Last week I was pleased to see an article in the New York Times Magazine questioning the conventional medical interpretation of the relationship between saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart disease. For the past few years I have been trying to educate myself on these and other nutritional issues, in order to help deal with my own food intolerances and preferences. Underlying my reading has been my own critical analysis of the relationship between the medical, pharmaceutical & agribusiness industries and government agencies such as the FDA and the USDA. We know that the revolving door between the agribusiness and the pharmaceutical industries with the government is too profound to ignore, and it has given me a skeptical lens through which to interpret and understand many common understandings, conceptions, and “givens” in the mainstream health system.
In the alternative health community, understanding about saturated fats from grass-fed animals, and the relationship between cholesterol and heart disease has been growing and spreading in new directions away from the mainstream. There are now countless books and articles written by doctors, nutritionists and researchers who openly denounce the conventional medical wisdom about these issues because of the health implications they are seeing from processed foods and polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable oils (canola, corn, etc), shortening, margarine, soy products, etc.
Piecemeal, the mainstream media has been picking up on this dialogue and hesitantly sharing it. Last week there was an article in the New York Times Magazine, “Eat Your Heart Out” that opened up some of these questions. The short article honestly stated that many answers are still unknown, but many previous assumptions are being questioned. The article ends with a very indecisive line, referencing a statement by Philip C. Calder, a professor of nutritional immunology at the University of Southampton, in England, “But the truth is, at this point, we don’t truly understand how it all works. Calder said the new analysis might prompt some people to recommend lowering the use of vegetable oils, substituting animal fats instead, but that he wasn’t ready to come to that conclusion.”
I find this refreshing and intriguing. Where will this go, I wonder?
Thanks for putting your thinking cap on with me!