[Submitted/published State Journal-Register]
Dr. Kemia Sarraf’s “In My View” column tells some truth by pointing out the evils of trans fats, but ignores the big lies in the current nutritional zeitgeist.
The innocuous explanation that trans fats were “once believed to be a more healthful alternative to saturated fatty acids” rings a bit hollow. In reality, the government, nutritional “experts,” and professional nags (like the Center for Science in the Public Interest) stampeded everyone into adopting trans fats — based on exactly zero clinical evidence against saturated fat.
She lists several adverse effects of trans fats – high LDL, low HDL, inflammation, metabolic disruption, etc. None of these have ever been linked to saturated fat, which in fact raises HDL and the harmless LDL (there’s more than one kind) while reducing small, dense, harmful LDL. Your brain, cell walls, hormones – just about everything you’re made of – depend on fat, particularly cholesterol. Many vitamins can’t be absorbed without fat.
There is another ubiquitous food group with the same adverse effects of trans fats. It’s carbohydrates — currently hailed as the foundation of the food pyramid based on solid… No, wait. The food pyramid isn’t based on science. It was spawned by a George McGovern Senate Committee. Excess carbs elevate blood sugar, which in turn causes inflammation, insulin resistance, metabolic disorders, and degraded health. Oh, and they make you fat and tired. Even the “heart healthy!” whole grain kind.
The website of Dr. Sarraf’s organization has a recommended snack listing for parents that, besides a few low or zero fat dairy and lunchmeat items, consists almost entirely of carbs.
Removing trans fats is fine. But why, during our children’s most important years of brain and physical development, do the experts continue to insist on removing the fats that their bodies need and replacing them with sugar? We do in fact owe them better.