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Show 1083: Should You Be Worried About Salt or Sat Fat for Your Heart?

Why don't all the experts agree about the dangers of salt or sat fat for your heart? Call in your questions about what you are doing for cardiac health.
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Should You Be Worried About Salt or Sat Fat for Your Heart?

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You’ve probably heard that lifestyle is the most important factor in keeping your heart healthy. Don’t smoke, exercise, and eat right seem simple. But what does it really mean to eat right? Should you be avoiding sat fat?

How Big a Problem Is Sat Fat?

Experts have been telling us for decades that we must avoid saturated fat. Butter, bacon, cheese and ice cream were depicted as the enemies of our coronary arteries.

Eventually, though, the nutrition experts realized that they’d erred in advising people to consume margarine instead. The trans fats in margarine and vegetable shortening turned out to be the least heart-healthy thing we could spread on our bread. So now we are all avoiding trans fats as much as possible.

But shouldn’t we still be steering clear of sat fat? And if so, what can you put on your morning toast? A trio of eminent cardiologists have written an intriguing essay titled “Saturated Fat Does Not Clog the Arteries.”  Joe and Terry discuss the implications of this essay and invite your stories about avoiding (or not) sat fat in your diet. You can listen to one of the authors, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, discuss this editorial here.

The American Heart Association disagrees. Here is its presidential advisory warning against eating saturated fat. It was published June 15, 2017.

Lowering Sodium Intake to Control Blood Pressure:

Dr. Franz Messerli is an internationally recognized expert on blood pressure. He spoke to us from his office in Bern, Switzerland, about whether it makes good health sense to cut back on salt. Which organization does he criticize for hypocrisy? Who would benefit most? Can you overdo salt restriction? If you have tried to eat less salt, tell us about your experience.

Your Calls Are Welcome:

What lifestyle changes have you made to protect your heart? How well are they working out? Is there an approach you’ve been wondering about? We are interested in your stories, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions. Tune in Saturday, June 17, 2017, from 7 to 8 AM EDT or call 1-888-472-3366. You can also reach us through email (radio@peoplespharmacy.com) or Twitter @peoplespharmacy.

This Week’s Guest:

Franz H. Messerli, MD, FACC, is Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the  University of Bern, Switzerland, and at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, New York, and Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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