The Roundup - Edition 48
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The Roundup

by Chris Kresser

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Here is The Roundup, Edition 48, bringing you the best health research and paleo recipes from around the web over the past two weeks.

Blast from the Past

Over the past few years that I’ve been running my blog, I’ve written dozens of articles about the lack of correlation between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease risk. I’ve even written an entire eBook dedicated to dispelling the myth that saturated fat “clogs” your arteries and that eating butter is just like asking for a heart attack. While I originally felt that I was completely going against the grain of conventional nutrition philosophy, I’m starting to see a shift in the mainstream media thanks to the new studies that come out vindicating dietary saturated fat.

The most recent of these studies is: Dietary Intake of Saturated Fat Is Not Associated with Risk of Coronary Events or Mortality in Patients with Established Coronary Artery Disease. In this study, Norwegian men with a history of heart disease were followed over the course of nearly 5 years to determine their risk of a coronary event (such as a heart attack) and/or death. The men were asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire that determined their relative intake of saturated fat. The study found that there was no change in cardiac event or mortality risk based on low versus high saturated fat intake.

This research adds more support to the fact that for most people, saturated fat intake does not increase one’s risk for a heart attack, even when cardiovascular disease is already established. There is a small percentage of people who may benefit from a lower saturated fat intake, and I lay out a protocol for those people in my High Cholesterol Action Plan.

But otherwise, I hope this study will be seen as yet another nail in the coffin of the diet-heart hypothesis that has been promoted as gospel for the last several decades.

Research Report

  • New research shows that the US military is getting fatter.
  • The clean plate club: about 92% of self-served food is eaten.
  • Are wholesale grocery stores like Costco making us fat?
  • According to the American Psychological Association average stress levels have declined since 2007.
  • More evidence suggests that some jogging is good, while too much may undermine health.
  • Infants fed human breast milk rich in omega-3 (found in fish, nuts, and seeds) had higher academic test scores than infants fed breast milk containing more omega-6 (found in corn and soybean oil).

Worth a Look

For the Foodies

  1. Hi Chris, I bought the HCAP and read it through. It seems I have FH, and indeed my cholesterol is very high (and went up from 7+ to 9+ recently since I started a more paleo diet). I notice you suggest to people with FH to reduce saturated fat and increase mono-unsaturated fat. As I eat dairy, do you mean that I should eat LESS dairy, or eat dairy with LOWER fat content (ie, low-fat ). Or BOTH?? Same with other saturated fats, like meat – should i eat LESS meat in my meals, or just eat leaner meats? Or both? I’m curious – all my siblings (I’m one of 7) seem to have high cholesterol, except for one brother, who is a vegetarian… coincidence? Look foward to your imput and clarification. Many thanks. Val

  2. Hello Chris,
    I really enjoy your blog and am grateful for your health topics — I just can’t get past the word “Roundup” on the same page, let’s take back your health.
    Best,
    Gary D.

  3. The Roundup section Worth A Look of this blog discusses potatoes. From naturalnews.com and many other sites there is information such as: “Frying potatoes to make chips or French fries produces a potent chemical carcinogen called acrylomide”. I imagine this high-temperature method of cooking potatoes is the most popular. I think this also applies to potato crisps and that a healthier alternative to nibble with your glass of wine is tortilla chips if you want something other than nuts! A bag of crisps is not the best nutrition to put into your child’s lunch bag.

  4. I have a question not related to anything at hand. I just watched the argument over safe starches (I know it’s years ago) on youtube. Rosedale seems like he knows his biology, and probably gets good results from his diet. Yet I can’t get my head round the idea sugar and starch being always detrimental and unneccessary to humans. We evolve from other primates, right ? And primates eat starch and fruit, right ? So why aren’t we evolved to eat sugars and starches ? I don’t think there is any significant evolutionary break that meant our hominid ancestors suddenly gave up fruit and lost the ability to safely utilise sugar ? So why where would this terrible effect of sugar come into our diet, and why haven’t we evolved a natural antipathy towards sweet things like we have towards rotten things ? The only break with that sort of high fruit diet would be for people living like Inuit do – are we to think that seal hunters are the template for all humans ?
    So –
    1) Apes eat fruit (and honey)
    2) We are apes
    3) We didn’t stop being apes
    4) Sweet things are attractive not repulsive

    Maybe in the light of new science we may be able to make choices our ancestors coud not, but I have doubts about dumping carbs totally.

    What do people think about this ?

    • Obviously, Rosedale got very stuck to his own ideas without taking any of the new evidence into account. Zero-carb is not ancestral by any means. Even the inuit, the poster child of the low-carbers (who are btw never in ketosis nor representative for other people) value their berries and tubers greatly. Whenever they can get a hold of it they never let go! They’ll scrounge the icy cold just to find some carbs!

      By reducing carbs you also reduce fertility and virility, making the organism go into some kind of saving mode, presumably leading to a longer (albeit more miserable) life.

      If you want to enjoy life and have optimal health, then going no-carb is detrimental. If you believe in the off-chance that it might extend your life and it’s worth everything to you, then go for it. Consider this though, your immune system requires glucose, so does your mucosal immunology and your mucus in general.

      • Thanks for the answer. I just watched a vid from UCTV on evolution of nutrition.

        CARTA: The Evolution of Human Nutrition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y92iIeN46GM

        Seems like hominids have been eating fruit and grain for hundreds of thousands of years – which doesn’t mean there are no problems associated with this, but it seems like we have had a long time to accomodate these foodstuffs.

    • I have ruined my metabolism and my sleep by eating a low carb Paleo diet for a long time.
      The worst for me was the flare -up of my atopic eczema.
      I do think that a plant based whole food diet is great, but I do also think that excluding whole food groups from your diet is unhealthy. You have to try out what is good for you.
      I am not yet sure about grains, personally, they make me rather fat, albeit happy.
      What I am absolutely certain about is that you should live in Europe or New Zealand, they are more concerned about their environment.

    • Sugar is a neurotoxin…starches turn to sugar when humans are inactive. Most Americans are sedentary and inactive.

  5. I always enjoy the roundup, but Costco is not making us fat — this is a great case of correlation does not equal causation. What is making us fat? We are getting further and further away from a time when most meals were prepared at home from real not processed food. Few people (okay probably not those reading this) know how to prepare/cook vegatables that taste great. Check out the check out line in your average grocery store (not Whole Foods) I rarely even see people purchasing vegetables much less a selection of same. It’s not Costco — we shop there or similar to get good prices on the fruit/veggies/wild salmon patties.

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