Sunday, September 11, 2011

Poking Fun at the Lipid Hypothesis

Quick one today about saturated fat and cholesterol.  If you haven't noticed, I really get my jollies off by poking fun at the lipid hypothesis.

Ancel Keys, the man largely responsible for convincing everyone that saturated fat clogs your arteries and gives you heart disease, published a few observational studies on the subject in the 1950's.  While his data showed a clear association between a high fat intake and increased risk of heart disease, the studies were extremely flawed.  Keys essentially cherry-picked the data from certain countries that would support his idea.  See this for a full explanation.

So, I thought I would share with you today some other, more convincing data on saturated fat consumption and heart disease death risk.  The following tables were assembled by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, using the 1998 data from the World Health Organization.  He sorted through all of the data on European countries and found the seven countries with the lowest consumption of saturated fat, along with the seven countries with the highest consumption of saturated fat, and compared their death rates from heart disease. 

Here are the seven countries consuming the least saturated fat:

And here is the data on the seven consuming the most saturated fat:

At first glance, you may do a double take.  But your eyes are not deceiving you... the countries consuming more saturated fat are suffering fewer deaths from heart disease.  The country consuming the most saturated fat, France, consumes approximately three times more than the country at the opposite end of the spectrum, Georgia, but at least six times more Georgians die of heart disease.  These numbers are not made up guys.  This is real.  In fact, every single one of the seven countries with the lowest saturated fat consumption has significantly higher rates of heart disease than every single one of the seven countries with the highest saturated fat consumption.  Now, explain to me again how saturated fat causes heart disease...