The “bad reputation” food that’s actually vital to your heart health

Most conventional doctors and nutritionists will tell you that saturated fat is Public Enemy No. 1, and should be avoided at all costs.

But little do they know, the latest data tells a very different story.

Of the seven most damaging dietary habits in the U.S., saturated fat doesn’t even make the list! And that’s not the only big surprise in this eye-opening review…

The highs and lows of dietary dangers

In a recent investigation published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), nutrition scientists at Tufts University tracked contributing factors and causes of all cardiometabolic deaths in the U.S. in 2012.

As the name implies, cardiometabolic deaths include fatalities from interrelated conditions that involve dysfunctions of both your cardiovascular and metabolic systems. Conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Deaths directly attributed to these cardiometabolic conditions totaled to be more than 700,000 in 2012, with heart disease accounting for nearly three-quarters of the total.

The largest numbers of estimated diet-related cardiometabolic deaths correlated to six categories of food choices — beginning with the most harmful:

  1. High sodium
  2. Low nuts/seeds
  3. High processed meats
  4. Low seafood
  5. Low vegetables
  6. Low fruits
  7. High sugar-sweetened beverages

Notice “killer” saturated fat is nowhere to be seen on this list. (We’ll circle back to that in a moment…)

Meanwhile, take a look at the damaging effects of not consuming enough nuts and seeds: Striking them from your diet appears to be more deadly than not getting enough omega-3-rich seafood and highly nutritious fruits and vegetables.

And it’s important to note that while sodium is the No.1 danger, that does not include salt. As I’ve mentioned previously, using salt in moderation — like sprinkling it on your food — actually makes your meals more nutritious. Your body simply can’t survive without good quality sodium.

The danger comes from the various types of junk sodium (like monosodium glutamate) that are liberally added to millions of processed food products. And excessive intake of these harmful sodium varieties increases your risk of hypertension, the primary cause of heart disease.

Which brings us back to the medical mainstream’s favorite dietary villain: Saturated fat…

Alarm bells should be ringing

In his Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol, Dr. Fred Pescatore succinctly expresses his views on this common dietary myth by issuing an urgent warning: “Saturated fat is not your heart’s enemy — and our society’s saturated fat stigma is killing us.”

Dr. Pescatore points to the most recent evidence behind his warning: “A large study has linked high fat intake with a lower risk of death from any cause, including cardiovascular disease. And yes, that includes a high intake of saturated fat, the type of fat found primarily in animal products — like butter, cheese, and meat — and mainstream nutrition’s scapegoat for the last half-century.”

In this study, researchers analyzed data from the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological Study (PURE), which followed almost a quarter million people from 18 countries for seven years. They came to three conclusions:

  • High consumption of carbohydrates was linked to greater risk of death.
  • Vegetables and fruits are beneficial, but benefits dropped off after three to four servings daily. (As Dr. Pescatore notes, “Surprise! You won’t keel over and die if you fail to cram yourself full of kale all day.”)
  • The healthiest diets provided balanced nutrition of vegetables, fruit, fish, low carbohydrates, and meat with saturated fat.

Dr. Pescatore adds a comment from the senior author of the study, who stated that “saturated fat in moderation actually appears to be good for you.” In fact, according to the PURE results, diets that were lower in saturated fat were actually harmful.

Beware the mainstream heart “experts”

Both the PURE study and the JAMA research discussed above are by no means outliers in saturated fat research. In fact, the evidence is abundant.

And yet — as Dr. Pescatore says — “Despite the fact that saturated fat has actually been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk, our misguided experts are still telling people it’s going to increase that risk.”

He notes that the American Heart Association not only blatantly ignores this evidence, but they’ve also doubled down on their nonsense with a recommendation to drastically reduce saturated fat from your diet and replace it with polyunsaturated fat or carbohydrates.

Their idea of an optimal dietary goal is to limit saturated fat to just 6 percent of your total calorie intake. But as Dr. Pescatore points out, that’s less than half of what PURE found to be the lowest level of saturated fat you should consume daily.

“This pattern of dietary advice,” he says, “is absolutely destructive to health.”

But he does add a cautionary note: “Of course, saturated fat has to be in the right foods, like eggs, which are high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

“The only time saturated fat becomes really dangerous is when it’s combined with sugar and refined flour to produce all those packaged, processed foods you find in the supermarket snack aisle.”

When it comes to protecting your heart, Dr. Pescatore has a wealth of insights that extend far beyond the best dietary choices. You can also learn how to protect your cardiovascular health with smart supplementation, reasonable exercise, lifestyle interventions, and proper medical screenings. And you can find it all in his best-selling online learning tool, the Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol. Click here to learn more or to enroll today.


“Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality From Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States” JAMA 2017; 317(9): 912-924. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0947