January 11, 2013
Is a high-fat diet the best way to achieve great health?
There are still people who believe a high-fat diet is the model for great health. And I still disagree. Now, science is catching up. A new study found how a high-fat diet negatively affects your health.

The researchers conducted this study on macaque monkeys. They split the animals into 32 pregnant females fed a 32% high-fat diet and 26 pregnant females fed a "balanced" 14% diet. Of the first group, eight resulted in stillbirths. Of the 26 fed the lower fat diet, only one stillbirth occurred.

Here's what the researchers found. The high-fat diet monkeys had highly decreased blood flow through the uterus. The amount ranged from 38% to 56%. They also had greater placental inflammation, which also can cause birth problems. The effect held true both for obese maternal monkeys and slender monkeys fed the high-fat diet. So it didn't matter whether the monkeys were fat at the outset or not. Simply eating the higher fat diet caused the changes.

The lead researcher warns that we are now seeing fatty livers in children. This is a condition previously seen only in alcoholics. This should serve as a huge warning to everyone. I assure you that monkeys don't change diets when they're pregnant. They'll just eat more.

So, a high-fat diet is simply unhealthy. It doesn't matter if you're having babies or just wanting to live a long, healthful life. Excess fat is not good for you. There are good reasons for this. Fat is devoid of nutrients except perhaps some fat-soluble vitamins, which you'll get plenty of in a low-fat diet, and essential fatty acids, which are also abundant in a high quality low-fat diet.

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I continue to urge my patients and readers to move toward the lower-fat diet espoused by Doug Graham in his book The 80-10-10 Diet. The Living Foods Diet I teach arises from Dr. Graham's philosophy. You'll be hard pressed to exceed 10-15% fat calories if 75-80% of what you eat is fresh living veggies and fruit. This is the cheapest and simplest way to accomplish all the goals every cardiologist, pushing every petrochemical drug, could ever dream to achieve.

Ref: Korn, Peter. "OHSU research points to high-fat diet as culprit in some birth defects," The Portland Tribune, June 3, 2011.

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