Heart Foundation backflips on saturated fat

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    Today the Heart Foundation had an almost 180 degree about face on some of their dietary advice! After decades of giving non-scientific garbage advice which has actually been harming more people than helping by causing more chronic disease, the Heart Foundation has changed its tune on saturated fat! But have they gone far enough in changing their advice, or have they really changed at all?! And is their new advice really correct?

    Their advice on saturated fats in natural foods such as milk and dairy products, and animal meats for decades has been to avoid saturated fat because of the (alleged but really scientifically unproven) links to high cholesterol and heart disease.

    Now the Heart Foundation are saying that "unflavoured FULL-FAT milk, yoghurt and cheese are now an option for healthy Australians", and "the limit has been lifted on the number of eggs that can be eaten per week in a heart-healthy diet". They FINALLY claim that "there is not enough evidence to support a restriction on full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese", something that I have been saying for many years, and the evidence for this has been around for 50 years!

    Finally, the Heart Foundation are saying that full-fat dairy, ie, full of SATURATED FAT is actually good for you! What a turnaround!

    BUT...

    Whenever there's a sudden change in tune from any government or "health" organisation, there are usually exceptions or restrictions on that advice, as they don't want to make a complete 180 degree change as that would be too good to be true, or too confusing for those who follow their advice!

    So there are some restrictions in their advice. The change to recommending full-fat dairy and more eggs (high in healthy fats and cholesterol which is necessary for health!) ONLY applies to "healthy Australians"! But, if these foods are healthy for healthy people, then they should be for us all! If the Heart Foundation is actually now recommending full-fat products or MORE saturated fat in our diets, then they are implicitly saying that saturated fats DO NOT cause chronic health conditions! And the scientific studies for decades have been showing this! So if people with chronic health conditions, such as Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease, are not included in these new recommendations, then this does not make any sense. People with chronic conditions will actually benefit from the new changes, in the same way as everyone else.

    The Heart Foundation also say “Butter, cream, ice-cream and dairy-based desserts are not recommended as heart-healthy, as they contain higher fat and sugar levels and less protein. Evidence found the dairy fat in milk, cheese and yogurt does not raise bad LDL cholesterol levels as much as butter or other dairy products". So we start to see more inconsistencies in their recommendations. The problem with ice-cream and desserts is the SUGAR they contain, not the saturated fats, which the Heart Foundation have now just said is ok!

    Similarly they say "We now advise people with Type 2 Diabetes to eat fewer than seven eggs per week, as growing evidence suggests an increased risk with eating more eggs", but eggs are healthy with lots of protein and healthy fats that will benefit diabetics! They contain next to no carbs, which is the main problem of causing diabetes and its progression to complications.

    To make things even more confusing, the Heart Foundation also make new recommendations on meat consumption...

    They say "We have introduced a limit of less than 350 grams a week for unprocessed beef, lamb, pork and veal. That’s around one to three lean red-meat meals a week, like a Sunday roast and a beef stir-fry" but they don't explain why! And why "lean" meat?! Again, if saturated fat is now ok in milk and dairy products, why is it not ok in meat?

    Oh, I know, because they are now getting onto the "meat is bad" bandwagon that seems to be growing at the moment, when they say "Eating more plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and healthy proteins like fish and seafood with smaller amounts of animal-based foods...". It is ironic really that plant-based foods such as diets high in sugary foods and drinks, grain products, GMO plant foods, and highly processed soy products are what are causing far more chronic health issues than meat does...

    The Heart Foundation are very confused with these inconsistent new recommendations. I'm guessing that these recommendations will change again little by little, but they don't want to make broad changes as it would make them look like idiots for giving us all the wrong dietary advice for decades. Well, sorry, but they have looked like idiots for decades and again today for these ridiculous restricted changes.

    So today we have some "new" dietary recommendations being changed that are 50 years too late, and some additional non-scientific recommendations that will cause more health issues for the next 50 years. What are they doing there?

    - Ross Walter Nutritionist and Naturopath.

 
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