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Saturated Fat Good, Margarine Bad

We've written before about researchers who think that margarine may cause childhood asthma. Now they say that children who regularly drink whole milk are less likely to develop this condition. People are having success losing weight and lowering their cholesterol on high fat, high protein diets like Atkins and the Protein Power diet. The American Medical Association has been pushing margarine and low fat diets for years?have they been wrong all this time?

Dutch scientist Alet Wijga says the types of fatty acids and nutrients in whole milk may help protect children against asthma. Researchers have noticed that childhood asthma has increased at a similar rate as margarine consumption. They say a diet high in polyunsaturated fats, the kind in margarine and vegetable oils, may double a child's chances of having asthma.

Wijga says, "The balance between these different types of fat in the diet influences the working of our immune system. The increase in the prevalence of asthma, eczema and hay fever in the western world may be related to the reduction in the consumption of saturated fat and the increase in the consumption of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and in particular linoleic acid."

She says, "Nearly all the evidence on the harmful effects of a high consumption of saturated fat has been collected in adults and we know little about the risks and benefits of fat consumption in pre-school children."

Now scientists are telling women they should avoid fatty foods in order to limit their exposure to dioxins, which are stored in animal fat. Dioxins can build up in a woman's body during her lifetime and be passed to her baby through the placenta or in breast milk. Their effects range from behavioral disorders to cancer.

Dioxins are pollutants that are found in soil, water and air. They can occur naturally, when a field or forest burns, but the main problem in the U.S. is the dioxins that are released when industrial materials are incinerated. Hard-rock mining companies and coal-burning power plants are the biggest dioxin polluters.

So they're basically telling women they can't eat what we now know to be a healthy diet because the government is unwilling to clean up pollution. Or could that be why they've been pushing low fat diets?

If we don't face up to what has to be done to save our environment, this truly will be our final hour.

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