US and UK dietary advice on fats “should not have been introduced”

Introduction

Dietary guidelines were introduced in the US in 1977 (ref 1) and in the UK in 1983 (ref 2). The dietary recommendations in both cases were to reduce dietary fat intake; specifically to i) reduce overall fat consumption to 30% of total energy intake and ii) reduce saturated fat consumption to 10% of total energy intake.

The recommendations were made in the belief that dietary fat generally, and saturated fat particularly, caused coronary heart disease (CHD).

The evidence available to dietary committees at that time comprised epidemiological studies and randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The most comprehensive population study undertaken was the Seven Countries Study by Keys et al (ref 3). This reported that CHD “tended to be related” to serum cholesterol values and that these in turn “tended to be related” to the proportion of calories provided by saturated fats in the diet (ref 4). Keys acknowledged that epidemiological studies could reveal relationships, not causation (ref 3). RCTs provide the best evidence (ref 5).

Although a number of reviews of RCTs have been undertaken (refs 6-8), no review has examined the RCT evidence available at the time dietary fat guidelines were introduced. Furthermore, these guidelines have not been changed since they were announced; making the validity of their evidence base as relevant as at the time of introduction.

In our paper, we undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to find the RCTs available to the committees and to review the findings.

The dietary trials

There were only five trials undertaken to test dietary fat interventions before the US recommendations were introduced in 1977 (ref 9-13). A further study was available to the UK committee, but was published after the US guidelines were introduced (ref 14).

None of these trials studied women. Only one of these trials included healthy subjects (ref 12). The other five were secondary studies, which means they only included men who had already had myocardial infarction. The death rate across all the studies was 30%, reflecting the fact that one of the single biggest causes of death is already having had a heart attack.

Table 1 in the paper summarises the dietary interventions that were tested. Rose et al gave one intervention group 64g of corn oil daily and another intervention group 58g of olive oil (both groups had targets of 80g of oil daily, but the participants found the oil ‘unpalatable’) and compared these to a control group of men receiving no oil. During the two year study, five men died in the corn oil group; three men died in the olive oil group and one in the control group.

The Research Committee low-fat diet compared 123 men randomly allocated to a low-fat diet (no more than 40g of fat daily) and 129 men randomly allocated to continue their normal diet. There were non-significant differences in deaths between the groups.

For just over 3 years, the MRC soya-bean oil study followed 194 control patients who continued their normal diet. The 199 men, randomly allocated to the experimental group, were required “as far as possible” to remove saturated fats from the diet and were instructed to consume 85g of soya-bean oil daily. The intervention group was allowed up to 85g of lean meat daily, any fish, skimmed milk, and clear soups. They were not allowed to consume butter, other margarines, cooking-fat, other oils, meat fat, whole milk, cheese, egg yolk, and most biscuits and cakes. This was not a single dietary intervention, therefore. There were slightly more deaths from any cause in the control group and slightly fewer deaths from CHD in the control group. Neither result was statistically significant.

The Dayton/LA Veterans study was undertaken in a veteran’s home and thus meals were served in a controlled environment. The intervention group was to have no more than 40% of their intake in the form of fat and two thirds of their fat from vegetable oils. There were non-significant differences in deaths between the groups.

The Leren/Oslo study also allocated the intervention group no more than 40% of their intake in the form of fat. This time, 72% of the fat was to come from soya-bean oil. There was nothing of significance in all-cause mortality. The deaths from CHD were lower in the intervention group (significant to a p value of 0.1 but not 0.05).

The Sydney diet heart study was the first to test either of the actual dietary recommendations introduced. It tested 10% saturated fat (and 15% polyunsaturated fat) in the intervention group vs. 14% saturated fat and 9% polyunsaturated fat in the control group. There were significantly more deaths in the intervention group from both all-causes and from CHD.

The key conclusions of our review

*      2,467 males participated in 6 dietary trials: 5 secondary prevention studies and 1 including healthy subjects.

*      No randomised controlled trial had tested government dietary fat recommendations before their introduction. (Woodhill tested the 10% saturated fat recommendation after the US guidelines were introduced. The death rate from all-causes was 18% in the intervention group vs. 12% in the control group).

*      There were 370 deaths from any cause in both the intervention and control groups. The risk ratio (RR) from meta-analysis was 0.996 (95% CI 0.865 to 1.147).

*      There were 207 and 216 deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD) in the intervention and control groups respectively. The risk ratio was 0.989 (95% CI 0.784 to 1.247).

*      There were no differences in all-cause mortality and non-significant differences in CHD mortality, resulting from the dietary interventions.

*      Mean serum cholesterol levels decreased in both control and intervention groups. The reductions in mean serum cholesterol levels were significantly higher in the intervention groups. This did not result in significant differences in CHD or all-cause mortality.

*      Recommendations were made for 276 million people following secondary studies of 2,467 males, no study of women and no study of only healthy people.

*      RCT evidence did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines.

The studies’ own conclusions

These are the verbatim conclusions from each of the studies:

1965 Rose Corn & olive oil: “It is concluded that under the circumstances of this trial corn oil cannot be recommended as a treatment of ischaemic heart disease. It is most unlikely to be beneficial, and it is possibly harmful.” (ref 9)

1965 Research Committee Low-fat diet: “A low-fat diet has no place in the treatment of myocardial infarction” (ref 10) [heart attack].

1968 MRC soya-bean oil: “There is no evidence from the London trial that the relapse-rate in myocardial infarction is materially affected by the unsaturated fat content of the diet used.” (ref 11)

1969 Dayton LA Veterans study: “Total longevity was not affected favorably in any measurable or significant degree… For this reason, and because of the unresolved question concerning toxicity, we consider our own trial, with or without the support of other published data, to have fallen short of providing a definitive and final answer concerning dietary prevention of heart disease.” (ref 12)

1970 Leren Oslo Diet Heart study: “Epidemiological studies have demonstrated several factors associated with the risk of developing first manifestations of coronary heart disease. Blood lipids, blood pressure and cigarette smoking are such risk variables… In spite of the small numbers this observation lends some support to the view that the multi-factorial approach is the best way to the solution of the coronary heart disease problem.”(ref 13)

1978 Woodhill Sydney Diet Heart Study: “Survival was significantly better in the P [control] Group.” “It must be concluded that the lipid hypothesis has gained little support from secondary intervention studies.” (ref 14)

Only one study, the Leren Oslo study, suggested that there was “some support” for considering diet as part of many other factors. No other study suggested that any evidence had been found for “the diet-heart hypothesis” and many voiced extreme concern about repeating their dietary interventions. There are few stronger cautions than: “a low-fat diet has no place in the treatment of myocardial infarction.”

As our paper says: “The present review concludes that dietary advice not merely needs review; it should not have been introduced.”

References

  1. Carter J.P. Eating in America; Dietary Goals for the United States; Report of the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs US Senate. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press 1977.
  2. National Advisory Committee on Nutritional Education (NACNE). A discussion paper on proposals for nutritional guidelines for health education in Britain. 1983.
  3. Keys A. Coronary heart disease in seven countries I. The study program and objectives. Circulation 1970; 41(I-1-I-8).
  4. Keys A. Coronary heart disease in seven countries Summary. Circulation 1970; 41(I-186-I-195).
  5. Barton S. Which clinical studies provide the best evidence? The best RCT still trumps the best observational study. BMJ 2000; 321(7256): 255-6.
  6. Truswell AS. Review of dietary intervention studies: effect on coronary events and on total mortality. Aust N Z J Med 1994; 24(1): 98-106.
  7. Hooper L, Summerbell CD, Higgins JPT, et al. Dietary fat intake and prevention of cardiovascular disease: systematic review. BMJ 2001; 322(7289): 757-63.
  8. Mozaffarian D, Micha R, Wallace S. Effects on coronary heart disease of increasing polyunsaturated fat in place of saturated fat: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS Med 2010; 7: e1000252.
  9. Rose GA, Thomson WB, Williams RT. Corn Oil in Treatment of Ischaemic Heart Disease. BMJ 1965; 1(5449): 1531-3.
  10. Research Committee. Low-fat diet in myocardial infarction: A controlled trial. The Lancet 1965; 2(7411): 501-4.
  11. Medical Research Council. Controlled trial of soya-bean oil in myocardial infarction: Report of a research committee to the Medical Research Council. The Lancet 1968; 292(7570): 693-700.
  12. Dayton S, Pearce ML, Hashomoto S, Dixon WJ, Tomiyasu U. A Controlled Clinical Trial of a Diet High in Unsaturated Fat in Preventing Complications of Atherosclerosis. Circulation 1969; 40(1S2): II-1-II-63.
  13. Leren P. The Oslo Diet-Heart Study. Circulation 1970; 42: 935-42.
  14. Woodhill JM, Palmer AJ, Leelarthaepin B, McGilchrist C, Blacket RB. Low fat, low cholesterol diet in secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Advances in experimental medicine and biology 1978; 109: 317-30.

 

44 thoughts on “US and UK dietary advice on fats “should not have been introduced”

  • avatar
    August 14, 2015 at 6:38 pm
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    Zoe,

    When are organisations such as the British Heart Foundation and NHS, which still spout the low-fat is best drivel going to concede that they were wrong all along and that saturated fat does NOT cause heart disease?

    It’s so obvious that the low-fat advice caused the obesity epidemic, which took hold the same year the low-fat advice was given.

    Reply
  • avatar
    July 23, 2015 at 6:17 am
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    My dad wants to lose weight and today he told me he is going to do so by “greatly reducing saturated fat”, which, from my studies contradicts what I’ve learned. I just don’t want him to do more harm to his body.

    BTW, he also drinks fruit smoothies (I don’t think he uses ice cream, but he does use beans which are carbohydrates).

    If you can, provide me with some links about the carb/fat/calorie/protein ration for losing weight please.

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    • avatar
      July 23, 2015 at 7:24 am
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      Hi there – this was called the optimal diet (LCHF) and it’s one of the few to give macro nutrient ratios http://www.homodiet.co.za/
      It’s a bit extreme in my view to start someone on who’s fat phobic at the moment.

      This is my book for men – real food/stop grazing and managed carb intake http://www.amazon.com/The-Harcombe-Diet-For-Men-ebook/dp/B005GLF4H2
      Try the audible for free?! Or hopefully it’s worth a few bucks :-)

      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
      • avatar
        July 23, 2015 at 10:52 pm
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        I know he would much rather read the book.

        He told me today that he is going to eat much less red meat and pork (like once every week or so!) and eat more fish instead, which I’ve heard doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of good healthy saturated fats. Would this be a good, or even a safe move?

        To be honest, I’m a bit angry about this (but before this diet it virtually impossible for me to get over these things). I hate having to give my family good advice, for them to agree and praise me for my knowledge then go right back to what they were doing before. It pains me to have the urge to say something, to say it and have my efforts rejected. I do figure it’s better than not saying anything but it still leaves me feeling empty either way. One of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of scenarios.

        Now, I rarely ever eat fruit or use fruit juices (due to the sugars) and some vegetables (I really prefer them pickled or fermented) but I eat a lot more meat than anyone in my family. I eat mostly pork and chicken (with skin) and I’m the healthiest, happiest and most energetic of my family. I also have high LDL cholesterol, or “high” from the redefined guidelines…STILL healthier than a horse.

        I’m at least glad I know better. I can at least be the one to take care of their own health! More power to me. Now off to have some nice, fatty, juicy bacon and eggs!!

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      • avatar
        July 25, 2015 at 2:37 am
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        Good news! I got him on the diet! Yay!!!

        We went over his smoothie mix. V8 Splash: 24G carbohydrate. 1 tablespoon honey: 16…that’s already 40 grams of carbs, plus the fruit he adds. But now he’s going on this diet so that’s really good.

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        • avatar
          July 25, 2015 at 8:24 am
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          Yay indeed!!

          Reply
  • avatar
    June 28, 2015 at 1:26 am
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    Also fat combined with complete protein builds the dopamine, serotonin and endorphin receptors! When I eat a high carb breakfast, I find that I get tons of excitement, but my reward level greatly depletes and i find less and less enjoyment in every day life and get obsessive about things that upset me, thus I have to go into a “reward distraction” (basically either distracting myself from the obsession or making myself engage in the obsession with a reward after I’m done) which is only short term in negating the effects and in fact, takes away from the reward itself.

    I used to think of it as a coping mechanism, but now I refer to this as “resorting” not “coping”.

    If I eat high complete protein, high fat, high calorie foods for breakfast, my reward levels go way up and I don’t get “addicted” to comforting or soothing behaviors. I no longer need to resort to these things, even positive thoughts to keep myself happy. It’s just already there.

    This is also why it’s important to get the fats, calories and proteins, more over complete proteins.

    Reply
  • avatar
    February 14, 2015 at 5:25 pm
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    The so called 7 counties study by Ancel Keys which most doctors base their beliefs about cholesterol on, is a fraud. It really was a 22 nation study, but only 7 counties where selected to get the results he wanted. See this rather interesting article; http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/12/22/the-truth-about-ancel-keys-weve-all-got-it-wrong/

    Also see Dr Sinatra book The Great Cholesterol Myth, Pages 33 to 35 for more information about the 7 Country study.

    I ditched my statins because of the health problems they caused and take 20ml. of Sesame Seed Oil each day and now my cholesterol is down in the healthy range.

    Reply
    • avatar
      February 15, 2015 at 8:31 am
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      Hi Martin – many thanks for this – I’m very familiar with all this – it’s the core of my PhD. The 6 and 7 countries get mixed up by the way. The 6 countries were presented by Keys in a graph in a paper in 1953 (Denise covers this well). Yerushalmy and Hilleboe (1957) – bit late! – presented a rebuttal to say that data was available for 22 countries – not just 6. By the time, the 7 countries study – an actual study, not just a presentation of data – was underway. It started in 1956.
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    February 13, 2015 at 11:08 am
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    Have you seen (of course you have!) the NHS rebuttal. I truly had high hopes that they would concede at least something – but no. In fact they felt it necessary to point out that you have your own diet plan to “sell”. Effectively nullifying, in their eyes, your ability to make a coherent and well researched study.

    The only thing I can say for the Eat Well Plate is that sugary foods are at the bottom – at least that message is getting through.

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    • avatar
      March 8, 2015 at 12:39 pm
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      I disagree, I think that eating a low fat diet is actually THE BEST way to maintain a good living. Studies have shown that 96.5% of men under the age of 57 have lost copious amounts of weight using the low fat diet regime. If you think that a low carbohydrate diet is the way to go, you’re completely wrong. For example, in a recent survey, it was shown that only 3.68% of women over the age of 12 lost any weight eating no sugar for a year. If this isn’t proof enough, you’re just a skeptic and should get your facts checked. Your cult of low carb living cannot continue to thrive, and someone should put an end to it immediately.

      Reply
      • avatar
        July 18, 2015 at 12:11 am
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        Someone apparently has not heard of “live and let live” or is doing a limited amount of research.

        Reply
    • avatar
      February 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm
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      Many thanks Tom – Dr Malcolm Kendrick spotted it and shared it – hopefully he’ll blog on it soon!
      Incredible in one way and yet sadly not…
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    February 12, 2015 at 8:03 pm
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    I was so pleased to see (albeit belatedly) the headline in the Daily Mail. I have been an avid reader of all your posts and you have inspired me to find out as much as I can about eating real healthy food. I can’t thank you enough, Zoe. An eternal optimist, I believe that this drip feed back-tracking by the “experts”, first on sugar and now on fats is going to continue. Of course all the vested interests and people who got it wrong will find it hard to admit their mistakes but, thanks to the internet and access to all opinion and info, not that just officially approved, people are more able to make an informed decision. I for one trust very few in the medical world and, sadly, the mouthpiece charities, who it appears are, at best, ill-informed (although I think that’s a bit too fair on them! )
    Keep up the good work, Zoe, and we will keep spreading the word!
    Thank you.

    Reply
  • avatar
    February 12, 2015 at 1:39 pm
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    Have you seen this story today? Says that members of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) have received £1.3m in funding from the likes of Pepsi, Nestle and Mars. No wonder we’re struggling to get good food advice if that lot are funding government guidelines!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31412551

    Reply
  • avatar
    February 11, 2015 at 2:16 pm
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    I cheered when this item came up on Good Morning Britain, Zoe! Then I just waited for the inevitable wheeling out of Dr Hilary for his expert opinion, and I wasn’t disappointed. He babbled away for a minute or so, and then totally ruined anything good he might have said by saying that “you must restrict your calorie intake, so you still shouldn’t eat too much fat” or words to that effect. Ah well, maybe another day!

    Reply
  • avatar
    February 11, 2015 at 11:01 am
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    Hi
    I have no particular interest in whether a low saturated fat or low carb/sugar diet is the most healthy i.e. I have no axe to grind. Nor have I read the evidence exhaustively, but I from a quick reading of the Open Heart paper, some of the coverage and comments, I have the following points/questions to raise:

    1. Usually I would say that RCTs are the best evidence of causality, but there are exceptions, and dietary interventions may be a case in point. That is because people often adhere to diets so poorly (as is hinted at in your summary of the Rose study). So if the studies that you reviewed and meta-analysed found no impact of the low fat diet on CHD or all cause mortality, there are quite a few possible interpretations. At one end of the scale would be the conclusion that since there was high adherence to an appropriate low fat diet by study participants, and the studies were highly rigorous and adequately powered, and had sufficient time period of follow up for impacts to become apparent, then there is no evidence that low fat diets reduce mortality from these studies. However, it is also possible that low fat diets do have positive effects on mortality that were missed. For example, it may be that there were biases in the study designs, inadequate time for follow up etc, and, very likely in my experience of dietary intervention studies, there was very poor adherence to the diet. In the latter scenario, it may be that a low fat diet that was adhered to could be effective, but we don’t know that on the basis of the evidence in the RCTs because the diets in the study were poorly adhered to so the intervention group did not actually receive a lowered fat intake.

    2. So moving on from point 1, in this case it may be best to look at the observational studies (cohort and case control studies) where actual diet was measured and association with outcomes assessed. The Keys study you refer to above were ecological studies which are generally seen as hypothesis generating with regards to investigating whether exposures (such as dietary fat level) are associated with outcomes (e.g. heart attack) at the individual level. Cohort studies and case control studies, if well conducted can investigate for evidence of causal links between exposures and outcomes. Indeed for many potential harmful exposures there is no evidence from RCTs because it would be unethical e.g. the epidemiological evidence for smoking causing lung cancer, asbestos causing mesothelioma etc come from such studies, not from RCTs as to expose people to likely health risks would be wholly unethical. Of course such studies are not randomised trials and so have some limitations e.g. they may be subject to confounding, but that can be addressed to a large degree through rigorous design or analysis.

    3. So what evidence were these guidelines actually based on? If it was largely on evidence from large well-conducted observational studies, then the guidance may have been quite reasonable (assuming those studies demonstrated a strong link between high dietary saturated fat exposure and CHD mortality/events) even though the RCTs at the time were unconvincing. It would therefore be interesting to know on what evidence the guidelines were based before saying that they were unjustified based on the RCT evidence at the time.

    4. Finally, a ‘so what’ point. Let’s assume for a moment that the guidelines were misguided (excuse the pun) and not well grounded in strong supporting evidence from RCTs or observational studies. I agree that would be of some interest. But surely what is of much more interest is what the current evidence base shows? How many RCTs are there now? Have these been conducted in women as well as men, in the well in addition to those with existing CHD? Are there now trials in which there was good adherence so that dietary fat intake really was reduced among people in the intervention group? What is the current observational study evidence base?

    In other words based on all the evidence we have now is this guidance still appropriate or not? That, it seems to me is the much more important question. If it is not, then sure it should be changed, but if the evidence does suggest that limiting saturated fat in the diet will reduce CHD/total mortality, then it should be retained regardless of its dubious evidential origin 30 years or so ago.

    Reply
  • avatar
    February 11, 2015 at 7:46 am
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    Thanks for that Zoe, and bravo! – all those of us who refuse to believe the unproven nonsense about the ‘dangers’ of saturated fat, we salute you.
    Unfortunately too many careers, reputations, food and pharma empires are built on this nonsense, which of course goes hand in hand with the utter fiction about high cholesterol (caused by that saturated fat) being a major risk factor for heart disease for the entire population.
    As Dr Malcolm Kendrick so succinctly puts it – cathedrals built on bogs!!!
    Good luck.

    Reply
  • avatar
    February 11, 2015 at 12:02 am
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    Zoe, this is so great that you have done this! Even if the official guidelines don’t change- (unfortunately I’m too cynical to believe that they will)- just the fact that people like you are chipping away at them gives me hope! And I’m sure you’ve influenced far more “regular people” than you even know. Which is definitely a good thing!

    I’m also pleased to see that you’ve mentioned that none of these trials were done on women. If there’s only scant evidence that LDL cholesterol may be a problem for men, there’s even less evidence- (read: no evidence!) that high cholesterol is a problem for women. Speaking as a woman, I can surely say that the low fat way of eating that I did for years was absolutely detrimental to my health.

    Reply
    • avatar
      February 18, 2015 at 9:33 pm
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      I agree, speaking as a woman, after following my doctors advice for the last 25 years and eating a low fat diet (ie one high in hidden sugars) all I have to show for it is type 2 diabetes. I wish the NHS and NICE (a total contradiction in terms) would apologise to us all. But that would admit liability and open up a whole can of worms!

      Reply
  • avatar
    February 10, 2015 at 8:54 pm
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    Well done Zöe!!! You have to wonder what Universe Prof. Christine Williams is living in.
    This quote, “The claim that guidelines on dietary fat introduced in the 1970s and 80s were not based on good scientific evidence is misguided and potentially dangerous’ is either disingenuous or ignorant; the latter being less likely. I am constantly appalled at the responses by these ‘experts.’

    Reply
  • avatar
    February 10, 2015 at 8:50 pm
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    Public Health England trotted out Dr. Ann Hoskins to repeat the lie that “saturated fats leads to increased levels of cholesterol and, we know, increased levels of cholesterol leads to coronary heart disease”.

    In her defence she said she wasn’t around at the time of the studies, and appears to have been living in a bubble of ignorance about diet ever since. Shame she missed out on that short running Framingham Study though.

    Maybe someone could point her in the direction of your blog or maybe Dr Kendrick’s or maybe – one of my favourite – “Fathead The Movie”. This last hammers it home a bit, but maybe that is what is needed in this case.

    Reply
    • avatar
      February 11, 2015 at 11:44 am
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      Many studies have shown that a high fat diet in fact helps increase HDL, lowers triglycerides and minimizes VLDL particles (the “dangerous???” part of LDL). The “fluffy” LDL is vital for the immune system, particularly with regard viral and bacterial infections.

      Public Health England and the DoH are far from knowledgeable! I asked them for information re incidence of iaotrogenic deaths in England/UK. Neither could provide any information on this or indeed the death rates from prescription drugs, prescribed and used correctly. The AMA in the US has admitted that the latter caused 106,000 deaths per annum. As the basic use of prescription drugs in both the UK and US are similar, I would expect between 15,000 to 20,000 deaths in the UK from this cause – but no information or hidden data

      Reply
  • avatar
    February 10, 2015 at 6:39 pm
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    Dear Zoe
    Unfortunately I wasn’t watching News 24 and had to endure the fiasco of Turnbull and Minchin making inane comments about toast and butter. Dr Rosemary of course towed the ‘party line’ and even managed to equate eating saturated fat to ‘blocking pipes’ at one point (shesh and she’s a professional). Later in the day I heard an interview between BBC Radio Norwich and a rep from the BHF, the local radio guy actually questioned the BHF position quite hard and guess what, ‘ we are not going to change our current advice’ or words to that effect. Of course not, your major sponsors would be mightily p****d off. Having been a low carb eater for 20 years and being here to tell the tale I continue to be astounded at the ignorance of the medical ‘profession’, ‘experts’ and NHS trained dieticians (my sister in law is one- we’ve stopped talking about food now). Lets hope that people will find out whats best for themselves especially those who are the victims (T2 diabetics etc) of this awful mess.

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    • avatar
      February 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm
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      When I was first diagnosed as diabetic (direct consequence of following UK advice) I went to see thee local NHS dietician. Having worked in an agricultural research institute for decades I was well aware of basic nutritional research. I asked some questions on methodology but the dietician did not even know what I was talking about. I never went back; it was clear that the advice was wrong. Went back to a proper diet but the damage was done.

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    • avatar
      February 11, 2015 at 1:43 pm
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      Thanks for the link. Some if not most comments by these “X-spurts” are simply nonsense
      The following recent book destroys most of the so-called arguments (Teicholz, Nina (2014-06-25). The Big Fat Surprise: why butter, meat, and cheese belong in a healthy diet Kindle Edition). as did books by Taubes, Taubes, Ravnskov and others. As to current “epidemiological” studies these are neithe consistent and coherent, a requirement raised by Bradford-Hill himself. An example: eggs are bad, eggs are good from different studies. Meta-analyses are dependent on what data is entered; the selection of that data is frequently highly biased. Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why most published
      research findings are false. PLoS Med 2(8): e124. This report highlights the problem of medical research today – bias, selection and “influence. Those who challenge the status quo are challenging the status of the “X-spurts” and are likely to be attacked as was the case in GI ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori and many other. In short, such challenge does not augur well for promotion.

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    • avatar
      February 10, 2015 at 6:46 pm
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      Many thanks for this!

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  • avatar
    February 10, 2015 at 3:47 pm
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    Good to see you on BBC News 24 this morning.

    Would you have a link to the interview?

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  • avatar
    February 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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    I have long believed that sugar and excessive carbohydrates rather than natural fats, especially saturated fats, are responsible for the obesity epidemic. I have seen a lot of evidence that supports this view. So where is the high-quality, recent evidence that supports the opposite view, i.e. that saturated fat is bad for us? Commentators on your recent paper say that it exists but as far as I can see, they do not back this up with reference to specific studies.

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  • avatar
    February 10, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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    Seriously, Zoe, thanks very much indeed for taking this necessary step towards the general acceptance of the truth. I hope that organizations like NuSI will follow up in due by conducting large-scale statistically significant experiments and trials.

    Meanwhile, it is amusing to read newspaper accounts of your report and dissect the embarrassed squirming of nutrition “experts” as they try vainly to disagree with its conclusions without too blatantly denying the plain facts. Mostly, they try to split the difference by saying that we still mustn’t eat “too much” fat, while also being on guard against “other risks” such as sugar and carbs. (It seems protein is all that’s left, but they don’t mention the risks of eating too much of that…)

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  • avatar
    February 10, 2015 at 2:55 pm
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    Apparently “tends to be related” means something like, “although there is absolutely no evidence, wouldn’t it be great for my career if they were related!”

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  • avatar
    February 10, 2015 at 2:44 pm
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    As an overweight t2 diabetic back in 2007 I looked for another set of food choices rather than progress to insulin. Ditching the carbs and flying in the face of my GP and Spec nurse I gave lo carb a 6 month go. I lost 4st in that time and to date Christmas and Birthdays are a bit of a rocky road but I am still 16st 7lb with a swing of 2/3lb in any week

    Well done Zoe, More importantly you seem to have found a non combative way of say what to many of us is obvious. Even more so now that they are saying 1 in 2 approx will show signs of cancer………………… not surprising with all the additives

    Reply
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  • avatar
    February 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm
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    Zoe…thanks for posting this. I’m a firm low carb high fat believer but I had a little nagging doubt due to the fact that low fat recommendations were universal for decades. This is really shocking and the whole affair makes you question medicine. We all assume that medical interventions surely are based on solid scientific evidence! I still can’t understand why this got pushed through? Who besides Ancel Keys wanted this to become the standard? And why did Keys? From what I read Keys purposely cherry picked countries to get the result he wanted. Why was he so enamored of low fat?

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    February 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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    Well done Zoe. Heard you on R5 this morning.

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    February 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm
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    Current dietary advise certainly needs review but I’m not holding my breath.

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    February 10, 2015 at 11:49 am
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    Ah, at last! The slow back track from the persecution of dietary fat. I knew it would come. As a long-standing Taubes & Harcombe fan, I knew that eventually the real science would triumph. Still amused at how cautiously the back track is being welcomed by the mainstream. “Well, fat still shouldn’t be over-consumed but too much sugar & processed carbs are bad too. Just eat lots of vegetables & exercise & you’ll be healthy.” They are trying to say that they weren’t completely wrong, just a little bit & fat is still bad, just not as bad!!!!!

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    February 10, 2015 at 11:17 am
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    Well done Zoe.

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    February 10, 2015 at 8:54 am
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    Great work Zoe. How long can our advisory authorities continue to hid behind their dogma? Probably they will be the last to change, after the rest of us have improved our diets by increasing saturated fat intake and markedly reducing ‘vegetable’ oils and carbs. In Australia, Pete Evans’ TV show The Paleo Way is converting dozens of thousands. Coconut oil sales are skyrocketing.

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