eat it too!


1. USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Nutrition Insights: Insight 5: Is Total Fat Consumption Really Decreasing? In; 1998.

2. “Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good.” The Nutrition Source. Harvard: School of Public Health, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

3. Gunnars, Kris. “Modern Nutrition Policy Is Based on Lies and Bad Science.” Authority Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

4. Weinberg, Sylvan Lee, MD. “Disease-heart Hypothesis: A Critique.” Journal of American College of Cardiology. JACC, Mar. 2004. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.


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