How Much Longer Can We Expect To Live By Cutting Out the Saturated Fat?

Interesting tidbit I found in Good Calories Bad Calories from page 65:

“Between 1987 and 1994, independent research groups from Harvard Medical School, the University of California, San Francisco, and McGill University in Montreal addressed the question of how much longer we might expect to live if no more than 30 per cent of our calories came from fat, and no more than 10 percent from saturated fat, as recommended by the various government agencies…

“The Harvard study, led by William Taylor, concluded that men with a high risk of heart disease, such as smokers with high blood pressure, might gain one extra year of life by shunning saturated fat. Healthy nonsmokers, however, might expect to gain only three days to three months …

“The UCSF study, led by Warren Browner, was initiated and funded by the Surgeon General’s Office. This study concluded that cutting fat consumption in America would delay 42,000 deaths each year, but the average life expectancy would increase by only three to four months. To be precise, a man who might otherwise die at 65 could expect to live an extra month if he avoided saturated fat for his entire adult life. If he lived to be 90, he could expect an extra four months. The McGill study, published in 1994, concluded that reducing saturated fat in the diet would result in an average life expectancy of four days to two months.”

“Michael McGinnis, the deputy secretary for health, then wrote to JAMA trying to prevent publication of Browner’s article, or at least to convince the editors to run an accompanying editorial that would explain why BRowner’s analysis should not be considered relevant to the benefits of eating less fat.”

Now if these studies are true (and to be honest I haven’t gone through them personally), they were not the only ones at the time down playing the dangers of saturated fat. However, the fact that the McGovern report chose to test a low fat hypothesis without conclusive evidence as recommendations for the US people…and only for the government to try and silence research that downplayed their own recommendations decades later….sounds fishy. More importantly, the rage I feel for denying myself bacon and eggs for breakfast all these years cannot be understated!
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