BY UFFE RAVNSKOV.MD.PhD
Uffe Ravnskov informs his readers that there is much amiss concerning the diet-heart idea. This is the decades old proposition that saturated fats cause blood cholesterol to increase resulting in coronary arteriosclerosis which then leads to myocardial infarction.
The Cholesterol Myths documents the genesis of the diet-heart idea. Also called the lipid hypothesis, the idea had its beginnings back in the 1950’s when it was decided that high fat food was responsible for the increase in the death rate from coronary heart disease.
Ravnskov shows his readers that in relation to the cholesterol campaign “ the emperor has no clothes.”
The diet –heart idea lacks evidence and Ravnskov describes the shoddy research that has taken place and which still proceeds to this day.
Throughout his scholarly book, Ravnskov explodes the common cholesterol myths such as “high fats cause heart disease.”
He introduces us to the Masai people of Kenya. The Masai have obviously never heard of the cholesterol theory. They eat only milk, blood and meat. According to the cholesterol theory they should have dangerously high blood levels of the lipid. But this is not the case!
Ravnskov informs us that the Masai blood cholesterol levels are among the lowest in the world.
For decades now we have been told not to eat saturated fats. Years ago the media ran the all too familiar line about the dangers of eggs. This message has been rescinded at least. But we have got a long way to go before we can return to sense. The media has played a huge part in the perpetuation of this dangerous myth. It is tied to revenue received from pharmaceutical companies and the food industry. Man-made vegetable oils have been ushered into the daily diets in place of the demonised butter. The fat free leg of lamb has no resemblance to the wholesome meal of our youth; our palates and hunger are no longer satiated.
The last of the myths that Ravnskov explodes is that there is complete agreement among scientists as to the validity of the diet- heart hypothesis. On the contrary there are many scientist and researchers who have produced large studies critical of the current teaching and practice in regard to heart disease. But we would not know that there are so many opponents to the mainstream dogma.
As Ravnskov suggests many millions of people have suffered boring fat free diets and or have taken cholesterol –lowering drugs which are not without dangerous side effects. The Cholesterol Myths deserves to be read by everyone. We are all being conned!