After reviewing the results of a 12-month Malaysian diet and population study, Ara Suppiah, MD remarked that science has finally caught up with his Malaysian grandmother’s ancient intuitive wisdom. 

Suppiah, who was born in Malaysia, educated in England and now practices in Florida, was not surprised to see the study’s results which vindicated dietary fats’ role in raising several heart disease risk factors. Palm oil, which is 50% saturated fats, has been part of this health-conscious physician’s diet for most of his entire life. 

Suppiah is an ER physician, chief wellness officer of Florida Emergency Physicians, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Central Florida Medical College and personal physician to many of the world’s top professional golfers. In his blog, he shares personal stories and medical information to help his readers improve their health and performance. 

About the study, he writes: “After carefully monitoring the diets of 577 healthy adults, and evaluating them for multiple heart disease risk factors, researchers in Malaysia (yes my original home!)  concluded something remarkable: restricting carbs had a significantly greater benefit to heart health than restricting fat consumption. 

“These results fly in the face of traditional advice. You might predict that people following low-fat diets would have better cholesterol profiles than those eating high-fat diets. That did not happen in this study. Those eating a high carb/low fat diet had worse outcomes.” More than 80% of the study participants routinely consumed Malaysian palm oil. 

Suppiah comments, “As my grandmother always said, it’s never a good idea to completely ignore an entire food group. Proteins, carbs and fats all deserve a place in a heart-healthy diet. But you should do two things different because of this study: Pay closer attention to the type of carbs you’re eating and have a place for saturated fats on your plate.”

Dr Ara heart health study