The Cholesterol Myth and The Great Global Diet Fraud (3 out of 10)

Health Blog

Congratulations dear reader for persevering  to the third installment of the series. At this point you might be asking if all that I am writing here is true, then how come most DOCTORS don’t even know about it? Well, the problem is that we are dealing with a very strong and entrenched interest coalition of pharmaceutical and consumer goods companies no different than eight decades ago where smoking was considered “healthy” and it took several decade  worth of long and hard fight by dedicated individuals before we arrived at the present enlightenment stage on smoking.

smoking_01

Doctors aren’t always the best source of medical knowledge

Second point is that most doctors are busy too, such that they would most of the time even rely on pharmaceutical sales people to teach them about the newest medicine. And lets get it straight, reading the raw data of any medical research and applying your own analysis is a lot of work compared to say… just reading the conclusion, which might differ depending on who is making the conclusion.

Last but not least. We are now already at the end of an era where the “Diet Heart” interest group is slowly starting to die. More and more people, even some of the major actors in the healthcare business like LG are starting to move towards the truth that saturated fat is not the cause of heart disease. Even the US dietary guideline is finally starting the acknowledge the importance of saturated fat in our diet. You can read about it via the Harvard publication on latest dietary guideline and CNN version of dietary guideline.

I try my best to present you with links that will give you the original data of the studies mentioned in Dr. Uffe Ravnskov‘s book. This will give you the opportunity to make your own analysis based on data provided by reliable third party such as US National Institute of Health and leading universities. However, as not all these data are available on public domain, hence some would come from reputable sources that does not include the raw data itself.

So, without further ado, we will now move on to the next myth

“Myth 3: High Fat Foods Raise Blood Cholesterol”

Now before we move on, allow me to introduce you to a chart that relates this myth with the previous two myths:

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As I have shown in the first article, there is simply no relation between US animal fat consumption level with deaths from heart disease over the past century. Myth 2 has also been busted on the second article and now we are on to myth 3.

The “Diet Heart” myth is basically joined at the hip with Dr. Ancel Keys credibility. He is the proponent of the seven country study published in 1958 regarding the fat percentage of local diet in various countries vs. the mean serum cholesterol level. The data points fell on a straight line, showing very positive correlation. However, in Dr. Ravsnov’s book, he pointed to other countries Dr. Keys also collected data from but deliberately omitted from the study in which had in included them, would fall very far away from the correlation line. Furthermore, CHD death rates among subjects in Finland, Greece and Yugoslavia with similar serum cholesterol levels varied five fold depending on which area of the country they lived in. I.e. although the people in Finland on average eat the same diet, different areas within Finland would have different average Cholesterol level as if the food doesn’t really matter.

Four studies in the US, one in the UK, one in Israel and one in Finland failed to show any correlation between diet and serum cholesterol levels.

 A different study mentioned in US NIH even showed that if you completely take out the saturated fat from the diet and replace it with carbohydrate, the cholesterol level remained the same. The study was done at Maastricht University in Netherlands, published in 2003 focusing on effects of dietary fat and carb consumption on your blood HDL, cholesterol and serum lipids. While yet another study showing no correlation between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease. This study was done at Oakland Research Institute in California regarding the association of saturated fat with heart disease, published in 2010. In the book, Dr. Ravsnov tried to eat various number of eggs per day (from 0 to 8) and found no direct correlation with his cholesterol level and one study even had an 88 year old patient eating 25 eggs a day with no effect on his cholesterol level. This study was done by Dr. Fred Kern from University of Colorado School of Medicine published by New England Journal of Medicine in 1991. Need more research to convince you? I suggest you read this blog from Stephan Guyenet, an obesity researcher and neurobilologist, PhD from University of Washington. Which brings the question, if cholesterol level is so important, can you really change it by changing your diet?

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