For a Healthy Heart, Chop the Animal Fat!

t-bone steak

It was a great privilege to serve with my esteemed colleagues, led by Dr. Frank Sacks, on a Presidential Advisory statement  entitled “Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease” commissioned by the American Heart Association and published in.Circulation

Some of the main points are:

1. Replacing 10% of calories from Saturated fats (such as beef tallow, butter and lard) with Polyunsaturated fats (such as corn, safflower & soybean oils) REDUCES RISK OF HEART DISEASE BY 50%

2.  Replacing 10% of calories from Saturated fats with Monounsaturated fats (olive oil) REDUCES RISK OF HEART DISEASE BY 30%

3. Replacing 10% of calories from Saturated fats with Complex Carbs (whole grains) REDUCES RISK OF HEART DISEASE BY 18%

4. Replacing 10% of calories from Saturated fats with Simple Carbs (refined starches/added sugars) DOES NOT REDUCE RISK OF HEART DISEASE

As a cardiologist, I recommend that you chop out or restrict animal fat.  However, for my meat loving patients who will not give up their favorite steak, limit intake to no more than 3-4 ounces per serving and aim for a lean cut of beef.  At a restaurant, I recommend asking your waiter to have the chef divide the steak up front (for sharing or placing into a take home box) and filling up your plate with fresh salad instead.

Dr. Miller is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland and Member of the American Heart Association Nutrition and Lifestyle Committee.  His latest book is “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription…” (Rodale Press).

 

 

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