Don’t Believe the Hype: Diets High in Saturated Fat DO Cause Heart Disease

A new commentary just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine contends that saturated fat is uninvolved in coronary artery disease. Before you get too excited: the commentary is comprised only of theory and opinion, none of it new, all... Read more

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No, Butter is Not Back

butter

Saturated fat – found primarily in animal products – promotes chronic disease. Still.

This is solidly established in the scientific literature. Although recent industry funded meta analyses, designed specifically to confuse and obfuscate the health issues, appear to absolve saturated fat, this does not change the results of metabolic ward, animal model, and careful population studies of the past. Rather, they sift, sort and screen the voluminous data and use title, abstract, and conclusion wording to confuse.

Doubt is their product.

Hence the refurbished old news that hit headlines once again last week…based on this article, published in BMJ.

In this fantastic rebuttal by Dr. David L. Katz, called “Heart Disease is Not Hypothetical,” he states, “I confess I don’t understand why hypothesizing by several cardiologists who have expressed this opinion before, involving no new research, citing review articles from two and three years ago on the causes of coronary artery disease should be worthy of publication in the peer-reviewed literature.”

Yet it was. And, as usual, it captured media attention.

Nothing has changed. The preponderance of data demonstrate that eating diets high in saturated fat increases disease risk.

The American Heart Association maintains their recommendation to aim for a dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat.

A whole food, plant-based diet averages approximately 6% to 7% of calories from saturated fat. Adding in one serving of animal products or tropical oils (yes, including coconut oil) easily brings that number to above recommended limits.

And it is not just cardiovascular disease that saturated fat promotes. This article by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine shows 12 more reasons besides cardiovascular disease to reduce saturated fat.

Ignore the headlines. Focus, instead, on the overwhelming evidence in support of plant-based diets for optimal health.

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Six Serious Reasons to Just Ditch Dairy

Haven’t ditched dairy yet?

Here are 6 serious reasons to just do it:

 
ditch dairy1. As per Dr. Michael Klaper, the purpose of cow’s milk is to help a baby calf grow, grow, grow as fast as possible. Dairy is hormonally active…intentionally. But once we are full-sized adults, growth is not a positive thing…it inspires cancer growth and contributes to other health problems.
 
 
2. Upwards of 70% (or more) of the world’s population is lactose-intolerant. The fact that more people than not react with painful gastrointestinal symptoms upon consumption of dairy demonstrates the fact that the human body is not intended to consume it. Doctors and dietitians are now pushing the use of lactase enzymes and other symptom-relieving medications in order to ensure “adequate” intake of dairy products. Yet, if we have to force our bodies to accept something it doesn’t want, shouldn’t that be a sign that something is wrong?
 
3. You do not need dairy for healthy bones. There are excellent plant-sources of calcium that are alkalizing and support bone health. Broccoli, kale, bok choy, other leafy green veggies, sesame seeds, tahini, calcium-set tofu, almonds, aditch dairynd fortified plant milks/juices all have adequate amounts of calcium to meet daily requirements. In fact, calcium in kale is absorbed 30% better than from dairy!  
 
4. People are always concerned about the phytoestrogens in soy foods. Yet, dairy has estradiol, natural animal/human-based estrogen, which is 10,000 times more potent than environmental or phytoestrogens.
 
5. Dairy, particularly cheese, is the number one source of artery-clogging saturated fats in the diet. Remember, according to the American Heart Association, a heart-healthy diet contains no more than 5-6% of total calories from saturated fat, the amount found in a typical vegan diet.
 
ditch dairy6. There is a currently a wall o’ milks that are plant-based and delicious at your neighborhood grocer. Choose between almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, oat milk, coconut milk, flax milk, rice milk, chocolate almond milk, horchata rice milk, vanilla soy milk, almond-coconut milk, and the hundreds of other varieties now available. Exciting, decadent, creative, and much healthier….dairy milk is indeed jealous! So jealous that Big Dairy recently approached the FDA to intervene and make it illegal for plant milks to be called “milk.” However, consumers are not buying plant-based milk because they’ve been tricked into believing they actually came from a cow. They’re buying plant milk because it’s healthier, cruelty-free, and easier on our planet.
 
Eat plants. Drink plants. For your health.

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5 Reasons to Reject Eggs and How to Eat Without Them

No eggs? No problem! Live healthier and more compassionately by eating eggsactly egg-free… Here are 5 reasons why and how to substitute them in your diet: 1. One large (50 gram) egg contains almost 60% of its calories from fat and 187 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. Egg consumption is as bad for your endothelial cells …

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Saturated Fat Controversies: Seeing Past the Headlines

Butter is back in the news, but contrary to welcomed reassurance that saturated fats are safe, the media mayhem is due to jumped conclusions and misinterpreted results! Not to worry…nutrition gurus Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina have cracked the code and clarified the insider scoop in this excellent investigative report below, which is adapted from …

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Dr. McDougall’s Comments on the National Headline About the March 18, 2014 Annals of Internal Medicine Article Suggesting Saturated Fat (Dairy, Meat, and Eggs) Is OK to Eat

1) I agree with the conclusion that polyunsaturated fats (fish oil) and monounsaturated fat (olive oil) are not going to prevent heart disease. They are at least fattening and most likely promote cancer. 2) However, I know that one of their main conclusions is wrong: That it is OK to eat animals. Dairy, meat, and eggs are bad for people and the planet. This March 18, 2014 Annals of Internal Medicine article will become a feeding frenzy for the animal-food-industries: a “nugget of proof” that their saturated fat-laden foods can be eaten guiltlessly. Millions of people worldwide, especially those who are looking to hear good news about their bad habits, will die of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity, and if left unchallenged, resulting increases in livestock production will accelerate global warming even faster. Please read on if you are interested in the details: 1) The main scientific study they used showing the safety of saturated fat (reference 12), was a study supported by the National Dairy Council. (Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular dis ease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91:535-46.) This is the single study used to promote eating animals by the low-carb movement and the animal food industries. Jeremiah Stamler, MD wrote an editorial in this same issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition criticizing this flawed paper that has received so much attention in the lay press. Letters to the editor that followed were also highly critical of this advertisement for meat and dairy (saturated fat). And more Letters. 2) In the results section of the Annals of Internal Medicine (March 18, 2014) article they wrote: “Seventy-two unique studies were identified (Figure 1 of Supplement 1 and the Table). Nineteen were based in North America, 42 in Europe, and 9 in the Asia-Pacific region; 2 were multinational.” I would like to look at the 9 in the Asia-Pacific region and the 2 that were multinational, independently.  This would show the effect of different diets on health (and coronary heart disease). In the nineteen that were based in North America and 42 in Europe, people all ate the same diet (full of saturated fat, ie. Dairy, meat, and eggs) – how could you possibly see any difference in health? 3) This is an incorrect statement in the discussion of the Annals of Internal Medicine (March 18, 2014) paper: “For example, the influence of metabolism seems particularly relevant for the de novo synthesis of even-numbered saturated fatty acids in the body, compositions of which are largely determined by dietary factors, including carbohydrate and alcohol consumption (33–35), and other metabolic pathways (36, 37) rather than direct dietary intake.” Excess Starch (and even Sugar) Does Not Turn to Body Fat (Easily) (From: https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2009nl/mar/passionate.htm) A widely held belief is that the sugars in starches are readily converted into fat and then stored unattractively in the abdomen, hips, and buttock. Incorrect! And there is no disagreement about the truth among scientists or their published scientific research.5-13 After eating, the complex carbohydrates found in starches, such as rice, are digested into simple sugars in the intestine and then absorbed into the bloodstream where they are transported to trillions of cells in the body in order to provide for energy. Carbohydrates (sugars) consumed in excess of the body’s daily needs can be stored (invisibly) as glycogen in the muscles and liver. The total storage capacity for glycogen is about two pounds. Carbohydrates consumed in excess of our need and beyond our limited storage capacity are not readily stored as body fat. Instead, these excess carbohydrate calories are burned off as heat (a process known as facultative dietary thermogenesis) or used in physical movements not associated with exercise.9,13 The process of turning sugars into fats is known as de novo lipogenesis. Some animals, such as pigs and cows, can efficiently convert the low-energy, inexpensive carbohydrates found in grains and grasses into calorie-dense fats.5 This metabolic efficiency makes pigs and cows ideal “food animals.” Bees also perform de novo lipogenesis; converting honey (simple carbohydrates) into wax (fats). However, human beings are very inefficient at this process and as a result de novo lipogenesis does not occur under usual living conditions in people.5-13  When, during extreme conditions, de novo lipogenesis does occur the metabolic cost is about 30% of the calories consumed—a very wasteful process.11 Under experimental laboratory conditions overfeeding of large amounts of simple sugars to subjects will result in a little bit of de novo lipogenesis. For example, trim and obese women were overfed 50% more total calories than they usually ate in a day, along with an extra 3.5 ounces (135 grams) of refined sugar. From this overfeeding the women produced less than 4 grams (36 calories) of fat daily, which means a person would have to be overfed by this amount of extra calories and sugar every day for nearly 4 months in order to gain one extra pound of body fat.10 Obviously, even overeating substantial quantities of refined and processed carbohydrates is a relatively unimportant source of body fat. So where does all that belly fat come from? The fat you eat is the fat you wear. 5) Hellerstein MK. De novo lipogenesis in humans: metabolic and regulatory aspects.Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 Apr;53 Suppl 1:S53-65. 6) Acheson KJ, Schutz Y, Bessard T, Anantharaman K, Flatt JP, Jequier E. Glycogen storage capacity and de novo lipogenesis during massive carbohydrate overfeeding in man. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Aug;48(2):240-7. 7) Minehira K, Bettschart V, Vidal H, Vega N, Di Vetta V, Rey V, Schneiter P, Tappy L. Effect of carbohydrate overfeeding on whole body and adipose tissue metabolism in humans. Obes Res. 2003 Sep;11(9):1096-103. 8) McDevitt RM, Bott SJ, Harding M, Coward WA, Bluck LJ, Prentice AM. De novo lipogenesis during controlled overfeeding with sucrose or glucose in lean and obese women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Dec;74(6):737-46 9) Dirlewanger M, di Vetta V, Guenat E, Battilana P, Seematter G, Schneiter P, JÇquier E, Tappy L. Effects of short-term carbohydrate or fat overfeeding on energy expenditure and plasma leptin concentrations in healthy female subjects. Int J Obes Relat […]

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