Tag Archives: fat

Documented: Harvard professors slanted research to favor sugar industry

sugar industry bribery

Ever wonder why we’ve been misinformed for so long about sugar’s role in weight gain and heart disease? It’s a convoluted story, but part of it involves Harvard professors slanting their research to favor the sugar industry, for a price.

I don’t make this stuff up, folks.

Yesterday, Stat News published an article with this arresting lead:

As nutrition debates raged in the 1960s, prominent Harvard nutritionists published two reviews in a top medical journal downplaying the role of sugar in coronary heart disease. Newly unearthed documents reveal what they didn’t say: A sugar industry trade group initiated and paid for the studies, examined drafts, and laid out a clear objective to protect sugar’s reputation in the public eye.

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Why some foods are more addictive than others

why this food is so addictive

why this food is so addictive

A new study has assessed which foods are more addictive to humans. The authors argue that, like drugs, foods that are highly processed and unnaturally combined start to become more “potent,” and, therefore, addictive.

Following are excerpts from the original article on Forbes.com:

 For instance, chewing a coca leaf doesn’t give a very strong high, but condensing it into cocaine and making it snort-able sure does. So too with foods whose elements are refined and combined in various clever ways – food labs spend lots of time on these calculations – until they become very “high-potency.”

“Addictive substances are rarely in their natural state,” the authors of the new study point out, “but have been altered or processed in a manner that increases their abuse potential. For example, grapes are processed into wine and poppies are refined into opium. A similar process may be occurring within our food supply.”

The ranking [that the study produced] suggests that it’s really the combination of fat and carbs that makes food addictive. And this is probably because our brains are not used to coming across foods that are both high in fat and high in sugar – natural foods are usually high in just one or the other.

So putting these two ingredients together into some wondrously unnatural and magical combination makes the brain go wild. “It is plausible that like drugs of abuse,” say the authors, “these highly processed foods may be more likely to trigger addictive-like biological and behavioral responses due to their unnaturally high levels of reward.”

book: it starts with food

So, maybe your struggle to eat well isn’t just about willpower! Want to know more about addictive foods? This book — It Starts With Food — by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig delves into it, also giving you the tools you need to break free from what they call “food without brakes” — amped-up foods that trigger cravings for more, more, more.

(Note: These links take you to my Amazon store. Buying there helps support this blog, without affecting your cost at all!)

 

 

 

Four things you need to UNlearn about food and nutrition

Are you believing one of these four diet myths

This is a shared post from my sister site, Start Where You Are Today.

Researchers are learning new things about diet and nutrition that are turning the tables on some of the advice we’ve been hearing so long, we believe them as hard cold facts. Are you believing one or more of them?

Unlearn this: What I eat influences my body chemistry.

Learn this: This one is not really new news, but I think it’s a core truth that we don’t really comprehend: What you eat doesn’t just affect your body: it literally becomes your body chemistry! And your body tissue, bone, blood, muscles, brain, hormones, etc. And the fuel you run on. The food you eat is disassembled in your digestive system, then reassembled to make you. This is why what you eat is so important!


Learn more: Want it all spelled out scientifically? Here’s an 11-minute video from Kahn Academy, explaining the basics of metabolism:

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Unlearn these: Eating fat is what makes you fat. Low fat = healthy. Eliminate as much fat as possible from your diet. Saturated fat is especially bad.

Learn this: Your body needs fat! It uses fat from your diet for energy, for making cells and other important parts of your body, and yes, some of it is stored as fat. (However, carbs are also stored as fat!)

Also, most grocery store products labeled “Low Fat!” have amped up sugar and other unhealthy carbs to compensate for the lost fat; definitely not a healthy move!

Learn more: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which concludes that “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.”

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Unlearn this: Eating high cholesterol foods is bad for your health. 

Learn this: New news, as of Feb. 2015 — “The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel — The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee — has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food.” While about one quarter of people may be cholesterol-sensitive, for most of us, medicine is now saying it’s not the problem we once believed.

So how did we get convinced that cholesterol was so bad? Some misunderstandings about how body cholesterol gets made, and its exact role in our circulatory system. Oh, and the fact that in one early, influential study, the researchers used rabbits. Turns out, rabbits are unusually vulnerable to a high cholesterol diet!

To learn more: The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol,Washington Post

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Unlearn this: It’s all about calories in, calories out.

Learn this: How nutrition affects our health is incredibly complex, so it’s too simplistic to say it’s all about one thing. But if it were, it wouldn’t be about calories in/calories out! And it would be definitely be more about the content of your diet. Over the long term, you will lose more weight, keep it off, and be healthier eating 1700 calories a day of whole, nutrient-dense foods than you will on 1200 factory-manufactured, “low fat” calories a day. And it will be easier, because you’ll be more satisfied!

To learn more: Four Biggest Myths About Calories, CBS

Why it’s okay to say yes to butter — without harming your health!

yes-to-butter
This post is an edited summary of an article by Debbie Bell, a Registered Dietitian, appearing in The State Journal of Frankfort KY, July 22, 2014

For the past 60 years, saturated fat and cholesterol have been wrongfully maligned as the culprits of heart disease, one of the nation’s leading causes of death. 
Dr. Fred Kummerow has spent eight decades studying the science of lipids, cholesterol, and heart disease. His work shows that it’s not saturated fat that causes heart disease, but rather trans fats are to blame. 
Trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils.”
These fats can be found in many foods — but especially in fried foods like French fries and doughnuts, and baked goods including pastries, piecrusts, biscuits, pizza dough, cookies, crackers, stick margarines and shortenings. 
There is some confusion about fats and their impact on LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol.  According to the conventional view, high LDL is correlated with heart disease, and saturated fat does tend to raise LDL. However, we now understand that there are TWO kinds of LDL cholesterol particles:
Small, “dense” LDL cholesterol and large, “fluffy” LDL cholesterol
The latter is not “bad” at all. Research has confirmed that large LDL particles do not contribute to heart disease. The small, dense LDL particles, however, do contribute to the build-up of plaque in your arteries, and trans fat increases small, dense LDL. Saturated fat, on the other hand, increases large, fluffy LDL.
In addition, research has shown that eating refined sugar and carbohydrates, such as bread, bagels,and soda, increases small dense LDL particles. Together, trans fats and refined carbohydrates do far more harm than saturated fat ever possibly could.
To read the original article, go to: Saturated Fats, Cholesterol Are Not Evil.
Here’s another article to the same effect, and from other sources, from the Wall Street Journal: The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

Fat vs. low-fat: Low-fat diet means MORE heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.

Caprese Salad

There is growing evidence that the war on fat was misguided. One of the best studies to date compared a Mediterranean-type diet with added olive oil (at least 4 tablespoons daily) or nuts (a large handful daily) to a low-fat “prudent” diet. People consuming extra fat from olive oil or nuts had fewer heart attacks, strokes and deaths from cardiovascular causes (New England Journal of Medicine, April 4, 2013).
Not only did the Mediterranean diet with extra monounsaturated fats reduce heart risk, it also lowered the likelihood of developing diabetes (Annals of Internal Medicine, Jan. 7, 2014).

Source: Bradenton Herald 

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/04/29/5126434/eat-more-fat-to-lower-cholesterol.html#storylink=cpy

Cholesterol vs. Inflammation

fat-free-pudding

What you think you know about cholesterol could hurt you.

Twenty years ago, doctors told us to stay away from high-fat foods like eggs, bacon, and butter because they raised cholesterol and could lead to heart disease.

America responded and stopped eating fat. In its place, however, we ate more sugar and other carbohydrates.

How did that work out? Not great.

As a whole, Americans grew fatter and sicker than before. Scientists back then may have reached the wrong conclusion.

As more research uncovers the role diet plays in cardiovascular disease, it’s becoming obvious that fats aren’t the only villains in the picture. Increasingly, scientists are recognizing that you should also watch out for some carbohydrates—specifically, sugars and refined grains. “I believe that a diet containing moderate amounts of saturated fat is OK, and possibly better, than a low-saturated-fat diet that is rich in sugars and refined carbohydrates,” says Ronald Krauss, M.D., director of atherosclerosis research at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

Now a growing number of medical experts say weight gain, heart disease, and other illnesses are not caused by high cholesterol, but by something different: inflammation.

Dr. Beverly Teter, a lipid biochemist at the University of Maryland, said scientists wrongly blamed cholesterol for heart disease when they saw high levels of it at a damaged blood vessel. Teter believes the body put the cholesterol there to fix the problem, which was actually caused by inflammation.
“It’s the inflammation in the vessels that start the lesion,” she explained. “The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage.”

Good things cholesterol does in your body:

– can protect against respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.
– helps create vitamin D.
– the brain contains more cholesterol than any other organ and needs it in order to send messages from one brain cell to another.

Foods that fight inflammation:

– that are high in Omega 3 fats
– olive oil
– avocados
– cold water fish
– coconut oil (fights colds and the flu and has even reversed the symptoms of Alzheimers, ALS and Parkinson’s Disease in some people.)
– walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans.
– pumpkin and sesame seeds
– natural saturated fats (maybe; science is still sorting this one out).

Foods which, in excess, cause inflammation:

– Omega 6 fats
– vegetable oils
– mayonnaise
– margarine
– anything containing high fructose corn syrup or other sugars
– white bread, white pasta, white rice

Foods which, in any amount, cause inflammation:

– trans fats (Which is a man-made fat, and for which the Harvard School of Public Health says there is no safe level to consume.)
– any packaged food containing the word “hydrogenated” on the label.

Condensed from an article by Lorie Johnson at CBN and an article by Rachel Johnson, Ph.D, M.P.H., R.D., at Eating Well.

I am not a health professional and this post is not intended to be professional medical advice.

photo credit: Nicola since 1972 via photopin cc