There are many things wrong with mainstream nutrition, but the constant propaganda against saturated fat and cholesterol is the worst.
As people have reduced their intake of healthy and nutritious high-fat foods, diseases like obesity and diabetes have taken over the world.
But… there’s good news. New studies are showing that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol don’t cause harm in humans. It is a myth that has now been debunked.
Don’t believe me? A review article published in 2010 that included almost 350 thousand people concluded: There is no association between saturated fat consumption and heart disease (1).
There have also been several massive studies conducted on the low-fat diet that is still cherished by the mainstream. These studies show that the low-fat diet has zero effect on weight, heart disease and cancer (2, 3, 4, 5).
The research is clear… “artery-clogging” saturated fat doesn’t actually clog your arteries. It’s nonsense (6).
Dietary cholesterol is harmless as well (7).
The fact of the matter is, foods that are naturally high in saturated fat and cholesterol are some of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet.
Here are 5 “artery-clogging” foods that are actually super healthy.
1. Whole Eggs
Whole eggs are so nutritious that they’re often called “nature’s multivitamin.”
Removing the yolk is just about the worst thing you can do. That’s where all the vital nutrients are found… the white is mostly just protein.
Just think about it… a whole egg contains all the proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals needed to turn a single fertilized cell into a little baby chicken.
It is not true that eggs harm your cholesterol and contribute to heart disease. Eggs raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and increase the size of the LDL particles, both of which are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease (8, 9, 10).
Many major studies have failed to find any association between egg consumption and heart disease (11, 12).
Whole eggs are also loaded with the antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthine, which are important for eye health. They also contain large amounts of choline, which is crucial for the brain and about 90% of people don’t get enough of (13, 14).
There are even studies showing that if you replace a grain-based breakfast with eggs, it can help you lose weight (15, 16).
Of course… quality counts and not all eggs are created equal. Try to find Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs.
Bottom Line: Eggs have been unfairly demonized because they contain cholesterol, but new studies show that they don’t raise the bad cholesterol in the blood. Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.
2. Unprocessed Red Meat
In the past few decades, red meat has gotten a bad rap.
It has been unfairly blamed for all sorts of diseases… including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
However, humans have been eating meat for hundreds of thousands (or millions) of years and these health problems are relatively new. Blaming an old food for new health problems doesn’t make sense.
One reason for these misconceptions about meat, is that the studies don’t always differentiate between processed and unprocessed meat.
While it is true that processed meat is linked to these diseases, the same is not truefor unprocessed red meat.
In one massive Harvard study that analyzed 20 studies with a total of 1,218,380 participants, processed meat was linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, but no effect was found for unprocessed red meat (17).
A major study from Europe found no effect for unprocessed red meat either (18).
The link between red meat and cancer is grossly exaggerated as well. Two review studies found the link to be very weak (almost negligible) for men and nonexistent for women (19, 20).
The cancer link probably depends on the cooking method, because there is some evidence that meat can form carcinogens when it is overcooked. The answer is not to avoid meat, but to make sure not to burn it (21).
When we look past the propaganda and fear mongering, what we’re left with is a highly nutritious food that humans have been eating throughout evolution.
Meat is loaded with vitamins, minerals and tons of important nutrients that many people don’t even know exist, including creatine and carnosine (22, 23, 24).
Red meat is also an excellent source of animal protein, which is associated with increased muscle mass and improved bone health in the long term (25, 26).
Same as with other foods, quality is a huge factor when it comes to meat. Grass-fed, pasture-raised animals have a much better nutrient profile than factory farmed, grain-fed animals (27, 28).
So… eat your meat. Just make sure to buy quality, unprocessed meat and don’t overcook it.
Bottom Line: Despite the fear mongering, unprocessed red meat does not increase the risk of heart disease or diabetes. The link with cancer is very weak and is probably caused by overcooking, not the meat itself.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that have powerful health benefits.
Quality dark chocolate (with 70% or higher cocoa content) is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet, even better than blueberries (29).
It is loaded with massive amounts of fiber, magnesium, copper, manganese and iron… with plenty of other minerals as well (30).
Studies show that dark chocolate has many benefits for the heart:
Given that dark chocolate has all these amazing effects on the heart… it might surprise you to hear that it is actually loaded with saturated fat.
In fact, about 43% of calories in 85% dark chocolate are from saturated fats (37).
Bottom Line: Dark chocolate is very high in saturated fat, but still has major benefits for the heart. It lowers blood pressure, raises HDL and prevents cholesterol from becoming oxidized, reducing the risk of heart disease.
4. Coconut Oil
The populations that eat the most coconut fat are some of the healthiest people on the planet.
This includes the Tokelauans, which get over 60% of their calories from coconut.
Because the majority of the calories in coconut are from saturated fat, this makes the Tokelauans the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.
Guess what… these people are in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease (38).
A large part of the fats in coconut oil comes from Medium Chain Triglycerides(MCTs), which are fatty acids of a medium length. These fats can reduce appetite and boost metabolism (39, 40, 41).
Several studies show that coconut oil can lead to fat loss, especially the “dangerous” belly fat found in the abdominal cavity that is strongly linked to disease (42).
There is also evidence that coconut oil can raise HDL and reduce Total and LDL cholesterol compared to soybean oil (43).
Coconut oil may also help you stave off infections… it is high in Lauric Acid, a beneficial fatty acid that can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi (44).
There are even studies suggesting that the fatty acids in coconut oil can help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s (45).
Despite being higher in saturated fat than any other food on the planet, coconut oil isincredibly healthy. For you, your brain AND your heart.
Bottom Line: Coconut oil is high in fatty acids that can boost metabolism and reduce appetite. It also improves risk factors for heart disease.
5. High-Fat Dairy Products Like Butter and Cheese
Full-fat dairy has taken a double hit in the past few decades.
First, it was demonized because of the high amount of saturated fat, which made people think it was causing heart disease.
Then, the obesity epidemic came along and people started recommending low-fat dairy because it is lower in calories.
However… despite the calories, studies do not support that full-fat dairy leads to weight gain. In fact, eating full-fat dairy is linked to a reduced risk of obesity (46).
It’s important to keep in mind that not all dairy is the same. What the cows eat does have a major effect on the nutrient composition.
Most cows are fed grain-based feeds these days, but they ate mostly grass back in the day. It turns out that dairy from grass-fed cows is different in some extremely important ways.
It is also one of the best sources of a nutrient called Vitamin K2, which most people are severely lacking in.
Vitamin K2 helps regulate calcium metabolism… keeping calcium in your bones and out of your arteries. It may be one of the most important nutrients for the health of both your bones and heart (49, 50).
In countries where cows are largely grass-fed, consuming full-fat dairy products likebutter is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
In one study from Australia (where cows are grass-fed), people who ate the most full-fat dairy had a 69% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (51).
The Biggest Mistake in The History of Nutrition
The misguided advice to avoid all these delicious and nutritious high-fat foods has actually fueled the epidemics of heart disease, obesity and premature death.
The “war” on saturated fat and cholesterol is the biggest mistake in the history of nutrition. Period.