Diets high in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are linked to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, some cancers, and exacerbate diseases related to overconsumption of alcohol. The choice of diet influences an individual's long-term health more than any other single factor.
The dietary fat in the American daily diet fell from 37% fat on average to 34% in 1995. The target is 30%. But the consumption of cheese is on the increase.
Eskimos living on a traditional diet have the highest fat intake in the world and have none of the diseases associated with high fat diets. The substance conjugated linoleic acid, found in fatty meats and cheeses, is a potent anti-carcinogen. It has a molecular structure that tends to attract and immobilize free oxygen radicals, rare forms of oxygen molecules found in blood and tissue that have been strongly implicated in the initiation of cancers and degenerative conditions like arthritis, heart disease and aging. In 1990 evidence was presented suggesting that reduction of fat intake increased susceptibility to violent death (accidents, suicides or murders) by altering brain chemistry.