Don’t believe the American Heart Assn

Don’t believe the American Heart Assn. — butter, steak and coconut oil aren’t likely to kill you

Last month, the American Heart Assn. once again went after butter, steak and especially coconut oil with this familiar warning: The saturated fats in these foods cause heart disease. The organization’s “presidential advisory” was a fresh look at the science and came in response to a growing number of researchers, including myself, who have pored over this same data in recent years and beg to differ. A rigorous review of the evidence shows that when it comes to heart attacks or mortality, saturated fats are not guilty.

To me, the AHA advisory released in June was mystifying. How could its scientists examine the same studies as I had, yet double down on an anti-saturated fat position? With a cardiologist, I went through the nuts and bolts of the AHA paper, and came to this conclusion: It was likely driven less by sound science than by longstanding bias, commercial interests and the AHA’s need to reaffirm nearly 70 years of its “heart healthy” advice.

and this…

That the AHA should be so resistant to updating its view of saturated fats, despite so much legitimate science, could simply reflect the association’s unwavering devotion to a belief it has promoted for decades. Or it could be due to its significant, longstanding reliance on funding from interested industries, such as the vegetable-oil manufacturer Procter & Gamble, maker of Crisco, which virtually launched the AHA as a nation-wide powerhouse in 1948 by designating the then-needy group to receive all the funds from a radio contest it sponsored (about $17 million). More recently, Bayer, the owner of LibertyLink soybeans, pledged up to $500,000 to the AHA, perhaps encouraged by the group’s continued support of soybean oil, by far the dominant ingredient in the “vegetable oil” consumed in America today.

Read the article: Don’t believe the American Heart Assn. — butter, steak and coconut oil aren’t likely to kill you – LA Times

Is there a link between sugar and cancer?

The answer, based on the most recent research, seems to be … yes, but more research is needed.  This article on the Mother Nature Network (www.mnn.com) covers the issue pretty well, simplifying a very complex subject and turning it into something we can all digest.

Dr. Stacy Kennedy of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute addresses the subject with similar uncertainty.

“One of the most common questions we hear from our patients is, ‘does sugar feed cancer?’ As with most nutrition research, the answer to this seemingly simple question is actually quite complex,” she writes.

“Overall, most of the research in sugar and cancer uses data from preliminary studies with animal and test tube data to draw conclusions. Recent research has looked at the details of an individual’s diet and sugar intake and how it may affect cancer risk or survivorship outcomes, but there have not been any randomized, controlled trials showing that sugar causes cancer.”

But new research may have cracked the link.

Read the article …

Fructose Powers a Vicious Cycle

Researchers have found a hitherto unknown molecular mechanism that is driven by fructose and can lead to cardiac enlargement and heart failure.

High consumption of fructose can lead to uncontrolled growth of cardiomyocytes and heart attack.

In recent decades fructose spread throughout the food market, due to a reputation as being less harmful than glucose. In contrast to glucose, fructose barely increases blood glucose levels and insulin secretion. This avoids frequently recurring insulin spikes after any glucose consumption, which are judged harmful. In addition, fructose is sweeter to the taste.

But there’s a downside: the liver converts fructose very efficiently into fat. People who consume too much high-fructose food can in time become overweight and develop high blood pressure, dyslipidaemia with fatty liver and insulin resistance — symptoms that doctors group together under the name metabolic syndrome

Continue reading …

Is Fat Killing You, or Is Sugar? | The New Yorker

Unless you’re a scientist, often the scientific research is so full of jargon that it’s hard to understand, let alone know what’s real and true.

Is Fat Killing You, or Is Sugar?

It’s one of many cautionary tales about assessing dietary data. Everyone wants to be healthy, and most of us like eating, so we’re easily swayed by any new finding, no matter how dubious. Publishers know this all too well and continually ply us with diet and health books of varying degrees of respectability and uplift. The most prominent on the current menu are Sylvia Tara’s “The Secret Life of Fat” (Norton) and “The Case Against Sugar,” by Gary Taubes (Knopf). Both present a range of cutting-edge dietary research, both say that fat is unfairly maligned, and both inadvertently end up revealing that the science behind their claims is complex and its findings hard to translate into usable advice.
 

Continue reading: Is Fat Killing You, or Is Sugar? | The New Yorker

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