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View Diary: A Trans Fat Ban and Marijuana Legalization: Liberal Hypocrisy? (139 comments)

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  •  I smoke pot. I won't lie. (15+ / 0-)

    But I love lard.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 03:12:54 PM PST

    •  I'm of the belief that animal fat (13+ / 0-)

      isn't as bad as it is being touted as. We used it for eons...

      •  When I make my Aunt Gina's fried chicken, (8+ / 0-)

        it's always in lard. And that is some GOOD fried chicken.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 03:23:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  To say something about my aunt Georgina: (7+ / 0-)

        EVERYONE in my family is named George, as a female name, or a middle name, or like my dad, a first name.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 03:48:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with animal fat is (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murrayewv, eve, CitizenJoe, gustynpip

        that you can use it for a long time without understanding or knowing what the present interior diameter of you cerebral and coronary arteries is at any given time.   However, when the internal radii of these arteries goes to zero, life is over.

        No reputable public health and science organization advocates consumption of animal fats as being non-hazardous to health.

        •  They also haven't mustered (9+ / 0-)

          a lot of evidence that animal fat is the problem either. That advice started ahead of the evidence and has proven difficult to dislodge.

          The research that sugar clogs your arteries is stronger but doesn't have the ring of truthiness that fear of animal fat has.

          •  Your link is mostly dis-information. (0+ / 0-)
            •  Let's got straight to the literature then. (6+ / 0-)

              Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease


              Background: A reduction in dietary saturated fat has generally been thought to improve cardiovascular health.

              Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to summarize the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic studies.

              Design: Twenty-one studies identified by searching MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and secondary referencing qualified for inclusion in this study. A random-effects model was used to derive composite relative risk estimates for CHD, stroke, and CVD.

              Results: During 5–23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.

              Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.

            •  A systematic review of the evidence (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              badger, kyril, semiot, Tonedevil

              A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease.


              Although a wealth of literature links dietary factors and coronary heart disease (CHD), the strength of the evidence supporting valid associations has not been evaluated systematically in a single investigation.

              We conducted a systematic search of MEDLINE for prospective cohort studies or randomized trials investigating dietary exposures in relation to CHD. We used the Bradford Hill guidelines to derive a causation score based on 4 criteria (strength, consistency, temporality, and coherence) for each dietary exposure in cohort studies and examined for consistency with the findings of randomized trials.

              Strong evidence supports valid associations (4 criteria satisfied) of protective factors, including intake of vegetables, nuts, and "Mediterranean" and high-quality dietary patterns with CHD, and associations of harmful factors, including intake of trans-fatty acids and foods with a high glycemic index or load. Among studies of higher methodologic quality, there was also strong evidence for monounsaturated fatty acids and "prudent" and "western" dietary patterns. Moderate evidence (3 criteria) of associations exists for intake of fish, marine omega-3 fatty acids, folate, whole grains, dietary vitamins E and C, beta carotene, alcohol, fruit, and fiber. Insufficient evidence (< or =2 criteria) of association is present for intake of supplementary vitamin E and ascorbic acid (vitamin C); saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids; total fat; alpha-linolenic acid; meat; eggs; and milk. Among the dietary exposures with strong evidence of causation from cohort studies, only a Mediterranean dietary pattern is related to CHD in randomized trials.

              The evidence supports a valid association of a limited number of dietary factors and dietary patterns with CHD. Future evaluation of dietary patterns, including their nutrient and food components, in cohort studies and randomized trials is recommended.

              •  While I commend you for linking a metastudy... (0+ / 0-)

                rather than just a single independent study, or worse an article summarizing one, it must be pointed out that there have been a vast number of studies on this, and even a single metastudy doesn't bear that much weight on its own. Some metastudies from the past couple decades concerning the relationship between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease:

                Hooper, 2011:     Reducing saturated fat in diets reduced the risk of having a cardiovascular event by 14 percent (no reduction in mortality).
                Mozaffarian, 2010: 19% reduction in Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) events by replacing saturated fatty acids (SFA) with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). (Note: the study included n-3 fatty acids in the PUFA group).
                Siri-Tarino, 2010: No significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.
                Danaei, 2009: Intervention studies replacing SFA with PUFA showed an insignificant relative risk (1.01-1.04) for IHD.
                Mente, 2009: Insignificant
                Skeaff, 2009: Reduced events by substituting PUFA
                Jakobsen, 2009: 5% SFA replaced with PUFA: 13% decrease in events, 26% decrease in deaths
                Van Horn, 2008: 25-35% fats but <7% SFA and TFA reduces risk.
                Chanu, 2003: Significant in longer term.
                Hu, 1999:    Eating nuts in place of SFA gave 45% reduction.
                Truswell, 1994: Decrease SFA and cholesterol intake, partial replacement with PUFA: 6% reduced deaths, 13% reduced events

                You linked only Mente. Why? Because it said what you wanted to see? It's clear that the overwhelming majority of metastudies show a link. Furthermore, the link is supported by the World Health Organization, the American Dietetic Association, the Dietitians of Canada, the British Dietetic Association, the American Heart Association, the British Heart Foundation, the World Heart Federation, the British National Health Service, the United States Food and Drug Administration, and the European Food Safety Authority, among many others.

                Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

                by Rei on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 04:51:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Look closer, I linked to three (0+ / 0-)

                  different meta-studies.

                  Looking through your list (thanks btw, super useful) it's clear that there is a lot of noise and little signal. My point is that the evidence was pretty thin for such a confident admonishment.

                  If we look at a literature review that looks specifically at a type of animal fat rather than replacing SFA with PUFAs, we find evidence that whole fat dairy is correlated with better health outcomes than low fat dairy.

                  The relationship between high-fat dairy consumption and obesity, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease

                  To comprehensively review the data on the relationship between the consumption of dairy fat and high-fat dairy foods, obesity, and cardiometabolic disease.

                  We have conducted a systematic literature review of observational studies on the relationship between dairy fat and high-fat dairy foods, obesity, and cardiometabolic disease. We have integrated these findings with data from controlled studies showing effects of several minor dairy fatty acids on adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors, and data on how bovine feeding practices influence the composition of dairy fat.

                  In 11 of 16 studies, high-fat dairy intake was inversely associated with measures of adiposity. Studies examining the relationship between high-fat dairy consumption and metabolic health reported either an inverse or no association. Studies investigating the connection between high-fat dairy intake and diabetes or cardiovascular disease incidence were inconsistent. We discuss factors that may have contributed to the variability between studies, including differences in (1) the potential for residual confounding; (2) the types of high-fat dairy foods consumed; and (3) bovine feeding practices (pasture- vs. grain-based) known to influence the composition of dairy fat.

                  The observational evidence does not support the hypothesis that dairy fat or high-fat dairy foods contribute to obesity or cardiometabolic risk, and suggests that high-fat dairy consumption within typical dietary patterns is inversely associated with obesity risk. Although not conclusive, these findings may provide a rationale for future research into the bioactive properties of dairy fat and the impact of bovine feeding practices on the health effects of dairy fat.

                  The advice to choose low fat dairy serves as virtual punctuation in nutrition discussions, and yet it's unsupported by the evidence.

                  Again, thanks for the list of studies, this a topic I intend to do a deep dive into in a future diary or series of diaries.

                  •  I think there's quite a lot of signal (0+ / 0-)

                    The metastudies are quite clearly on the side of a link, with only a few exceptions.

                    Or, let's be more concise: do you think that all of the world's major health associations are run by idiots who don't know the current medical literature?

                    Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

                    by Rei on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:11:41 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think on this question (0+ / 0-)

                      Ancel Keys successfully and erroneously set the debate and a lot of confirmation bias and inertia has carried the issue since then.  

                      I don't take a position in contradiction of a scientific consensus lightly. I think the debate has been shifting from consensus to contested because it was never on as firm a footing as was originally believed.

            •  The questionable role of saturated fat . . . (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              badger, kyril, semiot, Tonedevil

              The questionable role of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in cardiovascular disease.


              A fat diet, rich in saturated fatty acids (SFA) and low in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), is said to be an important cause of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

              The evidence for this hypothesis was sought by reviewing studies of the direct link between dietary fats and atherosclerotic vascular disease in human beings. The review included ecological, dynamic population, cross-sectional, cohort, and case-control studies, as well as controlled, randomized trials of the effect of fat reduction alone. The positive ecological correlations between national intakes of total fat (TF) and SFA and cardiovascular mortality found in earlier studies were absent or negative in the larger, more recent studies.

              Secular trends of national fat consumption and mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) in 18-35 countries (four studies) during different time periods diverged from each other as often as they coincided. In cross-sectional studies of CHD and atherosclerosis, one group of studies (Bantu people vs. Caucasians) were supportive; six groups of studies (West Indians vs. Americans, Japanese, and Japanese migrants vs. Americans, Yemenite Jews vs. Yemenite migrants; Seminole and Pima Indians vs. Americans, Seven Countries) gave partly supportive, partly contradictive results; in seven groups of studies (Navajo Indians vs. Americans; pure vegetarians vs. lacto-ovo-vegetarians and non-vegetarians, Masai people vs. Americans, Asiatic Indians vs. non-Indians, north vs. south Indians, Indian migrants vs. British residents, Geographic Study of Atherosclerosis) the findings were contradictory.

              Among 21 cohort studies of CHD including 28 cohorts, CHD patients had eaten significantly more SFA in three cohorts and significantly less in one cohort than had CHD-free individuals; in 22 cohorts no significant difference was noted. In three cohorts, CHD patients had eaten significantly more PUFA, in 24 cohorts no significant difference was noted. In three of four cohort studies of atherosclerosis, the vascular changes were unassociated with SFA or PUFA; in one study they were inversely related to TF. No significant differences in fat intake were noted in six case-control studies of CVD patients and CVD-free controls; and neither total or CHD mortality were lowered in a meta-analysis of nine controlled, randomized dietary trials with substantial reductions of dietary fats, in six trials combined with addition of PUFA.

              The harmful effect of dietary SFA and the protective effect of dietary PUFA on atherosclerosis and CVD are questioned.

            •  If you've got (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              badger, kyril, murrayewv, semiot, Tonedevil

              literature reviews or meta-analysis that supports your position, feel free to share. I'm always looking to falsify my beliefs if they don't reflect the weight of the evidence.

          •  Advice on "fats" has nearly always been confused. (13+ / 0-)

            We can't expect two compounds to behave the same in the body because we've grouped them together in some category ("fat", "animal fat", "unsaturated fat" etc.).

            I've followed the science and public recommendations for years now, and have seen that mistake is made over and over when it comes to fats. Years ago the message was "all fat is bad", and I still see stuff on the supermarket that carries this implicit message, even though scientific support for such a broad prohibition was weak. "Fat" is not  single thing; for example saturated fats are different from unsaturated fats.  

            And we keep treating categories of fats as the same thing when they're not.  We were told that unsaturated fats were good for us, but in fact trans fats are by definition unsaturated, and now they are considered more villainous than saturate fats.

            Even trans fats differ from each other. Human breast milk contains conjugated linoleic acid and vaccenic acid -- both trans fats.   While breast milk may not be the ideal diet for adults, I think we can safely assume it is not toxic, even though it contains both trans and saturated fats.

            Every fat compound is quite possibly a special case in the category we've assigned to it, e.g. conjugaged linoleic acid in trans fats; stearic acidin the saturated fats.

            This already confusing picture is further confused by confounded or sloppy research.  Remember the advice that we were supposed to especially avoid "tropical oils" like palm or coconut oil?  This advice was based on research into hydrogenated tropical oils. "Lard" has been used as the poster child for "unhealthy fat", but in the US it's practically impossible to obtain lard that hasn't been hydrogenated. Pig fat turns out to be high in monounsaturated fats (like olive oil) and almost certainly better for you than the hydrogenated vegetable oil (Crisco) commonly substituted for lard as a "healthier" plant-base alternative.

            As for "animal" fats, they aren't all the same. The fat in beef is different from the fat in salmon.  The fat from a specific species isn't all one thing either.  It depends on how the animal was raised. Grass fed beef has a different fat profile than feedlot beef.  Wild caught salmon is different from some farmed salmon.

            I'm not a organic-food type myself; for example if I could buy irradiated meat and eggs, I would.  However, I think we should avoid consuming much synthetic food.  If a fat compound doesn't exist in nature or is very uncommon, I'd say it makes sense to avoid it (e.g. partially hydrogenated anything).  Other than synthetic ones, I am not particularly worried about "fat" per se. Eating a varied diet of of unprocessed food seems to me to be reasonable. Where meat is concerned naturally raise animals are preferable for a number of reasons, not the least of which are humane.

            I've lost my faith in nihilism

            by grumpynerd on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 08:16:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It is now. (6+ / 0-)

        Today animal fats are loaded with antibiotics, hormones and other unhealthy unnatural chemicals. There is a huge difference between factory farm created meat products and old style homegrown or small farm produced meat products.

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:15:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think that there may be a difference (5+ / 0-)

        between the animal fat from animals who live “normally" - e.g. on grass and animals that are fed corn and soy and pumped with growth hormones and antibiotics as factory farmed animals are raised.

        pesticides are stored, I think, in fat. Perhaps these other chemicals too.

        Corn makes cattle sick yet it’s used as a cheap way to “fatten” them.

        while some of my family was visiting over the holidays, I bought Organic Valley milk from grass fed cows.
        I was absolutely amazed. It lasted for a long time after they left instead of spoiling like ordinary milk.
        It seemed quite different to me. Less rich somehow.
        Maybe easier to digest?

        Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

        by eve on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 06:54:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Beliefs... (0+ / 0-)

        For eons human life expectancy was much closer to zero than it is now.

    •  Does the lard taste better after the pot? (0+ / 0-)

      And doesn't the lard burn too hot in the bowl?

      Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

      by Floyd Blue on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 07:27:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lard = saturated fat - but there's Lard and LARD (0+ / 0-)

      it is not Trans fat due to extra processing... and not all animal fat is the same... think animal lifestyle...

      ... animal fats from pure pasture fed animals... good fats in it... the cheese and milk have Omega 3 fatty acids... and overall more good fats in the meat...

      feed lot cattle products do not yield that quality... they may be fattened up but it is like fat in a middle aged pre-diabetic person... not all that healthy..

      So in contrast the ones out eating what they evolved to eat ones who are grazing on good pasture? Now THAT is the FAT of the LAND... in a good way... and having a reasonable and restrained amount of saturates in the diet actually is needed for optimum health... just not too much unless you are on a Tibetan or Arctic/Antarctic trek... then too much means survival...

      So after decades of too much polyunsaturated everything... (which means rancid fats all too often) there is a rethink and monosaturates (olive oil, canola, grapeseed oil etc.) and saturates all need to be in the diet at close to a workable balance as possible... we need fats to live and be healthy... (coconut oil!!... now that is a saturate that is not like other saturates at all)

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:32:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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