Olive Oil or Meat? Relative monounsaturated fat ratios etc....

Zeroing In On Health – The Blog! » Olive Oil or Meat?

You might have seen this headline touting the efficacy of the Mediterranean Diet over the low-fat diet. Not really a surprise to those of us eating an all-meat diet but you may wonder why it is that we don’t give up these delicious steaks and ribs and just opt for some olive oil on salad. Well, they didn’t compare the Mediterranean diet against zero-carb….

Researchers led by Dr. Ramón Estruch, from the Department of Internal Medicine at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, put the Mediterranean diet to the test against a low-fat diet. They followed participants for five years to track rates of heart attack, stroke and heart-disease-related death. After nearly five years, the results were so striking for one group that the study was stopped early, according to research published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Those who ate diets high in extra virgin olive oil and nuts had a 3 in 10 (30%) lower risk of death by heart disease.

We learned in Good Calories, Bad Calories, that the Mediterranean diet has always suffered from the fact that no one really understood why or how it worked. The consensus was that it was “heart healthy” because of the effect of monounsaturated fats. However, there were two very expensive clinical trials in the 1990′s, the Lydon Diet Heart Trial and the GSSI-Prevenzion Trial. The trials showed that the olive oil was effective but not because of any effect on the lipid profile. The other problem was that all of the Mediterranean does not benefit from this diet despite their high consumption of olive oil. It only works in Crete and Corfu, but not Rome and Barcelona. In Crete and Corfu, they happen to eat the most animal products along with their olive oil.

You, dear reader, should understand that the principle fat in animal products, is not unsaturated fat. It’s actually monounsaturated fat, — the very fat that is found in olive oil. Yes, it’s true. A porterhouse steak, lard or bacon would provide the same health benefit as long as one does not consume bread and potatoes along with it. Fifty-one percent of the fat in a steak is monounsaturated, with 90 percent of that being oleic acid. Look it up and see for yourself.

Don’t get lost in “risk” and do not let your attention waiver from carbohydrates. If you restrict carbohydrates and eat foods high in fat, you will lower heart disease risk. It’s really that simple.