August 10, 2001
In this issue:|
| i everyone! Time for another newsletter issue and this one's packed|
with some of my favorite recipes as well!
The newsletter ran VERY long this time, so we gave Richard the week off from his column because it's his birthday! :)
And to all of you who have written asking for follow-up on the liquid Splenda shortage, I have no additional information as yet. Apparently, the shortage is not yet resolved. :(
On with the newsletter!
"The Big "Diet & Heart Disease" Misconception — PART II"
In our last issue, we published Part I of this series — looking at what's wrong with the "Lipid Theory" (the fat is bad theory) that pervades our country and the majority of our medical establishment. We dealt with the history of how it came to be and who espoused (and decried) it. This time, as promised, a point by point analysis of the Theory on which high carb/low fat diets are based, and refutation of each point.
Again, our sincere thanks to Dr. Stephen Byrnes for sharing his talents and knowledge.
Let's look at the Lipid Theory Point-by-Point — The main points of the Lipid Hypothesis are as follows:
1. Saturated fat and cholesterol consumption has increased through the 20th century,
with a corresponding increase in heart disease.
2. Dietary intake of cholesterol through cholesterol-containing foods raises blood
3. Increased blood cholesterol levels correlate with an increased risk and
occurrence of CVD.
4. Saturated fats and cholesterol clog arteries in the form of arterial plaque.
5. A high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol increases the risk for CVD and
that increased rates of CVD are seen in those who eat high fat/cholesterol diets.
6. Reducing intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, and increasing intake of
unsaturated fats, translates to a decreased risk for CVD.
7. Numerous studies prove that increased dietary saturated fat/cholesterol intake
strongly correlates with higher rates of arteriosclerosis and heart disease.
Let's take a close look at each of these points.
1. Saturated fat and cholesterol consumption has increased through the 20th century, with a corresponding increase in heart disease:
Quotations from the likes of Dean Ornish clearly stated this.
Unfortunately, these claims are absolutely false. Anthropological data confirm that humans have always eaten meat and animal fat and, unless constrained by environmental or economical factors, preferred them as food sources over vegetable foods. Paleolithic peoples apparently hunted certain species to extinction and the expansion of humanity across and around the globe was due to its quest for more animal foods.
Societies only turn to a diet of predominantly plant stuffs when absolutely necessary, and when they do, the effects are deleterious. For example, Abrams, citing Wells, notes that, "The dependence on high carbohydrate foods such as grain crops and other plant foods have resulted in undermining the health adaptations of food-producing populations unless they have been able to provide and maintain a balance between meat animals and their low protein crops". A cursory survey of dietary habits of native peoples from around the world flatly contradicts claims that humans ate less animal products than 20th century people.
On a more scientific level, food data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that animal fat consumption, especially of butter, has steadily declined in this century, but that vegetable oil and margarine consumption, i.e., polyunsaturated fats, has gone up tremendously (USDA- HNI). A report published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemist's Society demonstrated that animal fat consumption was substantially higher at the beginning of this century compared to now.
While it is true that meat consumption has risen in the last few decades, the rise has mostly been from increased chicken consumption, specifically recommended by the Prudent Diet (low fat). Chicken, however, is lower in saturated fat than beef or pork. Even chicken skin, recommended not to be eaten, contains significant levels of PUFAs. Beef and pork consumption, the high saturated fat meats, has risen only slightly. Some try to use these data to prove that animal food/fat intake therefore correlates with higher CVD rates, but what is not mentioned is that intake of margarine, trans-fats, refined sugar, and processed foods has also risen, quite astronomically in fact. Laying the blame on meat products and saturated fat is very bad reasoning indeed.
The first claim of the Lipid Hypothesis cannot be supported by any factual data. If anything, the data supports the opposite of the Lipid Hypothesis:
As animal fat consumption has decreased and vegetable fat consumption has increased; heart disease and cancer have increased!
2. Dietary intake of cholesterol through cholesterol-containing foods raises blood cholesterol levels:
It is claimed by supporters of the Lipid Hypothesis that cholesterol-rich foods like whole milk, cheese, meat, eggs, liver, and shellfish raise blood cholesterol levels when eaten. There is a mountain of evidence to demonstrate that this is not true. When Dr. George Mann of Vanderbilt University studied the Masai, a people whose diet mostly consists of beef, whole milk, and blood, he found they had serum cholesterol levels well within the "normal" range (180-200 mg/dl). He also discovered that they had very little, if any, CVD.
A study conducted by Hitchcock and Bracey in Busselton, Australia studied three groups of mothers and children - one with high, one with medium, and one with low cholesterol levels. The researchers studied the diet patterns of each group and found no significant difference among their daily food intakes. In other words, their diet had no bearing on their cholesterol levels.
The liver manufactures most of the cholesterol the body needs for an assortment of biochemical processes - about 2 grams a day. Only a small amount is absorbed from food in the small intestines, but this quantity is needed by the body to give it the substrates necessary to manufacture enough cholesterol. Eliminating cholesterol foods from one's diet is therefore ill advised.
3. Increased blood cholesterol levels correlate with an increased risk and occurrence of CVD;
Despite what the public, and supporters of the Lipid Hypothesis think, most people - over 80%, do NOT have elevated cholesterol levels prior to experiencing a heart attack.
Dr. Michael DeBakey, a world renowned heart surgeon from Houston, has done extensive research on the Lipid Hypothesis - specifically the dietary cholesterol aspect. He found that only 30 or 40% of people with arteriosclerosis or CVD actually have elevated cholesterol levels.
He stated, "If you say cholesterol is the cause, how do you explain the other 60% to 70% with heart disease who don't have high cholesterol?" DeBakey did an analysis of 1,700 patients with CVD from hospital records and found no definitive relationship or correlation between serum cholesterol and the extent of CVD.
It appears from research that serum cholesterol levels are neither an indicator nor a risk factor for heart disease. There are, however, small numbers of people who possess a genetic defect that interferes with their ability to metabolize cholesterol - a condition called hypercholesterolemia. People with this genetic condition DO have to watch their blood cholesterol levels.
In "The Cholesterol Myths" by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, he points out that most of the studies done demonstrating positive correlations between cholesterol levels and heart disease have been performed on people with this condition, but one cannot apply data from a group of people with a metabolic defect to the general population.
4. Saturated fats and cholesterol clog arteries in the form of arterial plaque:
Studies using rabbits done by Kritchevsky are offered as proof that saturated fats and cholesterol cause the formation of arterial plaques. Unfortunately, the basis of the experiment is flawed - rabbits are herbivorous creatures and lack the physiological traits required to assimilate and metabolize cholesterol, which is only found in animal products. It is no wonder that Kritchevsky's rabbits developed problems. One cannot apply the results of an experiment done on herbivores to an omnivorous species like humans.
A study in the medical journal Lancet demonstrated that the fatty acids in arterial plaque are mostly unsaturated (74%), of which 41% are polyunsaturated. This finding flatly contradicts the Lipid Hypothesis.
Cholesterol is a slippery, waxy substance that moves through the blood at a high rate of speed. It is, therefore, impossible that it could "stick" to arterial walls, which are very smooth. There is just as much cholesterol in our veins as in our arteries; but plaque is always found only in arteries and never in veins. If cholesterol were the cause of circulatory disease, then surely it would damage veins as much as arteries. But it does not.
Then why is cholesterol found in arterial plaque? Because the arteries have been damaged by something else and the body uses cholesterol as a repair substance. Furthermore, cholesterol is one of the last substances to be laid down in arterial plaque, not the first. It is, therefore, impossible that it could be the cause of arterial clogs.
5. A high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol increases the risk for CVD and that increased rates of CVD are seen in those who eat high fat/cholesterol diets:
Native peoples the world over consume high amounts of animal fats with no incidence of heart disease. For example, the Masai and related tribes of East Africa subsist largely on beef, whole milk, and blood. Yemenite Jews eat a diet containing fats solely of animal origin, yet have an almost zero incidence of heart disease and hypertension. Peoples living in northern India consume 17 times more animal fat, but have an incidence of CVD seven times LOWER than in southern India.
Eskimos eat liberal amounts of animal fats, both from fish and marine mammals, yet, as long as they stay on their native diet, enjoy freedom from CVD, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer. Several Mediterranean societies are free of CVD, even though fat consumption accounts for up to 70% of their diet. A study of Puerto Ricans revealed that, in spite of a high animal fat intake, they have low rates of colon and breast cancer.
With all of this contrary evidence, how could anyone possibly hold the Lipid Hypothesis to be true? The problem is that researchers fail to properly isolate specific dietary factors in their subjects. Lumped together are ice cream and margarine right along with butter and beef. Yet any person with common sense knows that these foods are not identical. The fats in these foods are vastly different, and the ice cream is loaded with sugar!
As a result, the harmful effects of trans fat (and sugar) consumption get mixed up with saturated fat consumption. The result is that SFAs get blamed for the evils of trans fats, excessive PUFAs, and refined sugars.
This is actually how the Lipid Hypothesis got its start - in the 1940s, American researchers found a strong correlation between cancer and fat consumption and the fats used were hydrogenated fats, not naturally saturated fats.
The error has been repeated ever since despite a number of studies clearly exonerating animal fats as causes of either heart disease or cancer.
6. Reducing intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, and increasing intake of unsaturated fats, translates to a decreased risk for CVD:
Since we have already seen that dietary cholesterol has little effect on serum cholesterol levels, and that a high intake of SFAs does not correlate with greater risk for cancer or heart disease, the first part of this contention is wrong. The second, however, deserves our attention.
While small amounts of polyunsaturated fats are needed by the body, excessive consumption is extremely deleterious. How tragic that, for the past 50 years, Westerners have been urged to consume more polyunsaturated fats in the form of vegetable oils. This advice has translated into nothing but death and suffering.
7. Numerous studies prove that increased dietary saturated fat/cholesterol intake strongly correlates with higher rates of atherosclerosis and heart disease:
On the surface, there appear to have been a number of studies completed that supposedly prove the Lipid Hypothesis of heart disease. While space constraints will not allow us to go over each one for their LACK of proof, we'll touch a few:
* The Framingham Heart Study is often brought up to prove the Lipid Hypothesis. This study began in 1948 and involved about 6,000 people from a small town in Massachusetts. Two groups were compared at five year intervals - one group ate lots of saturated fat and cholesterol, and another group ate little.
One major finding of the study was that those who weighed more and had higher blood cholesterol levels were more at risk for CVD. Weight gain and cholesterol levels, however, had an INVERSE correlation with dietary intake of fat and cholesterol. In other words, there was no correlation whatsoever. Dr. William Castelli, MD, headed the study and had to admit in 1992:
In Framingham, Massachusetts, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower people's serum cholesterol... we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.
* The US Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial compared mortality rates and eating habits of 12,000+ men. Those with "good" dietary habits, i.e., low saturated fat, reduced smoking, etc., showed a slight reduction in total CVD rates, but their all-cause death rate was higher than the "bad" group.
This result has been repeated many times in other similar studies, but it is never revealed to the public. The few studies that indicate a correlation between fat reduction and a decrease in CVD mortality also clearly document a sizeable increase in deaths from cancer, suicide, and violence.
* The Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial is, like the Framingham study, often brought forward to support the Lipid Hypothesis. But this study did not actually test for dietary cholesterol and saturated fat intake as all the subjects involved were already on a low fat diet. Instead, the study tested the effects of a cholesterol-lowering drug. Statistical analysis of the results indicated a 24% reduction in the rate of CVD in the drug-taking group compared to the other who took no drug at all.
Deaths, however, from cancer, stroke, violence, and suicide rose considerably in the drug-taking group. The 24% reduction claim was challenged later by independent researchers. They found NO statistical difference in the CVD rates between both groups. Despite these disturbing data, the press and medical communities hailed the study as proof that animal fats kill people and that lowering cholesterol is good.
ALL STUDIES SHOWING THE LIPID HYPOTHESIS TO BE TRUE ARE SPONSORED, EITHER ALL OR IN PART, BY VARIOUS COMPANIES WHO MANUFACTURE CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING DRUGS, OR WHO MAKE LOW FAT FOODS.
Once again, we invite you to visit Dr. Stephen Byrnes' site at: PowerHealth.net to learn more. And a HUGE thank you to him for allowing us to share his research with you.
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Potpourri — A Little of Everything!
We received a LOT of recipe submissions over the last couple of weeks and they are widely varied, so we decided to just serve 'em up to you as a glorious mix of a "little bit of everything"! Enjoy, and keep sending us your favorites!
This first one is my own... I created it as a special birthday cake for my dear husband Richard (his birthday's this week!) because he always adored Chocolate Maple Cakes. This one's a keeper:
Decadent Chocolate Maple Cake
Sweet Maple Frosting
Pork Chops Italiano
Chocolate Donut Fritters
Carpaccio (Cipriani's sliced beef)
Dee's Low Carb Chicken Cacciatore
Low Carb Connoisseur Helps You Plan the Perfect Italian Dinner!"
MORE Cooking with Stu!
Thank you guys for the GREAT reaction I got to my recipes last issue! You've inspired me to continue. (Maybe you're just tired of me "ranting" - [grin]) I LOVE beef and it shows here!
Cajun Beef Burgers
Bistro Beef "Steaks" with Wild Mushroom Sauce
Moroccan Beef Kabobs
Citrus Tenderloin with Curried Orange Sauce
Water — It can help you lose fat!
We get LOTS of letter asking why we're constantly preaching the importance of drinking lots of REAL water (not sodas, juices, coffee, etc). We want to stress how strongly we feel about this. If you're "stuck" and haven't been losing, not drinking enough water daily is one of the top 5 culprits.
Drinking enough water is the easiest thing you can do to lose excess fat.
Drinking water is not just to make your mouth feel less dry. In fact, if you wait until you're thirsty, your body is already dehydrated because your salivary glands are the last resort for getting hydration to your cells. Water is what causes your body to function efficiently.
One of the first signs that you aren't getting enough water is fatigue. Sometimes we satisfy the need for a burst of energy with coffee, which is the opposite of what you need. Coffee is a diuretic, which actually dehydrates you further, nurturing a self-destructive cycle.
You'll see that drinking water spaced evenly throughout the day also suppresses your appetite — sometimes even to a greater degree than the natural effects of low carbing!
Your hunger for water can be the cause of your cravings, rather than the need for extra food. Thirst signals are often confused with hunger signals. If you aren't used to drinking much water, this could be more of a problem to you than for people who are familiar with the feeling of being thirsty. People who don't drink water get a small amount from the food they eat, which is not nearly enough.
For them, hunger and thirst feels like the same thing – so along with the tiny bit of water absorbed from food, they also get the unnecessary calories, and often carbs which are eaten when cravings take hold — and which are definitely stored as extra fat.
A sure sign that you're dehydrated is the color of your urine. If you're drinking enough water, it should be very light yellow to nearly completely clear in color. Medium yellowish to nearly orange in color merits a trip to the water fountain. (Any other colors merit a trip to the doctor.)
Water helps your liver convert fat into usable energy. If you don't drink enough water, your kidneys are overwhelmed with concentrated fluids, and they make your liver do extra work. Your liver works hard to turn your body fat into energy you use, and if it has to do the kidney's work, then you hold onto the extra fat that would have been burned if you'd simply had enough water. And what's worse is that instead of excreting water and waste products, you reabsorb used water to reuse again. This is what causes water retention and bloating.
When you don't get enough water, your body panics and holds on to it selfishly, as though you're in a famine. The best way to get rid of this water retention is to drink enough of it. You'll also feel thirsty more often, and this will start a healthy cycle of thirst leading to hydration. But you have to keep it up because if you stop drinking enough water, all the good things you've gained from drinking water (balanced body fluids, weight loss, decreased hunger and thirst) will reverse back to the way they were.
You need at least 8 cups of water a day, but we strongly recommend 10-12. If you exercise or live in a dry climate, add 2 more cups, and if you're more than 25% overweight, drink 1 to 2 extra cups. Overweight people have higher metabolic requirements, more waste products to flush out, and it helps keep extra skin from sagging after the fat is gone.
Here's a good water drinking schedule that will help you remember to drink until you don't have to think about it anymore:
Get a 32 oz. plastic cup at a drug store to drink from. One big cup seems easier than lots of little ones.
Sip one big cupful in the morning as you're getting dressed.
Have one cupful during the late morning/early afternoon.
Drink one cupful gradually in the late afternoon/early evening — the earlier you finish this one the better so you won't have to get up during the night.
Drink and LOSE!
Thanks for reading! Keep your suggestions and questions
coming in — we always want to hear from you! Remember, we
can't address every request and query, but the ones we hear
about the most or offer the greater potential to help others
will surely make their way here.|
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