The American Heart Association Is Invading My Workplace

If you’ve seen Fat Head, you know I’m no fan of the American Heart Association, which has been one of the leaders of anti-saturated-fat hysteria ever since Ancel Keys joined their board of directors.  I’ve heard rumors that they’re changing their tune on saturated fat … but if so, you certainly can’t tell by reading their web site.  Here are some dietary guidelines I pulled from the site today:

  • Fiber-rich whole grains: At least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings a day
  • Saturated fat: Less than 7% of total energy intake

Eat your mutant grains and avoid saturated fats, folks.  And in case those general guidelines aren’t enough for you, they also offer specific shopping advice:

  • Select fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk.
  • Choose fat-free, low-fat or reduced-fat cheeses.
  • Use egg whites or egg substitutes instead of egg yolks. (Substitute two egg whites for each egg yolk in recipes that call for eggs.)
  • Choose soft margarines that contain “0 grams trans fat” instead of buying butter. (These  margarines usually come in tubs.)
  • Choose cuts of red meat and pork labeled “loin” and “round”; they usually have the least fat.
  • Buy “choice” or “select” grades of beef rather than “prime,” and be sure to trim off the fat before cooking.
  • When buying or eating poultry, choose the leaner light meat (breasts) rather than the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs). Try the skinless version or remove the skin yourself.
  • When you must use oils for cooking, baking or in dressings or spreads, choose the ones lowest in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol — including canola oil, corn oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil.
  • Stay away from palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter. Even though they are vegetable oils and have no cholesterol, they’re high in saturated fats.

Great advice:  skip most of the fats created by Mother Nature and go for the chemically-processed frankenfats instead.  Yes, the key to heart health is to buy a tub of canola-oil margarine.  That’s why heart disease was at such a screamingly high rate 100 years ago – we didn’t have the industrial technology back then to extract gray, foul-smelling oily mush from rapeseeds and turn it into dedeodorized, artificially-colored, artificially-flavored margarine.

Naturally, the site also encourages shoppers to look for the Heart Association’s seal of approval, which they’ll happily put on any low-fat processed grain food if the manufacturers are willing to pony up the license fee.

Thanks to their lousy advice, I believe the quacks at the American Heart Association have caused more heart attacks than they’ve prevented.  So imagine my amusement when I received this email at my job:

Lace up your sneakers and please make plans to join us on Saturday, October 1, for the Heart Walk — the American Heart Association’s premiere event that brings communities together to raise funds and celebrate progress in the fight against this country’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, heart  disease and stroke.  This year’s walk will start at Vanderbilt University at 8 AM with fun activities planned throughout the day for you and your family members – even your four-legged family members!  And we have a month of fun activities leading up to the Heart Walk including those listed below.  More specific information regarding each will be provided closer to time.

September 5 – heart sale:

We will sell hearts for a nominal donation that can be made in memory or honor of a loved one, and the hearts will be posted in the break room for the month of September.  All donations will be contributed to American Heart Association.

Awesome idea.  We should definitely post the names of everyone who died of a heart attack while following the AHA’s dietary advice.  Sort of a wall of shame.

September 12 — lunch and learn: Hosted by American Heart Association.

Lunch?  Too bad it’s not breakfast … then we could all snarf down some Frosted Mini-Wheats or one of the other sugary cereals that sport the AHA’s seal of approval.

September 19 — health fair:

American Heart Association will participate in our annual health fair, scheduled for September 21, by hosting an informative booth.  Be sure to stop by!

Only if I’m carrying a concealed weapon.  But wait … here’s the best activity of all … wait for it …

September 26 — bake sale:

Team members are encouraged to bring in baked goods that will be sold for a nominal amount, with all proceeds donated to American Heart Association.  Get creative and bring in copies of your recipe if you’re willing to share.  Heart healthy recipes encouraged, but not required!

Now you’re talking.  Bring in some sugary grain-based foods and sell them, then give the money to the American Heart Association so they can do a better of job of telling us to eat more grains.

But since heart-healthy recipes are encouraged, maybe I’ll participate after all.  I’ll bring a big pan of baked bacon.

* Fruits and vegetables: At least 4.5 cups a day
* Fish (preferably oily fish): At least two 3.5-ounce servings a week
* Fiber-rich whole grains: At least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings a day
* Sodium: Less than 1,500 mg a day
* Sugar-sweetened beverages: No more than 450 calories (36 ounces) a week

Other Dietary Measures:

* Nuts, legumes and seeds: At least 4 servings a week
* Processed meats: No more than 2 servings a week
* Saturated fat: Less than 7% of total energy intake

Select fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk.

Avoid milk that contains added flavorings such as vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. They usually

have added sugars and calories.

Choose fat-free, low-fat or reduced-fat cheeses.

Use egg whites or egg substitutes instead of egg yolks. (Substitute two egg whites for each egg

yolk in recipes that call for eggs.)

Choose soft margarines that contain “0 grams trans fat” instead of buying butter. (These

margarines usually come in tubs.)

Stay away from fried fish. It’s usually high in fat — often trans fat.

Choose cuts of red meat and pork labeled “loin” and “round”; they usually have the least fat.

Buy “choice” or “select” grades of beef rather than “prime,” and be sure to trim off the fat

before cooking.

When buying or eating poultry, choose the leaner light meat (breasts) rather than the fattier

dark meat (legs and thighs). Try the skinless version or remove the skin yourself.

When you must use oils for cooking, baking or in dressings or spreads, choose the ones lowest in

saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol — including canola oil, corn oil, olive oil, safflower

oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil.

Stay away from palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter. Even though they are

vegetable oils and have no cholesterol, they’re high in saturated fats

If you’ve seen Fat Head, you know I’m no fan of the American Heart Association, which has been one of the leaders of anti-saturated-fat hysteria ever since Ancel Keys joined their board of directors.  I’ve heard rumors that they’re changing their tune on saturated fat, but if so, you certainly can’t tell by reading their web site.  Here are some gems of dietary guidlines I pulled from the site today:

Fiber-rich whole grains: At least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings a day
Saturated fat: Less than 7% of total energy intake

Eat your grains and avoid saturated fats.  And in case those general guidelines aren’t enough for you, they also offer specific shopping advice:

Select fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk.
Choose fat-free, low-fat or reduced-fat cheeses.
Use egg whites or egg substitutes instead of egg yolks. (Substitute two egg whites for each egg yolk in recipes that call for eggs.)
Choose soft margarines that contain “0 grams trans fat” instead of buying butter. (These  margarines usually come in tubs.)
Choose cuts of red meat and pork labeled “loin” and “round”; they usually have the least fat.
Buy “choice” or “select” grades of beef rather than “prime,” and be sure to trim off the fat before cooking.
When buying or eating poultry, choose the leaner light meat (breasts) rather than the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs). Try the skinless version or remove the skin yourself.
When you must use oils for cooking, baking or in dressings or spreads, choose the ones lowest in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol — including canola oil, corn oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil.
Stay away from palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter. Even though they are vegetable oils and have no cholesterol, they’re high in saturated fats.

Great advice:  skip most of the fats created by Mother Nature and go for the chemically-extracted frankenfats instead.  Yes, the key to heart health is to buy a tub of canola-oil margarine.  That’s why heart disease was at such a screamingly high rate 100 years ago – we didn’t have the industrial technology back then to turn rapeseeds into margarine.

Naturally, the site also encourages shoppers to look for the Heart Association’s seal of approval, which they’ll happily put on any low-fat processed grain food if the manufacturers are willing to pony up the license fee.

In short, I believe the American Heart Association has caused more heart attacks than it’s prevented.  So imagine my amusement when I received this email at my job:

Lace up your sneakers and please make plans to join us on Saturday, October 1, for the Heart Walk — the American Heart Association’s premiere event that brings communities together to raise funds and celebrate progress in the fight against this country’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, heart  disease and stroke.  This year’s walk will start at Vanderbilt University at 8 AM with fun  activities planned throughout the day for you and your family members – even your four-legged family members!  And we have a month of fun activities leading up to the Heart Walk including those listed below.  More specific information regarding each will be provided closer to time.

September 5 – heart sale:

We will sell hearts for a nominal donation that can be made in memory or honor of a loved one, and the hearts will be posted in the break room for the month of September.  All donations will be contributed to American Heart Association.

Awesome idea.  We should definitely post the names of everyone who died of a heart attack while following the AHA’s dietary advice.  Sort of a wall of shame.

September 12 — lunch and learn:   Hosted by American Heart Association.

Lunch?  Too bad it’s not breakfast … then we could all snarf down some Frosted Mini-Wheats or one of the other sugary cereals that sports the AHA’s seal of approval.

September 19 — health fair:

American Heart Association will participate in our annual health fair, scheduled for September 21, by hosting an informative booth.  Be sure to stop by!

Only if I’m carrying a concealed weapon.  But wait … here’s the best activity of all.

September 26 — bake sale:

Team members are encouraged to bring in baked goods that will be sold for a nominal amount, with all proceeds donated to American Heart Association.  Get creative and bring in copies of your recipe if you’re willing to share.  Heart healthy recipes encouraged, but not required!

Now you’re talking.  Bring in some grain-based foods and sell them, then give the money to the American Heart Association so they can do a better of job of telling us to eat more grains.

Since heart-healthy recipes are encouraged, maybe I’ll participate after all.  I’ll bring a big pan of baked bacon.

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75 thoughts on “The American Heart Association Is Invading My Workplace

  1. Amy Dungan

    Oh good grief. That last one reminds me of Wendy’s campaign to sell frostys to “beat diabetes”. Yeah… that’ll do it.
    I can’t believe we’ve let these companies bamboozle us into believing fake foods are better for us than real foods. When were we all slipped a stupid pill? I don’t remember taking one, yet I remember believing all the hype many years ago. Thank goodness I woke up!

    I swallowed that nonsense too. Glad the stupid pill wore off eventually.

    Reply
  2. Alan

    Just be sure to butter that bacon..

    One of the many great lines from “King of the Hill” — “Mr. Hill, you look like a man who butters his bacon.” Of course, the doctor meant it as a criticism.

    Reply
  3. Lori

    The AHA and the workplace shakedown: they go together like jam and bread. When I was on a diet that was in line with AHA recommendations, I gained 20 pounds and a gaggle of health problems. A low-carb, high-fat, high nutrient diet righted it all.

    At least Cigna is headed in the right direction. At the health fair at work, the nurse said that blood sugar should be kept under 140–and even approved of my low-carb diet.

    That’s encouraging. Let’s hope more companies see the light.

    Reply
  4. konst

    can i cook some cupcakes with coconut fat please? I promise not to tell anyone what is in them until they are all gone and eaten. Perhaps i could get a medal for saving some people from heart attacks?

    I won’t tell.

    Reply
  5. Jo

    Ha ha, I do the opposite of everything on that list! I’m very surprised to see eggs on there though. Even mainstream science says they are safe now. The evidence is clear that they do not increase risk of heart disease and are an excellent low fat (yes I know) wholefood packed with important nutrients.

    Even the former anti-fat warriors at Harvard’s nutrition department now say fat wasn’t the problem. But the AHA can’t change its tune, since that low-fat logo is their big source of revenue.

    Reply
  6. Patricia

    OMG! I didn’t know we worked at the same place! Those are nearly word for word identical to what we would receive at work. I recently left a job at a large national bank and our facility employed over 900 employees. Our company was so proud of their “Wellness Program” and their weekly “health” bulletins that were full of this kind of advice. They were very concerned about the rising health care costs and rate of absenteeism. They actually advocated weekly employee weigh-ins with FREE DIETARY COUNSELING!

    During training we were warned that new employees would typically gain as much as 40 pounds during their first six months there. 40 pounds! It couldn’t be the neverending huge bowls of low fat candies and heart healthy granola bars on every aisle! Or pizza Fridays with alternating sub sandwich Wednesdays. Maybe the company sponsored Italian themed pot lucks held each month? No. It was because we were Big Fat Lazy Slobs sitting on our ever increasing butts answering their phones. We should have spent our lunch hours walking, not eating. (My favorite was the bake sale with proceeds going to . . . The American Juvenile Diabetes Association!)

    Personally, I never touched their stuff and brought all my meals and snacks from home. But at one point, I was actually “counseled” by my supervisor to make better food choices. It was noticed that I ate “too much fatty red meat” and no “low fat whole healthy grains”. His words.

    I looked at his 26 year old wheat belly sitting on his 300 pound build, thanked him for his concern and told him that it is not up to my employer to dictate what I ate; I’ve been feeding myself for nearly sixty years, thank you. I thanked him for his time and shortly thereafter resigned. That whole environment was becoming more diet desperate as time went on. And banging my head on the desk must have been very distracting for my obese, ADHD, depressed, diabetic, exhausted co-workers.

    I’ve taken notice of what people eat in the cafeteria. Grains, grains, grains and more grains, plus some sugar for good measure.

    Reply
  7. Rose

    Does your head in doesn’t it?
    My father had a heart attack. While visiting him in the hospital afterwards I read a pamphlet they gave him. According to it he was doing everything right except he needed to take up drinking (red wine).
    I’ve gently tried to educate them, but despite Mum actually reading GCBC they still sit firmly in the low fat grain eating camp.

    Wow … based on what?

    Reply
  8. Christopher

    These organizations need to just either back off, or need to tell people the truth. Although with all the brainwashing government is going, the people who work there may actually believe this stuff. Have you ever noticed that for all their talk about kids being brainwashed by television and video games, particularly the ‘evil McDonald’s’ commercials, that the government spends more time and money trying to brainwash the public? Seriously. Everyone needs to learn to worry about themselves. Of course, there’s no money in that, so it’s unlikely that that will happen.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m actual all for promoting healthy living. There’s just two issues. First, the health info needs to be legitimate, none of this ‘eating like nature intended is bad for you’ crap. Secondly, don’t get in my face about it. This country was founded on freedom of choice. The government needs to keep to their own work rather try to go changing the people it’s supposed to be working for.

    I really appreciate what you stand for and how you choose to do so. The world needs more people like you. Especially after we lost the late great George Carlin. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    Thank you. I’ll never quit.

    Reply
  9. Captain ChiliDog

    Showing up at the bake sale with a big ol’ plate of bacon would be priceless, especially if you’re wearing a “Wheat is Murder” T-Shirt. Not that I’m encouraging any antagonistic behavior.

    I’m going the underground route … I’ve already made a few converts among my co-workers; turns out a couple of them had already heard about Fat Head before meeting me.

    Reply
  10. AllisonK

    Speaking of baked bacon, I am going to attempt a bacon cake for my hubbies birthday. I’ll send you a pic if it works out.

    I recently got into coconut oil/butter. Even on their own package they talk about how it’s cholesterol free and they talk about natural medium chain fats and how good they are for you. Not arguing, but noticing how they have to word stuff because God forbid they say saturated fats because it would reduce sales.
    It also says “Nutritionists recommend taking 2 or 3 tablespoons of coconut oil every day”
    Where are these smart nutritionists hiding??

    They’re keeping their heads down to avoid losing their jobs.

    Reply
  11. Princess Dieter

    Have those dudes tasted fat free cheese? No, really…have they? It’s beyond awful. It’s not edible. I tried, in my lowfat days, I truly tried. But it’s awful. Fat free yogurt is, too. Take out the fat and what’s left just doesn’t taste right.

    Removing the fat from cheese is removing the best ingredients in the stuff.

    Reply
  12. Bex

    As a brit, I always thought Americans didn’t understand irony….wow was I wrong!!!! I have a keyboard shaped dent in my forehead…

    Give them paleo muffins – made with ground almonds, egg, banana, honey and cinnamon…yum! Not a single dirty fake ingredient in them…..

    Reply
  13. Helen

    The Health booth would benefit from a couple of large speciman jars containing the hearts of a grain fed feed lot steer and the heart of a grass fed, free range steer to see which is healthiest. I’d like to see that.

    Bake sale? Perhaps an electric frypan with bacon frying to waft around the room? Who will sell out first?:)

    Unfortunately, a lot of people will go for the donuts or cakes or whatever.

    Reply
  14. labrat

    Nothing scares me more than my employer’s “Wellness Committee”. Their activities are voluntary – so far.

    Next is my insurance company and their relentless invitations to take their health assessment questionaire. It’s voluntary – so far.

    For a while my lab didn’t have a fridge and we had to share one with Cardiac Rehab across the hall. I kept my real butter in there because our hospital only carries plastic margarine. I had to stop because their nutrtion counsellor kept throwing out that “poison”. She had no problem with the jar of “butter buds” and other frankenfoods she kept in there.

    We face an uphill battle for sure.

    Oh, lordy … throwing out the natural butter, keeping the chemical crap.

    Head. Bang. On. Desk.

    Reply
  15. Kristin

    Normally I love your sarcastic tone, and your posts often make me laugh out loud. But personally, I would be very careful about even making a joke about bringing a concealed weapon to work. Maybe your HR people understand the difference between a joke and a threat, but such is not the case in many workplaces…

    If I get frisked on Tuesday, I’ll know they didn’t get the sarcasm.

    Reply
  16. Jim

    Just amazing advice, it must be some freak miracle that I have not croaked eating fatty ribeye and 3 whole eggs for breakfast every day! I would love to hear from them why my irregular heartbeat hasn’t been an issue since I ditched all the carbs and grains and low fat garbage they push, in fact it must be a medical miracle that I’ve lost 80 pounds in 10 months by NOT following their advice. *sarcasm off*
    Thanks Tom for providing the education I needed to get in better health!

    You’d probably be labeled as a “paradox.”

    Reply
  17. Stacie

    Thanks Tom. coincidentally, just yesterday I was trying to find the official AHA dietary guidelines, and was not very successful. I am now reassured that I am doing the exact opposite of what they recommend for my hubby with heart disease (and the rest of the family as well). I think that logic and common sense dictate that we eat real food. “For a modern disease to be related to an old-fashoined food is one of the most ludicrous things I ever heard in my life.”
    Dr. T.L. Cleave

    If only more people in government and organizations like the AHA had listened to Dr. Cleave.

    Reply
  18. mrfreddy

    I always politely decline to contribute or participate in any of these heart-walk types of events, whether it’s the AHA or some other institution. Sad so to see so much misdirected energy, but other than writing blog posts, whaddaya gonna do?

    As with the USDA, I don’t think we can get them to change their advice, but we can make them irrelevant.

    Reply
  19. Amy G. H.

    Perhaps you should also have a booth at this “health fair” and sell your DVDs! 🙂

    At the very least, I should consider showing up wearing one of our WHEAT IS MURDER t-shirts.

    Reply
  20. R Dunn

    For years now, I have been referring to them as the “American Heartless (and clueless) Association.”

    When the lady comes around each year to collect for them I say “Sorry, I can’t support them. They’re killing too many people.”

    I bet that prompts some interesting reactions.

    Reply
  21. Dianne

    Doesn’t this advice seem like satire? It’s like a manual for “follow these directions if you want to die young of a heart attack,” brought to you by those folks that are supposed to give you great advice on avoiding one. The fact that it’s not is downright evil.

    And eat egg whites instead of yolks? Gag me:-(

    They may not be satire, but I hope they’re considered laughable soon.

    Reply
  22. Kimji

    For the Bakesale I recommend:
    Chocolate covered Bacon:
    http://www.healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2011/08/food-duos.html

    or perhaps:
    Coconut Macademia Joyfuls

    4 oz virgin coconut oil
    4 oz Raw Coconut Butter/Manna
    3 oz 65-75% cocoa
    2 oz raw macademia nuts
    2 0z unsweetened shredded coconut

    1. Grind or chop the nuts & coconut in food processor or by hand
    2. Melt coconut oil, coconut butter & cocoa over double boilder
    3. mix together and pour into wax paper lined dish
    4. allow to set in fridge- it becomes quite hard, like a chocolate bar- you can break it into pieces or try cutting or scoring before it sets up.

    Oh, yeeeaaah!

    Reply
  23. Katie

    I’ve been to a lot of those “heart healthy” lunch and learns – it’ll probably be processed turkey on whole wheat bread with mustard and some limp lettuce, baked chips, and some sugary drink. I used to work for an HMO, and I swear I gained most of my weight while working there from attending their “healthy” functions.

    I would give a lot to see their faces if you did actually bring in a bunch of bacon. Happy International Bacon day, Tom! Keep up the fight. Your great articles and commentaries not only keep me informed, but make me laugh and I appreciate what you’re doing.

    I’m a contractor, not an employee, so I suppose bringing a pan of bacon could put a quick end to my contract.

    Reply
  24. Leah

    Have you ever found that many of the biggest shills for the AHA and low-fat high-carb living in general are overweight? I knew someone who worked for the AHA who was very overweight, and I was obese when I followed the AHA’s guidelines. I know how confusing it is to be doing everything ‘right’ and still end up 100+ lbs overweight. The question is, why don’t people realize sooner, “hey, this isn’t working, maybe it’s BS and I need to try something else!”

    When my low-fat diet didn’t work, I told myself I wasn’t being strict enough. I assume that’s what a lot of people tell themselves, at least until they come across better information.

    Reply
  25. LCNana

    Hey, Tom, I hope there are no repercusions when/if your employers read what you’ve written. Not exactly politically correct now were you? It is so hard to speak truth these days – especially when so many people will say “well, what’s true for you may not be true for me.” Huh?

    OT, I just saw an ad on Amazon for a DVD called Forks Over Knives. Are you familiar with it? I’m probably way behind the times here, but it just popped up in one of those annoying e-mail reminders from Amazon. Colin Campbell is the perp here.

    One reviewer made an interesting point about a “study” that is relied upon in the DVD about the lack of meat eating in Norway during the war – they imply that the hapless Norges were eating a plant based diet and that’s why their rates of heart disease went down. The reviewer points out that the article (sorry I don’t have exact information) was not even a ‘study’ – and that it said that the Norges ate sardines (yes those oily little devils) by the bucket load – NOT PLANTS. He ends by saying that Campbell et al were either simply misinterpreting the data, or outright lying. Apparently this Norway business shows up in other material put out by the Campbellites as well. Sad eh? 99% of the DVD reviewers said they would be adopting a vegan lifestyle instantly after watching Forks Over Knives. Sad.

    Hope all will be well with you at work! You’ve got a farm to pay for!!!

    If anything, I would hope my criticism of the AHA would spark some debate about how a company that wants to promote health among its employees should go about it.

    Yes, the Guy From CSPI also likes to point out that meat-eating went down in war-ravaged Europe, and so did heart disease. He fails to mention that sugar consumption plummeted too.

    Reply
  26. James Birdsall

    If I buy a heart, what does that get me? A cupcake? This is a very good illustration of how far off the rails the medical community has gone. Being recently sensitized to this whole thing since a recent cathaterization I have spoken to a number of doctors about my diet. The other day the doc warned me to stay away from ‘fad’ diets. I then asked him which was the fad diet, the one that humanity thrived on for a ten thousand years or the one that was pushed by a politician from North Dakota 30 years ago? He did not know what to say. I suggested GCBC. We’ll see.

    Good luck. I hope he reads it.

    Reply
  27. Graybull

    Don’t forget about the thousands (millions?) that the AHA charges to “bless” products with their little heart check logo. It has always been a matter of how much you pay versus what they said/believed? was healthy. Very few IF any of the big “initial” type groups (AHA, AMA, ADA, USDA) are really interested in your health.

    They earn millions per year from that stupid logo.

    Reply
  28. Caitlin

    Lori said “At least Cigna is headed in the right direction. At the health fair at work, the nurse said that blood sugar should be kept under 140–and even approved of my low-carb diet.”

    That’s great. I just decided to go with Cigna at my new job. Both Cigna and the other health plan offered have ‘partnership’ options, where you do the health assessment thing and then you have to be interrogated, I mean, follow-up with a representative to make sure you’re eating your grains and keeping your cholesterol under Approved Levels. Boyfriend said no to that, and they STILL call and bug him for personal health habit info. Until recently, even his concierge health service nagged him to take one of these “assessments” – he wouldn’t fill it out online, so the receptionist called and tried to trick him.

    I feel like a real subversive – said boyfriend recently received a stent to repair an old bypass graft in Nashville (Hey, Tom!). He’s been low-carb for years and he went 11 years without having to have the stent. (I understand a lot of bypass grafts eventually block up within a few years). While in there, I read over the booklet in his room and did a few “corrections” on the dietary advice, a la “natural animal fat is fine, avoid grains and sugar!” Didn’t get through the whole stack, but you do what you can.

    Reply
  29. Melinda P

    Lowfat/fat free cheese, margarine, weird vegetable oils, and egg substitutes? YUCK, that’s disgusting. So, whatever they say, we should just to do the opposite, I guess that makes it sorta simple. Maybe they should just be renamed Give Americans a Heart Attack Association. GAAHAA, LOL, that’s kind of sounds like what I said when I read their list of “healthy” choices.

    That’s why I believe they do more harm than good. They have the aura of scientific authority about them, but their recommendations aren’t backed up by real science.

    Reply
  30. Dana Carpender

    I might add: People who push this nonsense always make much of how we should eat a healthy diet of whole foods! They tell us this right before they tell us to eat boneless, skinless chicken breast. I have thirty chickens in my back yard, and every single one of them has bones, skin, and body parts other than pectorals. I have seen one yolkless egg so far, and it was a teeny starter egg from a pullet just starting to lay. And I’ve never heard of a cow who gave fat-free milk.

    Whole foods my butt.

    Yup, it’s always struck me as strange that these people believe “whole foods” don’t include foods with natural fats in them.

    Reply
  31. Dragonmamma/Naomi

    Be says:
    September 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm
    DISGUSTING.

    Let’s see if our comments pass moderation on this blog:
    http://www.sixservings.org/2011/08/500/
    *****
    Be, I noticed that there were ZERO comments on that post. I just left one (it was polite), so we’ll see if the moderator lets it see the light of day.

    Reply
  32. Dana W

    With health insurance costs going up, I think more and more employers are trying to ‘advise’ employees on personal health issues. Unfortunately the advice is probably driving costs higher! My employer requires us to complete a yearly health survey in order to receive a $100 per month ‘discount’ on our health insurance premiums. Most of the questions are about diet and exercise habits. If there are any areas of concern, a ‘Health Coach’ calls our homes (relentlessly I might add) to give us advice about better health habits (per the AHA guidelines of course). Needless to say, I think most employees have learned to tell them what they want to hear in the survey to prevent the ‘helpful’ phone calls.
    Our cafeteria is a reflection of the AHA or USDA guidelines for sure. I don’t eat the food, luckily I live close enough to go home for a nice low-carb lunch. Or I just skip lunch, I eat bacon every morning for breakfast and many times I’m just not hungry…

    That’s the unfortunate part of all these company health fairs: they’re just passing along the same lousy advice that got us into trouble in the first place.

    Reply
  33. Gretchen

    ha ha…just reading the comments and your follow up comments is making my afternoon great. “Is there a HATE button?” is tops.

    Reply
  34. Milton

    I wonder if the AHA is aware that food items with “0 trans fat” on the label can still have as much as half-a-gram of trans fat per serving? Oh wait, the AHA says that “the upper limit for trans fat is two grams per day.”

    http://www.5min.com/Video/Why-Trans-Fat-Free-Labels-Are-Misleading-326728916

    Yeah, I think I’ll take a pass on their recommendations. Speaking of passing, pass the bacon and eggs, would ya? And don’t be stingy with the salt!

    I’m never stingy with the salt.

    Reply
  35. Ray Kelley

    Doesn’t the AHA realize that Halloween’s still a couple months away? Because this reads like a horror show to me. Especially since I’ve started reading “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. It’s a shame that an organization supposedly dedicated to helping people get healthy spends so much time spreading disinformation. Are they really just grossly misguided? Or do they have agendas that override all other concerns?

    I think it’s the phenomenon described so beautifully in “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me).” Once people or especially large organizations have taken a public position, it’s difficult for them to change their minds.

    Reply
  36. Galina L.

    Sometimes wide-spread fat phobia could be convenient. Today I complained in my local natural food store about their grass-fed ground beef to be very lean and they gave me for free 3 lb of beef fat which was destined to go to garbage can. The butcher told me they trough away up to 10 lb a week because everybody except me wants lean meat. They promised to give me more next time. Wow, I am the only one in a city of 1 million people! Convenient but sad. At least the store started to sell meat one year ago, before that they carried only meat substitutes for vegetarians.
    Sometimes I feel surrounded. Yesterday my husband told me that they had at work some short-term contractor dealing with food regulations papers. That lady has a PhD in nutrition and for lunch had blueberries(to prevent Alzheimer), cherries(to prevent arthritis) and fat-free salad in order to get more fiber. At lest she didn’t eat grains. My husband used her as an example because he thinks my diet is based on wrong ideas. He didn’t find an answer when I asked him about what that nutritionist got for lunch in order to get nutrition except fructose.

    Sounds like your husband should read a couple of the books from our reading list.

    Reply
  37. GuineaPig

    The low vs high fat debate even appears in nursery rhymes

    “Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
    His wife(Jull) could eat no lean.
    And so between them both, you see,
    They licked the platter clean.”

    As far as i know Jack Lalanne and Dr. Julia Ross are the only modern diet advocates whose names and nutritional beliefs are close the rhyme.

    Reply

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