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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Fat is good?
Created on: 03/19/14 04:39 PM Views: 464 Replies: 3
Fat is good?
Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 4:39 PM

How should we be interpreting the 3/17 NYT article below:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/study-questions-fat-and-heart-disease-link/?_php=true&_type=blogs&emc=edit_tnt_20140317&nlid=14582779&tntemail0=y&_r=0

RE: Fat is good?
Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 6:11 PM

There are a few issues with this research that are important to note. First, the researchers looked at studies which adjusted for blood pressure, diabetes status, and other factors that go along with saturated fat intake, and when you do that, it can obscure the effect of “bad” fats on heart disease.

Imagine if researchers were doing a study to see if overeating causes weight gain. Obviously, they would find that it does. But if they adjusted the results for the participants’ calorie intake, pants size, and waist circumference, the effect on weight would be obscured.

Secondly, many studies have shown and continue to show a significant increased risk for heart disease with saturated fat intake, including sudden cardiac death.

Maybe less confusing is the value of focusing on foods, not individual nutrients. We know without a doubt that meat and dairy products are associated with higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, while plant-based diets are protective. I think getting tripped up on nutrients (bad or good), can sometimes mean not seeing the forest through the trees.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

Edited 03/20/14 9:08 AM
RE: Fat is good?
Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Susan Levin wrote:

I think getting tripped up on nutrients (bad or good), can sometimes mean not seeing the forest through the trees.

Which is why we get pills and supplements for all sorts of things when 'studies show' that this component of this thing is 'good for us'. So, we figure if we isolate that and take a pill, great. It totally misses on the possibility that there's a synergistic effect with other parts of that whole food. Sodium, for example, is necessary for many vital functions. BUT, on its own, it can be a problem. It needs to be balanced with potassium, water, and other such things. Most foods that naturally contain measurable amounts of sodium ALSO contain the balance (potassium, water, etc.) Which is why focusing on whole foods rather than individual bits and pieces makes for an easier and more well rounded way of eating

-_DebR

RE: Fat is good?
Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 10:56 AM

An article explaining the original PREDIMED trial (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea) study says "The mainstays of the diet consisted of at least three servings a day of fruits and at least two servings of vegetables..." Another expert might conclude that eating fruits and vegetables contributed most of the benefits enjoyed by people eating the study diet. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/health/mediterranean-diet-can-cut-heart-disease-study-finds.html?pagewanted=1

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