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Professor re-emphasizes lessons learned about fats

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- The topic of fats in a diet has been debated for more than 50 years. But, a recent study found new facts which could shift that discussion.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- The topic of fats in a diet has been debated for more than 50 years. But, a recent study found new facts which could shift that discussion. The man responsible, lives right here in Central Illinois. WCIA-3's Gary Brode reports as we try to Improve Your Health.

"They all said that cholesterol causes heart disease and I'm the one that said, 'No, that's not true.'"

Dr. Fred Kummerow has studied fats for about 60 years, but it was a recent discovery which may be his greatest accomplishment.

"Cholesterol level is not the cause of heart disease. It's diet. Cholesterol is a fat which is very much needed in your blood."

He recently had an article published proving trans-fats in the diet and a certain type of cholesterol called LDL are the actual reasons for heart disease.

"I knew that long ago."

The CDC says about 600,000 people die each year from heart disease. The 99-year old even wrote a book about his knowledge of fats.

Kummerow has been teaching biochemistry at UI since the 50's. He says he's enjoyed working with so many bright minds over the years.

"I've had 32 students form all over the world and 25 of them went back to their country and did great things and they were given prizes."

Three glasses of milk, an egg and a different type of meat every day is what Kummerow believes is the reason for his longevity.

"So, if you have all these factors in your diet and eat them in moderate amounts, you'll be living to 100."

April 23, Dr. Kummerow will be recognized by the university for his lifelong achievements. He says it's an honor and is looking forward to it.
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