Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If you knew this, would you still believe it to be true?

What if a health theory had over 50 years to be proven, and it still wasn't able to be shown to be correct, with science?  Would you still believe it to be true after 50 plus years?  What if the studies conducted actually showed that the theory was not true and that it was a flawed hypothesis to begin with?  Would people still believe it to be true?  What if the data that was put together was manipulated to show what it wanted to show to be true?  Would you still believe it to be true?  That is what this blog post will explore.  A faulty theory we were fed and then didn't pan out in the end. (Watch the short clips linked in the article if that's all you do - it will show you the message very concisely in just a few minutes.  Look for the blue type, for the clip links.  The clip posted at the bottom of the post shows how this incorrect theory effects the health our children.)

The former Associate Director, Dr. George Mann, of one of the largest human health studies, "The Framingham Heart Study" said this... "The Diet-Heart hypothesis has been repeatedly shown to be wrong, and yet, for complicated reasons of pride, profit and prejudice, the hypothesis continues to be exploited by scientists, fund-raising enterprises, food companies and even governmental agencies.  The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century".  This was the associate director of the study saying this.

The question I want to address in this blog post - "Is a clogged arterial wall in the human body caused by fats?"  I found this article on a website called Winchester Patch and felt it was such a great article, that it was better to just share the article itself, which was posted by Bob Kaplan. 

This article shows how the Lipid "Hypothesis", created by Ancel Keys, came about, and how it came to be understood as fact, when it is most definitely not fact. 

This "Hypothesis" is just that, a hypothesis, and has never been able to be proven by science.  The lipid hypothesis was presented in the 1950's.  That is over 50 years of time trying to get a study to prove the hypothesis correct -- without results.  You will plainly see why that is.

This article explains why study after study has not been able to prove that fat (or cholesterol) causes heart disease. 

So here it is, a very easy to understand article, with diagrams that make it simple.  You can click on the colored type above to view the original web page, or any other colored type, to link to and view further reading.  You can click on the diagrams themselves to view a larger format. 

Posted on November 27, 2011 at 9:03pm

Is a clogged arterial wall in the human body caused by fats?

Beware of Artery Clogging Saturated Fat!!!

"If you eat too much [saturated fat], then over time fatty deposits can build up in your arteries, and this increases your risk of heart disease," says an advertisement by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the United Kingdom.

Sound familiar? If it does, then you have heard yet another nutrition fallacy!

This one is particularly pervasive, and the FSA goes so far as to use the visual link between the fat we eat and the blocking of arteries:

Watch the 40-second advertisement.

Wow. This advertisement literally interprets our digestive system as little more than a pipe, when in fact there is much more at work inside our bodies. This oversimplification endangers our understanding of how we actually process fat that we eat with an elementary visual effect, yet this juvenile interpretation is generally accepted as fact. 

The Six (or seven, or 22!) Countries Study
Where did we go so wrong? In the 1950s, a researcher named Ancel Keys published a study comparing heart disease and fat consumption in six countries, showing a positive association between fat and death from heart disease. The data was clear: the more fat the country ate, the more death from heart disease.

(Notice the "Six Countries Study" image for a visual representation.)

Well, that settles it. Looks like fat gives us heart disease. But hold on a second. The problem was that Keys admittedly left out existing data of countries that ate a lot of fat and had little heart disease, like Norway and Holland. Countries that didn't eat much fat, but had high levels of heart disease, such as Chile, were also ignored by Keys.

("Nine Countries Study?" image above for a visual representation. Note: Tom Naughton did an entertaining and informative job of covering the issue of saturated fat in the two-minute clip provided here.)

Oops. In all, Keys had reliable data from 22 countries with results all over the map in terms of implicating fat and heart disease. Keys discarded the data that didn’t fit his preconceptions and published the results as conclusive.

Out of the Keys’ study spawned the lipid hypothesis, which states:

1.   Saturated fat raises cholesterol.
2.   Cholesterol causes heart disease.

Both of these notions are almost assuredly wrong and there are copious studies that show saturated fat consumption has nothing to do with heart disease. But this contradictory data is often thrown onto the trash heap of inconvenient truths in nutrition.

There is also a logical leap of faith between the two steps, which is like observing that there is an increase of ice cream sales in the summer, and also during the summer, deaths by drowning increase, therefore ice cream causes death by drowning. Or as I like to call it: Drowning-Inducing-Ice-Cream. (Harvard alum Mat Lalonde, PhD, pointed this out at his nutrition seminar in Cambridge.)

Fats All Live in a Yellow Submarine

Fat does not cause damage to the walls of an artery. Fat, cholesterol, platelets, and other repair components are deposited on the wall of a damaged artery. If you think about it, we always have an excess of fat and cholesterol circulating in our bloodstream. Our arteries don’t “take up” these constituents under normal circumstances, and it’s not one too many pats of butter that tips the scale in favor of a full-blown traffic jam.

The reality is that fats are safely carried around the body inside lipoproteins, which act like submarines, transporting the fat and making them soluble in water.

A quick, and definitely not exhaustive, summary: when you eat fat, the fat is mixed with saliva and digestive enzymes, and the fat gets disassembled. The fat then reaches the stomach and sets off a cascade of hormonal, enzymatic, peptidic, and biomolecular responses. Most of the digestion occurs in the intestines. Bile is released from the gall bladder as well as digestive enzymes from the pancreas. The fatty acids are combined with cholesterol (remember the lipoprotein submarine?) and the muscle and fat cells pull the fatty acids inside via enzymes.

(Notice the visual representation what would happen if Keys picked Japan, Ceylon, Chile, Mexico, and France, as his subjects for his study.)

Fatty acids are an incredible source of fuel for the body, not a toxic substance. Saturated fats may be able to clog a drainpipe at room temperature, but this says absolutely nothing about what happens inside the human body and is an utterly embarrassing and naïve way to think about it.

This didn't stop the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to perhaps coin the phrase in 1986, referring to palm, coconut, and palm kernel oil as "artery clogging saturated fat." This is the same group that promoted, and defended, man-made trans fats as a healthy alternative.

Saturated with Harm or Health (or Hydrogens)?

Saturated fats are "shelf-stable, resistant to heat damage, and essential to many bodily functions," wrote author and blogger Mark Sisson. "Roughly half of our cell membrane structure is composed of saturated fat, and saturated animal fats, like butter or fatty organ meats, contain huge amounts of essential fat-soluble vitamins (K2, A, D, among others)."   Note by Vicki:  You can not get true Vitamin A from plant foods (Beta-carotene in plant foods is difficult to convert into Vitamin A in the body, for most people - babies and young children cannot convert it at all).  True Vitamin A must come from the fats in animal products.  This nutrient is vital for our health and especially the health of our growing and learning children and their developing brains!

Another way to think about this debate is to consider that 'good' fats are really any fats that are found in nature that have been consumed in copious quantities for thousands of generations.

"The idea that unsaturated fats are good and saturated fats are bad is actually quite funny if you know the composition of food," noted Zoe Harcombe, author and obesity researcher. "Do we really think that the saturated fat is trying to kill us while the monounsaturated fat is trying to save us? It is utterly ludicrous."

(Visual representation of a very different interpretation if Keys had chosen Israel, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, and Norway as his 'Six Countries.')

I Heart Bacon?

Let's take a look at bacon as an example of an oft-cited artery-clogging food. A few slices of bacon contain saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Approximately 51% of the fat in bacon is monounsaturated, with virtually all of it comprised of oleic acid, the same fat found in olive oil, which is trumpeted for potentially having the dual role of increasing the 'good' cholesterol (HDL) and decreasing the supposed 'bad' cholesterol (LDL).

Saturated fat makes up 45% of the total fat in bacon, with a third of it coming from stearic acid, the same stearic acid that is found in chocolate that's touted as heart-healthy for raising HDL. The remaining fat is polyunsaturated, which has been shown to lower LDL.

"All of this suggests that eating [bacon] in lieu of bread or potatoes would actually reduce heart-disease risk," wrote Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, "although virtually no nutritional authority will say so publicly."

(Visual representation of what would have happened if researcher Ancel Keys picked Finland, Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Germany as his "Six Countries.")


Observation Nation

Throughout history and up to present day it is easy to find populations that primarily eat saturated fat and live long, healthy lives. The Tokelau Islanders, the Masai, the Plains Indians, and the Inuit are just a few examples of cultures that subsisted almost entirely on animal-derived energy, much of it in the form of saturated fat, and yet had some of the lowest incidences of heart disease on the planet.
(View the "Death Rates and Average Cholesterol Levels in the MONICA study" image at the top of this post, where Malcolm Kendrick, MD, plotted death rates from heart disease and average cholesterol data from the World Health Organization Multinational Monitoring of Trends in and determinants in Cardiovascular Disease (MONICA). Notice that the Aborginals have the lowest levels of cholesterol and the highest rate of death from heart disease. Conversely, Switzerland has the highest level of cholesterol and lowest level of death from heart disease. Please check out the one-minute video.)

What Fuels You?

Our bodies run on saturated fat. If we are operating efficiently, most of our energy is derived from our body's fat stores. We don't need to get up in the middle of the night to snack because we can live off of our own fat.

Of the typical energy reserves in a healthy individual, 78% is comprised of fat, 21% protein, and 1-2% glycogen (or carbohydrates).

The fact that the natural (saturated or unsaturated) fat you eat, is the healthy fat you are, should call into question the validity of such statements that fats are "artery clogging."

'You are what you eat?' Perhaps 'Eat what you are' may not be such a bad suggestion. This points to eating like our ancestors and living off of the land as part of a healthful lifestyle, rather than the cause of our cardiac demise.

Bob Kaplan holds advance degrees in exercise physiology and business, an undergraduate degree in nutrition, is a nationally certified personal trainer, and owns four Get In Shape For Women locations in Bedford, Wellesley, Westford, and Winchester.

For more information about Kaplan's services at Get in Shape For Women in Winchester, please call 781-729-8100 or visit at 564 Main Street, Winchester, MA  01890, or online at www.getinshapeforwomen.com for a free week trial.

 How this all works against our growing and learning children (and adults):
(View this short video clip)
 (Part 2 of this clip is below titled Weston A. Price - Nutrition Education)

Photos (7)

Credit: Bob Kaplan
Credit: Tom Naughton
Credit: Tom Naughton
Credit: Petro Dobromylskyj
Credit: Petro Dobromylskyj
Credit: Petro Dobromylskyj
Credit: Malcolm Kendrick