The American Heart Association (AHA) recently released a position paper basically reiterating their decades-old and blatantly outdated stance against saturated fat, causing much controversy and resulting in many rebuttals. Rather than going through each of the AHA's faulty arguments and shooting holes in them myself, I thought I'd give you some very reputable resources such that you can formulate your own opinion. After all, the below experts have already done the legwork and I'd just be regurgitating their excellent points. Further down in this post I'll share my own big-picture viewpoint on the topic of saturated fat, and why you should not fear it.
As a Primal Health Coach, perhaps I'm a bit biased but I absolutely love Mark Sisson's response to the AHA publication HERE.
Dave Asprey at Bulletproof also provides an excellent retort.
Chris Kresser is one of the very most objective, science-based health gurus around, and his fantastic rebuttal is a must read.
Speaking of objective, Chris Masterjohn, PhD, in my opinion, may be the very best, most objective reviewer of published scientific literature on the interwebs. His podcast on the AHA paper is by far the most comprehensive summary piece on the matter. I highly recommend listening to it or at least reviewing the show notes.
Each of the above links do a great job in providing you with the analysis you need to make your own informed opinion.
The AHA continues to base their opinion on faulty scientific data published over 40 years ago. Yes, OVER FORTY YEARS AGO. Shouldn't the AHA, who greatly influences America's official health recommendations, at least TRY to APPEAR as if they are up-to-date with the most recent scientific studies?
Those 4 (yes, only 4) ancient studies contained many confounding factors which should at least have been obviously called out in the spirit of transparency as part of the AHA's paper.
America has been following the AHA's recommendations for over 50 years now (the AHA came out against fat in 1961, PRIOR to the faulty studies referenced in the recent position paper), and the results have been, inarguably, a complete and total debaucle. Record high obesity; a diabetes epidemic; soaring autoimmune problems; cancer going through the roof; cardiovascular issues abound; and the list goes on and on. The AHA is very well aware of these repercussions, so the rehashing of their outdated and obsolete stance on fat is NOTHING SHORT OF IRRESPONSIBLE, and could cost millions of people their health, well-being, and happiness, not to mention their lives.
Now let's step back a second and take a big picture look at this issue. First I'd like to hit you with some facts:
There is no evidence that our pre-agricultural ancestors suffered from obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, or any of the health epidemics plaguing society today. Evidence actually indicates the contrary - our ancestors were fit, lean, and amazingly capable of survival via hunting and gathering.
You are what you eat, literally. The cells you make every second of every day are comprised of the nutrients you consume. So what did our ancestors eat? (Hint: It wasn't low-fat yogurt, Cheetos, cereal, or industrialized, processed seed/vegetable oils outrageously high in inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids - such as the AHA recommends.) Unsurprisingly, our pre-ag ancestors ate <gasp!> real food: lots of plants and animals (probably in that order).
But well before they were eating real, organic, non-GMO/pesticide/herbicide-laden food, it's safe to assume that each of our ancestors, at a very young age, were fed a steady diet of (drum roll please) mother's milk. Mother's milk consists, in no small part, of... yep, you guessed it: fat, the majority of which is saturated. It's probably also safe to assume that the human baby of today receives at least a year or two's worth of mother's milk. Apparently Mother Nature thinks saturated fat is good for human beings!
Over the ~2.5 million years of our ancestral history, we developed (or were supplied with, depending on your perspective) the perfect apparati (our mouths) by which to process the foods we were meant to eat. The specific dentition in our mouths proves this: molars and premolars for crushing various foods, and incisors and canines for ripping and tearing flesh. Yes, we are specifically designed to eat animals.
Bottom line: Throughout our ancestral history, until recently we had no fear of - and subsisted in large part on - saturated fat. There are recent examples of hunter/gatherer societies (reviewable in the Chris Masterjohn, PhD's link mentioned above) who subsist largely on saturated fat, with 0% incidence of heart disease. Emphasis: ZERO percent.
Each of your cells is protected by a membrane comprised of fat. Were it not for fat, you would not have a brain. If saturated fat were the unholy cardiovascular nightmare as implicated by the AHA, why haven't we seen any evidence, historical or present, indicating more cardiovascular disease in infants and children due to mother's milk, God forbid?
One would think that these overarching clues from our ancestry plus the more modern studies of today would hold even a SLIGHT modicum of merit as relates to the fat "controversy." One would also logically conclude that such facts and studies should be taken into account in any position paper issued by an organization that greatly affects the health, well-being, and happiness of society as a whole. Alas, that is not the case. Apparently the AHA would rather stick to their antiquated guns and repeat the decades-old, unscientific, and completely ILLOGICAL anti-fat mantra that has resulted in the abysmal health conditions evidenced in modern society.
Give yourself a chance. Eat the foods we were meant to eat, mimic the lifestyle for which we were SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED, and pay no attention to the hysterical ravings of an idiocratic organization that has a long-documented and painfully obvious history of failed health recommendations.