YET ANOTHER MAJOR STUDY SHOWS HOW WE ARE BEING DUPED BY CURRENT DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS
About six weeks ago I showed you A LARGE STUDY that concluded that higher consumption of carbohydrates was associated with increased morbidity and mortality. And not only that, but saturated fats were actually shown to be heart-protective. This is not so different than a Czech study that was published one year ago this month in Food & Nutrition Research (Food Consumption and the Actual Statistics of Cardiovascular Diseases: An Epidemiological Comparison of 42 European Countries).
In this study, the five authors from Masaryk University started by using the premise that all the foods we grew up being told were bad and believed were bad, are in fact bad. This list included things like red meat, butter, high-fat dairy products, eggs, and refined cereals. From there they compared average national health parameters (physical findings and blood lab values) as well as national morbidity and mortality rates for a wide range of illnesses, to what people were actually eating as measured by long-term questionnaire results from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAOSTAT), which is based in Rome.
Using this database, we collected daily consumption rates of 53 foodstuffs. We included all main food items and even some subcategories, whose annual per capita consumption was higher than 5 kg, concentrated sources of fat (olive oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil), and the general indicators of fat, protein, and energy intake. In addition to that, we computed nine additional food items (the energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, potato and cereal carbohydrates, and plant food; animal fat and animal protein; total fat and animal protein; total fat and total protein; pork and beef fat) in order to reveal more subtle relationships.
What did these authors find. "Irrespective of the possible limitations of the ecological study design, the indisputable finding of our paper is the fact that the highest cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevalence can be found in countries with the highest carbohydrate consumption, whereas the lowest CVD prevalence is typical of countries with the highest intake of fat and protein. The polarity between these geographical patterns is striking." Did you catch that? After looking at the dietary habits of all forty-two European countries, these authors determined (using UN statistics) that carbs were related to heart problems and that fat / protein was heart-protective. But it gets better. These authors came to almost identical conclusions that the authors of the previous study mentioned came to. It's conclusive folks' we've been duped!
The positive effect of low-carbohydrate diets on CVD risk factors (obesity, blood lipids, blood glucose, insulin, blood pressure) is already apparent in clinical trials lasting 3-36 months and low-carbohydrate diets also appear superior to low-fat diets in this regard. However, these findings are still not reflected by official dietary recommendations that continue to perpetuate the unproven connection between saturated fat and CVDs. Besides total fat and protein consumption, the most likely preventive factors emerging in our study include fruits (particularly citrus fruits), wine, high-fat dairy products (especially cheese), sources of plant fat (tree nuts, olives), and potentially even vegetables and other low-glycaemic plant sources.
And in similar fashion to the other study, these authors said that dietary recommendations need to be changed to reflect their conclusions --- conclusions that are echoed by a large number of previous studies. The cool thing is that these guidelines have already been done for you by a group of thirty physicians and researchers who are considered elite in their field (HERE).
And while simply going LOW CARB is far better than not, I would suggest you take a look at THESE ARTICLES to see exactly why the Paleo Diet is incredibly anti-inflammatory / anti-reactive --- huge factors to consider if you are dealing with CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES or AUTOIMMUNE ISSUES. And for some of you, a KETOGENIC APPROACH might prove beneficial, at least for awhile. If you want to see how diet fits into the bigger picture as far as getting out of pain and returning to health, HERE is the short post you need to take a look at.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).