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Do you know anyone who has bought in to the fear-mongering propaganda against salt? Now yet another big study indicates that the fear of salt is highly exaggerated.
When they examined the salt habits of over 100,000 people, it turned out that people who salted more than the recommended amount had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease. Those who salted a lot less – according to official guidelines – had a higher (!) risk of disease.
The study should be taken with a grain of salt (pun intended) as this is, as usual, only statistics. But like previous studies, it suggests it’s fine to put salt on your food at home without feeling guilty.
However, it may for many reasons, be wise to avoid ready-made foods and junk food (and bread) that have lots of added salt. This salt is to hide the boring taste of cheap, poor ingredients. Continue Reading →
Is it possible to reverse type 2 diabetes?
Now you can watch a 3-minute trailer for the movie Carb-Loaded. It’s about the low-fat, sweet and floury causes of the obesity epidemic:
Note also that there are subtitles in English and a few other languages. To chose a language, click on “CC” in the lower, right corner.
One of the interviews contains an explanation that I think sounds odd – how the body releases cholesterol to repair injuries to arteries. That is a metaphor that I’m not quite buying.
That small injuries to arteries and inflammation are central to heart disease is, however, probably true. As mentioned in the video, the result is like an abrasion on the inside of the arteries, that never heals completely.
Many things may contribute to injuries and resulting inflammation in the arteries, for example high blood sugar, high blood pressure, toxic substances from smoking and rancid small dense LDL cholesterol particles (which is primarily a result of too many bad carbohydrates in your diet).
What do you think about the video? Continue Reading →
Do you deserve to treat yourself to bad health today?
A new review of high-quality scientific studies shows yet again that sugar isn’t only bad for weight. Sugar is NOT just empty calories.
Sugar also has pronounced negative effects on health markers, such as blood pressure and blood lipids.
Is salt dangerous? Certain organizations – such as those issuing official dietary guidelines – have warned for a long time against salt and recommended a reduced intake. But as often when it comes to nutrition, the science is far from settled.
A recent review of all good studies in this area shows that the amount of salt that most people consume is associated with good health. Both an extremely high salt consumption and a low consumption seem to be worse.
- American Journal of Hypertension: Compared With Usual Sodium Intake, Low- and Excessive-Sodium Diets Are Associated With Increased Mortality: A Meta-Analysis
The review can be added to several similar reviews in recent years, that question the dead-certain warnings against salt. Neither too much, nor too little, seems to be best.
You can actually get too little salt. This causes fatigue, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. You lose focus. And maybe you don’t just feel worse from salt deficiency, perhaps it’s also really bad for your health.
Avoid high doses of salt from junk food, cheap processed foods, soda and bread. Extreme amounts of salt are hardly good for you, and there are more reasons to avoid such foods. But if you eat real food, you can probably put as much salt on your food as you like.
If you have symptoms of salt deficiency, try taking half a teaspoon of salt, dissolved in water. If you quickly feel better, you were probably salt deficient. Continue Reading →
Are butter, and other saturated fats, bad for us? No.
Yet another new major review of all good science shows that saturated fat is as harmless as other natural fats, whether unsaturated or polyunsaturated.
This review goes through all observational studies and randomized intervention studies of high quality that have been done. Which means all the best science available on the subject:
- Annals of Internal Medicine: Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
The result? People who eat a lot of butter or other saturated fats don’t get sicker. And people who reduce their butter intake don’t get any better. There simply is no connection between butter and heart disease.
When are older so-called experts going to give up their outdated and unscientific warnings about butter? It’s time to embrace science.
- The Telegraph: No link found between saturated fat and heart disease
- Mail ONLINE: Saturated fat ‘ISN’T bad for your heart’: Major study questions decades of dietary advice
- NPR: Don’t Fear The Fat: Experts Question Saturated Fat Guidelines
Today, fear of butter lacks scientific support. It’s based on old preconceptions and on an inability to update knowledge.
If you want to be taken seriously as a “nutrition expert” you’d better keep updated. It’s not good enough to continue spreading ideas from the 80′s about fat, ideas that have long since been refuted.
There has to be a limit to how long you can bury your head in the sand. Or what do you think?
Here’s an impressive life transformation story, from Gareth Hicks: Continue Reading →
Are today’s high rates of overconsumption of sodas and other sugar sources a direct cause of heart disease? It’s possible, more and more people think so, and a new study gives this idea further support.
- CBS News: Too much sugar linked to fatal heart disease, even in those who are not obese
- BBC News: Sweet tooth linked to heart attacks
Of course, today’s study only shows statistical associations. In this study, people who consumed large amounts of sugar, for example sodas, got heart disease more often. Correlation doesn’t prove causation, so this doesn’t mean that this study has proven what is cause and effect. However, this study did demonstrate a linear association: the more sugar the greater the risk.
This study is just another piece of the puzzle, and more and more people are starting to see a clear picture, and taking the health hazards stemming from excessive sugar consumption seriously.
Prof. Laura Schmidt at University of California San Francisco writes in a commentary in JAMA:
We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in research on the health effects of sugar, one fueled by extremely high rates of added sugar overconsumption in the American public.
Past concerns revolved around obesity and dental caries as the main health hazards. Overconsumption of added sugars has long been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, under the old paradigm, it was assumed to be a marker for unhealthy diet or obesity. The new paradigm views sugar overconsumption as an independent risk factor in CVD as well as many other chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus, liver cirrhosis, and dementia—all linked to metabolic perturbations involving dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance. The new paradigm hypothesizes that sugar has adverse health effects above any purported role as “empty calories” promoting obesity. Too much sugar does not just make us fat; it can also make us sick.
The fight against cigarettes has almost been won in the West. Now the fight against sugar is starting to get serious. The health benefits may be at least as great. Continue Reading →
The outdated fear-mongering propaganda claiming that a dramatically increased butter consumption in Sweden has also increased the incidence of heart disease is once again crushed by reality.
New statistics from The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare show the exact opposite. The incidence of heart attacks in Sweden keeps plummeting, for both men and women, just as they have done since 2005. We are becoming healthier, despite eating more and more butter.
The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare: Fewer people suffer heart attacks (statistics 1988-2012, Google translated)
As modern science time and time again has shown that a low-fat diet doesn’t do anything good for heart health, nobody should be surprised. But there are definitely people that need to update their knowledge.
Above is the butter consumption in Sweden (yellow line) in relation to statistics on heart disease (blue + purple). The axis for butter consumption is to the right.
The Swedish butter consumption just keeps going up, while the incidence of heart attacks keeps going down.
So, what’s the correlation between butter consumption and heart disease? None. There is no correlation.
That the old theory on saturated fat and heart disease has been a mistake has already been proven in high quality studies (RCT). This is just a telling illustration.
Fear of butter is as scientifically well-founded as fear of monsters under the bed. Continue Reading →
This is entertaining. Yesterday an Australian TV-show detailed how saturated fat has nothing to do with heart disease. Today the Australian Heart Foundation’s Facebook page is in damage control mode.
While more and more Australians are getting obese the Heart Foundation is choosing to campaign against salt (of doubtful importance) and collecting industry money for recommending candy for breakfast. They are way behind the times.
Perhaps you can help them wake up.
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