Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

Butter: Good Fat or Bad Fat?

Butter: Good Fat or Bad Fat?

<!–butter–>People are often shocked when they see how much butter I use and eat in one day.  But I know the real truth; Butter is a good fat and can actually help you lose weight.

Unfortunately, people thinking butter is unhealthy is a very common misconception. People still think that butter and saturated fats are the reason heart disease is one of the top killers in this country (and now in many other countries as well). The truth is that it’s not the natural fats that are causing this epidemic, its the sugar, processed and packaged foods and overconsumption of refined oils that are causing so much disease (and you can add Diabetes, High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure to this list as well).

1. Did you know that during the 60 year period from 1910-1970, the proportion of traditional animal fat in the American diet declined from 83% to 62%?

2. During this same time butter consumption plummeted from 18 pounds per person each year to 4 pounds per person each year.

3. During the past 80 years, the consumption of dietary cholesterol intake has increased only one percent.

So where is the problem? Why all the heart disease?

1. During the same period, the average intake of dietary vegetable oils (margarine, shortening, and refined oils) increased by about 400%.

2. During the same period, the consumption of sugar and processed foods increased by about 60%

Those are the facts, but there’s never better proof than the results I see with my clients and my readers. When people finally stop eating margarine, refined oils, “fake” butters, sugar and processed foods, their health sky rockets! (and by sky rockets I mean, gets better, greatly improves, elevates to whole new levels). Not to mention all the body fat they lose off their body (now isn’t that just an awful side effect?)

It’s important to mention that the butter I use is organic and grass fed. It has this beautiful deep yellow color and is not white like most conventional butters. It has gone through minimal processing and has no added growth hormones and antibiotics. I get all my butter from

Now that I told you butter is ok to eat, here is a delicious chicken recipe you can enjoy:

(Please remember that the mad scientist in me sometimes forgets to document the exact amounts so you may need to play around with this a bit.)

Chicken with “I’m not afraid of butter” dressing


2 large chicken breasts (approximately 1 lb of chicken)
6 Tbsp of melted butter
lemon juice from 1/2 large lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste


Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large pan. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook chicken breasts in butter covered on very low heat. Do not let the butter get brown. Pour lemon juice in a seperate bowl. Slowly stir in the remaining melted butter as you stir mixture. Then slowly add the olive oil as you stir mixture. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Once the chicken is cooked through, served on a plate and pour the “dressing mixture” over your cooked chicken breasts.

Don’t be surprised if you are tempted to pour this dressing on your veggies and just about every other food item you can think of. It’s delicious!

Article and recipe by Isabel De Los Rios from The Diet Solution


The Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Myth Destroyed!!

The Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Myth Destroyed!!

Although I have been preaching the benefits of healthy fats and even saturated fats for a long time, I still have clients who are skeptical.  Here is a well documented and persuasive article on just why it is so important to have healthy fats in your diet…


I want to put to rest the belief that fat (especially saturated fat) and dietary cholesterol are bad for us.


Where Did All This Nonsense Begin?

It all started with a physiologist named Ancel Keys, Ph.D., back in the 1950’s. In 1953 he published a paper titled “Atherosclerosis, a Problem in Newer Public Health.” It seems that from here, our dietary fate was sealed. Keys compared fat intake and deaths from heart disease in 6 countries:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. England
  4. Australia
  5. Italy
  6. Japan

The implications for dietary fat were dire! As fat intake increases in these countries, heart disease mortality rates increases. The US had the highest fat intake and also had the highest number of deaths due to heart disease, Japan ate the least fat and had the lowest number of deaths.

The American Heart Association jumped on board the diet-heart hypothesis bandwagon.

In the 1970’s Keys bolstered his hypothesis by publishing a study suggesting that saturated fat (from animal sources) leads to high cholesterol which, in turn, leads to heart disease. This is still the conventional wisdom today. Again, out of the 7 countries selected, the correlation between saturated fat and heart disease was not seen but hey, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Saturated Fat In The Human Diet

Let’s discuss the differences between LDL and HDL cholesterol.

  1. LDL is the bad guy (specifically the small, dense LDL particles)
  2. HDL is the good guy

Increasing LDL levels while HDL levels remain constant is bad news. The opposite is good news. Raising HDL cholesterol in proportion to LDL is very beneficial for your health. Raising both by equal amounts has no effect.

Almost all the saturated fat in our diet comes in 3 forms:

  1. Stearic acid
  2. Palmitic acid
  3. Lauric acid

Firstly, it’s well established today that stearic acid has no effect on cholesterol levels. In fact, stearic acid, found in abundance in animal fat, is converted to monounsaturated fat in your liver. This is obviously healthy and raises good cholesterol and therefore lowers risk of heart disease.

Both Palmitic and Lauric acid raise total cholesterol. This obviously has no real effect with respect to coronary heart disease risk factor.

Now, let’s add the three forms of saturated fat together and see what happens:

1 x beneficial + 2 x benign (and potentially beneficial) = Beneficial net effect

Wow! You mean ‘artery-clogging saturated fat‘doesn’t clog arteries?
Yes, and it’s important to remember that a diet high in fat will also be high in unsaturated fats so the net result of high fat intake, coupled with lower carb intake, is a reduced risk of heart disease.

This is the story of surprised researchers as they see the startling results of studies involving groups consuming low fat/high carb diets vs groups consuming high fat/low carb diets i.e. more fat loss and improved lipid profiles in the high fat/low carb camp. However, even though the science is staring them in the face, they fall short of recommending it as a way of eating.

So If Low-Fat Doesn’t Lower Cholesterol & Prevent Heart Disease, What Does?

A low carb/high fat does of course. It may seem counter-intuitive, but heart disease, a new problem, is not caused by old, traditional foods. It’s caused by newer foods that we have introduced into our diets – carb-laden foods. Let’s have a look at some studies…

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that participants who followed a low-carbohydrate diet for six months raised their good cholesterol and lowered their triglycerides (fat in the blood).

The low-fat group also had positive results in this study. They ate a low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-calorie diet. They lowered total cholesterol levels (lowering good cholesterol which is not so great) and triglycerides. It is important to note that the triglyceride levels fell more significantly for the low carb group i.e. 74.2 points for the low-carb group and 27.9 points for the low-fat group.

Also, the low-carb group lost more weight even though their calories were unrestricted whereas the low-fat group consumed 500 – 1000 calories below their maintenance calorie-requirement.

Could This Be Due To Weight Loss?

Some people may think that the improvements in blood lipid profiles are simply due to the weight-loss and not carb-restriction, not so it seems.

Ronald Krauss at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute tested this and found that the lipid profiles (cholesterol and triglycerides) improve even when there is no weight loss on a low-carbohydrate diet. You can check the study out for yourself here:
Krauss, Ronald, et al. “Carbohydrate, Weight Loss, and Atherogenic Dyslipidemia.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006 May;83(5):1025-31.

Dietary Cholesterol May Be Beneficial To Muscle Hackers

The cholesterol in our foods may be beneficial to anyone wanting to build muscle. Researchers at Texas A&M University have discovered that lower cholesterol levels can actually reduce muscle gain when weight-training.

3 days a week for 12 weeks, 55 men and women, aged 60-69, (healthy non-smokers able to perform exercise testing and training) performed several exercises, including stretching, stationary bike riding and vigorous weight lifting. The results showed that there was a significant association between dietary cholesterol and change in strength i.e. the higher the cholesterol intake, the more muscle strength gain.

One of the researchers, Steven Riechman, said,

“We were not expecting to get these kind of results,we need further research in this area, but what we found could really make us look differently at cholesterol, especially as it relates to a vigorous workout…Our findings show that the restricting of cholesterol – while in the process of exercising – appears to affect building muscle mass in a negative manner. If it’s true, as our findings suggest, that cholesterol may play a key role in muscle repair, we need to know exactly how that happens.

So, if you want to keep your heart healthy and build muscle at the same time, you’d better opt for some bacon and eggs in the morning.

You all know the one the government recommends with all the starches at the bottom and fat at the top, well check this out alternative food pyramid

Beautiful isn’t it? Now that’s healthy eating!

By Mark McManus;

Convinced yet?  Let me know what you think??
If you’re a regular reader – I want your involvement, your feedback, and your questions! So why not make this the day to leave a comment before you go – if you’re reading from RSS or email you’ll have to enter the blog to do this. You can do that by clicking on the title of this piece. ‘Post a comment’ is at the article end, right under the ’share this’ and ‘related posts’ options. If you haven’t yet subscribed to this feed, what are you waiting for? Do it now. You can choose either email or RSS by clicking here. If you enjoyed this article please forward to your friends. Thank-you!