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In its landmark report on trans fat, The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, one of our most prestigious institutions, concluded that no amount of trans fat is safe “because any incremental increase in trans fatty acid intake increases C[oronary] H[eart] D[isease] risk.”

Heart disease is the number-one reason we and most of our loved ones will die. According to William C. Roberts, 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 our blood. Indeed, LDL is called “bad” cholesterol, because it’s the vehicle by which cholesterol is deposited into our arteries. Autopsies of thousands of young accident victims have shown that the level of cholesterol in the blood was closely correlated with the amount of atherosclerosis in their arteries. 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 animal products and junk foods; and to a lesser extent dietary cholesterol, found exclusively in animal-derived foods, especially eggs.

The three boosters of bad cholesterol—the number-one risk factor for our number-one killer—all stem from eating animal products and processed junk. This likely explains why populations living on traditional diets revolving around whole plant foods have largely remained free from the epidemic of heart disease.

What’s more, the trans fats naturally found in meat and dairy could be causing an inflammatory response in our bodies. Researchers have found that a significant percentage of the fat under the skin of those who ate meat, or even just dairy and eggs, was composed of trans fats, whereas those who had been on a strictly whole-food, plant-based diet had no detectable trans fat in their tissues.

The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.

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