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Fat consumption varied wildly between different groups.

September 1, 1964


Epidemiologic Investigations in Relation to Diet in Groups Who Show Little Atherosclerosis and Are Almost Free of Coronary Ischemic Heart Disease

Low Fat / Low Cholesterol Study

In 1964, F.W. Lowenstein, a medical officer for the World Health Organization in Geneva, collected every study he could find on men who were virtually free of heart disease, and concluded that their fat consumption varied wildly, from about 7 percent of total calories among Benedictine monks and the Japanese to 65 percent among Somalis. And there was every number in between: Mayans checked in with 26 percent, Phillippines with 14 percent, the Gabonese with 18 percent, and black slaves on the island of St. Kitts with 17 percent. The type of fat also varied dramatically, from cottonseed and seasme oil (vegetable fats) eaten by Buddhist monks to the gallons of milk (all animal fat) drunk by the Masai. Most other groups ate some kind of mixture of vegetable and animal fats. One could only conclude from thees findings that any link between dietary fat and heart disease was, at best, weak and unreliable. 

- Nina Teicholz - The Big Fat Surprise - page 56