By Sally Fallon

Epidemiological studies do not support the notion that diets high in animal fats cause heart disease. For instance, mortality from coronary heart disease in southern India was found to be seven times higher than in the north and people in the south died on average 8 years earlier, despite the fact that people in the north ate 19 times more fat (mostly animal fat) and also smoked much more.

In addition, the Masai people (Kenya) probably have the highest intake of animal fat in the world, but studies have shown that abnormalities on electrocardiography were far less frequent than in Americans and raised atherosclerotic lesions were rare.

In 33 countries, an increased intake of animal fat was followed by an increased coronary morality in 30 time periods, but in 23 other time periods an increased fat intake was followed by a decreased mortality.

Meticulous investigations of the food consumption in 21 studies including more than 150,000 participants, with and without coronary heart disease, did not find a correlation of dietary fat consumption in accordance with the current view.

More importantly is that systematic reviews of the various trials on the connection between fat intake and heart disease contradict any link. Not a single death has been prevented by diet in these trials. Researchers claiming the validity of the diet-heart idea do so by excluding negative trial results from their analyses.

British Medical Journal, January 26, 2002;324:238