It may sound too good to be true, but a recent study has shown that a diet that includes an unlimited amount of healthy fats is actually helpful in preventing heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer.
A meta-study led by US Department of Veterans Affairs research scientist Dr. Hanna Bloomfield revealed that the so-called "Mediterranean diet" – which can include large amounts of monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids – lowered the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 29 percent, type 2 diabetes by 30 percent and breast cancer by 57 percent.
Monounsaturated fat is found in extra-virgin olive oil, and omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and nuts. Both are staples of the Mediterranean diet, which also includes large amounts of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and small amounts of meat and dairy products.
'Good' vs. 'bad' fats
The typical Western diet tends to include saturated fats such as those found in meat and dairy products, unsaturated fats such as those found in vegetable oil, refined grains such as those in pasta and white bread and lots of sugar.
The consumption of refined grains and added sugar are probably more responsible for the obesity epidemic in the West than the consumption of fats, according to Dr. Bloomfield.
"The emphasis in the United States at least for the past 30 years has been it's important to reduce fat, fat of all kind, fat's the bad thing," she said.
In reality, Bloomfield said that the keys to a healthy diet include using olive oil as the main oil in cooking or making salads, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, substituting fish for meat more often, and avoiding added sugar and refined grains.
No one is quite sure why the Mediterranean diet works so well, but it's important to understand that it really isn't a specific "diet" at all, but rather a regional tradition that includes several common factors.
"I would define a Mediterranean diet as a plant-based diet that has an emphasis on high intake of monounsaturated fats, in particular olive oil," said Bloomfield. "A high intake of legumes, fish, fruits and vegetables, and a low intake or a moderate intake of dairy and meat."
The findings run counter to the common belief promoted in the U.S. that a healthy diet means cutting down on cholesterol and increasing the consumption of carbohydrates.
The cholesterol myth
In fact, Big Pharma would like for you to believe that you should take dangerous statin drugs such as Lipitor – the most profitable medication ever sold – to control cholesterol levels.
Other recent studies have proven that this government-sanctioned approach is totally ineffective, and is actually a complete fabrication invented by drug manufacturers.
From a recent Natural News article:
"A group of international researchers published a study in the BMJ Open journal that found no link between what's known as 'bad' cholesterol and death as a result of heart disease in individuals over 60 years of age.
"In fact, the results found that 92 percent of people with high cholesterol actually lived longer. The best way to achieve and maintain good heart health is not through medications but through healthy lifestyle habits."
The take-away from all of this is that if you eat the right kinds of fats, you don't need to worry about limiting your fat consumption. But, maintaining a healthy diet also means avoiding processed and refined ingredients, particularly added sugar, and limiting consumption of meat other than fish.
The other important lesson is that you should never take statin drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol.
Of course, alternative health practitioners have essentially been saying the same things all along; it's just that mainstream science is now finally beginning to catch up.