August 20, 2014

Over Half of Your Diet Should Consist of Saturated Fats

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by Dr. Mercola
A little over 100 years ago a German scientist wrote a letter to a company that made soap, and in so doing changed the way the world cooks its food. The soap company, Procter & Gamble, bought the scientist’s idea—and Crisco was born.

At this time in history, people used animal fats for cooking in the form of lard and butter. And while Crisco was purposely formulated to resemble lard and cook like lard, it was nothing like lard. The rest of the story, as related in The Atlantic, is a tale of marketing successi.

When Marketing Alters Dietary Recommendations…

Recipe in hand, Procter & Gamble launched a massive sales strategy for Crisco that rivals even some of the biggest sales pitches today, and won over the cooks of the world. According to The Atlantic:
“Never before had Procter & Gamble — or any company for that matter — put so much marketing support or advertising dollars behind a product. They hired the J. Walter Thompson Agency, America’s first full service advertising agency staffed by real artists and professional writers.

Samples of Crisco were mailed to grocers, restaurants, nutritionists, and home economists. Eight alternative marketing strategies were tested in different cities and their impacts calculated and compared. Doughnuts were fried in Crisco and handed out in the streets. Women who purchased the new industrial fat got a free cookbook of Crisco recipes. It opened with the line, “The culinary world is revising its entire cookbook on account of the advent of Crisco, a new and altogether different cooking fat.” Recipes for asparagus soup, baked salmon with Colbert sauce, stuffed beets, curried cauliflower, and tomato sandwiches all called for three to four tablespoons of Crisco.”

Since advertising claims back then were unregulated, Procter and Gamble sold this plant-based product (known today as hydrogenated vegetable oil) as being healthier than animal fats, and consumers believed it. It took 90 years before researchers finally discovered that this new, “better-for-you” compound, which we call trans fat today, actually increases your risk of getting heart disease. As stated in the featured Atlantic article:
“It is estimated that for every two percent increase in consumption of trans fat (still found in many processed and fast foods) the risk of heart disease increases by 23 percent. As surprising as it might be to hear, the fact that animal fats pose this same risk is not supported by science.”

Not only that; research has also found that trans fats contribute to cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; low birth weight, growth problems, and learning disabilities in children. It’s so bad for your health that one U.S. government panel of scientists determined that man-made trans fats are unsafe at any level

What History Can Teach Us

The article in The Atlantic, which is excerpted from the book The Happiness Diet by Drew Ramsey, MD and Tyler Graham, is a fascinating piece of history, and well worth reading in its entirety. It adeptly describes the cultural backdrop that led to this “fake lard” being accepted and embraced, not to mention the sheer power of aggressive marketing. Here’s just a short excerpt of this excellent piece. For more, please see the original article, or the book, The Happiness Diet:
“… Thanks to Procter & Gamble the United States boosted the production of a waste product of cotton farming, cottonseed oil… Before processing, cottonseed oil is cloudy red and bitter to the taste because of a natural phytochemical called gossypol… and is toxic to most animals, causing dangerous spikes in the body’s potassium levels, organ damage, and paralysis. An issue of Popular Science from the era sums up the evolution of cottonseed nicely: “What was garbage in 1860 was fertilizer in 1870, cattle feed in 1880, and table food and many things else in 1890.”

But it entered our food supply slowly. It wasn’t until a new food-processing invention of hydrogenation that cottonseed oil found its way into the kitchens of America’s restaurants and homes.

Edwin Kayser, a German chemist, wrote to Procter & Gamble on October 18, 1907, about a new chemical process that could create a solid fat from a liquid. The company’s researchers had been interested in producing a solid form of cottonseed oil for years, and Kayser described his new process as “of the greatest possible importance to soap manufacturers.” The company purchased US rights to the patents and created a lab on the Procter & Gamble campus, known as Ivorydale, to experiment with the new technology. Soon the company’s scientists produced a new creamy, pearly white substance out of cottonseed oil. It looked a lot like the most popular cooking fat of the day: lard. Before long, Procter & Gamble sold this new substance (known today as hydrogenated vegetable oil) to home cooks as a replacement for animal fats.”

The Saturated Fat Myth

The myth that saturated fat causes heart disease has undoubtedly harmed an incalculable number of lives over the past several decades. While it may have begun as an unsupported marketing strategy for Crisco, this mistaken belief began solidifying in the mid-1950′s when Dr. Ancel Keys published a paper comparing saturated fat intake and heart disease mortality. Keys based his theory on a study of six countries, in which higher saturated fat intake equated to higher rates of heart disease. However, he conveniently ignored data from 16 other countries that did not fit his theory.

Had he chosen a different set of countries, the data would have shown that increasing the percent of calories from fat reduces the number of deaths from coronary heart disease. And, if all 22 countries for which data was available at the time of his study are included, you find that those who consume the highest percentage of saturated fat have the lowest risk of heart disease.

Unfortunately, the idea that saturated fat is bad for your heart has become so ingrained in the medical and health community that it’s very difficult to break through that misinformation barrier. Still, the fact of the matter is that the saturated fat-heart disease link was a hypothesis that did not stand up to further scrutiny. Gary Taubes discussed this lack of evidence in an interview I did with him last year.

Less Saturated Fat in Your Diet = Higher Risk of Heart Disease

Since the introduction of low-fat foods, heart disease rates have progressively climbed, even as studies kept debunking Keys research—repeatedly finding that saturated fats in fact support heart health. For example:

    • A meta-analysis published two years agoii, which pooled data from 21 studies and included nearly 348,000 adults, found no difference in the risks of heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat.
    • In a 1992 editorial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. William Castelli, a former director of the Framingham Heart study, statediii:

“In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. The opposite of what… Keys et al would predict…We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”

  • Another 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a reduction in saturated fat intake must be evaluated in the context of replacement by other macronutrients, such as carbohydratesiv. When you replace saturated fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, you exacerbate insulin resistance and obesity, increase triglycerides and small LDL particles, and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol. The authors state that dietary efforts to improve your cardiovascular disease risk should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intake, and weight reduction.

The Cholesterol Myth

Another example of tragically incorrect diet advice is the idea that dietary cholesterol is bad for your heart. Just as the saturated fat myth created an entire industry of harmful low-fat products, the cholesterol myth has given rise to a similar industry of highly processed fake foods posing as healthier alternatives. Take Egg Beaters for example. Introduced in 1972, Egg Beaters has been hailed as a healthy substitute for whole chicken eggs. It basically contains egg whites with added flavorings, vitamins and gum thickeners, providing you with no or low saturated fat and cholesterol, and fewer calories than regular eggs.

This is a tragedy, considering how nutritious whole eggs are—provided they’re from organically raised free-ranging hens. For example, egg yolks have one of the highest concentrations of biotin found in nature. So for 40 years, many Americans have deprived themselves of one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, while epidemiological studies repeatedly show that dietary cholesterol is not related to coronary heart disease incidence or mortality, so there’s no reason to fear eggs!

Your Body NEEDS Saturated Fat

But let’s get back to the issue of saturated fats versus trans fats found in Crisco and other vegetable oils. Foods containing saturated fats include:

  • Meat
  • Dairy products
  • Tropical oils like coconut and palm oil

These (saturated) fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet, and they provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances. When eaten as part of your meal, they increase satiety by slowing down absorption. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.

Saturated fats are the preferred fuel for your heart, and are also used as a source of fuel during energy expenditure. Furthermore, saturated fats:

Provide building blocks for cell membranes, hormones, and hormone-like substances Act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K Are required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, and for mineral absorption
Act as antiviral agents (caprylic acid) Help lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids) Modulate genetic regulation and help prevent cancer (butyric acid)

Trans Fat and Sugar are the True Culprits of Heart Disease

Now, some research still suggests there is an association between fat and heart disease. The problem is that most such studies make the crucial error of not differentiating between saturated fat and trans fat. Additionally, the other primary ingredient in processed food that plays a role in heart disease is sugar, specifically fructose. Most researchers have failed to control for these variables. If researchers were to more carefully evaluate the risks of heart disease by measuring the levels of fructose, trans fat, and saturated fat, they would likely validate what I’ve been teaching for decades.

Both fructose and trans fat are known to increase your LDL levels, or “bad” cholesterol, while lowering your levels of HDL, known as “good” cholesterol, which, of course is the complete opposite of what you need in order to maintain good heart health.

It can also cause major clogging of arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. It’s important to realize that it’s virtually impossible to achieve a nutritionally adequate diet that has no saturated fat. What you don’t need, however, are trans fats and fructose in excess of 15 grams per day. Since the average adolescent is now consuming in the neighborhood of 75 grams of fructose per day, one can begin to understand why we obesity and heart disease are at epidemic levels.

Healthy Fat Tips to Live By

Remember, you do need a certain amount of healthy fat, while at the same time you’ll want to avoid the unhealthy varieties. The easiest way to accomplish this is to simply eliminate processed foods, which are high in all things detrimental to your health: sugar, carbs, and dangerous types of fats. And don’t fall for labeling tricks designed to hide trans fat content.

In recent years many food manufacturers have removed trans fats from their products. However, the FDA allows food manufacturers to round to zero any ingredient that accounts for less than 0.5 grams per serving. So while a product may claim that it does not contain trans fats, it may actually contain up to 0.5 grams per serving. If you eat a few servings, you’re quickly ingesting a harmful amount of this deadly fat. So to truly avoid trans fats, you need to read the label and look for more than just 0 grams of trans fat. Check the ingredients and look for partially hydrogenated oil. If the product lists this ingredient, it contains trans fat.

After that, these tips can help ensure you’re eating the right fats for your health:

  • Use organic butter (preferably made from raw milk) instead of margarines and vegetable oil spreads. Butter is a healthy whole food that has received an unwarranted bad rap.
  • Use coconut oil for cooking. It is far superior to any other cooking oil and is loaded with health benefits. (Remember that olive oil should be used COLD, drizzled over salad or fish, for example, not to cook with.)
  • Following my nutrition plan will automatically reduce your modified fat intake, as it will teach you to focus on healthy whole foods instead of processed junk food.
  • To round out your healthy fat intake, be sure to eat raw fats, such as those from avocados, raw dairy products, and olive oil, and also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.

As for how much fat you might need, government guidelines are sorely in need of reconsideration. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends between 20-35 percent for adults, and 25-35 percent for children between the ages of four and 18. The US Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelinesv are even more ill-advised, recommending you to consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats.

As I and other nutritional experts have warned, most people actually need upwards of 50-70 percent healthful fats in their diet for optimal health! My personal diet is about 60-70 percent healthy fat, and both Paul Jaminet, PhD., author of Perfect Health Diet, and Dr. Ron Rosedale, M.D., an expert on treating diabetes through diet, agree that the ideal diet includes somewhere between 50-70 percent fat.

References:


 

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Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

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WebMD is the world’s most visited “health” website. They derive their advertising from the pharmaceutical industry, so they have a pro-Pharma slant, as one can expect. It is not typically the place you would go to find information regarding alternative treatments to FDA approved pharmaceutical drugs. If you are contemplating using prescription drugs, it is a great place to get information about the medical industry’s products. If however you are looking for information on products that are not approved as drugs by the FDA, their information will be highly biased.

Due to the increasing popularity of coconut oil and its healing properties, WebMD now has a listing for coconut oil. It is listed in their vitamin and supplement section, since it is not approved as a drug, and since they generally do not provide any health information about foods.

They give the standard pro-Pharma view of coconut oil, which is that, in their view, there are no approved claims for coconut oil. They also warn people that coconut oil could raise cholesterol levels and could be harmful, even while acknowledging that research actually shows the opposite, since coconut oil traditionally lowers LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol (a positive thing.) They also warn that if people eat too much coconut oil, since it is fat, that it could lead to weight gain.

Interestingly, WebMD allows users to comment on these entries, presumably in a format where patients can comment on their own experiences with the vast array of drugs listed on their website. Read what users said about the “miraculous” properties of coconut oil in relation to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, weight control, memory, mood swings, energy, dry skin, dental health, stopping seizures and more.

CDC Whistleblower: CDC Covered Up MMR Vaccine Link to Autism in African American Boys

CDC Whistleblower: CDC Covered Up MMR Vaccine Link to Autism in African American Boys

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A top research scientist working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) played a key role in helping Dr. Brian Hooker of the Focus Autism Foundation uncover data manipulation by the CDC that obscured a higher incidence of autism in African-American boys.

“We’ve missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They’re not doing what they should be doing because they’re afraid to look for things that might be associated.” The whistleblower alleges criminal wrongdoing of his supervisors, and he expressed deep regret about his role in helping the CDC hide data.

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

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Fitness junkies, take note: you need coconut oil. Coconut oil straight up, in your protein-rich meals, protein shakes, snacks, pre-workout, post-workout fuel – whatever you choose. Coconut oil can be adapted into your style of eating and seriously enhance the results of the style of fitness you’re into, be it body building, toning, endurance, or general weight and muscle management.

So why add coconut oil into your fitness routine? Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), a high-energy fuel that the body uses to prevent muscle loss, but take off body fat. Coconut oil has a lot of these MCTs. Eat it.

Gardasil Vaccine: One More Girl Dead

Gardasil Vaccine: One More Girl Dead

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The sudden death of a 12-year-old girl in Waukesha, Wisconsin, just hours after receiving the HPV Gardasil vaccine has shocked the girl’s family, and sent local media out asking questions as to how this could happen.

Dr. Geoffrey Swain of the local health department was interviewed to give the standard CDC reply, which is similar to almost every other vaccine, stating that severe reaction like this resulting in death are “very rare,” and about “1 out of a million”.

Assuming that there is some data to back up the claim of only “1 out of a million,” how many doses of the HPV vaccine are administered every year? According to the latest statistics (July 2014) published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 9 million per year. So the government admits that at least 9 girls per year are killed by the HPV vaccine. How many parents know this prior to taking a doctor’s advice to administer this vaccine that is supposedly a protection against cervical cancer caused by the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease?

These local news media, possibly covering the HPV vaccine for the first time, were all quick to interview and provide links to the official CDC view of the vaccine. But here are some other facts regarding the vaccine that they failed to disclose, probably because they did not take the time to look outside of the standard government response to events like this, or their station managers did not allow them to give any other news outside of what the CDC claims.

FDA Reverses Its Position on Daily Aspirin

FDA Reverses Its Position on Daily Aspirin

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If you are one of the 40 million Americans who take an aspirin every day, you may want to heed the latest warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

After many decades of promoting aspirin, the FDA now says that if you have not experienced a heart problem, you should not be taking a daily aspirin—even if you have a family history of heart disease. This represents a significant departure from FDA’s prior position on aspirin for the prevention of heart attacks.

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