The NYC Dept. of Health Has Its Facts Screwed Up

April 19, 2010

On nutrition that is.

The NYC department of health's bulletin on fats is a complete nightmare. Just about everything it says on the subject is wrong.

As an example, it states:

Eat as little saturated fat as possible.
• Saturated fat is found mostly in animal products such as cheese,
whole milk and beef.
• For a healthier heart,whenever you can, replace foods high
in saturated fat with those that contain unsaturated fat.
(See Small Changes Add Up.)

Well the fact is there has never been a shred of evidence that saturated fat is heart unhealthy. None at all. A recent paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that:

...there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.

In a court of law, you can't be found innocent. But that is precisely what so many nutritionists and doctors argue when discussing the issue of saturated fats. They routinely ask to see the evidence that saturated fat is not causative in CVD and CHD. But this is like asking someone to prove they're innocent of a crime. If you're not guilty you are innocent.

In fact, several other papers have shown the opposite - that a lack of saturated fats in the diet is unhealthy.

And the misinformation continues.

What about cholesterol?
• While cholesterol in food can raise blood cholesterol, most high blood
cholesterol comes from eating food with saturated and trans fat.
• Food labeled “cholesterol-free” may still contain saturated and trans fat.

Wrong. There is no evidence that eating cholesterol raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. In fact, there is no cholesterol in your blood AT ALL. Cholesterol rides inside a lipoprotein which is in your blood. There is no such thing as a blood cholesterol level. And the more cholesterol you eat, the less your body makes. Neither does saturated fat raise your level of cholesterol.

The NYC Dept. of Health has some serious reading to do.

Bear in mind that any diet research paper that shows deleterious health effects always has carbohydrate, not fat, as the primary macronutrient. I challenge anyone to find a diet study where fat is high and carbohydrate is low (under 100 grams per day) with deleterious health effects. In fact what you will find is the exact opposite.

Yes - you can have your fat and eat it too!

For more information, visit the Nutrition and Metabolism Society.