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Chris Woolmams / Catherine Woollams
Saturated fat intake increases risk of lung cancer; good fat reduces risk

In a large multi-centre study, researchers from Imperial College London, the US National Cancer Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, Vanderbilt and more, found that saturated fat intake was linked to a higher incidence of lung cancer amongst smokers.  The Epidemiology study(1) involved some 10 cohort studies in the USA, Europe and Asia and over 1.4 million people. 

The link between saturated fat consumption and smoking was highest for current smokers than for former smokers or those with squamous cell and small cell carcinoma. 

By contrast, those people with a high intake of good oils, like polyunsaturated fats, had a decreased risk of lung cancer.

Indeed, a 5 per cent switch between saturated fat and ‘good fat’ was linked to a 16 to 17 per cent DECREASE in the risk of small cell and squamous cell carcinoma.

Warning:  Do NOT consume saturated fat if you want to avoid cancer

As we repeatedly tell you in the Rainbow Diet, ‘good fats and oils’ (extra virgin olive oil, fish oils from salmon, tuna, mackerel, nut oils like walnut, seed oils like flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame, and certain plant oils like avocado) are essential to your good health.

Please be clear:  On we have told you of two meta-studies in 2010 and 2014 that show there is no increased risk of coronary heart disease for people who consume the highest levels of saturated fat, over those who consume the least. The controlling factor in cardiovascular disease appears to be sugar consumption, insulin and inflammation. 

However, in the USA Dr. Chauncey Crandall of the Palm Beach Heart Clinic advocates switching consumption of saturated fat into good fat, so that the balance is 70% in favour of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as we listed above under ‘good oils’.

Why the Pioppi diet is dangerous for people wishing to beat cancer

Unfortunately, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a top UK cardiologist is advocating a high fat diet for all (the Pioppi diet) not just people at risk of cardiovascular disease.  There is even a BBC documentary being made about this diet. The belief is that any and all fat - unsaturated, and saturated – is good for you.

This conclusion is quite wrong.  Saturated fats may be fine if you want to prevent heart disease.  But not cancer.

High saturated fat is known to lead to higher oestrogen levels in the body and more hormonally driven cancers like prostate, breast and ovarianใ  We have covered all of this in Cancer Watch. We have also featured articles - for example, by Nutrition expert Gosia Desmond(2) - showing links between breast and prostate cancers and saturated fat intake in during a person’s teens.

Finally, we recently covered research(3) where high levels of triglycerides in the blood stream were linked to greater metastases and lowered survival.  

On a personal level, having lived on the Mediterranean on and off for more than 30 years, I cannot believe that a set of poor Italian villagers near the coast of eat a lot of saturated fat. Copious amounts of cows’ dairy and red meat? Highly unlikely.  

Far more likely is the red wine, outdoor life, copious fresh vegetables and healthy fats, fish and sunshine, as I advocate in the colourful Mediterranean Diet – a diet backed by, now, plenty of studies. 


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