Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Heart Disease & Cholesterol Myth Exploded by Natural Health & Nutrition Specialist
That was the topic of discussion on the Jan. 21 broadcast of The SPOTLIGHT's weekly call-in talk forum, Radio Free America, with host Tom Valentine. The guest was natural health and nutrition specialist Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions and publisher of The Cholesterol Myth.
What follows is an edited transcription of the interview on RFA. Valentine's questions start with a "Q" and Miss Fallon's comments start with a "R".
Q. You have sponsored publication of a book by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov entitled The Cholesterol Myth which states flatly that it is a fallacy that saturated fat and Cholesterol can cause heart disease.
R. That's right. It's not true that saturated fat and cholesterol can cause heart disease. Yet, even people who are savvy about things bought into the myth.
I got into this issue of cholesterol through the work of Weston Price, who found that very healthy people have a very high animal food diet, with lots of animal fat. Their sacred foods were the ones that had a lot of fat in them. So it just can't be true that you have these healthy diets on the one hand, and yet, these things are supposed to be "bad" for us.
Q. Your very interesting cookbook, Nourishing Traditions (which has a lot of important nutrition information) points out that traditionally human beings ate a lot of animal fat and they were very healthy, generally speaking.
R. The bear was a sacred animal to the Indians in Texas and they didn't eat the meat of the bear. They threw the meat away, but they ate the fat and the skin. The sacred part of the bear to these Indians was the fat, not the meat. All of these traditional cultures had many sources, often times, of good quality animal fat and this was so important, usually valued as important for reproduction and for having healthy children.
Weston Price was a dentist who practiced in Cleveland, Ohio, from the 1920s through the 1940s and he was very concerned about what he was seeing in his patients. He was a lot of tooth decay, but even more serious, especially in the young people, he saw what he called "dental deformities." We would call that crooked teeth. Price didn't think this was normal.
He traveled throughout the world going to isolated places and he took photographs. You haven't seen what healthy people look like until you've seen these photographs.
When he analyzed their foods, he found that the foods were extremely rich in minerals, vitamins and particularly the vitamins that are rich in animal fat. That was his message: that animal fats are the most important foods that we can eat.
After Price passed on, the Establishment has tried to tell us just the opposite and that animal fats are bad for us.
Q. I've read Price's book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It's fascinating work. Dentists like Price get to see a person's health through their teeth.
R. The health of the teeth are a sign of the current nutrition. The shape of the face and the jaw and the width of the face tells us how the parents ate. If we can continue a diet where we find a narrow face for several generations, you have no more reproduction. This is what we are seeing. A tremendous amount of infertility and it's getting worse.
I often say that if you are afraid of saturated fat and cholesterol, you will be making the wrong choices about your diet. It will force you into a lot of fabricated foods and a lot of factory fat, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, because that's the only alternative we have.
Q. Cotton seed oil is a byproduct There's a lot of it, and the industry wanted to find a market for it.
R. That's right. The brand name Crisco stands for Crystalized Cotton Seed Oil, I believe. They learned to harden the oil by the process of hydrogenation and then they could sell it as a "butter substitute." In order to sell these factory-made oils, they had to demonize the competition, butter, and sell their own product as the substitute. Americans don't want "fake food," but they don't realize that this is fake food.
Q. You have now sponsored publication of a book, The Cholesterol Myths, by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, which is available from Liberty Library.
R. When I was working on my own book, I stumbled upon a web site that had some marvelous material on by Dr. Ravnskov. I e-mailed Dr. Ravnskov, and asked if I could quote him in my book. Then I told him that he needed to publish his information in a book. He told me that he had been trying to find an English-language publisher for many years. He had published his book in Swedish and it didn't sell very well. He published it in Finnish and in Finland, they actually burned the book "live" on television. It was considered that offensive.
Q. Another little know reason for this is that the Finns get a great deal of American research money.
R. The margarine industry is very strong there. And, yes, they have very high rates of heart disease in Finland.
Q. Margarine has brought us more heart attacks, not because of cholesterol and unsaturated fats.
R. It does seem that transfatty acids are the culprit. In his book, Dr. Ravnskov does not say explicitly what the causes are, but we can make some guesses. What he does is totally debunk the notion that saturated fat and cholesterol are the cause of heart diseas.
He cites a very interesting study done back in the 1920s. They took people who had died violent deaths and they analyzed their cholesterol and the amount of plaque in their blood. There was no correlation between having high cholesterol and having clogged arteries any more than if you have low cholesterol.
There are many scientists who have concluded this and spoken out, but we don't see their names in The New York Times. They are just totally ignored by the juggernaut of the media and the research community.
Q. When people learn that their cholesterol is high, they run out and are told to take a drug to control it.
R. Anyone who has been told to take one of these drugs needs to read Dr. Ravnskov's book. There is actually quite a but of risk in lowering your cholesterol. One of the risks is cancer, and one of his analyses of these drugs to lower cholesterol shows how much more cancer there waa among those people who use theses drugs. One of the things he found in looking at the studies was that for older women, the higher the cholesterol is, the longer they are likely to live.
Q. A doctor who performed some 200 autopsies of people who died of massive heart attacks found that 185 of them had normal cholesterol levels, not high at all. The money to be made in the cholesterol scam is this thing called "measuring" your cholesterol.
R. It is a huge business. The combination os measuring cholesterol and the business of drugs to limit cholesterol is around $60 billion a year.
Q. Dr. Ravnskov says that it is a myth that high-fat foods cause heart disease.
R. There is no correlation. In fact, the people with the highest amount of saturated fates in their diet had the lowest cholesterol in their blood. Dr Ravnskov also looks at a number of populations where the people have high-fat diets and there is no heart disease.
Q. Yet, the myth that cholesterol and fat cause heart disease is the foundation of the American Heart Association's medical stand.
R. That's right. Yet, even if you look at our diet in 1900, you find that we had a very high fat diet. Visitors to the United States such as the famous DeToqueville, noted that Americans were big butter consumers. We were a healthy, attractive, strong people. Today, as we have abandoned these animal fats we have more heart disease and more cancer and more health problems. What's tragic, in particular, are the learning and developmental disorders in young people. This is because of the change in the type of fats that we are using.
Many people are unhealthy in our society today because of stress and cholesterol helps you handle stress. When you lower cholesterol with diet or drugs, you get more stress-related problems. Cholesterol is essential for the development of the brain and nervous system.
If babies don't get enough cholesterol from their food, they simply cannot make enough cholesterol to have that optimal development. Yet, is is now official medical policy to put children on low-fat and reduced-fat foods starting at the age of two and this flies in the face of what we are learning about the nervous system which develops through the age of 18.
During puberty, the brain sprouts all sorts of new nerve cells and these cells have to be joined and your body needs the right kind of fats and cholesterol to do this. However, this is the age when teen-agers are eating all sorts of vegetable oils and snack foods. when they think about it, they try to eat low-fat foods.
Coconut oil and cod liver oil were very important in the American diet and we need to be using more of it in our diets. Fats like coconut oil or butter help you use that cod liver oil better, so it's a good combination. Mother's milk is rich in saturated fat and cholesterol and it has a special enzyme that helps the baby use that cholesterol.
Normal cholesterol is any where from 180 to 350. It's a big range and it varies relating to whether you are under stress, when your last meal was, your age, sex etc. Those "cholesterol test" that you see in the mall tend to test high and make you think it is too high.
What the Establishment has done has picked a number, 200, and defined a new disease: "hypercholesterolemia." If your cholesterol is over 200, then you are sick and you will have to take these drugs. Where is nothing to support this number.
Vegetable oils are bad for the body chemistry. They upset the endocrine system and actually cause weight gain. Saturated fats are good for you. It helps your immune system. It's good for your bones, your liver, protects you from disease. It's your best friend and you should have it in your diet.
Miss Fallon is the founder of the nutrition-oriented Weston Price Foundation which has a web site at www.westonaprice.org. You may also call 202-333-4325 and leave your name and address and you will receive a free 12-page informational brochure on nutrition and other information.