Tag Archives: science nerd

A nutritional post

One of my beloved commenters recently mentioned wanting to make the recipe I posted the other day, but expressed concern over the saturated fat/cholesterol content. On a related note, I was talking to a good friend via Google Hangout (like Skype, but better) the other day, and we got into a discussion about milk(s). She’d gradually switched to skim, while I have progressively gone the other direction, to whole milk. So I figured I’d share some of the research I’ve been reading, to show you that I’m not trying to give anyone a heart attack or further the obesity epidemic (cue scary music).

1.) Source: http://www.gnolls.org/1086/the-lipid-hypothesis-has-officially-failed-part-1-of-many/ (I know, I know: some random website, but it does point to a legitimate scholarly journal article).

Excerpt: “The American Journal of Medicine Volume 102, Issue 3 , Pages 259-264, March 1997. Divergent trends in obesity and fat intake patterns: The american paradox. MD Adrian F. Heini, MD, DrPH Roland L. Weinsier …

RESULTS: In the adult US population the prevalence of overweight rose from 25.4% from 1976 to 1980 to 33.3% from 1988 to 1991, a 31% increase. During the same period, average fat intake, adjusted for total calories, dropped from 41.0% to 36.6%, an 11% decrease. Average total daily calorie intake also tended to decrease, from 1,854 kcal to 1,785 kcal (−4%). Men and women had similar trends. Concurrently, there was a dramatic rise in the percentage of the US population consuming low-calorie products, from 19% of the population in 1978 to 76% in 1991. From 1986 to 1991 the prevalence of sedentary lifestyle represented almost 60% of the US population, with no change over time.”

2.) Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/22116724/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/what-if-bad-fat-isnt-so-bad/#.UUnCQ1sRAR9

Excerpt: “In the 1960s, a Vanderbilt University scientist named George Mann, M.D., found that Masai men consumed this very diet (supplemented with blood from the cattle they herded). Yet these nomads, who were also very lean, had some of the lowest levels of cholesterol ever measured and were virtually free of heart disease.

Sure, we’re very different from the Masai, so how about something more applicable to you and me?

“We’ve spent billions of our tax dollars trying to prove the diet-heart hypothesis. Yet study after study has failed to provide definitive evidence that saturated-fat intake leads to heart disease. The most recent example is the Women’s Health Initiative, the government’s largest and most expensive ($725 million) diet study yet. The results, published last year, show that a diet low in total fat and saturated fat had no impact in reducing heart-disease and stroke rates in some 20,000 women who had adhered to the regimen for an average of 8 years.”

3.) Source: http://chriskresser.com/specialreports/heartdisease 

Chris Kresser is an “integrative medicine” guy, which may turn some people off, but he certainly does his research and supports his writings with scientific, peer-reviewed journal articles.

The following comes from this article.

Excerpt: “Now, thanks to research published last week in BMJ, an old study is shedding new light on the omega-6 fatty acids and heart health controversy…replacing saturated fat with high omega-6 vegetable oils is likely to put you at a greater risk for heart attack, and it certainly won’t provide any health benefits…As more evidence surfaces about the dangers of high omega-6 PUFA consumption, it will be more difficult to defend the current AHA guidelines for fat consumption that are currently promoted by conventional health professionals. It seems the tide may be turning (slowly) when it comes to dietary fat recommendations, but it will be interesting to see how the American Heart Association responds to this new study.”

Okay, one more:

“The recent review I’m talking about is a meta-analysis published this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It pooled together data from 21 unique studies that included almost 350,000 people, about 11,000 of whom developed cardiovascular disease (CVD), tracked for an average of 14 years, and concluded that there is no relationship between the intake of saturated fat and the incidence of heart disease or stroke.”

TL;DR:

1). Americans shifted to a “low fat,” “healthy” diet and got fatter. I wish the article/author of the website talked “health” rather than body size, but there you have it. A good reason to ditch those money-making, “low fat” diets that really, just make you buy more mass-marketed crap, because you’re hungry all the time. Fat is satiating.

2.) The notion that saturated fat causes heart disease is predominantly based on one very flawed study from the 1950s, wherein Ancel Keys tried to show that the more animal fat we eat, the higher our risk of heart disease. The NBC news article goes into much further detail and proportions of nutrients (fat, carb, protein) and does state that a low-fat diet might work for a small population that isn’t also trying to lose weight or exercise. So the key takeaway is that percentages of fat, protein, carb probably don’t matter as much as exercise and being a healthy weight, but also that sat. fat has been unfairly demonized.

3.) Eat butter, not margarine. Also, recent research compares the benefits of Omega 3 vs. Omega 6 fatty acids, and shows that our “heart healthy” intake of highly processed, high-Omega 6 vegetable oils is pretty terrible for us. Old research lumped these two types of fatty acids together. I could link to a zillion (okay, maybe not that many) other sources that explain why we’re better off aiming for a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio, compared to our modern 1:10 intake (eek!) but my battery is dying. 

 

Finally, for the more visually inclined, here’s a clip from the movie “Fat Heat,” which strikes me as kind of cutesy and oversimplified, but it’s certainly captivating:

 

So I originally titled this “a quickie nutritional post,” but as you can see, it turned into quite the lengthy diatribe. I’m not even sure if I’m using that word correctly. Comments? Concerns? Bacon? I’d love to hear from you.

 

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