WHAT'S IN THIS ISSUE
DEMON Fat part i
Last week I discussed how the human body actually has two fuel systems, one that uses carbohydrates and the other that uses fats. I mentioned in passing that fat was the "forgotten fuel source." That's because ever since the 60's fat has been increasingly demonized. This had lead fat-free and low-fat versions of all sorts of products and the majority of the population dutifully trimming the fat from our steaks and other animal products before eating them.
Yet our parents or grandparents relished the fat they ate and we have entire populations of people who live off of fat (the Inuit in Canada) and have (or had, their diet has become Westernized now) some of the lowest incidences of diseases of civilization on the planet.
How did fat go from one of the most prized parts of an animal by hunter-gatherers to Public Enemy #1?
Here's the short version: when the occurance of heart disease began to increase, saturated fat was incorrectly fingered as the culprit. Multiple events began to convince people that fat was bad and gradually we decreased fat consumption and increased carbohydrate consumption. Helping things along, many people used their intuition that told them that "fat made you fat," as well.
Ancel Keys' Hypothesis
A big propoponent of the hypothesis that fat was the cause of heart disease was Ancel Keys. He noticed that well-fed American businessmen were dying in large numbers of heart disease while in post-war Europe heart disease rates had plummeted in the wake of decreased food supplies.
One difference was the amount of animal products each group was eating so he postulated that the fat in animals and animal products like lard, eggs, butter and beef increased heart disease.
This led to him gathering data from 6 countries. Here is the data:
Pretty damning, isn't it? After all the more calories of fat the men ate, the more they died of heart disease.
There are some problems with Key's study, however, that many people noticed at the time. For instance:
- Why did he choose those six countries and not another six? How do we know that different countries wouldn't show something else?
- What else was common to those populations in addition to fat consumption that could explain the correlation?
Key's actually had access to 22 countries' data and now that he is no longer around we'll never know why he chose those six. However, someone else plotted the data from those 22 countries. Here it is:
In this graph the correlation between fat and death by heart disease isn't nearly as pronounced — but it's still there and it's still statistically significant. Ok, so the hypothesis that fat causes heart disease is still worth looking into.
And that's what we'll do next week in part II. :-)
If you just can't wait until next week, see this excellent post by Denise Minger (to whom I am indebted for the graphs).
The lingering legacy of the shadow inventory — homeownership rate will bottom in 2014 | Doctor Housing Bubble, May 18, 2012
Goldman Sachs predicts homeownership bottom. Unfortunately, like many other people who don't incorporate declining oil supplies in their thinking, they are incorrect. As oil declines, so too will employment and more mortgages will default.
Oil report from the "Diplomatic Council on Energy Security" | Aleklett's Energy Mix, May 20, 2012
How the fracking mess is about to make the mortgage mess worse | Resource Insights, May 20, 2012
Stunning photos drive home the destructiveness of tar sands | Grist, May 22, 2012
Truly stunning photos.
OPEC Has Lost the Power to Lower the Price of Oil | Chris Martenson, May 22, 2012
The Number of Those Working Past 65 Is at a Record High | New York Times, May 18, 2012
Financial Implosion: Global Derivatives Market at $1,200 Trillion Dollars ... 20 Times the World | Global Research, May 20, 2012
Jim Cramer Is Predicting Bank Runs In Spain And Italy And Financial Anarchy Throughout Europe | The Economic Collapse, May 20, 2012
Recovery or Economic Collapse? Bet on Collapse | Global Research, May 21, 2012
China Can Now Monetize US Debt Directly | Zero Hedge, May 21, 2012
In the Name of Austerity, Stimulus and Growth, Amen! | Club Orlov, May 22, 2012
Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants | Survival Blog, May 16, 2012
Water Storage: An Example of Resiliency Building | Chris Martenson, May 17, 2012
Choosing Your Water Sources | Preparedness Advice Blog, May 21, 2012
10 Tips to Breeze Through the Heat (and Why Fans Don't Always Work) | The Survival Doctor, May 22, 2012
Suet and Tallow | Preparedness Advice Blog, May 22, 2012
Australasia Has Hottest 60 Years in a Millennium, Scientists Find | Climate Desk, May 18, 2012
Watersheds — Where will the water be? | Environmental News Network, May 22, 2012
Tropic Atmospheric Circulation | Environmental News Network, May 28, 2012
How Bad is Peanut Butter, Really? | Mark's Daily Apple, May 17, 2012
The Paleo Diet, Sustainability And Economic Growth | Robb Wolf, May 17, 2012
Is the Paleo Diet sustainable? My answer: we are so into overshoot that nothing we do is sustainable. I'll tackle this topic in the future.
Paleo For Autoimmune Illness | Robb Wolf, May 18, 2012
Lithium and Bipolar Disease | The Paleo Diet, May 21, 2012
Top 8 Most Common Reactions to Your Grain-Free Diet (and How to Respond) | Mark's Daily Apple, May 22, 2012
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