Saturated fat and butter: from enemy to friend


Science is in full swing changing views on saturated fat. More and more people realize that the fear of real butter has been a mistake.

One of the most well-known nutritional Scandinavian scientists, Danish professor Arne Astrup, has completely changed his view on the issue. Now he’s written a new opinion piece in the latest issue of one of the world’s leading scientific journals on the subject, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. He writes that dairy products and saturated fat are beginning to be viewed as good and healthful foods.

His article concludes (my boldface type):

The totality of evidence does not support that dairy SFAs increase the risk of coronary artery disease or stroke or CVD mortality…

There is no evidence left to support the existing public health advice to limit consumption of dairy to prevent CVD and type 2 diabetes. Cheese and other dairy products are, in fact, nutrientdense foods that give many people pleasure in their daily meals.

AJCN: A changing view on SFAs and dairy: from enemy to friend

Arne Astrup – as well as many leading nutritional scientists – has gained support from the food industry. Including several dairy-product manufacturers. Unfortunately, this and his focusing mostly on dairy products makes the article seem to lose a bit of credibility.

However, it’s a sign of the times when a well-established scientist like Astrup has the guts to (and is allowed to) totally dismiss fat-phobia in one of the leading scientific journals of nutrition.

The old fear of fat is melting away, along with yesterday’s low-fat craze. Welcome back, butter.


TIME: Eat Butter. Scientists Labeled Fat the Enemy. Why They Were Wrong.

WSJ: “The Dubious Science Behind the Anti-Fat Crusade”

Saturated Fat Completely Safe According to New Big Review of All Science!

The Science of Saturated Fat: A Big Fat Surprise?

Heart Doctor: Time to Bust the Myth About Saturated Fat and Heart Disease


  1. Gareth
    Unless you're apoe4, which you never care to comment on.
  2. Jay Wortman MD
    As you know, I have always predicted that when the tide finally turns, those who were the biggest opponents will claim to have supported LCHF all along. Astrup hasn't gone that far here. I note that he appears to favour "lean dairy" whatever the heck that is. I will, nonetheless, be watching with interest.
    Reply: #4
  3. Daci
    "Lean dairy"..Who comes up with this nonsense? Anyway,I have to say, watching they slowly and painfully do an about face, has sure provided me with a lot of entertainment.
    Reply: #5
  4. Zepp
    Hes not stupid, he can read, he can altso read swedish, he knows what happens in sweden, we are nabors!

    The thing is that he have an academia career to think about, and a institution that need fundings!

    He have alternative companies that can fund his institution.. like dairy companies.

    Soo.. he dont need to lye.. his salary isnt dependant on that.. he can jump on the new boat when it goes in a new direction!

    Anyway.. its nice to have him on the boat.. better then have him trying to sink it!

    Mayby some other top nutrionist would think twice becuse of him?

    Im all happy anyway.. its better to have him on board kicking outward then outside kicking inward!

  5. Zepp
    Its probably becuse of his fundings.. Arla is the major dairy company in Scandinavia!

    They like to get twice the monye by seling both skimed milk and butter!

    I dont know if hes got funds frome Arla.. but I think so?

  6. Nate
    In his Astrup's article, he describes Type 2 diabetes as a "major risk factor for CVD." In fact, diabetics are something like 3 times more likely to have CVD (B). The common feature in diabetes is elevated blood glucose (A). So, to me, the logical research to do is to find out if A leads to B. Similar facts lead to similar questions with regard to obesity, high blood pressure, etc.
    Reply: #7
  7. jim

    the logical research to do is to find out if A leads to B.

    They already researched this. A *does* lead to B. Sugar (including blood glucose) just breaks all kinds of stuff...

  8. Lmg
    Interesting article by Arne Astrup.

    One thing thing that makes me take the article with a grain of salt is the fact that Mr. Astrup "currently serves as consultant/member of advisory boards for the Global Dairy Platform". His recommendation that "There is no evidence left to support the existing public health advice to limit consumption of dairy to prevent CVD and type 2 diabetes. Cheese and other dairy products are, in fact, nutrient dense foods that give many people pleasure in their daily meals." is obviously beneficial for the Global Dairy Platform and the sales of these products. Can there be a possible conflict of interests?

    I'm not saying that he is wrong, in fact I agree with and I'm in favor of consuming good fats and the ideas promoted on the Diet Doctor blog. Personally I believe that LCHF is a healthy way of eating. It's just that when someone associated with a product promotes its benefits it can make people think twice and it gives the detractors ammunition to try to discredit the author.

    Reply: #10
  9. Dr. Jason Fung
    Yes - He's also on the board of Kraft Foods. From the recent New England Journal Article on obesity:

    Dr. Astrup reports receiving payment for board membership from the Global Dairy Platform, Kraft Foods, Knowledge Institute for Beer, McDonald's Global Advisory Council, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Basic Research, Novo Nordisk, Pathway Genomics, Jenny Craig, and Vivus; receiving lecture fees from the Global Dairy Platform, Novo Nordisk, Danish Brewers Association, GlaxoSmithKline, Danish Dairy Association, International Dairy Foundation, European Dairy Foundation, and AstraZeneca

    Love how these academics are really just paid shills. Knowledge Institute for Beer? Danish Brewers Association, Dr Astrup? Really? McDonalds? Really? Is he going to start recommending beer and Big Macs too?

    I also prefer my information from somebody with less conflicts of interest. He's not necessarily wrong, mind you. Just less credible than I would like.

  10. Wade Henderson
    Gee wiz... I wonder how he was able to get that opinion piece published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition...

    Oh wait, under "conflicts of interest"... we see one of his positions

    --Salaried Associate Editor of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    Hmm, wonder if that had any influence on his getting a opinion piece in the journal.

    Then, the connections to the dairy industry as previously mentioned.

    Paid by the following--

    Global Dairy Platform, USA
    Danish Dairy Association,
    International Dairy Foundation,
    European Dairy Foundation

    All of them have paid him money, just like the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition as well as Herbalife and the much sued Basic Research company.

    The good Doc Astrup just exudes credibility.

  11. Kurt
    Infuriating pay wall as usual prevents full access...
  12. Murray
    Yes, I wondered about his credibility when he mentioned low-fat dairy. He seems to be trying to ride too many horses at once.

    It has been reported that natural dairy has over 400 different fats (before processing). There is growing evidence that the natural trans fat conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), for example, has numerous health benefits, so much so that a lot of research (especially at University of Wisconsin) has looked into varying cow feed to enhance CLA production (by adding sunflower seeds, for example). Vitamins K2, D3 and A (retinol) are of course all fat soluble. Medium chain triglycerides in milk fat evidently help transport sulfur across the gut barrier. (Dr. Stephanie Steneff at MIT has gathered and presents all sorts of material on the benefits of sulfur and Dr. Terry Wahls advocates three servings of sulfur-rich vegetables per day, better eaten with butter, of course.) Butyrate (the root-word of "but-ter") has anti-inflammatory and other benefits. Grass-fed dairy is rich in DHA. Who knows what all the other 395+ fats do? Milk fat is plainly evolutionarily engineered to do good things. Oxford researchers recently opined that the so-called French paradox was due to consumption of artisan cheese, not red wine.

  13. Zepp
    For you how dont know how this Astrup is, he is Danish and one of Europes leading and influential nutrtrion scientist/professors!

    He is like dogshit.. everyware, sitting on a lot of boards in EU, both comercial and govermental and in Nordic countries and EU!

    Soo, his 180 degree turn on fat is rather a good sign, it means that on of Europes most influential nutrion professors has change his wiev about fat!

    He is not stupid, he is a scientist/professor, he know when the scientific wind turns and in wish direction!

    We did force our goverment in sweden to take the nutrition for sick people frome the agricultural departemen to our healt care department.. and to there investigation branch, SBU!

    Denmark has gone frome the land of cream to be one of the moste fat scared countrys in the world in 30 years!

    It have probably got som implications on Danisch main industries.. i.e. agricultural, they are Europes pig farmer (Tulip) and have big dairy companies (Arla)!

    I dont care if he got fundings frome Tulip and Arla.. he need fundings for his institution, better is that he dont need to lye for his salary!

    Its probably more top nutrionist that need new funding companies!

  14. bill
    He's paid by all those organizations? No wonder
    he's smiling so brightly in that picture.
    Reply: #16
  15. Zepp
    Its probably by being healty and wealthy living in a rich country, there one can choose wich company to get payments frome!

    Everybody should try that.. to be healthy and wealty and to be a person that can choose how should contribute to ones wealth!

    But today I is promoting a video frome Australia.. about low carb diets!

    "Low Carb Diet: Fat Or Fiction"

    I realy love this Professor Tim Noakes, he have a real nice way to explain things!

    And if there is some of you down under that read here.. is there something happening in Australia.. any progress, any impact?

  16. Peter
    Saturated fat is still dangerous for the few with the ApoE e4 allele, unfortunately.

    Those with e4 need to also be on a low saturated fat keto and replace them with monounsaturated fats.

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