Transcript: Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero
Why stop at just sprinkling statins on our Happy Meal, when we could be even more aggressive? Is it time for the polypill? One pill, containing five or six drugs: a statin; three blood pressure medications—a thiazide, beta blocker, and ACE inhibitor; maybe some aspirin—suggesting even over-the-counter availability. The chance of benefit may be less than 1% per year, and that of side effects, 6% overall—some of which, like internal bleeding, may be life-threatening.
So, for those who would rather go with diet, rather than the five drugs, how do you do it?
To lower our cholesterol through diet, we need to avoid three things: trans fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol. Trans fats are mostly in junk food and animal products.
Here are the top food sources of cholesterol-raising saturated fat. That quarter-pounder doesn’t come in until eight. It’s cheese, ice cream, chicken, then pastries, pork, reduced fat milk, and then our burger.
Where is cholesterol found in the American diet? #1’s not beef. It’s eggs and chicken, and then beef, cheese, pork, and fish before getting to cakes, cookies, doughnuts, and ice cream.
How much should we reduce our consumption of these foods? What are the tolerable upper intake levels for trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol? “The Institute of Medicine did not set upper limits for trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol because any intake level above zero increased bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol).”
Here’s trans fat. There’s no level that’s safe. It’s like a straight line. The lower the better. Any level of trans fat intake above zero increased LDL cholesterol concentration,” the #1 risk factor for our #1 killer: heart disease.
And same with saturated fat—any intake level above zero, and similar findings for cholesterol.
So, intakes of meat, eggs, dairy, and junk food should be as low as possible, because there is no tolerable intake.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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