According to William C. Roberts, the editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology, the only critical risk factor for atherosclerotic plaque buildup is cholesterol, specifically elevated LDL cholesterol in your blood. To drastically reduce LDL cholesterol levels, we need to drastically reduce our intake of three things: trans fat, which comes from processed foods and naturally from meat and dairy; saturated fat, found mainly in dairy and other animal products and junk foods; and dietary cholesterol, found exclusively in animal-derived foods, especially eggs.
Diets high in saturated fat don’t only increase our risk of heart disease. A study of three hundred Alzheimer’s patients, for instance, found that treating vascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, may even slow the progression of the disease but not stop it. That’s why prevention is the key. Cholesterol doesn’t just help generate atherosclerotic plaques within our brain arteries; it may help seed the amyloid plaques that riddle the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s victims. Cholesterol is a vital component of our cells, which is why our body makes all that we need. Consuming excess cholesterol, and especially trans and saturated fats, can raise our blood cholesterol level. Too much cholesterol in your blood is not only considered the primary risk factor for heart disease but is also unanimously recognized as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
The toxicity of saturated fats can be demonstrated directly. If we expose beta cells to saturated fat or to LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in a petri dish, the beta cells begin to die. The same effect is not observed with the monounsaturated fats concentrated in fatty plant foods, such as nuts. When you eat saturated fat, both insulin action and insulin secretion are impaired within hours. The more saturated fat you have in your blood, the higher your risk may be for developing type 2 diabetes.
The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.
Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Saturated Fat
What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Oil MCTs?Do the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil and the fiber in flaked coconut counteract the...
What Causes Insulin Resistance?Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are caused by a drop in insulin sensitivity blamed on...
Alzheimer’s Disease, Copper, and Saturated FatIf copper is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, what about healthy, whole plant food sources such...
What Explains the French Paradox?Why do heart attack rates appear lower than expected in France, given their saturated fat...
What Causes Diabetes?Saturated fat can be toxic to the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, explaining why...
Lipotoxicity: How Saturated Fat Raises Blood SugarThe reason those eating plant-based diets have less fat buildup in their muscle cells and...
The Saturated Fat Studies: Set Up to FailHow might Big Butter design a study (like the Siri-Tarino and Chowdhury meta-analyses) to undermine...
The Saturated Fat Studies: Buttering Up the PublicDairy industry campaign to “neutralize the negative image of milkfat among regulators and health professionals...
Heart Disease Starts in ChildhoodBy age 10, nearly all kids have fatty streaks in their arteries. This is the...
Foods to Help Protect Your Arteries from Saturated FatIf you’re going to have something unhealthy, is there anything you can eat with it...
Is Butter Really Back? What the Science SaysIs butter—and other saturated fats—bad for you or not?
Saturated Fat and Cancer ProgressionDoes cutting down on saturated fat intake improve cancer-free survival?
All Videos for Saturated Fat
A Case of Stage 3 Cancer Reversal with Fasting
I go over a case report of water-only fasting, followed by a whole food, plant-based diet for follicular lymphoma.
Soul Food That’s Good for the Soul
The best of soul food’s origins are tied to the plant-centric West African diet.
The Role of Endotoxins in Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Why can a single meal high in saturated fat impair cognition?
The Best Diet for Fibromyalgia and Other Chronic Pain Relief
Anti-inflammatory diets can be effective in alleviating chronic pain syndromes.
Answering Your Questions About Cholesterol and Diabetes
I answer some common questions I’ve been asked about cholesterol and diabetes, such as “What is the ideal LDL?” “What’s going on when someone eats healthfully but their glucose is still out of control?”
Cholesterol and Heart Disease: Why Has There Been So Much Controversy?
Is the role of cholesterol in heart disease settled beyond a reasonable doubt?
Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) and Cognitive Decline
AGEs may be one explanation for why those who consume meat may have up to three times the risk of developing dementia compared with vegetarians.
How to Avoid the Boomerang Effect of Remedy Messaging
How can mandating healthy eating messaging on fast-food ads ironically make things worse?
Using the Cigarette Tax Playbook Against Big Food
How might we replicate one of our great public health victories—the reduction of smoking rates—in the field of nutrition?
The Best Diet for Healthy Aging
Swapping just 1 percent of plant protein in place of animal protein was associated with signiﬁcantly less age-related deﬁcit accumulation.