Heart Disease

Shame on You, Sugar

We all now know that sugars are to blame for so much of our chronic disease and contracting life spans, right? Diabetes, heart, obesity, senility, possibly even certain forms of cancer (although cancer sounds like a stretch to me). But even more evidence is surfacing that missing the mark on the cause of increasing rates of disease was not mere negligence but downright malfeasance in both our government and our industries.

If you missed it, JAMA reported in its November 2016 edition that it had clear evidence that the sugar industry knew that sugar was the cause of rising heart disease in the 1950’s. So they promoted publicity to blame heart attacks on animal fats instead of sugars, and funded false-result studies to support their claims. The result was to form a tripartite force of food processors, the USDA and sugar businesses whose goal was to blame beef and pork for disease while adding foods like sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oils to our diet. They cut off government funding to any researcher who dared to suggest otherwise, and pilloried anyone who used private funding to question their false claims. Wow. We all lost our innocence with this one, yes?

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”.

Health Buzz

Take it for whatever you think it’s worth from the world of recent health studies.

  • the best time of the day to exercise is in the morning before you eat. Your body is in a fasting mode so more fat is burned off at that time…
  • salt has no discernible relationship to heart disease…
  • and coffee may reduce your chance of skin cancer.

Who knows?

Carnitines

Yet another study is out suggesting that meat may be related to heart disease by way of its protein which metabolizes to something called carnitine. Here we go again with another “preliminary” study which says nothing definitively but the headline, as I saw on the NBC evening news Monday night, is “Beef may cause heart disease.”

I got lucky while on the road Tuesday morning. The Diane Rhem show (NPR) brought the doctor of the study and 2 other clinicians to bear on the subject. Very interesting and enlightening on the details of the study, most of which will never be heard or noted by the average consumer.

Here are a few things that you, the above average consumer, should know. The very doctor who conducted the study said we should cut back to say 2 beef servings per week. He had been eating 5 servings a week before the study, but has no symptoms of heart disease. They are not now sure that cholesterol counts have anything to do with heart disease (they couldn’t get off of that one until they had something in beef to replace it, I guess?). On average, we eat 2 ounces of beef per day across America, 14 ounces per week. That is below any suggested risk range in this study and by the way, is less beef than a couple eating our package each month would consume.  As we preach incessantly, eating a balanced whole food diet is the way to go — beef, pork, chicken, and fish with proper quantities of veggies and fruits, is the right way. There are no dietary risks when you eat like the long-lived Thomas Jefferson.