Chewing the saturated fat: should we or shouldn’t we?


We have just had our paper “Chewing the saturated fat: should we or shouldn’t we?” published in the New Zealand Medical Journal  – it’s a nice paper on the reality of the evidence around saturated fat and health.  Thanks to Dr Simon Thornley and George Henderson, my co-authors.

Click this –  sat_fat to read. Please FB, tweet etc and get this out there.

Sorry, the previous link had a paywall

16 Comments on “Chewing the saturated fat: should we or shouldn’t we?

  1. Hi Grant, do you have a different link to the paper? That links through to somewhere you need a username/password.

  2. excellent achievement. Any way of reading the paper without subscribing to the NZ Journal? Thanks for all your hard work & devotion to a cause. Jenny

  3. Hey Grant,
    Love your stuff.
    Whats the deal with reading this , looks to need a username and password, can you just post the whole thing on your blog for us/

  4. Thank you Grant (and George and Simon). I would love to see more examples of how landmark studies measure up to the causal criteria you listed.

    • That’s a good idea. It’s as if epidemiology has gone off on its own little tangent and forgotten how much it depends on other branches of medical research for validation. The meta-analysis, boosting weak correlations into significantly weak correlations, has gone to their heads.
      (“Meta-analysis is to analysis what metaphysics is to physics.” – Bob Eckel.)

      A wonderful post about Bradford Hill and a link to his lecture here:

    • This reference from the letter does apply the Bradford Hill criteria across the board to the evidence for a number of suggested interventions. It comes up in favour of Med diet, but not SFA restriction, for CHD prevention – basically Aseem Malhotra’s position.

      Click to access mente-aim-2009.pdf

      FWIW my opinion is that the Med diet is superior for two reasons;
      1) omega-3 and 6 are balanced, without an excess of 6, and
      2) most fat sources – olive oil, nuts, cheese, fish, avocado – are unheated or minimally heated, and unrefined, as are most carbohydrates.
      The diet could be higher in SFA if this stayed true, that is if fatty dairy foods were supplying the bulk of it.

  5. I don’t think Prof Feinman’s post has a link to the whole Bradford Hill lecture, so here it is; well worth learning by heart, most of his “rules” are modified by common-sense examples of actual or possible exceptions. Towards the end he says
    “On fair evidence we might take action on what appears to be an occupational hazard, e.g. we might change from a probably carcinogenic oil to a non-carcinogenic oil in a limited environment and without too much injustice if we are wrong.
    But we should need very strong evidence before we made people burn a fuel in their homes that they do not like or stop smoking the cigarettes and eating the fats and sugar that they do like. In asking for very strong evidence I would, however, repeat emphatically that this does not imply crossing every ‘t’, and swords with every critic, before we act.”

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