Archive for June 2016

I’m proof that eating fat can be good for you

I find it refreshing that an article that speaks the truth and confronts the lies we have been brought up on about food. Dr. Michael Mosley says the following:

Once upon a time it all seemed incredibly clear. When I went to medical school in the early 1980s I was shown clogged up arteries, fresh from an autopsy, and was assured that this was the result of eating too much fat, particularly saturated fat, the sort found in red meat, milk, cheese and butter. Eating fat, we were told, raises your cholesterol levels and high levels of cholesterol are strongly linked to heart disease.

So I gave up butter and cheese and took to skimmed milk and zero-fat yoghurt. I told friends and family that eating fat would clog their arteries as surely as pouring lard down a drain. I also told my overweight father that the best way he could protect his waist, as well as his heart, was to go on a low-fat diet.

This was soon after he had been diagnosed as type 2 diabetic and started on medication. Following my advice he put aside the fats, ate more starchy foods – and got fatter and fatter. His diabetes also got steadily worse and he needed ever larger doses of medication to try and keep it under control. Twenty years later he died of heart failure, a common problem in diabetics, at the age of 74.

If I had known what I know now about the high failure rate of low-fat diets, my advice would have been completely different and he might have lived to see his grandchildren grow up.

Recently Britain’s National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration issued a report demanding a “major overhaul” of dietary guidelines – in particular claiming that the focus on low-fat diets, which has dominated dietary thinking for the last 40 years, has been a mistake.

It would be easy to dismiss this as another week, another confusing dietary claim. But from personal experience, and having spent many years looking into the science, I’m firmly on the side of the authors of this report.

So what led us to listen to the ”wrong” dietary advice for decades? The roots of current standard nutritional advice lie back in the 1950s, when an American scientist called Ancel Keys published a study into the association between diet and cardiovascular disease. His paper included a simple graph comparing fat consumption and deaths from heart disease in men from six different countries. Americans, who ate a lot of fat, were far more likely to get heart disease than the Japanese, who ate little fat. Case solved.

It is a myth that has taken a long time to die. Until very recently the American Heart Association was still issuing dire warnings about the dangers of eating foods containing cholesterol. Yet a meta-analysis of 17 studies published in the British Medical Journal in 2013 concluded that “higher consumption of eggs is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke”.

2013 also saw the publication of a hugely important study in the New England Journal of Medicine, which finally put a huge nail in the low-fat coffin.

For this trial, which started in 2003, Spanish researchers recruited over 7400 people, many of them Type 2 diabetics, and randomly allocated them to either a low-fat diet or a much higher fat “Mediterranean diet”, which along with fruit, vegetables and oily fish, encouraged them to eat oily nuts, olive oil and have a glass of wine with their meal.

The trial, due to run for many years, was stopped early because those on the higher fat, lower carb Mediterranean diet were doing so much better than those on the low-fat diet.

This became particularly relevant to me four years ago when I discovered that, like my father, I had become a type 2 diabetic while still in my early fifties. Rather than start on medication I invented a diet (the 5:2 diet), lost weight (10 kgs) and reversed my diabetes. Both my weight and my blood sugars have remained normal ever since. To keep them there I have taken up mindfulness (it reduces stress), I’ve become more active and, most of all, I have completely changed what I eat.

I cook with olive oil, eat full-fat yoghurt, snack on cheese and have switched back to butter. Eggs are a big part of my diet.

The reason, I believe, why this is a healthier diet than a low-fat one is because it keeps my insulin levels down. Because insulin is also a fat promoting hormone, advising people to eat lots of starchy foods (which is still standard dietary advice) is likely to make them fatter, not slimmer.

I’m not suggesting we should all start to glug down cream or gorge on stilton. What I do think is that official bodies need to urgently rethink their standard advice.

End of quote.

Being the suspicious and “sceptical bastard” I am, I see this diet as no accident, and if you look at the contents of processed foods, you see the evidence – lots of sugar and flour. It ain’t fats that make us fat. It’s SUGAR and refined carbs in particular. Moreover, when you understand that modern wheat was interfered with (pre-GMO, so it escapes that labelling) in the 60’s to 70’s and came into the food chain on about 1980, as explained eloquently by Dr William Davis, the evidence becomes very clear.

And this article entitled The Rats Who Preferred Sugar Over Cocaine includes the following (thanks, Sean):

intense sweetness “is much more rewarding and probably more addictive than intravenous cocaine.” Or, to put it another way, the French scientists’ findings “clearly demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and drug-addicted individuals.”

End of quote.

Did you know that? Funny that. Do you think the food industry and those who own and run it didn’t know that? I’ve seen evidence they’ve known it for over 50 years. So, we are intentionally steered towards the foods that make us fat and diabetic whilst told the dead opposite. Our world is full of such examples in almost every area of life. In fact, if it’s strongly advocated by the mainstream, whatever it is, look carefully and suspiciously at it.

And in What if there was a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and no one knew?, Dr. Mary Newport shares the following:

My husband Steve, age 58, has had progressive  dementia  for  at  least  five  years.  He had  an  MRI  in  May  2008  showing  a  diffuse involutional  change  of  the  frontal  and parietal lobes and moderate left-sided and severe right-sided  amygdala  and  hippocampal  atrophy  with  no  ischemic  change,  which  would support  a  clinical  diagnosis  of  Alzheimer’s Disease. For non-medical people, this means that  he  has  shrunken  areas  of  the  brain.

Many  days,  often  for  several  days  in  a  row, he  was  in  a  fog;  couldn’t  find  a  spoon  or  remember  how  to  get  water  out  of  the  refrigerator. Some days were not so bad; he almost seemed  like  his  former  self,  happy,  with  his unique sense of humor, creative, full of ideas.

One day I would ask if a certain call came that I was expecting and he would say, “No.”  Two days  later  he  would  remember  the  message

from so-and-so from a couple of days earlier and what they said. Strange to have no short-term  memory  and  yet  the  information  was

filed somewhere in his brain. My gut feeling is that diet has something to do with the fluctuation, but what. I knew that he was locked

up  in  there  somewhere,  if  only  there  was  a key to open up the areas of his brain that he didn’t have access to.

Steve has a BSBA in accounting, and did billing,  bookkeeping  and  accounting  for  my neonatology  practice  from  home,  so  that  he

could stay with our girls. He loved computers and was a fast typist. He could open computers up to repair them and fix practically anything  else  without  ever  having  instruction. If he did not have a tool to do something he would  “invent”  it  and  make  a  usable  prototype. He loved to kayak and made an attachment to keep his kayak moving in a straight line.  About  five  years  ago  he  began  to  have trouble organizing to do his accounting work. He would procrastinate as much as possible. He made mistakes with the payroll and I began to sit with him to help him get it right. I thought it was just that our practice had gotten  more  complicated  with  more  employees.  He knew  that  something  was  wrong  and  depression set in. We took him to a neurologist about 4 years ago, who did a Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE,)

and  Steve  scored  a  23  out  of  30,  putting  him  into the mild range of dementia. On this test, the lower the score is, the worse the dementia. His MRI was reported as normal at that time.

About  three  years  ago,  Steve  started  taking Aricept  and  two  years  ago  Namenda.  We  were hopeful that, if we could slow his decline enough, a treatment would come along that would turn things around for him. He was changed over from Aricept to Exelon  in  August  2007  after  losing  ten  pounds over  several  weeks.  In  the  past  12  months  there was  a  noticeable  change.  He  can  no  longer  cook

for  himself,  remember  to  eat  a  good  meal,  use  a calculator  or  even  perform  the  simplest  addition, however he still keeps busy all day working in the yard or in his garage and he is still in good physical condition. I now do all the cooking for a man who used to cook for his family regularly. I give him the medications  because  he  can’t  remember  to  take them,  much  less  take  the  right  pills.  Every  night,

we hold each other before we go to sleep and I wonder how many more times we will get to do this. It has been a nightmare to watch his decline and feel helpless to do anything but watch it happen. He is fully aware of his dementia, and we talk about it frequently. He is no longer depressed, probably with the help of counseling, Lexipro and Wellbutrin, or maybe worsening of his disease.

I  subscribe  to  various  alerts  and  check  the website  www.clinicaltrials.gov periodically  to  look for drug studies that he may qualify for. Two years ago  we  tried  to  get  him  into  a  study  for  a  promising  anti-inflammatory  drug,  Flurizan,  but  he  did not qualify because he had a history of depression within the previous two years. Wouldn’t you be depressed if you knew you had Alzheimer’s?  In fact, depression may be a symptom or precursor of Alzheimer’s.

Until  very  recently,  I  didn’t  see  anything  regarding  the  potential  use  of  medium  chain  triglycerides (MCT oil), or ketone bodies (also called ketoacids,)  the  end  product  of  their  metabolism, which may not only treat, but also prevent Alzheimer’s  disease.  Further,  this  is  a  potential  treatment for   Parkinson’s   disease,   Huntington’s   disease, multiple  sclerosis  and  amyotrophic  lateral  sclerosis  (ALS  or  Lou  Gehrig’s  disease),  drug  resistant epilepsy,  brittle  type  I  diabetes,  and  diabetes  type II, where there is insulin resistance. Ketone bodies

may help the brain recover after a loss of oxygen in newborns  through  adults,  may  help  the  heart  recover after an acute attack, and may shrink cancerous tumors. Children with drug resistant epilepsy sometimes  respond  to  an  extremely  low  carbohydrate ketogenic diet…

…What do these entities have in common?  Our cells  can  use  ketone  bodies  as  an  alternative  fuel when  glucose  is  not  available. (My emphasis).  Brain cells,  specifically neurons, are very limited, more limited than other  cells,  in  what  kinds  of  fuel  they  can  use  to function  and  to  stay  alive.  Normally,  they  require glucose (sugar), but they can also use ketone bodies.  Humans  do  not  normally  have  ketone  bodies circulating  and  available  to  the  brain  unless  they have been starving for a couple of days or longer, or  are  consuming  a  ketogenic  (very  low  carbohydrate) diet, such as Atkins. In Alzheimer’s disease, the  neurons  in  certain  areas  of  the  brain  are  unable to take in glucose 4, 5  due to insulin resistance and slowly die off, a process that appears to happen one or more decades before the symptoms become apparent.  If  these  cells  had  access  to  ketone  bodies,  they  could  potentially  stay  alive  and  continue to  function…

… At the time of this writing it has been 60 days since he started taking coconut oil (May 21, 2008.) He walks into the kitchen every morning alert and happy, talkative, making jokes. His gait is still a little weird. His tremor is no longer very noticeable. He is able to concentrate on things that he wants to do around the house and in the yard and stay on task, whereas before coconut oil he was easily distractible and rarely accomplished anything unless I super vised him directly, a source of some contention between us!

End of quote.

So, almost by accident, Dr. Newport discovered that after adding natural fats (coconut oil) into her husband’s diet, his Alzheimer’s began to recede. Clearly another disease caused by our high sugar, low fat diets.

But I highlighted the ketone bodies observation above because I think there is a key message here. Conventional wisdom is our brains need sugar (glucose) to function, along with a lot of other parts of the body. But the body has an ENTIRELY SEPARATE mechanism for operating, using ketone bodies, which it gets from fats. But in our high sugar world, this mechanism has been hidden.

Now, I’m not advocating no sugar. I eat lots of fruit. We want natural sugars in our diet. It’s what the body knows how to deal with. And get natural fats back into your diet. We’ve been horrendously lied to. You may not like bacon and eggs like I do, but you and I can both eat it and other saturated fat foods without guilt anymore.

 

Richard

 

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