Is Everything We Know About Saturated Fat Wrong?
Is everything we’ve been told about eating fat wrong? A recent study showed that there’s no good evidence that saturated fats found in foods like butter, cheese or red meat causes heart disease. So is it time to end that bacon strike?
In the Wall Street Journal, Nina Teicholz writes:
The new study's conclusion shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with modern nutritional science, however. The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias.
Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Keys was formidably persuasive and, through sheer force of will, rose to the top of the nutrition world—even gracing the cover of Time magazine—for relentlessly championing the idea that saturated fats raise cholesterol and, as a result, cause heart attacks.
Critics have pointed out that Dr. Keys violated several basic scientific norms in his study. For one, he didn't choose countries randomly but instead selected only those likely to prove his beliefs, including Yugoslavia, Finland and Italy. Excluded were France, land of the famously healthy omelet eater, as well as other countries where people consumed a lot of fat yet didn't suffer from high rates of heart disease, such as Switzerland, Sweden and West Germany. The study's star subjects—upon whom much of our current understanding of the Mediterranean diet is based—were peasants from Crete, islanders who tilled their fields well into old age and who appeared to eat very little meat or cheese.
Today on The Five, Greg Gutfeld weighed in on this study, stating that “science is never settled. It’s been poisoned by politics and ideological crusaders, but you’ve got to keep fighting it.”
Eric Bolling hasn’t eaten red meat in 20 years in an effort to stay healthy. But Dana Perino and Greg are working to change that. “By July 1st, we hope that we’re going to get him to eat a cheeseburger,” Perino said.
“This is an entire dietary change for the United States because of one guy who puts together a survey which is flawed,” Bob Beckel said. “I would say this to all the cattlemen out there who’ve been bludgeoned by this stuff, somebody owes them an apology. I’m going to eat every one of these cheeseburgers here.”
Who are we kidding, we never gave up bacon.
Watch the full discussion above and don't miss The Five, weekdays at 5p ET.