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FATS AND HEART ATTACKS

Most people cannot remember what they ate a few days ago. With fats, researchers have gotten around this problem because all they have to do to find out how much and what types of fat a person has been eating is to stick a special biopsy needle into the buttocks of a person, withdraw a small amount of fat, and then analyze the types of fat in the person's buttocks.

In the August, 2000 edition of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Norwegian researchers studied 100 heart attack patients and an equal number of controls. People who had had heart attacks had low levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and higher levels of trans fatty acids and linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids. In fact, those with high omega-3 fats had only 20 percent the risk of heat disease, while those with high trans fat had more than double the risk.

Margarine supplies trans, linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids. So heart attacks in Denmark are probably associated with excess intake of margarine. You could also conclude that people who eat the most bread are the ones most likely to get heart attacks because people who eat bread and other bakery products are the ones who use the most margarines. The protective omega-3 fatty acids were mostly from cold water fish. Part of the funding for this study came from the Norwegian margarine industry. This study is a credit to the high integrity of the researchers and the margarine industry itself.

You can conclude from this study that you should eat vegetable oils in the vegetables and not extract the oils and make margarine out of them. You can also conclude that eating refined carbohydrates in bakery products may also increase risk of heart attacks. And also that the best way to prevent heart attacks is to make sure that you get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids from deep water fish, seeds, nuts, beans and whole grains.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition August, 2000

Checked 8/31/05

May 21st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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