10 December 2008

Leading nutritionist shows how little she knows

Supports pretty well all of Trick and Treat

The UK's Daily Express published an article on Tuesday 9 December 2008 entitled "Did scientists get it wrong on the dangers of saturated fat?" It was written to publicise
Trick and Treat: How 'healthy eating' is making us ill, but was in the form of a debate.

On the "Yes" side was me and my book, Trick and Treat. On the "No"side was an argument by a senior member of the British Nutrition Foundation, Dr Joanne Lunn. Her comments illustrate well why I felt it necessary to write Trick and Treat as she said that:

"The government, doctors and nutritionists don't base recommendations for reducing the amount of saturated fat in our diets on old research but on a growing body of evidence linking a diet high in saturated fat with a higher level of blood cholesterol and high blood cholesterol levels with a risk of cardiovascular disease."

The evidence I quoted in support of Trick and Treat is not 'old' evidence, but is right up-to-date; it includes studies published as recently as September this year. And that evidence shows over and over again that saturated fat does not cause cardiovascular diseases

Indeed, there has been so much evidence against 'healthy eating' since its inception in the 1980s that Professor Sylvan Lee Weinberg, a past President of the American College of Cardiology and a fervent supporter and advocate of 'healthy eating', finally wrote in the 4 March 2004 edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, that:
"The low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, promulgated vigorously . . . may well have played an unintended role in the current epidemics of obesity, lipid [blood fat] abnormalities, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndromes. This diet can no longer be defended by appeal to the authority of prestigious medical organizations or by rejecting clinical experience and a growing medical literature suggesting that the much-maligned low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet may have a salutary effect on the epidemics in question."
Professor Weinberg is not alone; there is a growing number of doctors speaking out about the falsity of the current 'healthy' recommendations.

Dr Lunn also said that "people will always ignore the evidence". But
it is not I who am ignoring the evidence, it is people like Dr Lunn, and until those in authority stop ignoring the growing evidence that 'healthy eating' isn't healthy, our health can only deteriorate still further.

But, of course, if we didn't get ill, they wouldn't have a job, would they?


Anonymous said...

Dr. Groves,
Again, a great post, albeit an aggravating one--this sounds like the muck that was slung at Dr. Robert Atkins during his heyday by many a "nutrition expert" right here in the States--as a matter of fact, Dr. Lunn's remarks (attacks?)sound eerily like Jane Brody's in the New York Times. I guess it means someone feels threatened? Perhaps you've stirred up a hornets' nest with your daring words!
Here's what I don't understand-- doesn't science demand that ALL evidence be examined to the fullest, and that it be done through the most neutral, impartial eyes of analysis? Obviously, Dr. Lunn is an educated woman, and she indeed must have access to the same information you do. I just don't understand why so many convulse at the notion that the diets for health and vitality they promote may actually be upside down.
Boy, oh boy, Ancel Keys did quite a number on so many, no?

Don't back down, your work is critical.

Anonymous said...

I just read the article online. Jesus wept and is now banging his head on the table...

Barry Groves said...

Hi Adam

You are right, but as Upton Sinclair once remarked: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

Yes, science should be impartial, but it is a stark fact that, as Trick and Treat explains, most of the major medical journals are controlled by 'Big-Pharma'- they support the journals with their advertising, for example - and editors also have commented on the fact that they have great difficulty finding peer-reviewers who are not funded by the drugs companies who for the most part write the articles the journals publish.

Amanda said...

This is an interesting post, Barry. I read your book Trick and Treat and I think it is the best book I have ever read. I would buy it for all my friends if I thought they would read it and I promote it in any way I can. I have recently bought a university text book on nutrition and have been going through it with red pen underlining all the mistakes.. there is a LOT of red there. Nutrition students would be much better off reading your book.
Yes, Adam, Ancel Keys certainly has a lot to answer for...

Barry Groves said...

Hi Amanda

Glad you like Trick and Treat. Unfortunately the 'health industry' doesn't, so it's not easy to get publicity.

Amanda said...

I can imagine, and I think it was hugely brave of you to write the book. You might like to know that my husband is a big ice cream fan and eats about half a pint every day (sugar free) with double cream, egg yolks, sometimes clotted cream and sometimes with extra cream on top or mascarpone.. he has been doing this for about 5 years. He very recently had his full BUPA check up and his calculated heart disease risk (for what it's worth) came out at 3% (average for his age is 11% and 'ideal' is aparently 4%.) Yet when asked what he eats he had the usual 'discussion' with the doctor, who was horrified! It happens every year!
Do you know of any sensible nutrition courses or qualifications one can do?

Maggie said...

Angela: Would you care to share your recipe for the ice cream? It sounds lovely!

Anonymous said...

Three Canadians have just set a new record in walking to the South Pole. Their 7000 calorie daily diet consisted of deep-fried bacon, cheese and huge chunks of butter.

The report from the BBC is poor, because we do not learn if they also lost weight. Robert Swan became the first person to walk to both Poles in 1989. Here is an extract from http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE1DE113EF93AA25751C1A96E948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

"When Swan and two colleagues trekked across Antarctica in 1986, they were regarded as amateurs, and Swan freely admits that they operated right on the border that separates safety from foolhardiness. They carried no radio, for example, and Swan lost 50 pounds as starvation hovered over them.

On this trip, the group will carry a radio and can summon a rescue airplane if something goes wrong. And they are taking more people and more food.

The dietary emphasis is on fat, in the diet and on the body.

Manual labor in sub-freezing weather consumes about 3,000 calories a day. But trekking across the Arctic pulling sledges all day consumes as many as 6,000 calories, a prodigous amount of food. Since a gram of fat contains 9 calories and a gram of carbohydrate 4 calories, fat is the food of choice.

'Our diet is based really on getting as many calories onto the sledge as you possibly can with a much higher ratio of fat to carbohydrates,'' he said. So the explorers will each eat a half pound of butter a day. They will consume mountains of chocolate. Hot chocolate will be served with butter in it. Special bars high in fat will be eaten. There will be dehydrated foods and oatmeal biscuits.

'Fat is what one needs to stave off the cold,'' he said. ''It sounds revolting, but I'll tell you that if you get as hungry as we'll be, you would be looking forward to every meal.''

The diet will consist of 39 percent fat, 10 percent protein and 51 percent carbohydrates. A more normal diet is about 30 percent fat, 20 percent protein and 50 percent carbohydrates.

Fit and fat is Swan's motto, so he and the others will be working at putting on weight - an additional 15 pounds in Swan's case - and getting aerobically fit. Weight training will focus on the upper body muscles, which bear the brunt of the sledge-pulling work."

Here is a pdf that compares Admundsen's diet with that of Scott's party.



Barry Groves said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barry Groves said...

Hi Perry.

This latest foray is making the same mistake as Scott did. They are trusting nutritionists who seem to be completely ignorant.

Stefansson, the Inuit and North American Indians made pemmican of meat only, which was 80% fat, 20% protein. They never had any problems with vitamin deficiencies, even when eating nothing but their pemmican for decades.

The three Canadians in the article have a "high-fat" diet in which only 39% of calories are from fat! In my book, that is a low-fat diet.

As to Scott, as I said in Trick and Treat, they were effectively killed by their nutritionists who made 'pemmican' containing a high level of carbs. This not only made vitamin C essential (you don't need C on an all-meat diet), it also made their food much less energy-dense per unit of weight, which meant Scott's party couldn't carry sufficient for the journey.

That was in 1912; a century later, they still haven't learned!