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Saturated Fat and Skepticism
National Review Online ^ | May 2014 | Mona Charen

Posted on 05/07/2014 2:40:30 PM PDT by neverdem

The scientific community is not immune to politics, bias, and self-interest.

The headline looks like a hoax — saturated fat does not cause heart disease — but it’s real. This news is more than just another example of changing health guidelines. It’s a cautionary tale about trusting the scientific consensus.

For more than 50 years, the best scientific minds in America assured us that saturated fat was the enemy. Animal fat, we were instructed, was the chief culprit in causing obesity, Type II diabetes, and heart disease.

Throughout my adult life, I have conscientiously followed the guidelines dispensed by the health arbiters of our age. Trusting utterly in the scientific research of the American Heart Association, the CDC, and the USDA, I accepted the nearly universal wisdom of the medical and nutritional experts.

Boy, did I accept. I practically banned red meat from my diet for decades. Butter? Only on special occasions. Cream? Do they still make it? Lean chicken, turkey, and fish combined with complex carbohydrates and of course, lots of fruits and vegetables, were the ticket, I was certain, to the best odds of avoiding heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. When the Atkins diet craze swept the country I shook my head sadly, half expecting my friends who indulged in it to keel over from heart attacks.

Now, the Annals of Internal Medicine declares that beef, butter, and cream do not cause heart disease. Women whose total cholesterol levels are high live longer than those with lower levels.

This is not just reminiscent of Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper — it’s nearly word for word. In the future, Allen joked, wheat germ and organic honey would kill you but “deep fat, cream pies, and steak” would be regarded as health-enhancing.

How could the experts have been so wrong for so long?

Nina Teicholz, writing in the Wall Street Journal, notes that “there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics, and bias.”

It seems that the founding father of the saturated-fat theory was a sloppy researcher. In the 1950s, Ancel Benjamin Keys studied men in the U.S., Japan, and Europe and concluded that poor diet caused heart disease and other pathologies. He examined farmers living in Crete, Teicholz writes, but studied them during Lent, when they had given up meat and cheese for religious reasons. Still, Keys was apparently charismatic and convincing, and while subsequent research was mixed on the question of fats, cholesterol, and disease, the whole nutritional/governmental blob had become too committed to the low-fat orthodoxy to turn back easily.

From the initial anathematizing of eggs, dairy, and fat, the experts have been slowly walking it all back. First, eggs were removed from the evil list. Next we were told that dietary cholesterol actually didn’t seem to be correlated with blood cholesterol at all. Then the experts explained that some fats weren’t bad, wait, olive oil was positively good for you. And so on. Today we’ve nearly arrived at Woody Allen’s future. A breakfast of eggs and bacon is, according to the newest understanding, no worse for you than oatmeal. (Though sugar remains forbidden.)

Arguably, the health establishment’s embrace of the wrong ideas about nutrition have made the U.S. fatter and sicker than we might otherwise have been. We’ve increased our consumption of carbohydrates by 25 percent since the 1970s, which may be the reason that Type II diabetes is reaching epidemic levels. The switch to vegetable oil from butter and lard may have increased rates of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

The moral of this story is not to ignore science, but to stay skeptical. The scientific method remains the best way yet devised to ascertain truth. But the scientific establishment is hardly immune to politics, fads, bias, and self-interest. Bad science is endemic. As The Economist noted in October, “half of all published research cannot be replicated . . . and that may be optimistic.”

Our experience with nutrition science over the past half-century should arm us with doubt about climate science too. The point is not to ignore scientific data but to treat all studies, models, and predictions with a degree of skepticism. Don’t accept the argument from authority: That the entire medical establishment endorsed the war on saturated fat did not make it true.

Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2014 Creators Syndicate, Inc.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bacon; butter; cheese; diet; fat; meat; saturatedfat; type2diabetes
Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

That's my best guess for the article being referenced in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Neither Mrs. Charen nor Nina Teicholz gave the title of the citation or gave an author.

1 posted on 05/07/2014 2:40:30 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Bm


2 posted on 05/07/2014 2:43:49 PM PDT by Popman ("Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God" - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: neverdem; All
 photo trans-fat.gif


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3 posted on 05/07/2014 2:44:11 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: neverdem

I love animal fat! :-)


4 posted on 05/07/2014 2:48:53 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: neverdem

Mmmmmm ... dead cow

5 posted on 05/07/2014 2:52:56 PM PDT by tx_eggman (Liberalism is only possible in that moment when a man chooses Barabas over Christ.)
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To: neverdem

I don’t know what’s healthy or unhealthy anymore. And they’re not saying either. Just take some acetaminophen, 10 lbs of bacon, 100 grams of dark chocolate, and don’t worry about illegal aliens.


6 posted on 05/07/2014 2:53:26 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The only thing the Left has learned from the failures of socialism is not to call it that)
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To: neverdem
This is not just reminiscent of Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper — it’s nearly word for word.

Nah, it's even better than that. The real answer is Dark Chocolate.

7 posted on 05/07/2014 2:54:51 PM PDT by Balata (Obama is a Lying Fraud, and so are his followers!)
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To: neverdem; no-to-illegals; All

For 40 years I have been following this stuff and am now a healthy over 70. The most important thing I feel I have done is avoid sugar, products with white flour, white rice and pealed potatoes. So far as past history and animal fats, remember many of our ancestors and even grandparents were engaged in hard physical labor much of the day which burned up the fat and conditioned the circulatory system. My recommendation to myself and others is eat plenty of low carb vegetables and fruit, some whole grains, and modest amounts of other things like fish, fowl, meat, dairy including butter (but not synthetics like margerine), and an occasional sin splurge like ice cream.


8 posted on 05/07/2014 2:56:44 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: neverdem
This was in the WSJ. Author to publish book:

WSJ

9 posted on 05/07/2014 2:59:49 PM PDT by 11th Commandment ("THOSE WHO TIRE LOSE")
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To: neverdem

Skip that.

I love the fat on a juicy steak. I do, however, prefer lean hamburgers, turkey, bison or Kobe.

I don’t mix proteins such as cheese in my omelet. Gross and I also don’t care for pizza with any meats. All veggies and a super crisp crust, otherwise I just knock off all the goodies and eat them, tossing the crust, which I rarely like.

White bread? Can’t stand the taste, except if there is a ton of peanut butter and jelly on it but, I don’t buy white bread.

Whole wheat everything is best.

Eat 2-3 things at a meal. Protein, Starch(red potatoes are excellent, sweet and don’t require butter - hate Idaho or baking potatoes and will only eat the skin) and veggies or fruit.

If you are going to junk out then that counts as a meal or even two. You are done for the day. Big bowl of popcorn with a stick of butter? two meals.

Milkshake? 300 calories and counts as a meal.

Eat tons of veggies. They fill you up, are delicious, chock full of vitamins and minerals and H20, which we all need.

BP 120/80 and 50 years old.


10 posted on 05/07/2014 3:01:03 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: neverdem

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract


11 posted on 05/07/2014 3:01:54 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: neverdem

This guy has been eating 3-5 eggs a day all his life and I am so friggin happy to hear this lol


12 posted on 05/07/2014 3:02:32 PM PDT by When do we get liberated? (A socialist is a communist who realizes he must suck at the tit of Capitalism.)
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To: Balata
"The real answer is Dark Chocolate. "

Promotes heavy duty Kodachrome dreams.

13 posted on 05/07/2014 3:04:19 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Paladin2

If it improves your health while you’re sleeping, I’ll take it.


14 posted on 05/07/2014 3:07:59 PM PDT by Balata (Obama is a Lying Fraud, and so are his followers!)
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To: Balata

It’s got Sugar so it’s likely bad, but the entertainment is great.


15 posted on 05/07/2014 3:20:32 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: neverdem

I’ll tell ya what really gets me, when I was a kid we would have a Pork-Roast or Chops. The meat would be rimmed with fat -crisp and crackling. Delicious !

Now, they are breeding pigs to be lean with no or minimal fat.

Boy, do I miss the good old days...


16 posted on 05/07/2014 3:23:40 PM PDT by Paisan
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To: Paladin2
It’s got Sugar so it’s likely bad...

You are correct, but there are manufactures out there who are addressing the refined processed sugars and are only using low glycemic pure cane crystals which is a big first.

17 posted on 05/07/2014 3:28:23 PM PDT by Balata (Obama is a Lying Fraud, and so are his followers!)
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To: When do we get liberated?

We have an 80 year old Mexican who works for us, he is still doing manual labor, he eats 3 dozen eggs a week. He buys a beef kidney once a week and other organ meats.


18 posted on 05/07/2014 3:46:52 PM PDT by tiki
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the post.


19 posted on 05/07/2014 3:51:08 PM PDT by Buffalo Head (Illigitimi non carborundum)
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To: Paladin2

“The real answer is Dark Chocolate. “

Promotes heavy duty Kodachrome dreams.
............
fasting does that too.


20 posted on 05/07/2014 3:53:36 PM PDT by ckilmer
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To: neverdem
A Waikiki gay bar in 1973, in the week of an APA convention in Honolulu, was where a group of closeted homosexual psychiatrists agreed to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.

Ah, the iron-clad, error-free, march of scientific enquiry.
21 posted on 05/07/2014 4:01:54 PM PDT by jobim (.)
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To: neverdem

Bttt.


22 posted on 05/07/2014 5:01:24 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (NRA)
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To: Vendome
BP 120/80 and 50 years old.

I eat almost exclusively meat, animal fat and leafy vegetables.

BP: 116/62

Cholesterol cut in half by eating lots of animal fat

All blood tests excellent.

56 YO.

Avoid carbs, especially corn and products thereof. Whole wheat is no good either. Throw out the margarine and bring on the real butter. Drink whole milk, not 2%, not skim. Never buy "fat free" anything because they take out the fat and re-thicken with corn starch. Following the above diet I lost 108 pounds in seven months.

23 posted on 05/07/2014 5:35:56 PM PDT by lafroste (matthewharbert.wix.com/matthew-harbert)
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To: lafroste

I’m writing this from the docs office.

276 lbs - 5’7”. 52yo

Same type diet I’ve lost 80lbs. My BP- 120/70. Resting heart rate - 52. Total cholesterol - 150. HDL- 57.

Yes I do exercise.


24 posted on 05/08/2014 8:00:36 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Melowese Richardson - Democrat Vote Fraud Expert)
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