Fats

News Flash!

Correspondence discovered that sugar industry paid harvard to rig the results to convince public and our government that animal fats, not sugars, were the cause of heart disease. Following those “studies”, the leading collaborator became chief of nutrition at the USDA. Disgusting.

We now know that animal fats do not cause heart disease (though grass-fed fats do act affirmatively to protect our hearts) and that sugar is the culprit. So when you see “Low or No Fat” on the label, BEWARE! They probably added sugar to make the product palatable.

Saturated Fat

Friend or Foe? I have completed my review of some 15 studies (some of which studied the studies), with results dating from 2004 to 2015 and including hundreds of thousands of people observed over long periods of time (20 years seems to be the gold standard). I can say this: saturated fats are certainly not a foe. The fats caused no increase in heart or vascular events for the eaters of butter, eggs, red meat, cheese and milk compared to the control group that ate very little of those good foods.

Want even better news? Polyunsaturated fats, such as found in Omega-3 foods such as ours, actually reduced the chance of heart events compared to the general population. LDL went down and HDL went up.

So, I think we are making progress despite the strength of the agenda-minded folks out there in returning to sensibilities about our food. One thing I want to add is this: the benefit of eating your meat and dairy is greatly enhanced by plant food appearing next to it. All food works together. Eat like the octogenarian, Thomas Jefferson, recommended. A meat accompanied by fresh vegetables and a fruit. Each in roughly equal volume to the other. 

There They Go Again

All of the proof has been going in favor of the nutritional value of beef, pork, eggs and dairy, reversing through actual human studies the mere theories that arose in the ‘60’s that the red meats were the cause of rising heart disease rates in the U.S. (Ancel Keys, the primogenitor of such nonsense, is a profanity at Jolie Vue.) In fact, I was listening to NPR on a recent road trip and heard an interview with a member of the committee putting together the new government dietary guidelines. He predicted that for the first time in 5 decades, the consumption of natural animal fats would be encouraged by the new guidelines, noting that fats were not the problem but instead that fault lay at the doorstep of the simple carbs and huge rise in the refined sugars. Duh! He believed that things like skim milk in the school cafeterias would be replaced by whole milk, reflecting the benefits of natural fats. In general, what had been recommended as maximum fat intake would soon become the minimum allowance instead.

Did that happen? No. 

Do you doubt that the whole issue of animal fats has become politicized rather than science based? Now you know.

We will delve more deeply into the science in coming issues, but for now just take my word for it — “it’s the sugars, stupid”.

Summing Up, Fats Versus Carbs

Let’s sum up this three month topic by noting a recent report that compiled the results of 23 studies made over the last 10 years comparing the results of low carb (“LC”) against low fat (“LF”) diets. (See Gunnars.) The following conclusions are supported by the studies:

  1. The LC group always loses more weight, ranging from 150% to 300% more than the LF group.
  2. The LC group always shows improved bio-markers related to heart and pancreas issues. The LF group shows either no improvement or statistically insignificant improvement.
  3. Naturally occurring saturated fats are not the bogeyman they have been characterized as being in the past.
  4. In many of the studies, calories were not counted in the LC group but were reduced in the LF group. Nonetheless, the LC group lost more weight and had more improved bio-markers than the calorie-restricted LF group. This seems to prove Dr. Atkins’ point that fats and proteins are self-regulating. Once your body has enough, you will cut back on the quantity consumed. But carbs have the opposite effect - because they cause your blood sugars to gyrate, you eat more and do so sooner. We have certainly found that to be true in our eating habits.

Among the foods that Dr. David Perlmutter recommends are grass-fed beef, pastured pork and free range chickens. And he is big, as are we, on the economic and health benefits of the incredible edible egg. Eat all of these without caloric restrictions. Your body will self-regulate. Now that’s a diet we can all live with!

So there it is, folks. We have followed the faulty advice of the misinformed, misguided and intentionally misleading for 60 years and all it has gotten us is heart and diabetes troubles encased in obesity. What a monumental dietary debacle they have foisted upon us. So next time you see “low fat” on your grocer’s shelf, ask them why. Why are you promoting a product that replaces fat with processed sugars and selling it as healthy food?

So how should we eat? Despite the findings of the last 10 years, we still recommend a diverse diet of whole foods. The prescription established by Thomas Jefferson and now by Paleo still works best in our opinion. 4 foods on your plate in about equal volume, a meat, two vegs and a little fresh fruit or wine. Or a soup, pot roast, salad or bean pot that follows those same diverse guidelines. Just avoid or minimize those simple and processed carbs. (I was raised on white rice as our staple, so I still indulge the food memory occasionally. I think you can do that if you eat a more healthy plate most of the time. Perlmutter allows it as well but would prefer wild and whole grain rice.)

And that’s the healthy eating world as we see it. It’s a delicious one!

Rediscovering the Benefits of Animal Proteins and Fats

The beat goes on. I can say it no better than Anahad O’Connor of the New York Times Science edition on September 1st: “People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows.”

Thank goodness that we have medical scientists that are willing to question the long-held beliefs about fat and protein. For decades now our own government has insisted that we follow a diet which is demonstrably bad for us. Dr. Atkins, who did no more than report, anecdotally, significant improvements in his patients that switched to low carb, high protein and fat diets, was pilloried for his suggestions. Yet every controlled study in the last 10 years has demonstrated that he was right, and now it is the high carb, low fat crowd that has egg on its face (pun intended) as we watch our girth and risk of disease grow exponentially. The latest study that says we must re-emphasize proteins and fats, sponsored by the National Institute of Health, adds fuel to the fire in several respects.

The most significant finding from my perspective is the stunning reversal in the understanding of saturated fats’ role in heart health. This point deserves a verbatim quote as well: “It’s been thought that your saturated fat is, of course, going to increase [when eating beef, as an example], and then your cholesterol is going to go up,” she said. “And then bad things will happen in general. The new study showed that was not the case.”

A couple of reasons apparently explain why the high protein group did so well metabolically on protein and fats derived from Real Food.

  1. The saturated fat found in meats form into a large cell, slippery LDL which have no tendency to attach to arterial walls. Those markers formed by processed carbs make a small cell, sticky substance that does cling to our walls, leading to atherosclerosis. So while the LDL levels in both groups remained the same, the carb eaters had the dangerous type while the meat eaters had the innocuous version.
  2. The carb eaters lost muscle but not fat while the meat eaters lost fat and built muscle. The doctors noted that our ratio of muscle to fat was important for heart health, even more so than simply losing weight.

I had just read the report when I saw the founder and CEO of Whole Foods grocery chain on television, himself an icon for the vegetarian movement. He is a picture of un-muscled emaciation and now I know why. Just doesn’t look healthy, does he? I must add that I have also seen vegetarians that did have a healthy glow to them, but I always ask and the answer is the same. They take large doses of supplements, a much more expensive and less efficient way to try to get the proteins and fats into your body. Not to mention the stress it puts on your colon, liver and kidneys. Why not enjoy Real Food instead?

Another significant point about this study is that there was no caloric restriction imposed on the participants in either group. They ate as much as they pleased. Yet the average weight loss was much higher among the low carb group, and that is another reason to endorse the low carb diet. To lose weight, it is easier and more sustainable to change the choice of foods consumed than it is to reduce caloric intake.

This all may seem counter-intuitive, but my own experience supports their conclusion. Protein, and fat especially, is self-regulating. When your body has met its needs, it will tell you and you will moderate your intake until it is time to re-load. Carbs are different. The sugars found therein, especially among the simple, refined or processed carbs, have a rebound effect that prompts you to eat more and more. And that’s the problem with too many carbs! Limit or eliminate them, eating only complex carbs in moderation and accompanied by your favorite meat.*

*In this column, “meat” refers to the edible muscle of any creature, be it 4-legged, fish or fowl.

Fat, It’s What’s For Dinner

“The argument against fat was totally and completely flawed.”
— Dr. Robert Lustig, Institute for Responsible Nutrition.

It has taken 50 years and an obesity epidemic for our “governors” to reconsider their faulty (and sometimes fatal) advice to add carbs and eliminate fat from our diets. I’ve preached the error of our ways in this column for a long time, so I won’t reiterate those reasons here. Just remember that my grandparents and parents lived abnormally long and full lives on diets that included plenty of good fat and protein. If there is a problem with beef, pork or chicken at all, it has everything to do with the Omega acids getting out of balance from the forced and unnatural diet of caged and penned animals and not with the meat itself, a flaw you avoid when eating from JVF. Congratulations. And remember that when you think about trimming your budget by eliminating our good meats and going back to the cheap stuff in the meat counter, it’s cheap for a reason. You’re only saving money in the short run. The big costs will come later and it has the power of wiping out those savings exponentially. Not to mention what it does to your quality of life at a time when you are supposed to be enjoying your life accomplishments. Don’t be short-sighted.

What is as disturbing as obesity and its many related diseases are recent studies that correlate a lack of dietary fat with dementia and the A word, Alzheimer's. I am reading a neurologist’s book, Grain Brain, by Perlmutter, which follows the relationship of grains, sugar, and/or produce/fruits with mental dysfunctions. Bottom line according to Perlmutter: the higher your fat content, the lower your likelihood of a demented mental state. His analysis goes beyond correlative studies. He explains his belief by his knowledge of bio-chemistry and how essential fat is for a healthy, functioning brain.

So, should we eliminate carbs from our diet? Not at all. I’m not willing to give up my Blue Bell ice cream on Sunday afternoons either. But refined sugars and white carbs should be infrequently consumed. Stick to whole food carbs in moderation and be sure to include good fats and protein in an adequate amount. You’ll find it in your JVF cooler this weekend.

Everything is better with butter

“With enough butter, anything is good.”
— Julia Child

It was a glorious day when Honi saw the June 23rd issue of Time magazine on the newsstand shelf. It’s simple title: EAT BUTTER. Subtitled: Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong. Wow. Someone finally summoned the courage to expose the diet police for their erroneous but long-insisted upon mandate that fat must be eliminated from our diet. It seemed such a simple theorem: fat must make us fat. Fat must clog our arteries. So simple that it instead was merely simplistic, and entirely wrong. Time’s writer did nothing but review existing science, all of which says that sugars and carbs are the primary villain with chemically-altered fats and oils (think margarine and hydrogenated oils) running in second place.

There are so many quotable passages in the piece that trying to state them all here would make for a 20 page newsletter. So let me leave you with this one from Dr. David Ludwig and leave the rest to your perusal: “Americans were told to cut back on fat to lose weight and prevent heart disease. There’s an overwhelmingly strong case to be made for the opposite.”

Eat unadultered meat in a diverse diet which includes complex carbs. In all cases, make sure it is Real Food not manufactured food. Your food will not only taste better and satisfy you with fewer calories, it will be medicine for your body and mind. And remember my grandmother of Fair View Dairy. Her daily breakfast was 8 ounces of pure, unpasteurized Jersey cream. Born in the late 1800's, she “only” lived to age 93, all faculties functioning. (Paw Paw, who brought her the glass of cream as he prepared to deliver his dairy to the residents of Lake Charles, was not so fortunate. He died 4 years younger).

Viva la fat !!

News Flash

Our long-time supporters will confirm that I’m a screamer when it comes to the effort to rid fat from America’s diet. It is a long-held but demonstrably wrong assumption that fat on our bodies must come from fat in our diet. Despite all of the evidence that both refined and naturally occurring sugars are the cause of our heaviness and heart issues, the self-proclaimed nutritionists still push a low- or no-fat diet at us. They are just too proud to give it up after being so sure of themselves for so long.

Maybe the latest study will finally lead to a reasonable position on fats, heard on the NBC Evening News Monday, March 10. Searching for early predictors of Alzheimer’s disease, they found one that accurately predicted the disease 90% of the time. 90% accuracy is unheard of in disease studies because there are often so many potential causative factors.

Here there was only one that was common in 90% of the cases: participants with a low lipids count. What is the lipid count measuring? Fats in the bloodstream.

I wonder how they will explain this one.