I keep thinking the tide is turning.  I read several blogs written by MDs or biochemists who explain why it’s refined carbohydrates that are killing us, not saturated fat or cholesterol.  I listen to top-notch doctors and researchers cover the same topics in Jimmy Moore’s podcasts.  I watch the number of visitors to this blog tick up steadily every month (and bless you all for that).  We’re winning, I say to myself.  The word is finally getting around.

And then I do something stupid like check out the health articles on MSN.  (That hissing sound you hear is my optimism deflating.)  I don’t know what MSN’s audience size is, but I’m pretty sure if you added up the combined audiences for every blog in my blogroll plus every blog in their blogrolls, we’d be barely be the Hong Kong to MSN’s China.  No wonder when I tell people saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease, they look at me like I just said, “I actually have three heads, but two of them are only visible when the moon is full.”

This evening after dinner (meatloaf from farm-raised goat and beef, plus cauliflower whipped with butter, feta cheese, sour cream and garlic) I read an MSN health article, followed a link, followed another link, followed another link, then decided I should quit while my blood pressure was still at its usual below-average level.  The MSN article, provided by Health.com, was on how to alter your diet to reduce your cholesterol.  Here are some quotes with my comments:

Want to cut cholesterol without cutting taste? Most people are afraid that “good for my cholesterol” means meals that are joyless (and tasteless).

That’s because most people have functional tastebuds.  The rest are survivors of chemical warfare or vegetarians.

Here are some simple substitutions that you can make to the food you already eat to help fight cholesterol painlessly.

Sprinkle walnuts, skip croutons

Carbohydrates can cause high levels of a type of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. For a healthier salad, replace your carbo-laden croutons with walnuts, which are high in polyunsaturated fat-a good fat that can lower LDL while boosting HDL (aka good cholesterol).

Uh, wait a second … you’re admitting that carbohydrates raise a “type” of LDL?  I’m stunned.  The type that carbohydrates raise, by the way, is type B … otherwise known as the small, dense LDL that can actually perforate the walls of your arteries.  Hey, maybe I was pessimistic for no reason!  This health writer might actually get it right.

Sip red wine, not cocktails

Research suggests that moderate alcohol intake can produce a slight rise in HDL cholesterol (a so-called good cholesterol). But that won’t do you much good if you’re tossing back margaritas or mixed drinks with fruit juice, which contain carbohydrates. Switch to red wine; it has about a 10th of the carbohydrates of a margarita, and you’ll also get antioxidants such as flavonoids that are believed to lower LDL and boost HDL.

I’ll be dipped; she is going after the carbohydrates!  Man, I feel like such a dolt … as soon as I saw the Health.com logo, I was preparing myself to yell AAAAAARGGHHH a lot.  I can relax now.

Yes to edamame and nuts, no to cheese and crackers

For a pre-dinner snack, skip the crackers and cheese, which are sky-high in saturated fat – one of the prime culprits behind high cholesterol.

AAAAAARGGHHH!!!  Do these goofy reporters ever check the latest research?  When Christopher Gardner of Stanford conducted a controlled study of three different diets, he reported (reluctantly, by his own admission) that people on the Atkins diet showed the greatest improvement in lipid profiles.  Pretty impressive, considering that another diet in the study was the Ornish low-fat plan. 

Of course, I wasn’t surprised by Gardner’s results because while I was researching Fat Head, Dr. Mike Eades challenged me to eat all the natural saturated fat I could stand for a month while cutting out sugar and starch.  If you’ve seen the film, you know what happened — my total cholesterol and LDL plummeted, while my HDL shot up.

Edamame is low in saturated fat and one cup contains about 25 grams of soy protein, which is thought to actively lower LDL (although the evidence is conflicting). Buy them frozen, dump them into boiling water, and drain after 5 minutes-that’s all there is to it.

The dust-bunnies under my bed are also low in saturated fat, but I wouldn’t eat them, boiled or otherwise.  If you think soy is good for you, do yourself a favor and read Lierre Keith’s amazing, beautifully-written book, The Vegetarian Myth.  If that’s too much of an undertaking, check out this page or this page from the Weston A. Price website.

Vinegar and lemon juice beats salad dressing

As everyone knows by now, drenching a salad in high-fat salad dressing is like smoking cigarettes while jogging: It totally defeats the purpose. A low-fat alternative is a step in the right direction, but the best option for lower cholesterol is drizzling your salad with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.

I can hear my favorite journalism professor from college yelling across 30 years of time:  “Never, ever, use phrases like ‘everyone knows’ to make a point, because there’s nothing that ‘everyone’ knows!”

If you’d prefer to avoid absorbing most of the nutrients when eating a salad or vegetables, then yes, using a high-fat salad dressing will totally defeat that.  Most important nutrients are fat-soluble, so without fat in a meal, they’ll just pass through your body and eventually fortify the health of whatever critters live in your local sewage system.

If the purpose of eating a salad is to amuse your friends with your wacky pucker-face, definitely go for the lemon juice and vinegar. 

Ditch the butter for margarine spread

One tablespoon of butter contains more than 7 grams of saturated fat-that’s more than a third of the recommended daily value. It also contains 10 percent of your daily value for dietary cholesterol, which, though it isn’t as harmful as was once thought, is one of the main sources of high cholesterol (and atherosclerosis).

Hmmm, that would explain the sky-high rate of heart disease in 1900, when Americans consumed four times much butter per capita as we do today.  The French still consume four times as much butter as we do, but have a far lower rate of heart disease — even though they have a higher rate of smoking.  If only we could import that paradox thing …

Switch the butter with a vegetable-oil-based spread such as Smart Balance or Olivio (which also contains olive oil); you’ll be replacing a bad fat with a good fat.

Yes, because Mother Nature has no idea how to produce good nutrition for humans; all the best health-enhancing foods were created in a lab.  Here’s a little gem from the Smart Balance web site:

Smart Balance uses natural saturates (palm fruit oil) and balances it with polyunsaturates from soy and canola oils. This comprises the patented, heart-healthy Smart Balance blend that we believe to be superior to other methods of avoiding trans fatty acids.

That little balancing-and-blending act would involve extracting the oils with hexane, mixing them with sodium hydroxide and passing them through a centrifuge, mixing them again with hydrated aluminum silicate to bind to and remove the unwanted speckles, passing them through a steam distillation chamber to deodorize them, then adding artificial color and flavor.  My advice:  never eat food that has a patent number attached to it.

And instead of using butter to grease the pan while cooking, try olive oil or white wine vinegar.

“Honey, I can’t get the low-fat cookies unstuck from the pan!”
“Who cares?  They taste like vinegar anyway.”

Use ground turkey, not ground beef

Red meat is a source of both saturated fat and dietary cholesterol-two of the main sources of blood cholesterol. Ground turkey contains half the saturated fat of 85 percent lean ground beef, and it can be substituted easily for beef in most recipes.

Ground beef:  40% of the fat is monosaturated (like olive oil), and most of what’s left raises HDL.  It also raises LDL, but only the harmless, fluffy kind — i.e., not the same type raised by carbohydrates.  And even “Dr. Lipid Hypothesis” Ancel Keys eventually concluded that dietary cholesterol has no effect on the amount of cholesterol in your blood, as have several clinical studies.  Yes, I can certainly see why we’d want to avoid ground beef.

Skip the fatty sour cream, choose fat-free Greek yogurt

Whether it’s used as a garnish or in a sauce, sour cream adds a shot of saturated fat to otherwise heart-healthy meals. To cut out that excess fat without sacrificing taste or texture, swap the sour cream with no-fat Greek yogurt-one of the world’s healthiest foods.

Since you’re a professional health writer and all, did you happen to notice either of the studies published this year that concluded there’s no association whatsoever between saturated fat intake and heart disease?  Have you seen the many other studies published over the years that reached exactly the same conclusion … like this one, from the European Heart Journal:

The commonly-held belief that the best diet for the prevention of coronary heart disease is a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet is not supported by the available evidence from clinical trials.

And if you believe swapping sour cream for fat-free yogurt doesn’t sacrifice taste … well, then I’m sorry about the chemical-warfare attack and I sincerely hope my government wasn’t involved in any way. 

Now I’d better go listen to one of Jimmy Moore’s podcasts to preserve my sanity.

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40 Responses to “MSN: More Saturated Nonsense”
  1. Auntie M says:

    Thanks, MSN. You’re the reason my blood pressure skyrockets when I try to explain to co-workers that butter, eggs, and meat are good for you, and that cholesterol numbers don’t matter much. Most of them look at me like I just slapped a baby. Then the accusing questions and statements start, because “everyone knows” that saturated fat will clog your arteries and give you a heart attack.

    Tom, do you sell Fat Head in bulk? I might start carrying copies around to just hand to people before I calmly walk away. Or to throw at people before I start screaming at them. I’m going to go eat some delicious Kerrygold butter now, then cry myself to sleep.

    You know, the weird thing is, people look at me now like I’m one of those devil-may-care, hard-livin’ types because of all the meat and eggs and butter, when in fact I care way more about diet and health than I ever did before.

    I don’t sell Fat Head at all, but my distributor has worked out discounts for a few folks who wanted to give them to clients, patients, etc.

  2. Ellen says:

    I was just at the grocery store buying my favorite full fat greek yogurt, and shaking my head at all the new “0 fat” greek yogurts. Wasn’t the point to increase the fat and protein content by removing the whey? Stupid.

    I want to start a series of free to the public seminars at my town library on topics like “why butter beats margarine for good health”, “why grass fed is better than corn fed”, “cholesterol is good for you”, “the dangers of statin drugs”, etc.

    We’ll get there, Tom, but it’s a big crowd to reach, so it will take time. And don’t forget, some members of that crowd are actually looking for the truth.

    Those are the ones we have to reach.

  3. LOL! I stop reading these things, whether their on a “news” website or check-out aisle magazine rack. They’d just make me blow a gasket, and I need my gaskets. Jimmy Moore’s (or Rob Wolf’s) podcasts are the perfect antidote. As will be attending the Ancestral Health Symposium in 2011! Glad to see you’re on board. The tide is turning, and we’re the ones turning it because we’re the lunatics who care.

    A bunch of fat-chomping lunatics … is George Romero directing this symposium?

  4. johnmc says:

    There’s a difference between chemical warfare and vegetarianism?

    The chemical-warfare victims are less likely to encourage others to join them.

  5. Brandon says:

    Tom,
    Off topic, could you please add a favicon to your website so I can add your site to my bookmarks toolbar without text? :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favicon

    Keep up the good work!

    Thanks,
    -B

    I’ll look into it later today.

  6. Isabelle says:

    They’ll never change, it’s the same all over the world. In Sweden, sugar cravings due to low blood sugar after a high-carb meal apparently is a behavioural issue rather than a normal physiological reaction. We should train ourselves not to respond to our bodies signals. ‘Cause that has always worked so well….

    It just makes me wonder if the people who writes this stuff actually can read at all, or if they have any new materials or if they just write their articles by copying and pasting stuff from ten year old articles.
    It makes me angry.

    The ideas in this one certainly seem at least ten years old.

  7. Lucky says:

    I have a friend who is a freelance writer. She writes exactly these kinds of articles – she’s no medical expert, she has no idea of the current research in ANYTHING. What these writers do is cobble something together from what they personally know/remember/believe and slap it online. It’s a paycheck, man. You have to read most of what’s out there at these “news” sites with a good roll of the eyes. It means nothing.

    Wow, that makes it even worse than I thought.

  8. darMA says:

    Please don’t give yourself a nervous breakdown, you’re needed to get the word out. I read all the good sites/blogs attached to Dr. Eades’ site and notice a steady increase in people joining the ranks, willing to at least give low carb/primal/paleo a try, with some great health success stories.

    As for the media, well, I can see where it would be dangerous to give the good guys any credit when your employers’ wallets might be threatened by their advertisers – you know, the producers of the products they keep plugging in their little “health” blurbs. Margarine – yuk, shudder…..

    I suspect MSN’s “health” articles are largely the result of advertising deals. One link I followed led to an article that sounded suspiciously like a p.r. piece for Lipitor.

  9. Bruce says:

    I saw the commercial for the new cereal, Wheaties Fuel, on TV. I went to the website to see what was so much better about “Fuel” as opposed to plain ole regular Wheaties to warrant the commercial and the parade of athletes that are now Fueling themselves with “Fuel”.

    First the regular ole Wheaties.
    http://www.dietfacts.com/html/nutrition-facts/general-mills-wheaties-ready-to-eat-breakfast-cereal-4833.htm

    Yes, boring whole wheat, with a little sugar added and, of course, a ground up One a Day Vitamin in each serving, just in case you can’t swallow pills.

    Now, for the even more better Wheaties FUEL!!!!

    http://www.dietfacts.com/html/nutrition-facts/general-mills-wheaties-fuel-ready-to-eat-breakfast-cer62729.htm

    Mmmmm. My buds are a tingling!!! After working in the food manufacturing business for 30 some years, I look at a ingredient label like this and think, They found a way to sell us the rework and floor sweepings that would normally be sent to animal feed. Plus they get top dollar for it! Add some sugar and cinnamon to it to hide the flavor and SELL SELL SELL.

    Ohmygod, it’s just the same junk with twice as many carbohydrates! If you want to go that route, just pour some sugar on your Wheaties Classic.

  10. Bruce says:

    For some reason, the link for regular ole Wheaties doesn’t include the ingredients. Hopefully this will work.

    http://www.generalmills.com/stream_image.aspx?rid=32184

  11. donny says:

    Now that they have whole-grain pop tarts, why would anybody eat wheaties, ever? That’s just not thinking straight.

    Good point. Why bother with a bowl and spoon when you can get your sugar and starch straight from the box?

  12. Kelly says:

    I’m trying to be patient and recognize these things come in baby steps. One quote you mentioned is a little encouraging: “It [butter] also contains 10 percent of your daily value for dietary cholesterol, which, though it isn’t as harmful as was once thought, is one of the main sources of high cholesterol (and atherosclerosis).”

    OK, yes, the gist of it is just WRONG, but at least the author said that dietary cholesterol isn’t as harmful as was once thought. A few years ago we wouldn’t have gotten that much.

    I’m actually impressed with you for reading the whole article. Lately I’ve been stopping as soon as they mention “healthy whole grains.” While we wait for the revolution, at least there’s people like you, Jimmy Moore and the Healthy Mind Fit Body guys to come to for real nutrition advice.

    It is indeed a baby step. Not as harmful as once thought … but one of the main sources of high cholesterol. That sentence doesn’t even make sense. But confusion is better than a coherent statement that cholesterol in your food will kill you.

  13. Robert Loy says:

    Great article, and I agree with everything you said — well, almost everything. As you said, sarcastically “Mother Nature has no idea how to produce good nutrition for humans; all the best health-enhancing foods were created in a lab.” So, I don’t think there’s any way the soy Mother Nature made, i.e. edamame, can be bad for you, but I wouldn’t go near any of the processed soy with a ten-foot pole. This fear of natural soy reminds me of the “experts” who have tried to convince us that other natural products — like eggs or avocado — are evil.

    Maybe, maybe not. A lot of natural plants are toxic to humans. As Lierre Keith put it, arsenic is natural. From her book:

    “Three months into my veganism, my menstruation had ground to a halt … Twenty years later — twenty years during which I’d had maybe 50 periods — I read that 60 grams of soy protein given for 30 days produced ‘significant biological effects,’ effects that lasted for months after stopping the soy. The women’s cycles lengthened, mid-cycle levels of luteinizing hormone dropped 33 percent, and the follicle stimulating hormone dropped 53 percent. They were on their way to soy-induced infertility.

  14. Sylvie O says:

    Hi Tom.

    Regarding edamame: just finished reading The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla Daniel.

    http://www.wholesoystory.com/

    Quite frightening (even more than The Vegetarian Myth). Problem is, soy is in almost everything packaged – hence the reason why I don’t buy anything packaged

    I even found soy in some “hamburger” patties we bought awhile back. Those went in the trash.

  15. Robert Loy says:

    And yet somehow in Asia where they eat edamame, tofu, miso and tempeh they have no problem making baby Asians.

    Mostly fermented soy, and in small amounts. From The Vegetarian Myth:

    “But don’t they eat soy in Asia? Yes, but it’s eaten in small amounts, basically as a condiment. Numbers vary, but here are some examples. The China-Cornell-Oxford study recorded the food intake of 6500 Chinese adults. On average, 12 grams of legumes were eaten daily; one-third was soy. The math is easy: 4 grams a day. One organization puts Japanese consumption at 18 grams a day, which is a rounded tablespoon. Mark Messina, a champion of soy, thinks the Japanese eat 8.6 grams a day. Another source puts soy at 1.5 percent of the calories consumed by the Japanese.

    And the kind of soy they eat is as important as how much. The highly fermented forms deactivate some of the antinutrients, especially when eaten along with mineral-rich, thyroid supportive seafood and fish broth.”

  16. Anna says:

    I almost lost it this month when I got my issue of Food & Wine magazine. Foodie magazines seem to be the last place to find full-fat recipes (I am not low-carb either. More WAPF.). It’s the “healthy eating” issue and includes “healthy” recipes full of vegetable oil, suggestions to eat “low-glycemic” agave syrup, and asks chefs to lighten their offerings, criticizing the use of bone marrow, among other things. They are going to incorporate “healthier” recipes going forward, too. Unbelievable. The no-saturated-fat thing has now taken over in the foodie world, too. Honestly, that scares me much more than msn. I even find it harder to find the whole fat greek yogurt. It’s all the 0% fat junk (loaded with sugarm of course).

    Oh no … Julia Child would be whacking someone with a spatula.

  17. Organic Gabe says:

    Indeed, the sad part is that MSN has a very large audience … well, we do not give up, though.

    I know that my low carb diet helped my blood pressure go down, lost all GERD symptomps and I am now leaner and stronger.

    We shall fight in the printed media, we shall fight in the broadcast media, we shall fight in the universities and in the medical offices, we shall fight in the blogosphere; we shall never surrender.

  18. Melissa says:

    This is why I try to stay away from most “mainstream” health articles.
    I’ll get high blood pressure and they’ll blame it on the fact that I eat meat and cheese and eggs, instead of the stress of reading their BS lol!

    And then they’ll come after your salt shaker.

  19. Tracee says:

    I’m so sorry, I just don’t know what to say, except to look at it this way, you can drown your sorrows with a nice Ribeye. Perhaps one with a nice crust of blue cheese? or maybe put some extra butter on those veggies, you’ll feel better.

    I had meatloaf topped with a fried egg this morning, and my mood improved.

  20. Dave B. says:

    Don’t cha just ever wanna give up?

    I have those moments.

  21. Dan says:

    I too read this MSN nonsense the other day and HOPED that you would take it on! I was on board up to the part about the walnuts and then just went to bed and beat myself to sleep with my pillow. Thanks Tom!

    The deflation was all the more painful because she got my hopes up at the beginning.

  22. Dave B. says:

    About that link to the Wheaties “Fuel”. http://www.dietfacts.com/html/nutrition-facts/general-mills-wheaties-fuel-ready-to-eat-breakfast-cer62729.htm
    What in the heck are “other carbs” of which there are a lot which seem to make up most of the increase? I wonder if sawdust is a carb…

    I’m not sure, but it scares me a bit. Probably something with a patent pending.

  23. djinn says:

    Tom, so what if we’re vastly outnumbered?
    They’ll die off a lot faster.

    This time I’m glad to be pre-empted; my gorge rises too rapidly
    for me to read those things.

    Sally Fallon has floated the same idea, but I’m afraid they don’t die off until well after breeding age.

  24. Chris says:

    “Those who can’t do teach. Those who can’t teach teach gym.” (Woody Allen in “Annie Hall.” I’ve added my own twist. Those who can’t teach gym become high school guidance counselors and tell your kids what to do with their lives. My latest: Those who can’t teach home economics become registered dieticians and distribute USDA Food Pyramid posters. There is no need for them to read or blog because they have all of the answers provided by our public health system. End of story. End of thinking and learning. I had to watch Gary Taubes Dartmouth lecture three times before I could accept his hypothesis. http://www.dhslides.org/mgr/mgr060509f/f.htm Was I brainwashed? I certainly wasn’t stupid or uninformed. As Gary says to the doctors, they can’t get malpractice suit against them if they tell an obese patient to eat low fat foods and exercise more. There is a deeper issue. The Kelly Brownells of the world live on grants. The NIH is funding projects to find out why certain ethnic groups get fat. If the problem is a simple as refined carbohydrates in our food, then the life work of respected “obesity experts” has been a complete waste. They become irrelevant and unfundable. Food processors and drug companies funnel money into political campaigns and buy expert testimony on the importance of whole grains and the safety of HFCS. The MSNs of the world are small potatoes (which I’ve quit eating) compared to the people who are buying their way onto the Food Pyramid with their “scientific” research. The new guidelines will be released soon. Link to some of the transcipts of the testimony and read the testimony. And you will see why the new USDA Food Pyramid will be even worse public health policy. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAsMeeting2.htm I’m not there and don’t condone violence, but I really get how someone might frustrated enough to take flying lessons. Good thing we can influence through writing, speaking and film making. But the frustration is palpable as I read you today. Here’s the tip of the day from USDA: “One way to make half your grains whole is to snack on a ready-to-eat, whole-grain cereal.” And that is all you need to know.

    The truth will bubble up from the bottom, not flow down from the top. That’s usually how it works.

  25. jerome says:

    “Challenging new ideas do not prevail by truth or logic, but only because the proponents of the old die off.”

    A paraphrase; and I can’t remember the name of the famous scientist, but you get the idea……..

    Similar to this one: “Science advances one funeral at a time” — Max Planck

  26. Laurie says:

    I am probably breaking several copyright laws, but I did show your video to my 75 Anatomy class high school students this week. At least I purchased it myself. They have all seen SuperSize Me several times by other teachers breaking copyright laws. I thought you would like to know that we had several great discussions about the movie and my kids were asking questions right and left. One girl said “This movie rocked my world!” I thought that was quite a compliment. I have created a paper to hand out with links to several blogs including your own, Mark Sisson’s, Drs. Eades’, etc., because so many wanted more information. I told my students that my goal was to make them think and your movie certainly made them do that. I wish you could have been there to see the impact it made on them. (Umm, may I have permission to show it to more classes next year?) Please don’t sue me – I don’t have any money anyway – I am a teacher after all ;)

    Technically, you’re supposed to get my permission ahead of time. Consider it granted retroactively, as well as for future showings in your classes. I’m delighted to know the young ‘uns are seeing the film; maybe we’ll save a few of them from becoming diabetics later in life.

  27. andy barge says:

    Tom, related to what you are discussing above, it’s not just your government that are numpties! Check this out what the government are saying over here in “Blighty”. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8538496.stm My favourite line is:
    “Despite fewer visits to gyms and a love of high-fat foods, people in the 1960s were slimmer simply because they were more active, the government says”

    Ah it’s so simple! Why didn’t anyone else think of that? Thank you for the continued sterling work on the blog (it’s my home page :-))

    What a load of silliness. I grew up in the 1960s, and while the kids were certainly more likely to walk to school and play outside, I don’t remember the adults being any more active than adults now. And nobody belonged to a gym or went jogging.

  28. Laurie says:

    Thanks very much and I apologize for not getting permission ahead of time. That Spurlock guy’s film is shown in just about every classroom from middle school up. I figured it was time to show another viewpoint. Spurlock has lesson plans and a link to a “clean” version on his website specifically for teachers to use. Might not be a bad idea to have the same on this website (the plans – you don’t need a clean version)? If it is any consolation, several of my students said they were going to Netflix or to buy the film themselves to show their families, so perhaps I even helped sell a few for you? I hope so – the message is so important.

    An education companion package at some point would be a wise move. I don’t believe we’d have to cut anything to make it kid-friendly. One of our distributors talked about going after the school market, but nothing so far.

    I believe schools routinely show documentaries without obtaining permission. I know my wife did when she was a long-term substitute teacher near L.A. I figure the likely outcome is exactly what you mentioned — a few kids may be interested enough to buy or rent a copy — so it’s not something I worry about.

  29. I’m a nutrition writer covering the benefits of low carb from time to time and I’m shocked at other health writers who insist low fat is healthy and my “ideas” are crazy. One of my colleagues who covers weight loss is obese. Yet this writer keeps shoving low fats diets on readers with no evidence it works…including for her.

    The science is on the side of low carb. But millions of people end up under the spell of low fat. The media is to blame. Every day someone broadcasts or publishes a story on how and why to eat low fat. They assume the myths are correct, and some of these reporters are M.D.s! Are they just too lazy to read the research? Maybe. More likely, they are in bed with drug companies or get funding to promote the lies, as Tom pointed out in Fathead.

    I take it your colleague belongs to the Kelly Brownell school of thought: I can’t make it work, but everyone else should.

  30. Dr.BG says:

    I met a Type 1 who reversed his hand peripheral neuropathy, ED, hypertension and roller-coaster-high-low blood glucoses (BG) on a low carb, high sat fat diet (per Dr. Bernstein) over the last 9mos. He felt great. His memory returned — his kids stopped threatening to put him in a senior living home.

    Recently his doc happened to instruct him to return to a ‘low fat diet’ when he heard about his diet.

    He ended up in the ER…

    With muscle spasms, the same ones he had for the last 40yrs related to high BGs.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

    It’s a shame when we have to ignore our doctors to remain healthy.

  31. Kitty says:

    My friend just had a dr appointment with cholesterol test and his dr said “son this is attributable to your eggs cooked in butter breakfast” he is 22. I told him “son keep eating that breakfast and check out fathead, panu and mark sisson” I won’t let another pile of shit “nutritional” advice get another soul. It will take tine. It took me 30 years but they won’t win. The sense party gain numbers.

    Good job steering in the right direction. I’d add Jimmy Moore and Dr. Mikes to that list..

  32. Brendan says:

    I too read this nonsense on MSN and soon after started losing hope that the tide is turning. There are too many nonsenses out there that implicate saturated fat and salt in the blocage of arteries for example, like this recent article on BBC:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8536480.stm
    According to them, ancient egyptian priests were ‘killed by rich ritual food’, that is laden with saturated fat and salt. Evidently they overlooked or ignored the high intake of bread, beer,wine and cake which are high in sugar/carbs. Unbelievable.

    As Mike Eades like to say, Jesus wept.

  33. Todd says:

    Just a few thoughts…

    Anthony Bourdain mentions on some of his shows he’s on Lipitor, usually right after showing some gorgeous cut of fatty meat in some exotic location he’s about to eat. He, along with most others, hasn’t made the connection that his public spurning of most veggies, along with eating copious amounts of meat (including piles of organ meat) are actually likely to “blame” for him being perpetually thin and healthy.

    Okinawans eat a lot of pork. Something glossed over in the Okinawan Diet book that was the rage a few years ago. They eat some soy and fermented soy, some fish, and a lot of pork. Been that way for a long time. Again, no one seems to have made the connection that it’s because of more fat, not despite of it, that they had some surprising longevity numbers, at least in years past. They also substitute out some of the rice for sweet potatoes, which are slightly better as a carb.

    That WAPF story about the woman whose health was ruined by soy and she ended up with mouth problems and cancerous nodules in her neck sounds strikingly similar to a dogmatic vegan I know who’s looking like he is on a slow slide into the grave. :( Won’t give up his “morals” for his health, and is hesitating over my offer of a free copy of The Vegetarian Myth, as he knows from talking to me it will strongly challenge the beliefs he doesn’t want to give up. He wants to believe so badly. Nothing but another religion, and a damaging one at that.

    Sorry to hear about your friend. Someone on Jimmy Moore’s show described vegans as the Hezbollah of the nutrition world. Seems to fit.

  34. Angel says:

    I would like to add my vote to you producing an educational package to go along with Fat Head. If nothing else, teachers in English or journalism class (whoever it is that is supposed to teach critical thinking and listening to both sides of the story) could use it. I don’t think they teach critical thinking in nutritional classes, though.

    The more “stuff” you give the teachers, the more likely they will be to use it, especially since the film is already clean and kid-friendly – well, except for the funniest part, where you ask your wife to discuss your sex life. :) They could show the uncut film in sex ed, maybe. “Maintain your fertility, boys and girls, by eating low carb!”

    Even in that scene, the most shocking word is “moron.” An educational package does strike me as a good idea. I’ll think on that … right now, I’m still working on a big ol’ software project.

  35. Dan says:

    I’ll skip the croutons and high sugar margaritas, but the rest is B. S. Back in my low fat days, I’d choke down salad with low fat or fat free dressing. YUK Soy is bad news. These new fangled spreads contain plant sterols because they lower cholesterol. However, they may also cause aortic stenosis — try to solve a non-existant problem and creating a bigger one. Ground turkey may be good for some things, but beef is good too. I like whole milk greek yogurt and sour cream — the best of both worlds.

    Though I’m all for personal choice, sometimes I wish they didn’t have the low fat or fat free yogurt on the shelves. I really have to watch it to make sure I’m getting the full fat stuff.

    I wouldn’t take the lowfat stuff off the market either, but it does crowd the good stuff off the shelves.

  36. MikeC says:

    Tom,

    Did you see this? http://newsmax.com/InsideCover/US-Obama-Walking/2010/03/01/id/351254

    Heaven help us if the pres starts taking a statin!

    Mike

    Nothing against the walking — exercise does seem to improve lipid profiles — but if the goal is to prevent heart disease, I’d say the Prez should focus on giving up cigarettes first.

  37. Sizzlechest says:

    If it’s any consolation, there was this article on MSN:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35058896/

    I read that article elsewhere awhile back. Yes, it’s a bit of consolation to see it on MSN.

  38. Marg says:

    Anthony Bourdain’s on Lipitor? Too bad he’s not informed enough to be kicking and screaming about that little turn of events.

    Actually, it was he who got off the great quote about vegans — “Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn.”

    Great quote. Glad to know the origin.

  39. Todd says:

    “Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn.

    To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.

    Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It’s healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I’ve worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold.

    Oh, I’ll accomodate them, I’ll rummage around for something to feed them, for a ‘vegetarian plate’, if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine.”
    — Anthony Bourdain (from his book Kitchen Confidential)

  40. Todd says:

    Anthony Bourdain has mentioned on several shows over the years that he’s on Lipitor, though with his sense of humor and style of delivery, it’s not entirely clear whether he’s joking or not. But, knowing the common wisdom regarding cholesterol, as evidenced by even the President’s doctors in the article on Obama’s health check in the link a few comments above, it’s likely that even with a slightly elevated cholesterol count that Bourdain would have been prescribed a statin.

    I don’t doubt it. A doctor in California told me to go on a lowfat diet and come back for a checkup later because my cholesterol was “elevated” at 203.

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