This is a great article by Jerome Burne. If you are interested in this area, I cannot recommend highly enough “The Great Cholesterol Con” by Dr Malcolm Kendrick – funny and extremely logical, it should be compulsory reading for every public health advisor and statin prescriber world-wide.
Would it surprise you to know that it absolutely has NOT been proven that saturated fat consumption causes heart disease (and it would be completely nonsensical if this were the case, as any fat occurring naturally in real food would have killed us off hundreds of thousands of years ago if it were responsible for a killer disease.) As you will see in my other blogs, time after time assertions are being made about ‘saturated fat’ when in fact the substance being discussed is processed food and is invariably a carb, not even a fat, let alone saturated fat. This is so serious, it is practically criminal.
(Look at the wording on NHS and FSA web sites carefully – even they say eating saturated fat CAN increase your risk of heart disease – they realise that they have no basis for saying that it does. They do however assert that it does this through raising cholesterol levels as well as alleging that it can have a direct link. I’ll leave it to Dr Kendrick and Gary Taubes (The Diet Delusion) and Antony Colpo (The cholesterol con) and all the members of www.thinks.org and now Jerone Burne, to explain why this is utter nonsense).
Jerome Burne’s contribution to the debate is all about inflammation and this is a very plausible explanation for why we observe damage in the arteries (over which clots and plaques form). Dr Kendrick also talks about how the arterial wall can get damaged and, as he believes that stress plays a very important part in heart disease, he may well concur with Burne’s inflammation work.
I have been saying eat real food all along and refined carbs are in no way a real food. Burne notes that it is important to cut out sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet, as this reduces inflammation because high levels of glucose and the extra insulin it triggers, can inflame and damage arteries. Brilliant – this simultaneously explains why Diabetics have a higher incidence of heart disease.
The Food Standards Agency spent £3.5m of UK tax payers’ money on a campaign against saturated fat in February 2009. A major part of the campaign was a TV advert showing some gunge being poured down a sink and blocking the U Bend. This is the most irresponsible, misleading and downright dangerous advert I have ever seen. Unless I’ve been getting it wrong all these years we eat our food, we don’t intravenously inject it! Trying to create the image that a pork chop is travelling along our arteries is frankly disgraceful.
We’re back to not knowing our macros nutrients again – the FSA (and NHS) list pastries, biscuits, cakes, ice cream, sweet snacks, chocolate, crisps, savoury snacks etc as sources of saturated fat and all of these products are primarily refined carbohydrates. I have no doubt that these products are bad for us, which is why I advise people to avoid such junk like the plague. These are not saturated fats, however. First, the primary macronutrient is carbohydrate and, secondly, there is more UNsaturated fat than saturated fat in the selection of cream cakes, pastries, savoury snacks, crisps and sweet snacks that I analysed this weekend gone.
This outrageous advert closes with the saying “When it comes to food, we’re the standard.” No – when it comes to food, the FSA doesn’t even know one macro nutrient from another.
As for the graphic image of the gunge blocking up the U-Bend – as I said earlier, we are supposed to eat food, not inject it. I invite any member of the FSA to explain exactly how eating any real food (e.g. a pork chop) will lead to gunge, as they tried to portray, swimming around our arteries. (A pork chop, even with the fat on, is still primarily protein – 21g of protein per 100g vs 4.2g of fat. And, would you like to know the primary fat in pork? Monounstaurated – the same as in olive oil). Go on FSA – take us through the digestive process and then try to justify your advert.
For a final thought – notwithstanding the fact that we don’t inject pork chops into our blood stream, if pork chop rind were able to get into our blood stream, in the way that the FSA tries to suggest, surely the veins would clog up first? Why is it that veins actually never clog up – only arteries? Could it be because nothing actually clogs up our arteries in the way that the FSA would have us believe? But, instead, damage can occur to the arterial walls through inflammation, stresses and possibly sugar ‘free radicals’ (and other substances we shouldn’t eat) and that clots form on top of this damage – just as a scab forms on a cut.
This would not be quite so dangerous if there were no downside of eating less real food (meat, dairy products etc) but there is. All food is primarily carb/protein or fat/protein (with a few exceptions) and the FSA is therefore driving us down the route of eating more carbs and less real food. In case we miss the message – we are told “base your meals on starchy foods”, “eat more fruit and veg”, “eat less saturated fat”, so we eat more carbs, less real food and we have an obesity epidemic.
When it comes to food, nature is the standard.