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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
7/22/14 2:51 P

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'Our disagreement is two fold and likely reflects a similar disagreement which exists in society in general. Half the people believe ALL researchers are pure as the driven snow, and "studies" are above reproach - and half don't.'

That 'half' and 'half' business is awfully precise. You need data to back that up.
Also, the 'pure' business gets repetitive, but I'm not complaining. I just think you need a different forum to discuss purity, and it won't have anything to do with science.

Wikipedia gives the perfect definition and description of the scientific method. It should really kind of end there. I can't even add to that. Science is science.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
7/22/14 2:19 P

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'Simple "transparency" of the funding mechanisms of the various (all) studies would go a very long way to supporting those who believe that all is well in research land. Why is that information not available? (or if it is available it has been allowed to be "filtered" through so many iterations of pompously named "Funds", "Grants", "Contributions" or "shell groups" with names like "Concerned Citizens for Wet Nose Puppies" as to (intentionally) be "untraceable". The "study" registration documents then duly note the University of Fred as the sponsor.'

You really are going very far afield to complain about 'Concerned Citizens...' type groups funding studies. By complaining so much about these invented irritants, it's as if you think that the published texts of studies need to be written for you - personally. This is just not going to happen. The scientific community is far more specific than blogs and message boards, which are fertile grounds for complaints about 'Science' with a capital S, and yet scientists are not writing for people on blogs, they are not writing for people on message boards, they are writing for other scientists.

Have you read the entire text of a study?

For example, a random study pulled from NCBI:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC40401 99/pdf/ISRN.ENDOCRINOLOGY2014-124974.pdf


Go to the very bottom. Even when there are no conflicts of interest, 'Conflicts of interest' is always a section. It is always addressed. Even though if Atkins, for example, pays for a study, that does not mean that the results are 'rigged.' It just means Atkins Nutritionals paid for a study to be done.

If a bee in your bonnet is that no research should be done unless you approve of the funding source, then just accept that you can't have everything. The government funding it all will be a problem. Private citizens funding it all will be a problem. Companies funding it all will be a problem. Universities or other institutions funding it all will be a problem. But discussion of how funding is problematic is a problem in itself. If the study passes muster as regards the rigor with which it was conducted, then it's fine. There are so many thousands of studies pouring out of NCBI every day, scrutinized by other scientists.

I'll repeat myself just because it does apply: scientists produce studies that other scientists read. The studies are scrutinized by other scientists, who are knowledgeable and questioning about study design and statistical methods used. The least relevant in that environment, as regards the validity of the study's conclusion, design, data, etc., is that last 'conflict of interest' section of the text. It does not change the integrity of the study to have been funded by the Meatpackers of America or the Beekeepers Association.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 7/22/2014 (14:27)
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
7/22/14 2:03 P

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Deansdad,

Thank you a very good example of what I said: Scientists produce science that is read by other scientists.'

They do have a hard time getting away with stuff, don't they? They do have to print retractions in publications. they do lose careers and they do suffer from the scandal. They do get called out by other scientists, too! Recall the very recent math mistake pointed out in the letters to the editor, in which a study cited on the this message board was criticized and all the issues had to be addressed.

This is actually a good thing. You'd want the dealership who sold you your car to be as honest;

(But I'm guessing you meant this as a criticism, not a praiseworthy aspect of science. Also, it does not display a 'pure,' 'uncorrupted' environment!

'Well....maybe not the "best" example, but then again it's only the NEJM - who ever heard of them anyway?

One could (and undoubtedly will) proclaim this as "proof" - "see, the system works, it got retracted!!!).

One could also believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny if they were so inclined.'

It was a perfect example, and 'proof.' As I said, you'd really want your car dealership to be as honest.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 7/22/2014 (14:05)
DEANSDAD Posts: 71
7/22/14 1:56 P

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\Darsee, J. R., and Heymsfield, S. B. Decreased Myocardial Taurine Levels and Hypertaurinuria
in Kindred With Mitral-valve Prolapse and Congestive Cardiomyopathy. A Retraction. New
England Journal of Medicine 1981;304;129-135. New England Journal of Medicine 308 (9 June
1983), p. 1400.
Again, the co-author signs the retraction. The language is interesting: "In view of our inability to verify the observations in this paper, we believe that the results should be considered of uncertain validity.
We therefore wish to retract this publication. We apologize to you and the Journal for
any embarrassment or inconvenience that may result from our investigation of Dr. Darsee's
research activities and publication."

Darsee's name does not appear with the signatures on each of these retractions, just the names of the embarrassed co-authors
-----------------------------------------------------------
Heymsfield is one of the most prolific "experts" on "meal substitutes", "exercise" and various other research "venues".
This "oops" is one that "pops up" and while if refers to a totally different field of study the "point" is the same.

He signed his name, the "study results" existed in the "public domain" for more than two years, and then, suddenly "oops" - just kidding guys, now "we believe that the results should be considered of uncertain validity. We therefore wish to retract this publication."

Maybe, if had reached his "conclusion" BEFORE lending his name to the bogus study, things might have turned out differently.
------------------------
"In view of our inability to verify the observations in this paper, we believe that the results should be considered of uncertain validity.
-----------------------------
Perhaps, though, it's just a simple "semantics" disagreement between us again:

June 9, 1983Nutter D.O.Heymsfield S.B.Glenn J.F.N Engl J Med 1983; 308:1400
To the Editor: In response to the announcement by Harvard University that John R. Darsee, M.D., had fabricated research data while serving as a research fellow in their school of medicine, we initiated an extensive investigation by both internal and ...
---------------------------------------------
You'll have to excuse me for a couple minutes while I go look up the word FABRICATED.

But I do see the "point" you are making relative to "peer review" in the Journals:
-------------------------------------
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
To the Editor: Darsee et al. are to be congratulated on their excellent article in the April 19 issue of the Journal. We would like to comment on several of their findings in terms of our experience with echocardiographic asymmetric septal hypertrophy in both hypertensive and normotensive persons. First…
August 23, 1979N Engl J Med 1979; 301:442-443

Well....maybe not the "best" example, but then again it's only the NEJM - who ever heard of them anyway?

One could (and undoubtedly will) proclaim this as "proof" - "see, the system works, it got retracted!!!).

One could also believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny if they were so inclined.




All Cows have four legs,
Rover has four legs,
Therefore - Rover is a Cow.
(case closed)
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
7/22/14 12:33 P

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'Many (probably "most") researchers ARE ethical, do design and conduct their studies exactly as you have described. Those are engaged in my definition of "pure science".'

What exactly are you getting at? Research in science does not pass through a lay person's filter to pass a 'pure science' test. All researchers must do is collect valid data during their experiments using subjects who are clearly identified, with their limitations as well. The objective of a study is clearly stated. I get the feeling that you interpret this to mean that the study's conclusion is somehow 'fixed' by this in a way that is not 'pure science' and reeks of bias. This is not true - abstracts of scientific studies follow a format where the objective is stated, the conduct of the experiment is described, the parameters are listed, the results are listed, and the conclusion stated.

To read an expanded version with very specific information, you read all the text (in a pdf, usually, online).

The flaws in a study are pointed out in the editorial pages of the journal where the study appeared. The researchers reply. There can be several letters pointing out different flaws, going into quite a lot of detail. The reply from the researchers address each issue that is raised.

If you imply that the world of scientific research is somehow 'rigged' and the 'pure science' falls by the wayside, I believe you are off base there.

The only ethical issues that I have seen raised have been about studies in which the subjects were considered to be 'non-consenting' in some way. For example, populations where the subjects wouldn't have a choice because an institution made the choice for them. Nursing homes and prisons come to mind.

The 'hired guns' idea is a stretch. Companies (including Atkins, including Weight Watchers, including drug companies, but also including universities - and there are many - hospitals, clinics, government agencies, and on and on, all apply for funding or provide funding themselves.)

'It's quite possible for the ethically "challenged" (profit motivated) study designers (and their sponsors) to establish the parameters of the "study" such that the "challenges posed on the editorial pages.." can be truthfully answered, the "research work and the data" DO support the study's conclusions despite having been based on an attempt to reach and verify a preconceived objective. '

This is just not true. The challenges posed on the editorial pages would then be 'rigged' and that is not the case. You would have to prove otherwise, because it is an outlandish claim. Outlandish claims are the specialty of diet blogs, no matter who writes them, but this claim does not apply to a professional science journal.

You're idea that a pre-conceived objective is the fly in the scientific ointment is erroneous thinking about 'objective.'

'despite having been based on an attempt to reach and verify a preconceived objective.'

Here's a guy who's a phD in some science, reading the current flow of research in his field and related fields, and knowing a phD's worth of background information to judge what he's looking at. He will understand statistics, beyond the introductory courses, in addition to what's known in his field. He and the people he works with may have a thought about a direction to take, hinted at by several studies, but not addressed directly. The objective of his group's study may be to narrow in on one aspect that supports or does not support part of the previous research. He and his group will spend as much time formulating the objective as they spend on aspect of the study, because it guides the work and the design of the study. Then, after the work has been completed, it can turn out that there is very weak evidence for the conclusion they hoped would be the last piece put in place. So they publish it.

It wasn't a waste of time. Someone else may refine the design or choose a different design for a very similar study. And then after that person publishes the result of that attempt, it will still go on being evaluated - and sometimes fall by the wayside because the research really led nowhere interesting for current times. It's still published. It's still scrutinized. It's still exposed for flaws if anyone thinks it worth the time. If no one publicly evaluates it on an editorial page, other scientists are performing that function anyway! These are people with careers and intense interest in their fields. Appreciate that for what it is. The journals are not Time magazine, dumbing down a subject because the writing is for all levels of education in the readership. Scientists read other scientist's work. And it affects what they consider worthwhile pursuing.

'It's equally possible to "manipulate" the data results to imply something which is "statistically" correct but simultaneously and intentionally misleading. The number of times such results have been used in advertising campaigns '

Data is not 'manipulated' unless it is done behind the scenes, before ever reaching the page of a study's report. Data is misinterpreted, yes, and advertising is not the worst place to find that - diet blogs are. And diet books.

Who misinterprets data? Someone who's not likely to understand it, which is why I think coursera and edx make a great place to start if you want to understand what results mean when data is used. I'm not an expert, I do like statistics but I'm not a statistician. If the difference in the results comparing two groups of subjects in a study is as small as two tenths of a per cent, does that matter? Does it matter that the people in the study were overweight postmenopausal women (and you are not)? Does it matter that there were only 8 people in the study (15 is the minimum number of subjects required to conduct a study)? Does it matter that these women were recruited in a clinic in the Midwest? Does it matter that most of them never had children?

Are all the above types of questions answered in the editorial pages of a journal? No, because the study itself may not only appear weak in its conclusion but the limits are obvious. I did read a study cited on this message board - went to the text, read the study, and the followup questions on the editorial page. The researchers had made a math error and had to admit it in their reply. So some obvious things do slip by. But not for long, and not by other scientists.

'Hypothesizes aren't "fact" and neither are they "evidence" (at least by my definition of the word). More than one hypothesis is a "bunch" of hypothesizes, a big pile of hypothesizes, or a collection of every single hypothesis on every study ever conducted in the world on xxx - but they are still.......'

The way hypothesis is used in science is not to present a 'fact.' I don't know why you think 'evidence' is something that carries weight in a study. The scientific method is something that will clear up any misconceptions about the word 'hypothesis':

'An hypothesis is a conjecture, based on knowledge obtained while formulating the question, that may explain the observed behavior of a part of our universe. The hypothesis might be very specific, e.g., Einstein's equivalence principle or Francis Crick's "DNA makes RNA makes protein",[20] or it might be broad, e.g., unknown species of life dwell in the unexplored depths of the oceans. A statistical hypothesis is a conjecture about some population. For example, the population might be people with a particular disease. The conjecture might be that a new drug will cure the disease in some of those people. Terms commonly associated with statistical hypotheses are null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis. A null hypothesis is the conjecture that the statistical hypothesis is false, e.g., that the new drug does nothing and that any cures are due to chance effects. Researchers normally want to show that the null hypothesis is false. The alternative hypothesis is the desired outcome, e.g., that the drug does better than chance. A final point: a scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable, meaning that one can identify a possible outcome of an experiment that conflicts with predictions deduced from the hypothesis; otherwise, it cannot be meaningfully tested.'

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

I just realized that wikipedia does this explanation very well...

'The scientific method is not a single recipe: it requires intelligence, imagination, and creativity.[62] In this sense, it is not a mindless set of standards and procedures to follow, but is rather an ongoing cycle, constantly developing more useful, accurate and comprehensive models and methods. For example, when Einstein developed the Special and General Theories of Relativity, he did not in any way refute or discount Newton's Principia. On the contrary, if the astronomically large, the vanishingly small, and the extremely fast are removed from Einstein's theories – all phenomena Newton could not have observed – Newton's equations are what remain. Einstein's theories are expansions and refinements of Newton's theories and, thus, increase our confidence in Newton's work.

A linearized, pragmatic scheme of the four points above is sometimes offered as a guideline for proceeding:[63]

Define a question
Gather information and resources (observe)
Form an explanatory hypothesis
Test the hypothesis by performing an experiment and collecting data in a reproducible manner
Analyze the data
Interpret the data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
Publish results
Retest (frequently done by other scientists)
The iterative cycle inherent in this step-by-step method goes from point 3 to 6 back to 3 again.

While this schema outlines a typical hypothesis/testing method,[64] it should also be noted that a number of philosophers, historians and sociologists of science (perhaps most notably Paul Feyerabend) claim that such descriptions of scientific method have little relation to the ways that science is actually practiced.'

The last sentence sounds like it should support your accusations about the 'rigging' of science. At the very least, you would have to read Paul Feyerabend to find out - and even then, the basic structure of abstracts in NCBI of the scientific research shows that the steps are followed just as Wikipedia describes them.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25024344

A sample.

'These findings suggest that dietary supplementation with walnuts may have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk, delaying the onset, or slowing the progression of, or preventing AD.'

Words like 'suggest' and 'may' 'could' are always used in the conclusion.

'And once it's been pulled off one time, what's to stop the unscrupulous from conducting another, or 5, or 50 observational studies "proving" a slightly different end goal supporting the contention that SuperCharged Sugar Flakes "really ARE good for kids because they contain dehydrated frog legs which contain the jump gene"? 50 more "papers" in the "public domain" to be searched out and (maybe) included in some future "mega data" report. Absurd analogy, of course, if one is totally convinced that the "system" is 100% "pure" and insulated from outside influence (read "money"), one which is irrelevant.'

Given the words you use: unscrupulous, absurd, pure, outside influence, money, I'm guessing that you're not so interested in the scientific method as what you perceive to be 'impure' and corruption. Well, good luck with that. Scientists go to work every day, delve deeper and deeper in the subjects, and that will continue. Long may their flags wave.

'Five minutes on the googlemachine will provide a list as long as your, proverbial, arm. Sometimes they get "caught", many times when they do it's too late, the damage has been done and the offender can (rightly) protect his/her "reputation" by stating - "my results concluded exactly what I stated they did, statistically correct".'

It's not a google machine where studies are publishes. Its NCBI
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

It's not a list as long as your arm. It's a database. You're not reading it. Scientists write for other scientists.

If you think the googlemachine is the source of information, then you are not the person a scientist is writing for. That's OK.

What will happen is that some diet blog may take three sentences and extract part of one and post an inflammatory blog about that. If you are receptive to its message, you will jump on it like a frog on a lily pad. That lily pad will look suspiciously like a blog. Or a message board.

'Equally important though is that while "evidence based" sounds lofty and above reproach, it does NOT ensure that the selected "studies" upon which the "evidence" is based are "clinical trials" and not simply "observational" "studies".'

See Becky's explanation of 'evidence based.'

'Simple "transparency" of the funding mechanisms of the various (all) studies would go a very long way to supporting those who believe that all is well in research land. Why is that information not available? (or if it is available it has been allowed to be "filtered" through so many iterations of pompously named "Funds", "Grants", "Contributions" or "shell groups" with names like "Concerned Citizens for Wet Nose Puppies" as to (intentionally) be "untraceable". The "study" registration documents then duly note the University of Fred as the sponsor.'

Have you read the entire text of a study?

For example, a random study pulled from NCBI:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC40401
99/pdf/ISRN.ENDOCRINOLOGY2014-124974.pdf


Go to the very bottom. Even when there are no conflicts of interest, 'Conflicts of interest' is always a section. It is always addressed. Even though if Atkins, for example, pays for a study, that does not mean that the results are 'rigged.' It just means Atkins Nutritionals paid for a study to be done.

If a bee in your bonnet is that no research should be done unless you approve of the funding source, then just accept that you can't have everything. The government funding it all will be a problem. Private citizens funding it all will be a problem. Companies funding it all will be a problem. Universities or other institutions funding it all will be a problem. But discussion of how funding is problematic is a problem in itself. If the study passes muster as regards the rigor with which it was conducted, then it's fine. There are so many thousands of studies pouring our of NCBI every day, scrutinized by other scientists.

I'll repeat myself just because it does apply: scientists produce studies that other scientists read. The studies are scrutinized by other scientists, who are knowledgeable and questioning about study design and statistical methods used. The least relevant in that environment, as regards the validity of the study's conclusion, design, data, etc., is that last 'conflict of interest' section of the text. It does not change the integrity of the study to have been funded by the Meatpackers of America or the Beekeepers Association.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 7/22/2014 (14:17)
DEANSDAD Posts: 71
7/22/14 1:04 A

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Algebra:
Many (probably "most") researchers ARE ethical, do design and conduct their studies exactly as you have described. Those are engaged in my definition of "pure science".

But, "many" or even "most" is not ALL and the number of "studies" conducted and funded by "hired guns" is legendary - denying their existence, naive (IMO).

It's quite possible for the ethically "challenged" (profit motivated) study designers (and their sponsors) to establish the parameters of the "study" such that the "challenges posed on the editorial pages.." can be truthfully answered, the "research work and the data" DO support the study's conclusions despite having been based on an attempt to reach and verify a preconceived objective. Doing so is relatively simple in "observational" studies, much less so in actual "clinical" trials. And once it's been pulled off one time, what's to stop the unscrupulous from conducting another, or 5, or 50 observational studies "proving" a slightly different end goal supporting the contention that SuperCharged Sugar Flakes "really ARE good for kids because they contain dehydrated frog legs which contain the jump gene"? 50 more "papers" in the "public domain" to be searched out and (maybe) included in some future "mega data" report. Absurd analogy, of course, if one is totally convinced that the "system" is 100% "pure" and insulated from outside influence (read "money"), one which is irrelevant.
But, "if..........".

It's equally possible to "manipulate" the data results to imply something which is "statistically" correct but simultaneously and intentionally misleading. The number of times such results have been used in advertising campaigns is not insignificant nor is it necessarily a reflection on the researcher's integrity. Five minutes on the googlemachine will provide a list as long as your, proverbial, arm. Sometimes they get "caught", many times when they do it's too late, the damage has been done and the offender can (rightly) protect his/her "reputation" by stating - "my results concluded exactly what I stated they did, statistically correct".

Butter, eggs, and power lines come to mind.

Equally important though is that while "evidence based" sounds lofty and above reproach, it does NOT ensure that the selected "studies" upon which the "evidence" is based are "clinical trials" and not simply "observational" "studies".

One "observational" study doesn't come close to satisfying the demands of the Scientific Method past providing a thesis upon which a legitimate trial can be based. Lumping together a 100, 500, or 1000 doesn't change the status to "evidence". Nor does it eliminate (or even reduce) the possibility that the "author" came to the study with "assumptions" that were never challenged by the design of the study. Basic logic explains why such possibilities exist and why further studies (not numbers of studies but studies which engage ALL components of the SM) MUST be conducted to elevate hypothesizes to the level of "fact".

Hypothesizes aren't "fact" and neither are they "evidence" (at least by my definition of the word). More than one hypothesis is a "bunch" of hypothesizes, a big pile of hypothesizes, or a collection of every single hypothesis on every study ever conducted in the world on xxx - but they are still.......

If one (an individual, a "society", a professional fraternity, whatever) chooses to base their recommendations on a majority or a preponderance of the "papers" they certainly have every right to do so and having done so likely would meet some standards of "due diligence". It may be necessary for liability insulation purposes, may even qualify as the "only" available (and therefore the "best") research on a particular subject.

Label it as such and I'm cool with it, portray it as something it's not and I'm not.

Might be all "semantics" but I'll bet the majority of "lay" readers of the term "evidence based..." would "assume" it's more impressive than it actually is.

Simple "transparency" of the funding mechanisms of the various (all) studies would go a very long way to supporting those who believe that all is well in research land. Why is that information not available? (or if it is available it has been allowed to be "filtered" through so many iterations of pompously named "Funds", "Grants", "Contributions" or "shell groups" with names like "Concerned Citizens for Wet Nose Puppies" as to (intentionally) be "untraceable". The "study" registration documents then duly note the University of Fred as the sponsor.

Do you really believe that when Kellogg, ADM, or any Big Pharma "donates" 20 million dollars to Fred U for "research", that's the end of their "input" as to how it gets spent? (wink....wink).

To my knowledge there is no universal (mandatory) definition of the term "evidence based practice guidelines" as various entities appear to be free to define it as they see fit. Most "reputable" organizations DO and they are above board about it but the definitions almost always contain the obligatory "fine print" disclaimers.

I have no quarrel with Becky (or anyone else) doing exactly what they were trained to do and are likely "required" to do by their professional ethics if not their employers policies.

Our disagreement is two fold and likely reflects a similar disagreement which exists in society in general. Half the people believe ALL researchers are pure as the driven snow, and "studies" are above reproach - and half don't.

The second is on the definition of the word "evidence" as it's being used in this context. Some believe that by assembling a sufficiently large pile of "papers", "abstracts", and "research reports" that's "evidence" - some don't.

All Cows have four legs,
Rover has four legs,
Therefore - Rover is a Cow.
(case closed)
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
7/21/14 9:55 P

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Thanks for explaining 'evidence based'!

'WAY too many studies are conducted NOT in the interest of "pure" science but rather in the interest of "proving" whatever it is the "researcher" (and those funding the study) WANTED to prove going in.'


People who do research are led to work on studies based on what they already know and what they question. They have goals, which guide them in their research. They design the study with standards in mind, and they must answer challenges posed on the editorial pages of the journals that publish their research. This is public. If the research work and data do not legitimately support a study's conclusion, reputations suffer, the work looks shoddy, and future research is going to be harder to do.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 7/21/2014 (22:04)
DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
7/21/14 3:33 P

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You can usually find a study to "show" practically anything when it comes to nutrition.

It is why I use "evidence based practice guidelines." This is when researchers and scientists take a topic and set the standards for the studies to include. They do a literature search---usually finding 1000's of studies. They weed out the studies with poor design, studies that did not fit the standards, and then each study is read completely and evaluated. These evaluations are then added together. When you find studies on the same topic, giving the same results time and time again---this is evidence. This is what can then be turned into practice guidelines.

For example. There is a great amount of research regarding the use of meal replacements having a positive impact on weight loss. In fact people who continue to use 1 meal replacement daily after achieving their healthier weight---maintain a greater weight loss, even 5 years out. So if someone asks a question about the use of meal replacements on weight loss---I can share what the evidence really shows.

One of the most helpful tools for me as a Registered Dietitian is the Evidence Analysis Research Library by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I have access to not only weight loss research evidence guidelines but so many other topics as well: heart health, pediatric weight loss, cancer, wound care, athletic nutrition, pregnancy, gastro-intestional disorders, diabetes, etc etc.

It really helps in knowing that I am providing the most up-to-date evidence guidelines when coaching my clients and our Sparkpeople members.

Becky
Your SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist



DEANSDAD Posts: 71
7/21/14 1:45 P

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Algebra;
Thanks for the links....most interesting.

There is no question that most (myself included) people's eyes just glaze over when they try to "dig into" the numbers and understand exactly what they mean. In one of the talks I watched recently (not sure if it's one of those linked or not), the presenter makes the point of how most reporters skim the abstract and jump directly to the "conclusion". My guess is that's exactly what "most" lay readers do as well.

Were ALL scientists and researchers completely ethical, unbiased, and interested first and foremost in the "pure" science, doing so would probably be fine - unfortunately, such is not the case.

WAY too many studies are conducted NOT in the interest of "pure" science but rather in the interest of "proving" whatever it is the "researcher" (and those funding the study) WANTED to prove going in.

If more of the general public had the ability to "decipher" the numbers (rather than having to rely on the summaries), there is no doubt that more "critical eyes" would lead to a healthy questioning of many of the "results".

I sold most of my tin foil hats decades ago but continue to question motivations when conflicts of interest (or self interest) are so glaringly obvious that they simply can't be ignored. The VERY first question one should be asking when considering ANY "study" is "...who PAID for it?"

The entire foundation upon which the "USDA food pyramid" and the "fat kills" mentality is constructed was built on nothing more than political expediency and corporate influence - NOT science. There was simply NO consensus in the scientific community at the time, and NOT ONE legitimate "CLINICAL study" that demonstrated that a diet that completely reversed what society in general and the medical community understood for decades to be "healthy" at the time.

If someone can point me to evidence that indicates my (developing) belief is incorrect, I welcome them doing so.

In the meantime, the "fact" that the skyrocketing levels of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and many other maladies coincided with and has occurred SINCE the public has been encouraged to "buy into" the current "diet" theories (CICO, fat kills, exercise controls weight, etc) continues to go ignored and unexplained by the "experts".

That the current generation of doctors, dietitians, and related "experts" have (for the most part) ONLY ever been exposed to, and received their "education" based entirely on what has been "common wisdom" for the last 4 decades explains much of the "why".

It doesn't, however, explain their failure to question the hypothesizes upon which their beliefs are based and the actual "results" of the now almost 50 year old "experiment" in public health they have advocated for and conducted on the public.

Of course there are "other" factors which are also influencing disease rates but the evidence is growing day by day that the "primary" contributor is a diet which stands thousands of years of history on it's head and has led to a 180 degree shift in overall health outcomes clearly is a major part of the "problem" and not the "solution".

Like many here (perhaps, "most"), I too dismissed Atkins and similar "low/no carbs" diets as just another "fad diet". At the time it was introduced there is no doubt that it was highly "controversial" and many of his "conclusions" based on what could most charitably be described as "shaky" science. No doubt either that it took on many of the "familiar" (oft "cult-like) qualities common to "fad diets".

Years (and a considerable wealth of "real" scientific "evidence") later, however, many of his "assumptions" have proven be correct - especially where it comes to the effects of carbs and sugars on the body's natural "diet control" mechanisms.

Ignoring the "evidence", denying "science", and attempts at "silencing" those questioning "conventional wisdom", especially when those efforts come from individuals or entities with a "vested interest" is not only unethical, it's doomed to failure in the long run.

How many will be harmed in the interim is the only remaining question. (IF those challenging current "wisdom" are proven to be correct).

Rather than getting sidetracked by the multitude of individual "issues" (is salt bad?, cals or carbs?, "lazy" population?, etc), focus should (IMO) be placed on the overall "results".

The simple fact is, prior to the '70's (when the "recommendations" were mandated), ALL components of diet and health were SIGNIFICANTLY (in the generally understood meaning of the word) BETTER (ie diseases occurred much less frequently).

40 years of documented historical "results" have shown conclusively (to many) that it's simply not working.

There ARE hundreds of "studies" (some going back to the early 1900's and before) - that so many seem so unwilling to even consider them and prefer to rely on "experts" (many of whom come to the table with their own biases and self-interests), is the problem. (again IMO).

Health, nutrition, and diet IS "science", NOT a "religion".
Blind "faith", "dogma", and "ideology", have no place in science.

All Cows have four legs,
Rover has four legs,
Therefore - Rover is a Cow.
(case closed)
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
7/21/14 11:27 A

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If you're interested, there are courses online that will get you started: see coursera.org

Right now: Mathematical Biostatistics Bootcamp 1 (it does require knowledge of Calculus and it does ask you to install a programming language on your computer)

Also in session right now: Nutrition and Physical Activity for Health (no math)

There is a hefty list of Statistics courses on this website. All the courses on the website are free (unless you want to submit to the grading and deadlines necessary for a Certificate, in which case, there is a fee).

There is also Edx.
https://www.edx.org/

The course, 'Health in Numbers' is available to view even though it's not being offered right now, live (so to speak).
:
'Quantitative Methods in Clinical and Public Health Research is the online adaptation of material from the Harvard School of Public Health's classes in epidemiology and biostatistics. Principled investigations to monitor and thus improve the health of individuals are firmly based on a sound understanding of modern quantitative methods. This involves the ability to discover patterns and extract knowledge from health data on a sample of individuals and then to infer, with measured uncertainty, the unobserved population characteristics. This course will address this need by covering the principles of biostatistics and epidemiology used for public health and clinical research. These include outcomes measurement, measures of associations between outcomes and their determinants, study design options, bias and confounding, probability and diagnostic tests, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, power and sample size determinations, life tables and survival methods, regression methods (both, linear and logistic), and sample survey techniques. Students will analyze sample data sets to acquire knowledge of appropriate computer software. By the end of the course the successful student should have attained a sound understanding of these methods and a solid foundation for further study.'

Most important: does not require calculus, just algebra.

These are both excellent websites. I have taken courses on coursera (finance, logic), and used R and Python (computer languages) for the first time - but if you are simply viewing a course, it doesn't require you to do any of the homework or quizzes.

These are MOOCs:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_
course


Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 7/21/2014 (11:32)
DEANSDAD Posts: 71
7/20/14 9:04 P

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WOW!!!
What an enlightening and informative thread - Thank You Russell for starting it and nursing the conversation along and thanks too to all for the many constructive posts.

Others may disagree, but to my way of thinking, discussion of the various, alternative approaches to both weight loss and general health and nutrition is, arguably, THE most important and beneficial quality of these forums. There are plenty of threads for those interested in nothing more than adding to their sparkie point count and that's fine, but sharing actual knowledge and insight and spurring others to do actual "research" too often falls to the bottom of the queue.

As some may know, I have been an advocate of the CICO line of thinking and while I take exception to some of the "common wisdom" specifics, generally agreed that it all "comes back" to CICO and balanced nutrition.

From a discussion in a thread many moons ago (and more recently from some of Russell's posts), I've come to question some of my own "preconceived notions" regarding the LCHF approach (in general, not any one specific iteration), both as it relates to weight loss, and, the more I learned, as it relates to Carbs, Fats, insulin resistance, and health (especially cardio), in general.

I have much more research to do before arriving at a conclusion so I'll not enter the fray on which is "better" - a question for which I think most understand and agree that "it depends" is probably the only answer all of us will ever agree on.

Having read the thread through from the beginning though, there are a few items that stood out enough that I thought they might be worth summarizing.

First, I'd be willing to bet that the word "significant" (statistically or clinically) doesn't mean (in the medical research world), what most think it does.
" Definition of SIGNIFICANT
: probably caused by something other than mere chance (a statistically significant correlation between diet and disease)"
(from M-W Medical Dictionary)

Here's the "full-length" version
http://www.med.uottawa.ca/sim/data/Statistical_significance_importance_e.htm

That any results of any "study" are referred to as "significant", does NOT mean what most (myself included) "assume" it means.

Next, the distinction between "Observational" vs "Clinical", "studies" is an extremely important consideration and one which without a thorough understanding it's difficult to evaluate the relative importance of various "studies." That, combined with an understanding of exactly how the "Scientific Method" comes into play, really is crucial to forming an informed opinion based on "fact".

Here's a video that cuts through most of the "jargon" and explains it in "down to earth" language with a fair degree of levity thrown in for good measure. The guy is a stand up comedian and he does bring his own "biases" to the discussion but it's a worthwhile watch if you have the interest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1RXvBveht0#t=2456

For those who have expressed "concerns" about the lack of "research" regarding LCHF, I would agree that in terms of the number of studies one locates with a pubmed or nih search there absolutely are far fewer, but at the same time, contend that there is a significant number of them out there for the finding.

In addition, many (most?) of the most "significant" (in the everyday sense of the word) have occurred in the last 5-10 years but others have considerably longer "histories"
This video (forewarned, it's long) relates the involvement of a University Professor and Dr who has dedicated his entire career and over 40 years, almost exclusively to the subject. Interestingly, in the early days of his career he was a strong supporter of the "low fat" concept when it was initially mandated in the '70's and has since come full circle to endorse LCHF.
His opinions and research are controversial but, in the words of his theme, "...taught me to Challenge My Beliefs."

Agree or disagree, I really could care less but without exposure to various points of view, there is no "learning" or "knowledge".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0GSSSE4l8U

Edited by: DEANSDAD at: 7/20/2014 (21:14)
All Cows have four legs,
Rover has four legs,
Therefore - Rover is a Cow.
(case closed)
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/17/14 10:36 A

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Abstracts for studies are in the database www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ I've seen studies going back as far as the 1920s, scanned in and stored there. 'Pubmed' is where you will find these, but a search gives you access to all kinds of documentation, including textbook chapters, etc.

If you are interested in a particular topic, when you enter the search text, say, 'saturated fat diet,' you will see all the studies produced with that tag (thousands!). You will get lots of studies, too, about polyunsaturated fat. Some studies will have 'free article' under the entry, which means you will be able to download and/or print the PDF. I always check any journal icon with the study abstract (upper right corner above the abstract) because there are journals and publishers that allow access more often than not.

Then, you can save your search argument if you liked the way it gave you information. NCBI will send you abstracts to your email address - daily, if you want, but there's also weekly, for example.

If you want to save an abstract, you can set up a folder for yourself on NCBI. They call it a 'collection' and you give it a number and name (they give you an example). Then in the future, you can browse all the entries you've saved for a given topic (doesn't have to be the same name as a search argument, they are different things!)

I have so many 'collections' (folders) for different topics ('saturated fat' is one, 'meat' is one, 'fiber diet' is one, that I have over 2,250 folders. When I want to store an abstract, I browse my desktop list to find the number and name that is appropriate! (Some sound weird: 'bison,' 'buddhism,' 'anxiety,' 'ferritin,' 'Pavlovian control,' to name a few...)

NCBI is an awesome resource. Open to everybody. I've been using it for years so I can't even remember what it's like to just look at it and not have my folders there for storing the information. I'd be interested in hearing how you DO get started if you're a novice 'study searcher and reader.'

If a study attracts attention within the scientific community, there will often be letters to the editor of the journal (JAMA, for example) from several researchers or groups of researchers to the people who conducted the original research, and they will answer each point in response. The questions and answers will have references to other studies, too, so you can go back and understand the abstract's foundations or the apparent conflicts. Some of the questions or criticism are about the statistics, some are about the controls, some are about variables.

You don't have to join the site to see a study. It can show up in a Google search, for example, and Google will take you right to it in NCBI.

The website itself is just a great great resource.


Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 6/17/2014 (11:43)
RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/17/14 10:07 A

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Do I have to join a site to see the study? I think the problem is, in the abstract they only talk about fat ( which is only 50 % ), meaning that 50 % still come from carbs/protein.

They didn't state how much of these other 2 macros are consumed, or whether it was identical in all the subjects, which would be a variable which might affect the outcome. Another variable is where they got the fat, protein, and carbs from.

Since processed carbs are now being discussed as a reason for heart disease, wouldn't it be worth studying not only the fat/saturated fat content, but also the carb content. So we could study a 50/60/70% fat diet ( I consider 50 % fat to be way too low ), and at each level, also test the idea of 30/20/10 % carbs, as well as where those sources come from. Is the protein consumed with a bun ( cheeseburger ), or lean meat, with vegetables?

These details are important. I think we can make a 70% fat diet that is healthy, and one that is very unhealthy, based on how many carbs one eats, and their source. Even if you disagree, as far as I can tell, these other variables weren't controlled.

Another issue is the short time period of some of these studies. Everyone who does low carb, knows that getting into ketosis can take a few days, and many don't see any weight loss for 5-7 days. So the study ended before they really got into it.

I know you gave several studies, but I only got the abstracts, and unless they just forgot to mention all the other variables, they neglected to control them. Testing fat, when many believe that certain carbs may be the cause of heart disease, fails to take that into account.

The problem is, the people doing the testing aren't doing low carb, with low enough carbs, or high enough fat in most cases, and only care about macronutrient ratios, not individual foods.

Eventually we need a study with the Atkins/Paleo people controlling one group, and the govt. controlling the low fat group, and then compare the two over the course of maybe an entire year. That way, if someone tries to say it was biased, we can say.. you picked the food. Then you would need to set smoking/alcohol/exercise limits, and control those.

I don't trust the Atkins people any more than I trust the low fat people. They are all biased, and smart enough to tweak the study to prove their opinions.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

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“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
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In the abstract of the study:

'Limitation: Potential biases from preferential publication and selective reporting.'



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I'm not a subscriber on that site, so I just got an overview of the study... but I'd like to see how "cardiovascular health" was assessed. Did they simply measure TChol? was it based on cardiovascular events? what were the controls? It looks like it was a meta-analysis of some observational and other types of studies, in any case. Valuable, but not definitive.

I try to cut my small dense LDL as low as I can go, and "grow" some of the large ones with healthy fats (which, for me, are animal-based). Both types are necessary for health; we just have skewed ratios with the current dietary recommendations. I'm still frustrated that I can't get my TChol above 200... but I'm working on it.

My VAP and NMR profiles look wonderful with that exception!

...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~attributed to Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
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JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
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TIME Magazine - Bryan Walsh

time.com/2861540/fat-and-carbs-diet-guidel
ines/


What are your thoughts on the two types of LDL cholesterol?

Small dense LDL - linked to heart disease, raised by carbohydrates
Large fluffy LDL - mostly benign, raised by saturated fats

-----------------------

Regulation of low-density lipoprotein subfractions by carbohydrates

"Studies conducted during the past few years have quite unanimously shown that the quantity of carbohydrates ingested is associated with a decrease of LDL particle size and an increase in its density. Conversely, diets that aim at a reduction of carbohydrate intake are able to improve LDL quality. Furthermore, a reduction of the glycaemic index without changing the amount of carbohydrates ingested has similar effects. Diseases with altered carbohydrate metabolism, for example, type 2 diabetes, are associated with small, dense LDL particles. Finally, even the kind of monosaccharide the carbohydrate intake consists of is important concerning LDL particle size: fructose has been shown to alter the LDL particle subclass profile more adversely than glucose in many recent studies."


www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22617560

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 6/17/2014 (07:13)
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DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
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The video by Joy Bauer??

Becky

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Becky what are your thoughts on the video I linked?

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

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I read the study and the links to corresponding studies in the sidebar:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24717370

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24693710

Professionally, I still see a strong connection to current health recommendations that are used on this site (and the framework of organizations such as the WHO, Food and Nutrition Board, etc). The use of foods in a more whole state while emphasizing:
lean meats and plant proteins making up 20-35% of calories
healthy polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat making up 20-35% of calories
and keeping those health carbs to around 45-65%---using fruits, whole grains, beans, lowfat milk, yogurt, etc.

This approach seems to work well in:
---pushing out an excessive intake of refined, sugar carbohydrates
--allowing some naturally occurring saturated fat

And of course all of this needs to be within a calorie level that achieves and maintains a healthy weight.

Becky
Your SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/16/14 6:45 P

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About the seven days:
You left out the rest of the paragraph.
' Seven days may be too short a period to give information on the habitual food intake. However, with regard to nutrients that are consumed in a relatively large amount daily (e.g., protein, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber), a 7-day weighed food record classifies about 80 percent in the top and bottom thirds of the distribution correctly (28). '

The rest that was quoted is pretty standard stuff. What I liked about this study was that it covered a long term - very long - and it included men and women of different ages. More importantly, for me, is that for a really long term, with a large number of people, it is going to be beyond difficult and approaching impossible to follow people around and verify everything they eat and how many days they were couch potatoes, etc. This doesn't mean that methods for long-term studies haven't been evaluated and remain useful.

Even more impressive to me is that this was a Danish study and the record keeping in that small nation is very good. They have a computerized information about their citizenry so that they have a very large database..

This was also not included in one of your quotes:
'Information bias is not likely to have affected the study, as cases were identified by record linkage to the National Patient Registry (22) and the Cause of Death Registry (23), and diagnoses were established independently of the dietary habits of the participants. Only 11.5 percent were lost to follow-up, and selection bias is therefore unlikely to have affected the study. Control for confounding did not change the estimates for total fat and the major types of fats considerably.'

Authors of studies do include what can be construed to be limitations of studies in the text. This doesn't weaken the impact of a study.

"In the present study, monounsaturated fat intake seems to be associated with increased coronary heart disease risk among the younger participants."

This means that it's worth looking there - not that monounsaturated fat intake is a risk factor for everyone for heart disease. Age and gender!

In fact, some of the same researchers went on to produce this study:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21270379

From the PDF:

'It is quite clear that the effect of a specific food (eg, meat and
dairy products) on risk of CVD cannot be determined simply on
the basis of the fatty acid profile of a food. Epidemiologic studies
have shown a lower risk of CVD with lower intakes of full-fat
dairy products and fatty red meats and higher intakes of PUFAs
from vegetable fats, which is consistent with strong evidence that
replacing SFAs by PUFAs reduces the risk of CVD (38). The use
of nonhydrogenated vegetable oils (including canola or olive oil
rich in MUFAs) decreases the CVD risk compared with animal
fats. Thus, although the evidence is stronger for PUFAs, indirect
evidence suggests that SFAs could also be replaced with MUFAs
as well as unrefined carbohydrates with a low glycemic index. A
valuable way to communicate the message is to describe the
broad dietary pattern that decreases CVD risk. Note that only
a minority of different populations adhere to a healthy dietary
pattern. A healthy dietary pattern is primarily plant-based and
low in SFAs, but can include lean meats and low-fat dairy
products in small-to-modest amounts.
Because CVD is the leading cause of death in most countries,
the relation of diet to CVD should figure prominently in dietary
recommendations. However, other important issues, such as
obesity, and incidence of cancer and osteoporosis, should also be
considered; at present there is no clear relation of SFA intake to
these outcomes (39).'

This is in keeping with a quote from the text of the long-term study, 'The possibility remains that the positive association between saturated fat intake and risk of coronary heart disease would have been even stronger if compared with a mix of carbohydrates from low-glycemic foods, such as whole grain cereals and vegetables. Future studies need to address this.'

Martijn B. Katan editorialized in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that:

'Thus, the effect of omega-6 fatty acids on blood lipids combined with prospective data on blood lipids and heart disease predicts a 9% risk reduction, the randomized clinical trials predict an 8% reduction, and the observational studies pooled by Jakobsen et al (1) predict a 13% reduction for people who eat 5% of calories as polyunsaturated instead of saturated fatty acids. Differences between these numbers may be due to chance or to short- compared with long-term effects.

The consistency between these various approaches yields confidence in the validity of their outcomes. It also refutes hypotheses that omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids increase heart disease risk. Such adverse effects may occur in cell culture and laboratory animals, but they apparently do not determine heart disease risk in humans.

Forty years ago, the American Heart Association recommended replacing saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet. It recently reaffirmed that recommendation (6). The Jakobsen et al study (1) underscores the soundness of this advice.'

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19321556

Denmark rescinded its tax on saturated fat two years ago.


www.economist.com/news/europe/21566664-dan
ish-government-rescinds-its-unwieldy-f
at-tax-fat-chance


Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 6/16/2014 (19:56)
JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
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RUSSELL - Did you see this?

time.com/2861540/fat-and-carbs-diet-guidel
ines/


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I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
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Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


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JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
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Lots of variables.

Quotes from that study.

----------------

"Second, a potential source of random error arises from the assessment of dietary intake. Seven days may be too short a period to give information on the habitual food intake."

----------------

So they tracked food for 7 days and then assumed the diet never changed for the duration of this long term study.

----------------

"However, in observational studies, diets differing in fat content—both quantitatively and qualitatively—inevitably differ in other dietary constituents that may influence coronary heart disease risk. We decided to respect the observational nature of this study and not to try to control for these potential con-founders."

"Another possibility is that intakes of complementary carbohydrates were qualitatively different between the genders. In the present study, only types of fat, but not types of carbohydrates, were considered"

"This also allowed us to estimate the difference in risk for a higher level of energy from the major types of fat, where the lower intake of energy was due to a lower intake of energy from carbohydrates."

"In the present study, monounsaturated fat intake seems to be associated with increased coronary heart disease risk among the younger participants."

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/16/14 2:20 P

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I gave these examples only to show that these kinds of studies are done, when they seem particularly well-suited to a kind of experiment.

The scientific community is very active and they've been slogging through this stuff since the history of experimentation began.

I will bet that there will never be a LONG term study done, as you suggest 'in this vein,' because it would require first defining 'long-term' to everyone's satisfaction. Yes, someone would say, 'That's not really long-enough-term for me!' Then there is power to a study that has a large number of subjects, who would live with difficulty together in a metabolic chamber - if they could even make one big enough to hold them. So there's just one difficulty...

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12023257
And it was not without its problems, according to Wikipedia!

In the meantime, the scientific community is very active, and there are very good studies that are long-term.
aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/160/2/141.f
ull


Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 6/16/2014 (16:03)
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Interesting studies. Amazing how quickly the body adapts to using fat for energy. It would be nice if they could do a long term study in the same vein looking at saturated fats effect on CVD.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


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I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/16/14 12:18 P

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The studies such as you describe (under 'lock and key' and with everything measured) are done in a metabolic chamber.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20651220

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19321562

For example.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 6/16/2014 (12:31)
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"Unless one puts the test subjects under lock and key, and feeds them, the result are not really proof of anything. We would need to control every aspect of their diet, including saturated fats, and put multiple subjects on multiple diets."

Spot on Russell. They also need to have the subjects following the exact same exercise routine with no smoking or drinking to get accurate results. Otherwise there are just too many variables.

I believe diet is the key to health and longevity, more research is most definitely needed.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi


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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
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The problem with most studies, is that it measures one aspect of a person's diet, without control of other aspects, so at best, we can only get a suggestion that something is harmful, or healthy.

Unless one puts the test subjects under lock and key, and feeds them, the result are not really proof of anything. We would need to control every aspect of their diet, including saturated fats, and put multiple subjects on multiple diets.

So we could put 5 on high saturated fats, with those being part of a high carb diet, 5 more on a low carb, high saturated fat diet.. but also testing where they got their saturated fats from too.

It may just be too complicated to test accurately. Right now, we tally up how many grams of saturated fats a person eats, with no regard to whether it was doughnuts, or nuts. Then we say.. 50 % of the people eating lots of saturated fats got heart disease. So saturated fats are bad. Of course, it is probably the doughnuts.

I read a book about conscientious objectors during WW2. They started learning about the concentration camps, and needed to know how to treat these people. So they decided to accept volunteers for a starvation experiment. I read it because of how they " starved " the subjects, and how they " got them heavier " again. They were at a college, and this was their service to their country. They were put in barracks on the college campus ( U of Minnesota, I think ), and under watch almost all the time. They were carefully starved by cutting out most carbs, and limiting calories, and then once they were down to around 130 lbs. ( 30-50 lbs. lost ), they fed them a bunch of carbs, and got them back to their normal weight quite quickly. As a low carber that was MY focus.

However, the other thing to note, was that even though these men were doing this as duty instead of serving overseas, and were semi-prisoners, many couldn't stick to it, and controlling the starvation phase, without eating off plan, was still incredibly difficult under even these circumstances.

Doing this sort of study today would be almost impossible. There is no war, and most people wouldn't consent to being locked up, so what we get is " maybes ", but it is all that we have. What is sad, is that by only looking at one aspect of a diet, we can make the data say whatever we want, which is why no one trusts any of the studies. Even the govt is biased. After all, they invented low fat in the U.S.Senate., less than 40 years ago. If they were proven wrong, and we decided that millions have died from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, because they lied to people, the scandal would be the biggest in U.S History.

So who can do a study that everyone trusts? Also, is a study possible that isolates saturated fats enough to determine it as a cause of health, or harm?


"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/16/14 9:21 A

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There's not much about anything that has been discussed here that is 'conslusive.'

However, it's not 'sad, really' that there has been research about cancer and saturated fat. There's been research about everything you can possibly think of - I would put questioning saturated fat's relationship to cancer right up there as worthy of interest.



Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 6/16/2014 (09:24)
JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/16/14 8:24 A

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The evidence that connects saturated fats to cancer is not conclusive. For every study that finds a link there is one finding no link.

A high dairy and calcium intake has been found to increase prostate cancers in many studies as well, does that mean people should not eat dairy? Low fat dairy products are touted as a health food.

---------------

The American Cancer Society lists obesity as a high risk factor in developing cancer but doesn't specifically list fat intake as a cause.

Men who eat high fat red meat and dairy have an increased risk of prostate cancer but those men also eat fewer vegetables and fruit and doctors are unsure which of those factors increases risk.

-------------------

Let's take a look at what foods Americans are getting their saturated fats from.

Top US Food Sources of Saturated Fats - From most consumed to least.

Cheese
Pizza
Grain Based Desserts
Dairy Desserts
Chicken and Chicken Dishes
Sausage, Franks and Bacon
Burgers
Mexican Dishes
Beef and Beef Dishes
Reduced Fat Milk
Pasta and Pasta Dishes
Whole Milk
Eggs and Egg Dishes
Candy
Butter
Chips
Nuts and Seeds
Fried Potatoes

There are quite a few things on that list I wouldn't eat. I think where people are getting their saturated fats from is the most important issue. Fast food, take away pizza and processed foods are not healthy and should be eaten sparingly. Processed meats have been shown to be quite harmful as well. I make my own sausage and don't eat processed meats with the exception of bacon from my local farm. I get my fats from cold pressed coconut, palm and olive oil. Avocados are awesome. I do eat lard and butter (ghee) everyday as well.

Blaming cancer and heart disease on saturated fats is sad really. Eating nutrient poor foods, a lack of physical activity, stress, smoking and alcohol are much more harmful than saturated fats.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

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CALLMECARRIE's Photo CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
6/15/14 5:39 P

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Even if you believe saturated fats are fine and dandy in regards to cardiovascular health, there is evidence they increase the risk of breast, colorectal, ovarian and prostate cancers. Count me out.

"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."

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TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 4,953
6/15/14 12:44 P

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OMG, I meant to say that I don't intend to drink coffee WITH butter ... my stomach tolerates coffee better than it does a higher blood sugar reading; that is to say, there is some inflammation going on there, too ...


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(Said after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages)

My blog is at tiniertina.wordpress.com/ (topics vary; words are the most important things)

Now 103 pounds less than at age 24–w/o surgery!
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/15/14 12:02 P

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I doubt the Time article will do much except sell magazines (which is the point!) but at least it will provoke some interesting dialogues with family physicians. Not that those conversations haven't already occurred at times, but the issues will be addressed again.

RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
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JERF - I think we can say it isn't quite as harmful as we once thought, but in practice, people just aren't going to eat a lot more than they currently do.

The good thing is that maybe people will stress out a little less if they have a dish with more saturated fats. They may not eat more saturated fats on a daily basis, but on special occasions won't be afraid to have one meal, such as at a summer picnic. Maybe some ribs, fried chicken, or egg salad that they would have avoided before. Now they can enjoy it on occasion.

Unless the goal was to get people to eat more saturated fats, I think we could call this a win. I think that even if nobody eats 1 more gram of saturated fats, but eats the same amount with less fear, that is a good thing.

As was pointed out, they also suggested that processed carbs was one culprit, and I think we could all agree that we should get more of our carbs from fruits/veggies, and even less from Hot Pockets, and Snickers bars. We " know " this, but in practice, we don't follow it. I think more people would be healthier if they focused on eating healthier carbs, instead of aiming to eat more saturated fats.

I think of this like the Dr. Oz show. He has given thousands of " healthy " ideas on his show, and it would be impossible to follow them all. Same here. Between eating healthier carbs, or eating more saturated fats, I would suggest following the former. The jury is still out on whether they are healthy. What is being said is that they aren't unhealthy.

So if saturated fats are neutral ( I know some think they ARE healthy, but needs to be explored ), while at the same time, we eat WAY too many " bad " carbs, which we know are unhealthy, which one is a greater priority?

It might be most beneficial to increase saturated fats IF we prove they are healthy , AND also clean up the quality of the carbs we eat, but we still haven't even gotten the citizens to eat better carbs yet. I think the average person just hears 1000 studies being yelled at them by news anchors, and gets confused. They may decide to do a moderate carb diet ( 40 % ), but then what is good.. bananas, eggs, corn, potatoes are all " bad ", so they quit because they can't get enough " good " carbs, and go back to eating Yoohoo!, and Pop Tarts.

At some point, we need to stop and ask what is more beneficial.. people adapting slowly as new information appears, and making small healthy steps, or telling someone who eats wild brown rice that they are eating unhealthy food, and they should UP their saturated fats.

Yes, it will take time, studies etc. to determine how saturated fats can fit into our diet. If we go with the premise that they got it wrong, and saturated fats do not cause heart disease, we still have to study whether there is any benefit. We do not want to over-correct, and suggest that people run out and eat a bunch of saturated fats, and have another health epidemic, like our current obesity epidemic.

What if someone ate a lot more saturated fats in the form of doughnuts? That wouldn't be healthy. Just like Low Fat Twinkies, the information could get twisted, and turned into a health epidemic. Just go to your freezer aisle, and look at all the LOW FAT ice cream. They obviously sell tons of it. Is it healthy? Not really, but it is low fat!

Let's not repeat their mistake by running out, and telling people to " eat butter ", or " saturated fats are good for you ", without a lot of guidance on what exactly that means. Otherwise, a lot of people are going to think they can have 6 doughnuts for breakfast on Sunday, and not a few slices of bacon every so often.

Personally, I think most of us eat quite a bit of saturated fats already, but more in the form of doughnuts, and maybe all we need to do, is stop eating the doughnuts, and have a pat of butter on some green beans, with a fillet of fish, and maybe a 1/2 cup of quinoa/brown rice, if that is part of their diet.

We forget that there are levels of " good/bad ", and we shouldn't try to make everyone eat the " perfect " diet in one step, but instead make small improvements over time. Enough steps, and you achieve good health.

I think one thing we should focus on, is the quality of the saturated fats we ALREADY eat. Fish/fowl, instead of a Big Mac slathered in Thousand Island?/special sauce, and a bun loaded with Na. If we decide to say saturated fats are " okay ", and we are going to eat the same amount we already do, but eat better forms of it, I think we will get healthier as a people.

I also think that if you tell people go eat double the saturated fats, because it is healthy, half of them will think you are crazy, and ignore all the rest of the advice, like eating better quality carbs, 40 % will eat doughnuts and junk, and only 10 % will do it properly, because all people will hear is " saturated fats are good for you ".

Even if they are, that doesn't mean it would be consumed in a healthy fashion. Just look at how low fat was implemented, and misrepresented. The difference between what our dietitian Becky Hand would recommend, and what people eat on a daily basis while following a " low fat " diet, aren't even close. People didn't stop and think.. fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat.. they ate low fat Twinkies, and cookies. They still struggle to eat just 5 servings a day. That needs to improve.

I'm waiting for the TIME article to come out, so we can see exactly what they are saying. There needs to be a LOT more explanation, and parameters set, before people start making any changes, if they even decide to make ANY changes. If you think there are benefits to consuming saturated fats, just consider this a CAUTIOUS step in the right direction, and be happy.

I am more afraid that like other TIME covers, this makes a huge change in diet, without any caution, and the net result is even worse health. As a low carber, who thinks that we made the switch to low fat too quickly, and without enough information, I would be a hypocrite to suggest that everyone should just think saturated fats are okay, and expect everyone to get healthy. We would just be repeating a mistake.

It is becoming apparent that people are now dividing into low fat, and low carb camps, and with each diet, there are ways to eat to achieve the best results based on which diet one follows. Sadly, both diets are being done poorly by many of the people who are trying to follow them. Instead of trying to prove our diet is better, or the other is worse, we should be trying to improve both diets.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 4,953
6/15/14 10:19 A

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Saturated fats - too much of them at one time - do become the demon for me.

I have serious heartburn issues like gastroesophageal reflux disorder, and take prescription strength proton-pump inhibitor every day. I also have cholesterol problems and take statin drugs.

I am a diabetic on oral medication. Rediscovered saturated fats and what they do for me. In fairly strong moderation.

Maybe Dr. Oz says to drink your coffee with butter in it so you could cut down. I am trying to cut down on coffee the natural way, so no coffee drunk without butter (cue GERD considerations). But I draw the line at most butterific concoctions, cook everything dry as a desert, avoid frying. Avoiding too many carbs of course (GERD doesn't like starchy carbs either--and potatoes, being a nightshade as well--in pretty low rotation). Avoid using much salad dressing like the plague. And avoid too many cooked or made-rancid Omega 3s.


Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.

- Igor Stravinsky

Find a way.

--Diana Nyad

(Said after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages)

My blog is at tiniertina.wordpress.com/ (topics vary; words are the most important things)

Now 103 pounds less than at age 24–w/o surgery!
JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/15/14 7:30 A

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Unfortunately the science that concluded saturated fats are harmful is just as flawed as the science that shows it's not so where does that get us?

I guess I could keep posting studies that conclude no direct link and no causation but my stick arm is getting tired and this horse is already dead.

Saturated fat, guilty until proven innocent.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi


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DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
6/14/14 1:46 P

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IMPORTANT FOLLOW UP TO THE META-ANALYSIS:
I have been reading the follow up reports regarding the meta-analysis that is being currently discussed in this thread. From my understanding, it is being reported that the analysis was filled with omissions and problems. Of course some of these problems have been corrected by running the data again---but of course that is not being followed by the media. So you (as consumers) are not hearing the information. So consumers are still filled with the confusion with saturated fat (or worse, they are thinking it is not a risk factor).

An example of one of the problem areas was the inclusion of a trial in which people in the polyunsaturated fat group received a margarine that contained a high amount of trans fat---which we know raises heart disease (no question there). See it wasn't comparing polyunsaturated fat to saturated fat. It should not have been included.

Anyone can run a meta-analysis; but the folks doing it need to have some formal education in nutrition so they "know" what to look for when selecting the studies to analyze. In this example, that trial should have never been included.

Be careful with meta-analysis. It can provide a wonderful summary when done correctly. Or it can be a complete mess as was some of the content with the analysis being discussed in this thread.

Becky
Your SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/14/14 12:43 P

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This is what doesn't surprise me at all - this statement from the article cited. It is given, usually at the end, of these articles written by journalists about diet studies:

'Saturated fats and trans fats should still be limited in the diet, she said. And polyunsaturated fats, such as safflower oil, and monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, are still useful for cooking.
"A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unsalted nuts and fish remains the best course of action to achieve a heart-healthy diet," Van Horn said.'

No kidding.

The metanalysis of 72 studies I think is the same one I mentioned as showing that saturated fat was second to trans fats when it came to the risk ratio for cardiac risk.

Here's an interesting thought: carbs are vegetables and fruits AND products like Snickers bars. So, being a quasi-vegetarian (one hamburger once a week and vegetarian the rest of the time!), I'd have to say I'm a carboholic. Don't forget the grains!

With butter diluted with olive oil topping my cooked vegetables (less than a tablespoon, total) and olive oil on my raw salad (ditto for the amount), I STILL have a lot of saturated fat in my diet. It is the oil and the fat that pushes the calorie count up with those dishes, I'm aware of that. The natural saturated fat in foods is actually quite enough, even without adding oils or butter.

The thought of adding much more saturated fat - I know well what it does to calories!







Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 6/14/2014 (13:23)
RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/14/14 12:08 P

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This is kind of what I was talking about.

www.today.com/health/ending-war-butter-are
-fatty-foods-really-ok-eat-2D79795749


They are saying that saturated fats are neutral for heart disease, but how much you should eat still is " to be decided ", so as Becky said, we still use our old range for how much saturated fats to consume.

Still, I personally don't like chicken skin, or bacon, so while I think they all act happy that they can now " eat butter ", or Matt Lauer is like " ooooh, chicken skin ", there is always the question of how much, and whether they really want to eat chicken skin, or bacon, or butter, or mayo.

I think when people hear they can eat saturated fats in a group, especially butter, bacon,and chicken skin, they feel expected to like them due to being " forbidden foods ", but over time, the biggest benefit will probably be from less people stressing about eating saturated fats, not that they will eat significantly more in the privacy of their home. I doubt Matt Lauer is actually going to eat a bunch of chicken skin.

If you don't consume a lot of saturated fats now, that likely won't change. You will high five your friends, and go " I can eat BACON! ", and go home and never eat bacon. I think we need to take this new information as if we have a little extras saturated fats, we don't have to worry about heart disease, not that we should go looking for more saturated fats.

Personally, I think that is all that will happen, despite people acting like they are so happy to be allowed to eat saturated fats. Those who do like, and consume saturated fats, may do so with more ease of mind.

The article comes out in TIME mid-month, but the biggest thing will be that they suggest that refined carbs are the cause of the " toxic LDL ". I like her idea that if you have butter, have it on vegetables, not bread, but that may just be the low carber in me speaking..lol.

One has to wonder though.. if whole grain bread is healthy, and butter is healthy, as long as it is not on refined carbs... can I NOT put the two together? Is it one or the other?

They make it sound like I could have a slice of bread with some roast beef or some vegetables with butter and fish, but not a slice of bread with butter, and either fish or roast beef,

In fact, if they say bread is refined carbs, are refined carbs the culprit? If so, are they saying to limit bread, or eliminate it, and eat saturated fats instead?

If saturated fats are " neutral ", but on bread cause heart disease, then is the bread the cause of the heart disease? I think most people are scratching their heads right now, and thinking.. if refined carbs are the problem, then there are a lot better examples than a slice of bread. Lots of refined carbs to cut out before one thinks about bread as a health issue. Maybe not for low carbers, but the general population, bread is considered healthy, at least healthier than butter, or chicken skin.

Hopefully the TIME article answers a lot of questions. A two minute video is just confusing most people, which is the problem with information. A little is enough to confuse, but not enough to enlighten. This needs to be explained in detail, not summed up in two words.. " Eat Butter ".


Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 6/15/2014 (09:49)
"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 1,812
6/14/14 11:44 A

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The American Heart Assocation says...Triglyceride is the most common type of fat in the body. Normal triglyceride levels vary by age and sex. A high triglyceride level combined with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is associated with atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits in artery walls that increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.

The American Diabetes Association says...High triglycerides raise your risk for a heart attack or a stroke. - See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/heart-disease/healthy-abcs.html#sthash.ks9bw2ag.dpuf

Also visit The National Cholesterol Education Program recommended by The American Diabetes Association ...see the program description also
www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/ncep/index.htm

I watch my cholesterol...dropped over 50 points....well actually 61 points...I only eat healthy fats....no saturated, no trans fats....and my triglycerides that once were 180 are now 127...which is ideal.

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 6/14/2014 (11:47)
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/14/14 10:41 A

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Thanks for that link. But you left out this particular statement:

'However, some of the pooled studies involved people with cardiovascular risk factors or with cardiovascular disease, so the results may not necessarily apply to the population at large.'

'This study hasn't 'proved' that saturated fat isn't bad for the heart, rather that evidence of harm does not appear to be significantly significant.'

They might add, '...significant in the studies that we have chosen for our analysis.''

The study is a metanalysis, which basically looks at a pool of studies. The studies to look at are chosen by the researchers.



Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 6/14/2014 (11:12)
JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/14/14 10:27 A

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"When comparing people in the top third to those in the bottom third of dietary fatty acid intake, only trans fatty acid intake was significantly associated with a risk of coronary disease."

"17 cohort studies, including 25,721 people, looked at the association between circulating fatty acid biomarkers (i.e. in the blood) and coronary disease. These studies looked at circulating levels of the same fatty acids listed above. Comparing the top third and the bottom third, there were no significant associations between circulating levels of any of these types of fatty acid and the risk of coronary disease."

"How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that “current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats”."

"There was also no significant association between total saturated fatty acids and coronary risk, both in studies using dietary intake and in those using circulating biomarkers. In addition, there was no significant association between total monounsaturated fatty acids and coronary risk – again, both in studies using dietary intake and those studying fatty acid composition."

"Despite these limitations, this was an impressively detailed and extensive piece of research, which is likely to prompt further study."



www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindth
eheadlines/news/2014-03-18-saturated-f
ats-and-heart-disease-link-unproven/


JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi


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6/14/14 10:19 A

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today



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DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
6/14/14 10:07 A

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CALLMECARRIE--
WOW! thanks for sharing your story. In the future you may want to report those types of threads using the button at the bottom of your screen. It is a perfect example of the confusion there is on this topic and how misleading and dangerous advice can be shared.

Much of this confusion comes from magazine, newspaper, television and internet sites. Sensationalism brings in viewers and readers. But often it is not with accurate information.

At Sparkpeople will do investigate these issues and follow up with members when warranted. It is our goal to encourage the use of nutrition recommendations that are research based and supported by leading health organizations such as: National Institute of Health, Food and Nutrition Board, American Diabetes Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Cancer Institute, American Heart Association, etc, etc. This way we can keep our site safe for our 15 million members. Thanks for your help on this.

I completely agree that "all" foods can fit into a healthy diet. Yes, your hubby can have a health-promoting diet and still have steak and fries. One must look at the total food components of the diet over the course of several weeks. It is not just handing out a food listing of "don't eat this" and "do it that".

Thanks Again--
Becky
Your SP Registered Dietitian

CALLMECARRIE's Photo CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
6/14/14 9:06 A

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In a different thread, in a discussion on saturated fats, someone actually told me that concern about consuming too much saturated fat was "nothing." This was in the form of advice we were giving a third person. This poster told me with utter confidence that high serum cholesterol didn't cause heart disease and she happily ate lots of saturated fat and felt like a million bucks, don't worry, end of story. At least you, Russell, ask the question what other people think of the research, and give some form of "actual mileage may vary."

It seems like if you eat a lot of fat in saturated form, you're missing out on the good stuff in polyunsaturated fats that raise HDL. But from these discussions and from reading some of the research on this, I'm a little less worried about saturated fat than I used to be. My husband cuts the fat off steaks and fries mushrooms in the beef fat. He'll be happy if I'm on him a little less about that, LOL.

"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."

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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/13/14 12:10 P

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That is me, I believe .. and yes, I do. It is simply a statement of fact, and if one understands the English language they wouldn't confuse that with a statement suggesting anyone should eat more saturated fats, or in what quantity.

If I say my shoes are white, and they make my feet feel good, it doesn't mean everyone should run out and buy white shoes.

The bottom line is that the only reason it would concern someone, is if they thought that the SP members were too stupid to read and comprehend English. If I was another member, I would be insulted.

Hopefully, it is another comment that actually says what she suggests was posted.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/13/14 11:59 A

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When I looked at that metanalysis study's abstract, it looks to me like saturated fats still come out worse than other fatty acids. What am I missing? The conclusion may state - pretty conservatively - that it's not clear that minimizing saturated fat is a solution for cardiac risk. That would probably involve a different kind of study, in my opinion. Perhaps a prospective cohort study.

I had to look up relative risk using Wikipedia.
In a simple comparison between an experimental group and a control group:

for some reason I can't copy the words from Wikipedia that I want (explaining what relative risk of 1.0 means, etc.), so:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_risk



The risks listed for saturated fat are right up there at the top (1.03, 1.06, for example) and the other fatty acid risk ratios (except for trans fats!) were less than 1.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 6/13/2014 (12:01)
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6/11/14 9:34 P

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EELPIE, the quote is there, just search for the single word "ton." or the phrase "Personally, I eat tons of saturated fat, and already had congestive heart failure which has improved after eating this way,"

I suspect this may be the comment Becky is referring to.

As far as the topic of this thread goes - I tend not to be swayed by any one particular announcement (regardless of the strength of the science or "science" behind it) that something previously-thought "good" is now "bad", or something once considered "bad"is now "maybe not so much as we thought." So, hearing a report that the correlation/causal link between saturated fat ingestion and heart disease is less clear as previously believed simply makes me go "hmmm, figures" and shrug and move on.

I'm not terrified of saturated fat (not the kind coming from actual food such as meat and dairy, anyways - i am still leery of highly-processed foods including those processed foods that are high in processed fats). I figure that in the quantities that I consume fat, I probably am not doing much harm regardless of how much of it is saturated. Then again, I don't eat a whole lot of fat - usually mid-range or mid-high range on the |Spark guidelines. Eating fat at these levels, what could it matter if it were olive oil or bacon fat...? I don't worry about it. I might feel differently if saturated fat comprised the majority of my diet. I might feel differently if any of my bloodwork came back with any sort of cause-for-concern results.




Goal 1 - break 200 (46 pounds lost)**DONE**
Goal 2 - leave obesity behind (BMI 29.9, at 185#) **DONE**
Goal 3 - BMI = Normal (154# or less)


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JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/11/14 9:08 P

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I do eat a large portion of my calories from fat everyday. Over 60% in fact and it really helps me to keep my blood sugars stable. I feel very satisfied with what I'm eating, my cholesterol numbers are within the "normal" range, I take no meds and am very active. I can assure you I eat a ton of vegetables, some fruit and a moderate amount of protein everyday. I am in excellent health according to my doctor.

I believe there is no one perfect diet for everyone. Some people do well with a lot of carbohydrates in their diet, I however am not one of those people.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi


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EELPIE's Photo EELPIE Posts: 2,669
6/11/14 8:10 P

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Becky, I can't find that quote - can you post it please. lol, I even did a "find" with firefox of those exact words, and I still can't find it. ;)

Thanks.

The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.


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DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
6/11/14 8:07 P

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Of course everyone is going to be getting some saturated fat in their diet.
All fat sources are a blend of the 3: poly, mono and saturated.
But the key is to keep:
total fat intake around 20-35% of total calories
with poly and mono's making up about 2/3 or more of the fat in the diet , and
saturated fat making up 1/3 or less (10% or less of total calories).

To give the impression that eating "tons of saturated fat" (yes that is a quote from someone's post in this thread) is a medically appropriate and healthy decision---is incorrect and misleading and dangerous.

Becky

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 6/11/2014 (20:18)
JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/11/14 5:21 P

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I think that saturated fats have been unfairly demonized. The science just doesn't seem to support the conclusion.

Like it or not, saturated fats are in real foods and I eat them. They are an important part of my whole foods diet.

Everyone is of course free to do what they like, just don't say the science is conclusive, because it's not.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi


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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/11/14 11:16 A

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LOL. Thanks for the book Becky.

I went back 3-4 days to read all the posts, looking for anywhere that someone said that eating saturated fats was what a person should be doing. I didn't see it anywhere, so I don't know what " dangerous " information people are sharing.

I think JERF believes that it may be beneficial, but she isn't advocating it to others, or suggesting anyone eat any kind of diet ( except real food of course ). That's in your name JERF.

I think the people here are smart enough to understand that this is a discussion. Most of the recent discussion has been on the idea that you couldn't even do a study, because finding test subjects would be so hard. No one as far as I can tell, is saying people should eat more saturated fats, or that they are even OK. Just that there are reports/studies? saying they MAY not be the cause of CHD.

That doesn't reassure me that saturated fats are OK, and I think the average person still thinks that saturated fat needs to be limited.

All I was wondering was with all these recent news reports saying that saturated fats may not be linked to CHD, if that made anyone more inclined to eat them, or even stop worrying about them. A few people answered, and I thank them. Seems no one is convinced by a 5 minute story on the 5 o'clock news, or even Good Morning America.

Seems like the rest of the people are more concerned with either saying they are bad, or that they are good, which really has nothing to do with this entire thread. If a person believes that saturated fats are bad, 1000 studies saying otherwise isn't going to have any effect on how they eat, and the fact that they avoid saturated fats.

I find that a lot of my low carb friends are expecting any day now that a study will come out, and everyone will say " Oh! bacon, and mayo are good for you! ". Even if that did happen ( if you could get people to eat only bacon and mayo ), no one would care. People already have ideas on what is healthy.

There is still the comfort factor, even if people believe something is OK. There are a lot of healthy food out there that people still do not like, and they aren't going to eat it despite what any study says. The idea of proving that saturated fats are good for you, only matters if there are a bunch of people clamoring to eat more saturated fats. I don't think there is.

If a person doesn't have any desire to eat saturated fats, and is told they can now do so, they still wouldn't. Cauliflower is good for you ( pretty sure at least ), but it isn't like people hear this, and have run out and started eating lots of cauliflower. I don't think it would be any different for saturated fats.

There is a difference between what people hear, and what they feel, and that was why I started this thread. I don't plan on changing MY diet, and I doubt others do either, so I don't care either way if saturated fats are good or bad, or neutral.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/11/14 8:21 A

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Wonderful! Just reading through it all. Seeing a lot of

May cause...

Potential factor...

Still unclear...

Pivotal issues that must be examined further...

-----------------------
This is stated in the introduction.


"However, these studies demonstrate associations; they do not necessarily infer causality, such as would be derived from controlled clinical trials. "

-----------------------

"Population data on monounsaturated fatty acid intake and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) are limited. How- ever, in long-term follow-up studies of the Seven Countries Study, higher intakes of monounsaturated fatty acids were associated with decreased rates of CHD mortality (Keys et al."

Bacon fat is half monounsaturated.

-----------------------

Just skimmed it gotta get the kids off to school and go for a run. Will read more later.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi


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DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
6/11/14 7:27 A

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A little light reading with your morning cup of coffee:
www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/DRI//DRI_Energy/769-
879.pdf


If a macronutrient goes up, then another must go down.
Are you looking at a study on a healthy weight male or an obese male.
What is known, what is not known.

This pdf link tells how the marcronutrient ranges were determined---with all the research articles listed. Even has charts showing overviews of each and every study. If you really take the time to read it all---you will see why the consumer is confused. Lots of helpful research is available, but most consumers only "hear" don't eat this--do eat that. Yes, there is even some info on diets made up of 60-70% fat.

Happy Reading.

Becky

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 6/11/2014 (07:29)
JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/10/14 9:05 P

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I found this Meta-analysis study earlier today which is applicable here.

-------------------------

Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Purpose: To summarize evidence about associations between fatty acids and coronary disease.

Conclusion: Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.

annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1846638

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi


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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,661
6/10/14 7:05 P

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I track what I eat. It's amazing how much saturated fat still is there, And I have really cut it out of my diet.

DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
6/10/14 6:40 P

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Attention: This thread is becoming a source of dangerous and inaccurate information.

"Strong and consistent" evidence indicates that polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat are both associated with improved blood lipids related to cardiovascular disease when used as a "replacement for saturated fat."

Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat sources:
--decreases total cholesterol
--lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides
--decreases numerous markers of inflammation
--decreases the risk of heart disease, and
--decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes

Like I already said...this is considered "strong evidence" because there are numerous studies, showing the same result.

AND...if that is not enough, look at the latest study relating saturated fat intake to an increase in obesity risk based on genetic profiling. Yes this is very preliminary research, yet still worthy of consideration and more research.
www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Sa
turated-fat-intake-may-affect-genetic-
obesity-risk


While I respect your right to eat foods that you consider appropriate for your health; this site does not permit the dissemination of inaccurate nutrition information that goes against research evidence. Giving the impression or stating personal opinion that saturated fat does not increase risk for disease is inaccurate and potentially harmful to our members. It is not permitted.

Thank You--
Becky
Your SP Registered Dietitian


I






Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 6/10/2014 (19:38)
EELPIE's Photo EELPIE Posts: 2,669
6/10/14 4:01 P

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I find it ironic, I am reading the most recent replies eating my multigrain Wasa crisps, with a little softened butter spread on them....

The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.


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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
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I think there is a lot of assumption going on HMBROWN, with health professionals erring on the side of caution until more becomes known.

" First do no harm " requires that.

I think studies would start with first finding if a high fat diet consisting of healthy fats could be consumed for longer periods of time, with no negative side effects. Easier to convince someone to eat 50, 60, or 70 % fat, if it is from avocados, olive oil, eggs, and meat/fish/fowl. We think of mono- and poly- unsaturated fats as being healthier, so we would start with that, and see what the results were.

I would love to see a 65 % fat, 25 % protein, 10 % carb diet versus a 50/20/30 ( diet suggested ), and the subjects monitored, and allowed to eat as much as they wanted if they were hungry, but had to stick to their macro ranges. I think one of the things that people discount about LCHF is the appetite suppression, and on the 50/20/30 the opposite is true for many. The speed at which one loses weight on a diet, matters little if you are starving while doing so. If carbs are low enough, you don't feel cravings, so you eat less. With the 50/20/30 diet, many people are ravenous and cheat on the diet.

They need to study both for appetite suppression, but also how well they work if both groups stick to the plan. My guess is that both work around the same if food intake is set, and followed, but left to their own food choices, those following a LCHF diet would naturally eat less, since they don't have any cravings.

That would still leave the issues of micronutrients, and saturated fats in the LCHF diet though. Especially if you ate less, you might not get enough nutrition, and with increased fat intake, you always run up against the idea of saturated fats. The 50/20/30 diet would still have to worry about micronutrients, but would have less of a chance of eating saturated fats.

I find it interesting. I think first they need to prove if LCHF can be done in a healthy way long term. The same is true for 50/20/30 also though. We have been following it ( poorly, I admit ) for 40 + years, and have an obesity epidemic. So we have to prove/disprove both CAN be done in a healthy way, and then work on HOW you can do it in a healthy way.

Saturated fats might be an issue best left to the end of the argument. I personally would rather see LCHF become a second alternative to the idea of a HCLF diet, and both diets cleaned up as to how they can be done properly.



"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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HMBROWN1's Photo HMBROWN1 SparkPoints: (24,773)
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6/10/14 1:37 P

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I just assumed that Saturated Fats were not good and tried to stay in the acceptable limit. Interesting ideas.



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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/10/14 9:25 A

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Also LEC, if you did give the prisoners heart disease, now they just tripled the cost of them. A weeklong stay in the CCU can cost $100K. Oops! doesn't quite cut it..lol.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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6/10/14 9:10 A

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Basically you would need a long-term longitudinal study in a lab where you can control each aspect of the subject's diet and exercise. Few people would volunteer for such an endeavor. A prison population would be a good place to start, but that's an experimental ethics nightmare. And you would still be stuck with the lack of test subjects representing children, pregnant women, etc. Basically we're stuck with correlational studies (correlation != causation) and lab studies in mice.



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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/10/14 8:59 A

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Since the goal of this study would be to see whether saturated fats caused heart disease, was neutral, or had health benefits, I think there would be few volunteers, for obvious reasons...lol

If there were health benefits, great. On the other hand, no one is going to put kids on this diet, unless 99 % sure it is not unhealthy. No one wants to say these words ... Well, we lost 3 more kids today!! I guess it is unhealthy.

The question is how to test the theory ( for OR against ). I don't worry about saturated fats, but I already have CHF, so all it could do is get worse. It has improved, and maybe that is from saturated fats? However, I don't know whether it was something else.. weight loss, increased exercise, lower carbs, eating real food, more veggies etc. You would need to control everything else.. micros, macros, calories, exercise and just increase the saturated fats. Not an easy study to conduct.

Maybe they could test this theory on heart patients. We tend to be low on options, so what they heck.. maybe it will be beneficial. Test subjects are going to be limited though. We may never have anything more than opinions, and best guesses based on studies we can run that are tangential.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/9/14 9:29 P

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I was listening to a podcast today and on it the guest made an interesting point.

There have never been any saturated fat studies done on children. Most (all?) of the saturated fat studies have been done on middle aged men. It is quite possible that for children and women saturated fats might not only, not be harmful but possibly essential for healthy growth during childhood and during pregnancy for women.

I for one would be very interested to see some research done in that area.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi


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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/9/14 7:45 A

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I also measure my olive oil, and any fat. It is calorie dense, and adds up quickly. I don't think olive oil is a problem though, neither are nuts, or avocados, or fish, chicken etc, in the proper amounts.

I think most people start to get leery when they hear about adding mayo, butter coconut oil, or extremely fatty red meats. The idea of purposefully adding saturated fats, still seems like a sin..lol.

I find that I don't really want to eat these foods on a daily basis. I eat 60-70 % fat, so it isn't that fat is an issue for me. I just prefer other kinds of fat. I do like butter, and occasionally mayo, or a steak, but the idea of spending $20 for coconut oil, or eating these foods on a daily basis to get some benefit, or just because I can, isn't something I plan to do.

Athena.. olive oil is good, and I hope you enjoy it, but don't copy my plan just because you think I am doing well. It isn't one food that makes the difference but your complete diet, and exercise plan. Clearly whatever you are doing is working as far as a healthy HDL. I finally got mine over 40.

Also want to say that compromise is wonderful, and we would all benefit from sharing ideas instead of telling everyone else how our plan is superior, but we don't need to all " meet in the middle ". We don't need to meet at all. Let some people do 50/20/30, others do vegan/vegetarian, other low carb, low fat, the Zone, or any diet that works for them. That is the great thing. We don't all have to eat one diet. Many of them work. So others can be over THERE with a healthy diet, and I can be over HERE eating low carb, and I can wave and say.. looking good over THERE!

If we both tried to merge our diets, we might both fail, and regain our weight. So do what works for you ( everyone ), and treat the posts here as discussion, and sharing, not as advice.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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ATHENA1966's Photo ATHENA1966 Posts: 2,413
6/7/14 7:32 P

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Clearly Russell, you are doing something right. I’m going to put some Olive Oil on my Salmon. I really love the taste of that stuff. I think you hit the nail on the head. If we could ever stop trying to be right, and examine some of the positive outcomes, maybe we could meet in the middle. When I say we I mean society as a whole. And as you have stated many times, we are not robots, what works for some folks may not work for others.

I tend towards lower carb and probably eat higher fat than some folks. I eat eggs every single day. I still measure my olive oil, I just can’t help it. My lipid panel is picture perfect. My HDL’s for the past 5 years have been between 65 and 75. The other point that Becky made, and you have made, is that by losing weight, a person may decrease their risk of developing cardiovascular disease or Metabolic Syndrome. How we get there may be different, but the outcome is improved health.



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Live the life you have imagined.”
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CALLMECARRIE's Photo CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
6/7/14 7:17 P

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Fat sources are so dense in calories I have to choose the fats I do eat very carefully. Since the polyunsaturated fats are so healthy, if I were to eat more saturated fat there wouldn't be room for the polyunsaturated fats. Fats add flavor, but I don't like the way a high-fat meal makes me feel and I understand what you mean, QueenEydie, about no longer liking that oily mouthfeel.

Having said that, though, when I run my Spark feedback report at the end of the day, I'm often under the recommendation on carbohydrates, and occasionally under the recommendation on protein. I'm almost never under on the recommendation for fat.

Edited by: CALLMECARRIE at: 6/7/2014 (19:18)
"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."

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QUEEN-EYDIE's Photo QUEEN-EYDIE Posts: 10,120
6/7/14 5:52 P

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Russel, getting back to your original question, I can't quite wrap my head around the idea that saturated fat is okay. It's not for me anyway. I lost all my excess weight with a lowfat diet and just lost my taste for it. I want to love coconut oil and I'd like to believe that my very occasional use of it is truly good for me, but, as I say, I'm not there yet. Just don't like that oily mouthfeel. I do love monounsaturated fats like avocados and nuts though.




Edited by: QUEEN-EYDIE at: 6/9/2014 (07:57)
"Optimism is an act of bravery."

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today



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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/7/14 11:02 A

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I think the problem with this, is that you can get saturated fats from a bacon double cheeseburger, or from a filet of fish cooked in butter.

How you get your saturated fats matters. My dinner is 1 lb of tilapia, cooked in 2 Tbsp butter, and that is 18 grams of saturated fat. A lb of my boneless skinless chicken thighs has 10 grams, and each of my XL eggs has 2 grams. Butter is 7 grams per Tbsp., and tilapia is 1 grams per 4 ozs.

Everything is on a scale. I am sure most people would think the fish, and chicken were better than the eggs, and the eggs better than the butter. How much matters too.

There are other unhealthy thing about the bacon double cheeseburger that add on to the saturated fats, and might prevent a true judgement on whether the sat. fats are healthy/unhealthy.

You would need to isolate saturated fats from other unhealthy sources that might cause heart disease. That is hard to do. Also finding volunteers for a study that might cause heart disease isn't that easy..lol.

Personally, since I already have heart disease, that doesn't scare me as much, and while I don't search out saturated fats, I just consume them as I find them, and focused on losing weight, which has improved my heart, and got me off diabetes meds, as well as helped me go from being on oxygen, to exercising 90-120 minutes a day, 7 days a week.

Those other factors might be overcoming the saturated fats I am eating though. Losing weight and hours of exercise have benefits. If I was 300, and sedentary, maybe the saturated fats would do me in.

I think the most important thing is that I found a diet that helped me lose weight, and that improved my health. Of course on low carb, I can't very well avoid saturated fats, so if there is anything wrong with them, I will choose appetite restriction, and weight loss, and accept any possible risk from the saturated fats.

After eating saturated fats for 5 years with ever increasing health, I want to believe that they aren't harmful at the least, but when health is improving rapidly, who knows which healthy habit is the cause, or which unhealthy habit has been overcome.

I will probably just continue to try to eat lean meats, and add olive oil, as I have been doing most of the time, and not worry about if it is saturated or unsaturated as much as whether the food is healthy.

I listen to all the arguments for and against by the low carb , and low fat groups, and I could bounce back and forth due to good arguments on both sides, but I think sometimes they focus so much on the arguments that they forget that the bottom line is making people healthy, not beating the other side in an argument. Both sides get a position, and defend it to the death, and all I want to know is will they kill me. The answer seems to be .. Maybe? Maybe not?

emoticon real big help! The problem is neither side starts with a question. They know the answer, and do a study to prove it. Because of that, no one really trusts either side. There aren't any impartial studies done any more.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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CALLMECARRIE's Photo CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
6/6/14 8:10 A

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My intention with the links I posted was not to provide proof that saturated fat causes heart disease. Obviously that's in question. It was to counter the seeming suggestion that there were no human studies (?!) or not very many studies or no studies linking serum cholesterol and heart disease. My point is, there are precedents for the conflicting advice. No credible authority I've read has dismissed all concern about saturated fat and suggested we go whole hog eating them. The overall message I'm getting on fats is that polyunsaturated fats -- olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, vegetable oils -- are the really healthy sources of fat. Saturated fats are OK in moderation, but shouldn't be your main source of fats.

I eat butter, I eat beef. (Never margarine!) Cream seems to me to be one of the most delicious, beautiful food items that exist. But some internet sources and some people on Spark seem to say "Yay saturated fat, gimme more." That seems like a bad idea to me.

"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."

-Sophia Loren


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DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
6/6/14 7:21 A

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This is probably one of the strongest research studies on the topic of saturated fat and heart disease:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Mozaffar
ian%2C+Effects+on+coronary+heart+disea
se+of+increasing+polyunsaturated


However....
Saturated fat intake is not the main issue regarding heart disease that it was 30 years ago. It is still just as harmful. But overall, we have changed our diets when it comes to saturated fat.
Today...the huge issue is now obesity. Obesity leads to diabetes and metabolic syndrome which raises the risk of heart disease. And one of the causes of obesity is tasty, attractive, cheap, convenient food that is present 24/7....double bacon cheeseburgers, cola by the gallons, French fries, ice cream..... notice these foods are high in calories due to the refined carbohydrates, fat content, and saturated fat content.

I think it is easy to get lost in discussions over singe nutrients; instead focusing on the quality of the overall diet. This thread is a perfect example of this.

Becky





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6/6/14 12:16 A

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Great topic! I think I try to limit my saturated fats because that's how I've been "told" to eat through media/current research - I also think that the fact that it is called "saturated" fat lends itself to being visually yucky (I don't want to be saturated in fat, lol). I know that sounds crazy, but there it is!

On the flip side though, if choosing between a processed "healthy" choice like margarine or plain old butter, I choose the butter every time because it's natural.

I suppose the biggest lesson is that research and diet trends change all of the time, and if you eat everything in moderation and try to stick to unprocessed foods, you will probably be okay.





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EXOTEC's Photo EXOTEC Posts: 3,148
6/6/14 12:09 A

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First, pardon me for mentioning olive oil in the same comment with saturated fats. It certainly is not, and I am duly admonished.

As to the links...

Regarding the first abstract…

In
*observational epidemiologic*

studies, lower blood cholesterol is

*associated with*

a reduced risk from coronary heart disease (CHD) throughout the normal range of cholesterol values observed in most Western populations. There is a continuous positive relationship between CHD risk and blood cholesterol down to at least 3 to 4 mmol/l, with no threshold below which a lower cholesterol is not associated with a lower risk.

*Observational studies*
*suggest*

that a prolonged difference in total cholesterol of about 1 mmol/l is associated with one-third less CHD deaths in middle age. Evidence from large-scale cholesterol lowering trials in patients at high-risk of CHD have demonstrated that much of the epidemiologically predicted difference in CHD risk associated with differences in cholesterol was achieved within a few years of treatment. Moreover, these trials have demonstrated that such therapy was not associated with increased non-CHD mortality. Total cholesterol is transported in blood as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL cholesterol (about 70%) and as high density lipoprotein cholesterol or HDL cholesterol (about 30%). Since these two cholesterol fractions have opposing effects on vascular risk, a 1 mmol/l reduction in LDL cholesterol is

*likely to be associated with*

40 to 50% lower CHD risk. The size of the absolute reduction in CHD produced by lowering total and LDL cholesterol is

*determined by an individual's overall risk rather than their initial cholesterol level.*

Consequently, the benefits of drug treatment to lower LDL cholesterol are greater in those at higher absolute risk of CHD rather than at high cholesterol levels. Dietary saturated fat is the chief determinant of total and LDL cholesterol levels. Replacing 60% of the intake of saturated fat by other fats and reducing the intake of dietary cholesterol

*could*

reduce blood total cholesterol levels

*by about 0.8 mmol/l*

(that is by 10 to 15%), with four fifths of this reduction being in LDL cholesterol.
===================================
These are not nutritional trials conducted under strict control in humans. “Observations” and “associations” and “suggestions” are not equivalent to conclusive evidence, IMO.
I’m not sure I’d be especially excited to reduce my (non-CVD-causing) cholesterol by 0.8 mmol/l by cutting fats from my diet, either. Especially in light of what I’ve read regarding LOW cholesterol levels in persons having cardiovascular events.
===================================

Regarding the second link…

BACKGROUND:
Age, sex, and blood pressure could modify the associations of total cholesterol (and its main two fractions, HDL and LDL cholesterol) with vascular mortality. This

*meta-analysis*

combined prospective studies of vascular mortality that recorded both blood pressure and total cholesterol at baseline, to determine the joint relevance of these two risk factors.

METHODS:
Information was obtained from 61

*prospective observational studies,*

mostly in western Europe or North America, consisting of almost 900,000 adults without previous disease and with baseline measurements of total cholesterol and blood pressure. During nearly 12 million person years at risk between the ages of 40 and 89 years, there were more than 55,000 vascular deaths (34,000 ischaemic heart disease [IHD], 12,000 stroke, 10,000 other). Information about HDL cholesterol was available for 150,000 participants, among whom there were 5000 vascular deaths (3000 IHD, 1000 stroke, 1000 other). Reported associations are with usual cholesterol levels (ie, corrected for the regression dilution bias).

FINDINGS:
1 mmol/L lower total cholesterol was associated with about a half (hazard ratio 0.44 [95% CI 0.42-0.48]), a third (0.66 [0.65-0.68]), and a sixth (0.83 [0.81-0.85]) lower IHD mortality in both sexes at ages 40-49, 50-69, and 70-89 years, respectively, throughout the main range of cholesterol in most developed countries, with no apparent threshold. The proportional risk reduction decreased with increasing blood pressure, since the absolute effects of cholesterol and blood pressure were approximately additive. Of various simple indices involving HDL cholesterol, the ratio total/HDL cholesterol was the strongest predictor of IHD mortality (40% more informative than non-HDL cholesterol and more than twice as informative as total cholesterol).

***Total cholesterol was weakly positively related to ischaemic and total stroke mortality in early middle age (40-59 years), but this finding could be largely or wholly accounted for by the association of cholesterol with blood pressure. Moreover, a positive relation was seen only in middle age and only in those with below-average blood pressure; at older ages (70-89 years) and, particularly, for those with systolic blood pressure over about 145 mm Hg, total cholesterol was negatively related to haemorrhagic and total stroke mortality.***

The results for other vascular mortality were intermediate between those for IHD and stroke.

INTERPRETATION:
Total cholesterol was positively associated with IHD mortality in both middle and old age and at all blood pressure levels. The absence of an independent positive association of cholesterol with stroke mortality, especially at older ages or higher blood pressures, is unexplained, and invites further research. Nevertheless, there is conclusive evidence from randomised trials that statins substantially reduce not only coronary event rates but also total stroke rates in patients with a wide range of ages and blood pressures.
Comment in
• Review: lower total cholesterol is associated with reduced risk of death from ischaemic heart disease but not stroke.
============================
A meta-analysis is very similar to what any of us here do who are interested in researching a topic. You read reports and draw conclusions. It’s not the same as performing testing which might provide practical results. That’s not to say these things aren’t valuable, because they certainly are. But they should lead us to perform those studies, not to just swallow the conclusions. There is no indication of controls applied. These are important factors in reputable research. They’re also why it’s so difficult and expensive to perform.
Another problem with peer-reviewed literature is that if you don’t produce conclusions already in popular thought, any study you perform is unlikely to even be considered by “peers”… and therefore doesn’t make it into the current stream of enquiry and learning. How many career cardiologists are now coming forward to tell us that so much of what they practiced over the years hasn’t been optimal? New methods and new theories are being suggested and being proven out in practice… and no, I don’t consider these “studies” either. But I can’t throw out evidence of success just because it didn’t involve many hundreds of humans in blind and extensive studies (at horrific expense).
It’s very convenient to go to the peer-reviewed sites and take those abstracts and conclusions to heart. I read them with interest also, but I don’t consider them the ONLY information relevant to my health. We’ve been led astray before, whether by intent or by simple error and ignorance. Or by imperfectly controlled studies. I think it’s equally valuable to consider alternate and newer research, especially if it can be correlated across several platforms. Science is about change and new information. And I’m grateful for it, since if we refused to consider anything deviating from what we already “know”, we would still be living in some equivalent of the Dark Ages.


...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~attributed to Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


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JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/5/14 10:52 P

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I find it somewhat annoying that the statement, corrolation does not equal causation, seems to be used a lot here at SP. However when it comes to saturated fats that statement doesn't seem to apply for some reason.

The fact is that there are no studies to my knowledge that can directly link saturated fats and saturated fats alone to heart disease. If I am mistaken please point me to them. Most people who get heart disease have other health issues. Smoking and being overweight being two of the biggest.

Neither of the studies you link to look at any other health markers than cholesterol. Did these people smoke? Were they overweight? Did they drink alcohol? Did they exercise? Were their lives very stressful? All of those things are very important considerations that are overlooked.





Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 6/5/2014 (22:54)
JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

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Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


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CALLMECARRIE's Photo CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
6/5/14 8:54 P

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"I eat plenty of healthy saturated fats: animal, coconut oil, (regular) olive oil, butter, etc." Olive oil is not a saturated fat. Nor is anyone here advocating a low-fat diet.

Do you really think there haven't been studies involving humans on the links between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease? Or that the studies on humans have only been observational studies? Five minutes of browsing on PubMed proves otherwise.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16222621
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18061058/

Also, I'm not sure what you mean when you say blood cholesterol doesn't have anything to do with coronary disease. To quote one of the links above, "There is a continuous positive relationship between CHD risk and blood cholesterol down to at least 3 to 4 mmol/l, with no threshold below which a lower cholesterol is not associated with a lower risk."

If your position is that there are studies showing the opposite, or that the research isn't definitive, sure. But your statement that cardiovascular disease doesn't have anything to do with blood cholesterol is baffling. The reason that the belief *excess saturated fat causes an increase in cholesterol which causes an increase in heart disease* is persistent is precisely because there has been a great deal of solid research showing that it's true. Just one of the studies I linked here studied 900,000 adults over nearly 12 million person years. It would be bad science to simply dismiss that.


"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."

-Sophia Loren


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EXOTEC's Photo EXOTEC Posts: 3,148
6/5/14 2:34 P

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So far as present perceptions ... I think the "powers who be" are still encouraging us away from saturated fats. I believe this is how the general public interprets their statements, at least. If that was not true, we wouldn't still be in the clutches of all the low-fat/no-fat/reduced-fat marketing. It's ubiquitous. Most every nutritional website, blogsite, and "expert" continues to target the unhealthy aspects of fats. I think the general public simply sees it as anathema, and rejects fats in any and all forms.

In re: saturated fats raise cholesterol...
Well, I don't have the research handy on that, but the research I *do* recall was performed on rabbits, or as observational and environmental studies. In the first case, you can't extrapolate nutritional intake from rabbits onto human nutrition. If they'd at least used pigs or some correlative species, I *might* be more willing to accept the data. As it is, rabbits bear no resemblance to our dietary requirements. That data is invalid, IMO.
In the second case, there's only so much good and reliable information you can get from observational studies. They're very useful to point you toward things which need deeper and better-controlled *actual* studies... and that on human subjects! But nutritional studies of that nature are so horrifically expensive, I think it's unlikely we're going to get many. Especially with the food producers making every attempt to influence the outcomes in favor of their products.

That being said, even IF saturated fats raise cholesterol - that's not the point. It's the wrong question! Cholesterol has never been shown to be causative in cardiovascular disease. What we should be asking is how to prevent cardiovascular disease, and how to improve our health along those lines. That hasn't anything to do with blood cholesterol, which is actually cardioPROTECTIVE. Those people who suffer cardiovascular events actually have *lower* cholesterol levels... and women in particular are the most susceptible to this.

On a personal level, I eat plenty of healthy saturated fats: animal, coconut oil, (regular) olive oil, butter, etc. My labs are usually perfect, and I monitor them regularly. This is just my experience, naturally. I wouldn't advocate my dietary lifestyle onto anyone else who has a plan which is working for them, or might go contrary to their healthcare team's advice.
But I do think that what we're getting in the media (popular OR medical) is skewed, and many times misinterpreted by the end-user.



...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~attributed to Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


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SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 1,812
6/5/14 11:41 A

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The American Heart Association says
Saturate fats raise cholesterol....I stay away from them.

The CDC also says stay away from them
www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/
saturatedfat.html

Breast cancer
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1199629/


Healthy Fats are better for you,,,,check out this slide show
www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1007577-18-fa
trich-foods-good/#slide=1


KASTRA's Photo KASTRA Posts: 368
6/4/14 4:08 P

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Anarie, that's interesting and reassuring - thank you. I always hear people say exercise brings heart rate to a lower resting rate, but that's the opposite of what I need. To date, I still get a bit shaky and occasionally get wildly dizzy (almost to the point of vertigo) if I stand too fast, even after incorporating 90+ minutes a week of low-impact cardio. I'll admit that is part of the reason I've gone a bit soft on really stepping up my cardio intensity because I can't really afford to have resting heart rate drop much further. I had a medical issue a few years ago where the standard treatment was prescribing blood pressure medications but my doctor said I just had to muscle through it because those meds would likely make me non-functional even at the lowest possible dosage.

I guess the opposite issue is just what is most commonly talked about since high blood pressure is a much more common problem.

Starting: 41.1 BMI and extremely sedentary
Current: 28.0 BMI with strength-training and low-impact cardio
Mini-goal: 29.9 BMI (about 164 lb) - DONE on 8/6/14! I'm no longer obese!
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Mini-goal: 24.9 BMI (about 136 lb)
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ANARIE's Photo ANARIE Posts: 12,406
6/4/14 3:51 P



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Kastra,

I also had very low blood pressure-- too low-- when I was obese. Believe it or not, it gets *better* with weight loss and exercise. I'm still below "normal," but the days when it would drop so low that I couldn't stand up without getting dizzy are over. We usually talk about obesity as a factor in high blood pressure, but really we should talk about blood pressure abnormalities.



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CALLMECARRIE's Photo CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
6/4/14 3:43 P

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It isn't the calories that are the problem with saturated fats. One tablespoon of butter actually has slightly fewer calories than 1 tablespoon of olive oil. As for taste, there's no question, saturated fats win. But even if you decide the research has proven saturated fats are fine in terms of cardiovascular health (a bad idea, IMO) diets high in saturated fat are linked to breast cancer, and possibly colon and prostate cancer. Also, unless you're eating a high-fat diet overall, eating more saturated fat means you're eating less of the good fats and missing out on the benefits of nuts, vegetable oils, fish, avocados, etc.

"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."

-Sophia Loren


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MANDIETERRIER1's Photo MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,646
6/4/14 2:55 P

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Sign me up to the Bacon Lovers Anonymous club. And the butter and cream lovers club. I do consume these items and I have lost weight. I cut back on them. I don't eat as much as I used to when I was at my highest weight.

Something with a little butter on it makes me feel fuller than something without.

Made it to my maintenance weight of 125 pounds.

Even though I have reached goal. I still don't know everything about weight loss.

Please read my blog

erinwroteablogyall.blogspot.com/2014
/09/working-on-working-it-out.html


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KASTRA's Photo KASTRA Posts: 368
6/4/14 12:08 P

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As a resident in the south, where cooking in butter and bacon fat and frying literally everything is "just the way it's done," and in a state that ranks very high on every CDC report for heart disease, I use anecdotal evidence to tell me that saturated fats are not an ideal part of a healthy diet, regardless of what any reports state. Unsaturated fats, yes...saturated fats should be kept to a minimum. In our production facility of about 30 people, at least half of them are on medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol, two have suffered heart failure of some kind in the last two years, and I see more on the way. Now, as Becky pointed out, there are plenty of other factors that contribute to that. For instance, about 40% of them smoke.

Personally, even when I ate almost no veggies or fruits (maybe a small serving of green beans or corn at dinner each day and rarely a salad), almost all red meat, and ate a ton of foods with saturated fat, my bloodwork was always well within normal and recommended guidelines; in fact, my blood pressure has always been a tiny bit on the low side. It could be a sign that saturated fat is not the enemy, but I think it's more likely that I got lucky and beat the odds (everyone in my family is the opposite). Now that I'm really working to refine my eating habits, I'm actually a little concerned that I'll dip under those ranges into too low categories, particularly for blood pressure. I do not plan to add high doses of saturated fats or take up smoking to combat that, though.

(Although, I am a secret member of BLA as well! Only a few slices each weekend, though.)

Edited by: KASTRA at: 6/4/2014 (12:10)
Starting: 41.1 BMI and extremely sedentary
Current: 28.0 BMI with strength-training and low-impact cardio
Mini-goal: 29.9 BMI (about 164 lb) - DONE on 8/6/14! I'm no longer obese!
Mini-goal: 5K walk or run
Mini-goal: 24.9 BMI (about 136 lb)
Mini-goal: half-marathon walk or run
GOAL: 23 BMI (about 125 pounds), fit and active


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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/4/14 9:48 A

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LOL Athena. @ Bacon Lovers Anonymous Club.

I eat a low carb diet, but have never had a love for bacon, or greasy foods, including skins on fowl. I find them to be disgusting really.

Even if they are not unhealthy, no one has to eat them. If what you are eating is healthy, and working, it would be foolish to change anything every time something changes. I think a lot of people share your viewpoint. They either can't accept the idea, or just don't want to eat saturated fats even if they are okay. I am guessing your doctor would still tell you to limit it, until more study is done on the subject.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

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ATHENA1966's Photo ATHENA1966 Posts: 2,413
6/4/14 9:29 A

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I personally do have a difficult time wrapping my mind around saturated fats being healthy or not being the cause of heart disease. My answer has nothing to do with the science or research. Now the part of me that belongs to the, "Bacon Lovers Anonymous Club" wants it to be true. But the part of me that was raised to believe saturated fat is bad, bad, bad, just can't. Logically, I am well aware that research changes. I guess I am stuck with it.

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Live the life you have imagined.”
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DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
6/4/14 9:29 A

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Oh, sorry I misread your post.

Based on scientific researech (controlled, experimental studies) scientists have figured out that saturated fat increases LDL cholesterol, which increases risk of heart disease.

So I guess your post is in how the media (to gain market share, and sell newspapers and magazines) often misinterrprets science. Yes, as a Registered Dietitian and a consumer, this greatly frustrates me. It only confuses the consumer. The public doesn't know "what" to believe or do. Thus, they may be harming their body by relying on the inaccuracy of such consumer pieces.

So my advice would be to "know the source." If you are reading an article that reports that "saturated fats are okay".....what is the source, find the source, read the study. Is it an observational study or an acutal clinical trial.

Becky

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6/4/14 8:50 A

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Becky. I am not for or against the idea of saturated fats. That is up to scientists to figure out, as well as how much, and how often?

I was more interested in how people were reacting to the idea. It is a complete reversal of what people have heard their entire life, and is relatively new concept. All my life I have heard they caused heart disease. I was wondering if people were skeptical in general, or accepting of the idea, even cautiously.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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CALLMECARRIE's Photo CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
6/4/14 8:41 A

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Very interesting topic. I have been reading about this and having this discussion with others here on Spark. My own view is that I'm not ready to say saturated fat is fine. Someone here on Spark once told me that my concerns about saturated fat were "nothing," and that no research has ever proven that saturated fat causes heart disease. I think she was coming from a perspective of really wanting to believe saturated fat was fine, having a whole personal ethic and point of view invested in a certain way of eating that she thought was "natural."

Like Becky said, anecdotal evidence is not of much use. People who log onto a discussion board on a website devoted to healthy eating and exercise and say "I eat butter and my cholesterol is fine," probably don't represent the average. By definition those of us in this discussion are people who have been trying to get healthy, probably using multiple methods. Even if you find 100 Sparkers who eat saturated fat and are in great health, that proves nothing for the general public. And what happens if you check back with us in 20 years? What did our grandparents die of? What other habits contribute to our cardiovascular health profile? Even if one person can prove that he or she eats plenty of saturated fat and is in great health, that doesn't mean saturated fat, in general, is not a risk factor. If you extrapolate from your own example and tell everyone else "go ahead and eat butter and bacon, they're no problem" you could potentially be giving disastrous advice to someone who doesn't share your genetic good luck.

Just last night I ate a turkey and cheese sandwich toasted in a pan with butter, and it was delicious. It's been a long time since I ate anything browned in butter, and it's about the best thing in the world. However, I'm going to keep that a rare occurence. Meats and vegetables browned in olive oil also taste very good. I just think there are plenty of tasty foods out there and I am not ready to dismiss 50 years of established medical advice on the basis of studies that I may or may not understand. And thank you Becky, for helping us understand how to approach the evidence. It certainly is confusing reading all the different articles about this topic.





"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."

-Sophia Loren


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SOAPSANDROPES's Photo SOAPSANDROPES Posts: 564
6/4/14 8:30 A

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When I was a kid in the 80s my parents jumped onto the low fat and healthy fat bandwagon in an attempt to lower my father's cholesterol. As an adult I take a much more moderate approach to things. I would rather eat some butter rather than an artificial butter flavored spread (and fat free half and half, just no). I like a good piece of red meat. Combined with regular exercise and my blood work has never been better. So when someone says to me that saturated fats might not be bad, I am not surprised.



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DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,579
6/4/14 8:11 A

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I think there is confusion because some studies are using observational data; while other studies use clinical trials.

This thread is a perfect example. People are saying, "I eat butter and meat fat....etc" But what does this really mean. How much? How often? How many years? and What did your lab values and disease risk do over those years? See....observational studies are very limited.

If you take the topic of saturated fat and you look specifically at experimental studies that change "only" one thing and keep everything else constant; then what happens. Well, the studies that did this and replaced saturated fat (butter, meat fat, dairy fat) to polyunsaturated fat (corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, etc)....these studies consistently showed a fall in coronary heart disease, exactly to the extent that you would expect from the fall in the LDL cholesterol level.

Now, I know many of you will say...but I do this and this happened. I did that and this happened. Most of the time, you start to lose weight, change many things about your diet (fat, carbs, protein, fruits, veggies, etc), start exercising, (ALL at the same time). So how do you know what change made the improvement???

To find out the answer to your question...look at research studies that are clinical control trials that randomly assigned people to eat either saturated fat or polyunsaturated fat (and that is ALL that changed). Then you will have an answer to your question that is based on scientific research.

Becky
Your SP Registered Dietitian

JUSTEATREALFOOD's Photo JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,226
6/4/14 8:09 A

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I eat a good amount of saturated fat everyday and feel it is healthy for me. Cold pressed palm and coconut oil, pastured beef and pork, eggs, butter and heavy cream are a healthy part of my real foods "diet". In fact I would much rather eat these fats than the refined seed oils, which I don't believe are healthy or natural.

Frying my asparagus in a little bacon fat and palm oil is just devine.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food


I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

5'4"
Goal weight 125lbs
36 years old
2 kids

Keeping my blood sugar levels low on my high fat/ low carb/ moderate protein diet.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

- Vince Lombardi


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PSCHIAVONE2's Photo PSCHIAVONE2 SparkPoints: (17,901)
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6/4/14 7:45 A

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I think that saturated fats are an important part of a diet. As I get older I feel better eating some saturated fat. If you look at it saturated fats are involved even in the "healthy" fats like avocado and olive oil. I tend to eat full fat everything, I never bought into the low fat diet.

Weight is the result of what you have been doing for the past week.


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MRSBENNETT2's Photo MRSBENNETT2 Posts: 1,583
6/4/14 3:34 A

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I eat saturated fat. Butter, whole fat cheese and yogurt, and chicken skin if it's crispy, and the fat off a nice piece of meat. I don't worry about it, but it's not the sum total of my diet. :)



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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/4/14 1:57 A

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The thing is, there is no proof that more saturated fats WILL be a problem at all. That is just what we believe.

I am not asking for a debate on the topic itself, just wondering if the idea seems like it is wrong still, despite all this talk.

Personally, I eat tons of saturated fat, and already had congestive heart failure which has improved after eating this way, but I still sometimes feel like it is wrong to be eating butter, eggs, and meat. I think total diet matters, and that in some diets it might be healthy, and in others unhealthy, based on what you eat besides it, as ANARIE pointed out. I think we pick and choose one or two things to say are unhealthy, but may be doing many other things that are also unhealthy, which may be the real culprit. So maybe it is Pop Tarts for breakfast causing heart disease, not the steak for dinner. Hard to actually KNOW for sure what is the problem since so many of us eat a LOT of bad things.. which one is the cause?

Trying to argue whether saturated fats are good or bad would just devolve into a pointless disagreement. What I am wondering is what you think when you hear that statement. Does it sound strange when someone says saturated fats may not be unhealthy, or even beneficial?

I remember as a kid, when low fat became the new fad diet, and everything had to be low-fat. My Dad scoffed at it, since HIS whole life, he had been told that carbohydrates made people fat, and the thing that took him forever to switch to was skim milk. He hated it, said it looked like water. Just because someone says something is healthy, does not mean that anyone is listening.

I am wondering if anyone is listening to this, and if so, do they think it is right or wrong. A few studies, or news articles, probably aren't going to change 30 years of training by the government. Do you plan to stick to the low fat diet, or does this change your thinking in any way?

We hear this information almost daily now, but I wonder how much people actually pay attention to, and how much is dismissed as nonsense. Are bananas, and eggs really " bad " ?

So while the topic needs to be studied more, most people have a reaction to hearing that saturated fats may be okay, or even beneficial. That is kind of what I am wondering. What is the first thing that statement makes you think? Impossible? Possible? You don't want to eat saturated fat anyways?

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 6/4/2014 (01:59)
"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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MRSBENNETT2's Photo MRSBENNETT2 Posts: 1,583
6/3/14 11:32 P

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I've been interested in health topics for a lot of years and am only just beginning to notice there's a definite cycle. Certain ideas go in and out of fashion/circulation, just like certain food products. I remember back in the mid-80's when frozen yogurt was EVERYWHERE, then it disappeared. Now it's trendy again.

My take on saturated fats is...it's natural. Well, my idea of saturated fats are animal fats and butter, and nut and seed oils. Natural has got to be a heck of a lot better for us than products that are created in a lab somewhere and advertised as "healthy". My husband wants to use that ProActiv margarine for his cholesterol levels which were slightly up at a recent physical. So he switched, and he still gets on me for using butter. Thing is, I only use a couple teaspoons of butter every day, not huge amounts. Probably someone who overconsumes saturated fats might have a problem.



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ANARIE's Photo ANARIE Posts: 12,406
6/3/14 11:15 P



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I think it's one example of how people misunderstand science and then feel miffed when the information "changes" from what they think they've always heard. People who were doing research never said saturated fat "causes" heart disease. If you go back and look at real health information, not magazine articles, it always said something more like,

"A diet high in saturated fat may be a major contributor to heart disease."

And that's probably still true. Most people whose diets are high in saturated fat are probably at increased risk for heart disease. It's just that, as more research is done, the understanding is being refined and it's becoming apparent that it's probably not exactly the fat itself that's harmful, but the diet as a whole. Most people who eat diets that are high in saturated fat aren't getting it from butter on their carrots; they're getting it from meat lovers' pizza, chocolate chip cookies, and cheeseburgers. It's not so much the fat that they're eating as the processed meat and white flour and sugar, AND, more to the point, all the things they're NOT eating, like vegetables. But it takes a while to suss that out, because it's hard to separate the fat from the whole diet.



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EELPIE's Photo EELPIE Posts: 2,669
6/3/14 9:10 P

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I'm not leery at all. I make it a part of my diet every day - I find that they help me stay satiated, and I kinda feel good, too emoticon

I had some butter mixed in with my spiced barley and carrots for lunch - and then I had some softened butter spread on my rye Wasa Crips today. Yum!

The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.


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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/3/14 8:59 P

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I keep reading that saturated fats might not be the cause of heart disease now, but I am wondering how people are reacting to this news.

Do you think that it may be true, or that it can't be possible?

Is 30 years of hearing that it is bad for you, not going to be offset by a few studies, or news stories? Are you still leery of saturated fats?

I'm just kind of wondering what people think, when they hear this.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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