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Norway’s biggest newspaper writes that the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) are incorrect about fats. A new review of all studies on the subject shows that butter is most likely better for the heart than the Omega-6-rich vegetable oils that are recommended:
VG: Danish researchers: – Butter is not more harmful than vegetable oils (Google translated from Norwegian)
The most interesting part of the article is the comment from the Head of the Division of Nutrition of the Danish National Food Institute, Gitte Gross, who’s been involved in coming up with the fat-phobic Nordic nutritional recommendations: Continue Reading →
Apart from the thought-provoking quote in the picture, Einstein also famously said this:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Both quotes fit perfectly to the new UK strategy to reduce obesity: Cut down on saturated fat in sugar-stuffed candy and junk food.
The problem? This is exactly what people have been trying to do for 30 years, while obesity rates have skyrocketed! So why will the exact same strategy suddenly have the opposite effect?
Here’s why the old fat-phobic advice is bad for your health:
- Saturated fat has little or nothing to do with heart health
- Reducing fat means you’ll likely increase carbohydrates (or stay hungry). Junk carbs – like sugar – in processed foods is the most fattening thing you can eat. It makes you hungrier and makes you want to eat too much.
England is already the most obese nation in Europe. Expecting that this 80′s style fat-phobic campaign will have a different result is simply insane.
What is the cause of heart disease? For the past decades the dogma has been that saturated fat and cholesterol are the culprits. But a growing number realize that this outdated idea has been a mistake.
Yesterday Australia’s foremost science television show, Catalyst, broadcasted an episode on the subject (video clip above). There are many physicians and experts interviewed in the show, and the majority believes that the over-simplified cholesterol theory is simply wrong.
The real cause of heart disease? Inflammation in the artery walls. This may have many causes, but the amount of saturated fat you consume is not one of them. Here are some more probable contributing factors:
- stress on the artery wall due to high blood pressure
- high blood sugar levels that damage the cells inside the artery
- small, dense, oxidized LDL particles that may irritate the artery wall and/or get in between the cells in the wall
- smoking, which introduces substances to the blood that irritates the arteries
The three first factors are exacerbated by too much sugar and starch in the diet.
In addition to the above: stress. Stress exacerbates all the problems mentioned above – it raises blood pressure, increases blood sugar, worsens blood lipid profile and increases the tendency to adopt bad habits, such as smoking.
Not on the list: butter. Switching to polyunsaturated omega-6-fats won’t be protective either – according to new findings this may even be harmful!
It’s time for more brave experts to stand up and say “I was wrong, you were right”.
So how do you really prevent heart disease? Here’s my best advice: Continue Reading →
More and more people are questioning the silly old-fashioned fear of butter. A heart doctor writes in the latest issue of the respected British Medical Journal that it’s time to bust the myth that saturated fat has anything to do with heart disease.
A number of papers report on this and the heart doctor was on British morning TV today (watch).
Could that low-fat diet make you EVEN FATTER, asks Mail Online. Sure it could:
- Mail Online: Could that low-fat diet make you EVEN FATTER? As experts question conventional wisdom on diets, the extraordinary results of one man’s experiment
Read the article for some references to recent Food Revolution events in Sweden, the grand experiment of Sam Feltham and some comments by an enlightened cardiologist and a less updated (sadly) dietitian.
A growing number of health care professionals recognize that the old advice on a low-fat, high-carb diet has been an embarrassing mistake. Here’s another one, chief physician Ulf Rosenqvist, Medical Specialist Clinic, Motala, Sweden. Here’s a quote:
It’s confusing when suddenly the truth no longer holds. It’s been taken as dogmatic faith that one should eat according to the MyPlate Guidelines. All health care professionals have been indoctrinated in this…
Now it’s time for forget the Swedish version of the MyPlate guidelines (very similar to the current US version) and aim for richer foods again, he says.
The Food Revolution is on a roll! Here’s the full article translated into English:
Is sugar toxic and the cause of the obesity epidemic? Here’s a great new video called Toxic Sugar. It’s a recent segment from the major Australian science program Catalyst, on ABC.
It’s arguably the best 18-minute introduction ever made on the true causes of the obesity epidemic. The program features the #1 enemy of the sugar industry: professor Robert Lustig. Also appearing: science writer Gary Taubes and obesity expert professor Michael Crowley.
See it and then tell your friends. This needs to be seen by a lot of people.
Here’s a few comments: Continue Reading →
Are you ready for the destruction of a few choice low-carb myths? A week ago I participated in a discussion, invited by a very popular Brazilian health site. Here’s the video – the English part starts at 2:28, after an introduction in Portuguese.
Some of the myths we discuss are:
- Myth: Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet.
- Myth: Fats are fattening and cause heart problems.
- Myth: Cholesterol in food is bad for your heart.
- Myth: To lose weight you need to count calories.
- Myth: Exercise is effective for weight loss.
Did you ever believe in any of these myths? I did.
Now I’m back in Sweden again, with good access to the internet, after three weeks of travelling in America. Thus there’ll be more regular updates again.
Here’s a quick example of how bad low-fat products can be for your health. It’s nothing new, but even worse than what I’ve seen back home.
Here’s yogurt served at breakfast on the cruise last week. Notice that all of them except the plain one have the words “low fat” on the top. It sounds healthy – but it’s not. Have a look:
The low-fat yogurt contains almost no fat. Instead it’s filled with sugar and modified starch, rapidly absorbed bad carbs. And not a little: 22 grams per 113 gram serving.
About 70 percent of the energy in the yogurt is pure sugar. And it’s very noticable: it tastes like eating candy for breakfast.
The reality is that the manufacturers have removed 2 grams of fat from the container of yogurt. Then they’ve added about 15 grams of sugar, seven times more, and they sell it implying that it’s healthy for you.
Is anyone surprised that there are three times more obese Americans today, compared to when the fear of fat took hold back in the 1980′s?
Not many things impress me more than a scientist who dares to change his opinion. An excellent example is the influential Danish scientist Arne Astrup.
After earlier believing that fat was bad and carbs (even high-GI carbs) were good Astrup has now changed his mind. One of the reasons is the large DIOGENES study that he published in The New England Journal of Medicine recently.
The study proved that a diet with more protein, less carbs and a lower GI is better for maintaining a weight loss. Advice similar to the official guidelines (with more carbs) made participants regain the most weight.
Carbs and obesity
Astrup used to be critical of Gary Taubes (who has long maintained that too much carbs is the villain behind the obesity epidemic). But now he did not mind admitting that he had changed his mind. I was there when they met at the ASBP obesity conference in San Diego yesterday. Astrup said “I was wrong, you were right” to Taubes, regarding carbs and obesity. He didn’t mind me quoting him on that either.
To clarify, Astrup does not believe that a strict low-carb diet is a good idea for the entire population. A little less carbs with a lower GI, and a bit more protein would be sufficient he believes. But Astrup had nothing against stricter low-carb diets for treating obesity etc.
I thought that Astrup would still be afraid of natural saturated fat, but he has updated his position here as well. After all the recent studies showing that refined carbs are worse for the heart than saturated fat, and now even that polyunsaturated omega-6 fat is worse, Astrup believes that focusing on saturated fat is wrong.
If there’s any benefit in replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated or omega-3 fat it’s hardly of any major importance. There are much more important things to focus on, such as eating less refined carbs (sugar and white flour), enough protein and avoiding trans fats. Natural saturated fat is nothing to be afraid of.
When people like Astrup manage to update their opinions there’s plenty of hope for the future. Let’s hope more and more experts will follow in his footsteps.
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