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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Jul-14-02, 16:25
Voyajer's Avatar
Voyajer Voyajer is offline
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Default Understanding Ornish--When saturated fats cause heart disease

A lot of LCers cry "conspiracy" (me included) but I'm coming from a different direction. I think there was a "mistake" made with the Food Pyramid and with the government and the food industry cashed in on it. On the other hand, I understand where Ornish is coming from. For one, he doesn't understand ketosis.

But is his motivation bad? I don't think so. For one, there are actually several studies showing that eating a low-fat diet lowers total cholesterol (if you had been eating a lot of saturated fat, trans fat and a high carb loaded added to it.) Ornish and others are going by this factor. They are coming from a different perspective and there is science behind it.

Three studies showed that reductions in saturated fat and cholesterol intakes are associated with a decreased incidence in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. And you'll notice that Ornish was in on one of them (see below 1, 2, 3).

Okay, so this makes Ornish and others enthusiastic about lowing intake of saturated fats and going on a low-fat diet. But what is wrong with this thinking? Well, it has also been abundantly proven that low-fat diets reduce HDL which makes people perhaps more at risk for coronory heart disease than any other factor (see below 4). I quote from this study: "It has been well established that the higher the HDL-cholesterol concentration, the lower the risk of atherogenesis, and, in epidemiologic studies, low HDL-cholesterol concentrations are a risk factor for coronary heart disease... It is well established that the composition of the diet affects HDL-cholesterol concentrations, with an increase during higher intakes of saturated fat and a decrease when saturated fat is replaced with unsaturated fat or carbohydrates." So the problem now becomes for these scientists who don't recognize low-carbing as an option: Is it more important to decrease cholesterol or more important to increase HDL?

You can see how confused they are. They ignore the fact that low-carbing gives you the benefit of saturated fat raises in HDL while not causing the same rise in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides because of not consuming enough glucose/insulin raising calories to affect these.

That is why one study says that perhaps low-fat diets (which produce "adverse metabolic changes" should only be suggested to those at high risk for heart disease while people with normal cholesterol levels should eat "normal" amounts of fat. I quote from article 5. below: It is not known which of the various lipoprotein indexes used in these studies provides the best prediction of risk of developing coronary artery disease, but overall the results suggest that high-risk individuals, such as those with elevated LDL-cholesterol concentrations or small, dense LDL particles, or both, may be the most appropriate candidates for diets low in total fat (eg, providing much less than 30% of energy), whereas the apparently adverse metabolic changes with such diets may be of particular concern to those individuals who have lipoprotein profiles indicating a low risk of CHD while consuming their usual diets."

That is why the American Heart Association itself said about the same thing (see 6. below): "Dr Ronald Krauss, chairman of the association's nutrition committee, said that studies in healthy people show that there are genetic differences in the response to a low fat diet. Those who, from their metabolic profiles, are at highest risk of heart disease show the greatest benefit from very low fat diets, but the remaining two thirds of the population would show only minimal benefit, and for some it would be harmful."

Ornish has made up his mind that it is better to risk lower HDL than to risk higher cholesterol. He has not considered the fact that cutting out carbs could lower cholesterol because frankly there hasn't been many grants to fund such studies and the ones that do show an improvement in cholesterol through lowering carbs come to very timid conclusions about it.

Only time and articles like Gary Taubes in the NY Times and current ongoing studies in low-carb will put an end to the issue.

1. Hjermann I, Holme I, Velve Byre K, Leren P. Effect of diet and smoking intervention on the incidence of coronary heart disease: report from the Oslo Study Group of a randomized trial in healthy men. Lancet 1981;2:130310.[Medline]
2. Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, et al. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial. Lancet 1990;336:12933.[Medline]
3. Watts GF, Lewis B, Brunt JNH, et al. Effects on coronary artery disease of lipid-lowering diet, or diet plus cholestyramine, in the St. Thomas' Atherosclerosis Regression Study (STARS). Lancet 1992;339:5639.[Medline]
4. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 6, 992-1000, December 1999 HDL-subpopulation patterns in response to reductions in dietary total and saturated fat intakes in healthy subjects
5.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 6, 949-950, December 1999 Low-fat diets, lipoprotein subclasses, and heart disease risk Paul T Williams and Ronald M Krauss
6. BMJ 1998;316:571 ( 21 February ) Very low fat diets may harm some people
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Jul-14-02, 21:20
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DebPenny DebPenny is offline
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Default

Thank you, Voyager. That was very well written and thought out. I am still having a lot of trouble with their saying that people at high risk should be on a low-fat diet. It seems to me that they are the ones who will benefit most from low-carbing, especially if they fit the insulin-resistant profile, like my dad.

I am very thankful that my mom and dad both are following The Schwarzbein Principle. They're working into it kind of slowly, but they both understand it and recognize that it will improve the quality of their life together. And we're going to have lots of fun travelling/camping in September and sharing recipes.

;-Deb
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  #3   ^
Old Sun, Jul-14-02, 22:06
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Voyajer Voyajer is offline
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I totally agree with you Deb that people at high risk for heart disease should be low-carbing. I stated that the AHA suggests low-fat to those high risk patients. That is because they don't recognize low-carbing as an option. It has a stigma against it as we all know because of the tidal wave of government money put to back the pyramid and the low-fat researchers.

So due to prejudice, ignorance, unwillingness to look at alternatives and very closed-minds, people like Ornish are stuck with a very narrow view of the world. The government has turned down funding for research into low-carbing until just recently.

Low-carbing is the very best way to get lipid values to normal. The scientific community just needs to catch up with what all the rest of us already know by experience. They've got their nose caught in a book and they are not looking at real people. It's a matter of their vision versus reality.
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  #4   ^
Old Sun, Jul-14-02, 22:45
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Voyajer Voyajer is offline
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Plan: Protein Power LP Dilletan
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I'm replying twice because I hope I'm not giving anyone the wrong idea. Ornish is dead wrong, but he is not just pulling his philosophy out of thin air. He is cherishing his own published study over any further evidence that could possibly prove him wrong. It's become a matter of pride.

You see, Americans that eat the way Americans eat do in fact raise cholesterol levels by eating saturated fat along with their junk foods, carbs, white flour and sugar. The studies where these people are put on a low-fat diet naturally means they cut out french fries and donuts. The question is whether it was cutting out the saturated fats that lowered the cholesterol or cutting out the junk food carbs. Ornish thinks it was the saturated fats. I think they were just eating better all the way around.

As for the timidity of scientists to discredit other scientist's findings, Dr. Eades in PPLP showed this case in point, p. 46 [truncated]:

"Researchers studied a group of forty-three obese adults who had been unable to lose weight as outpatients...The higher carbohydrate group got their 1,000 calories at 115 grams of carbohydrate, 30 grams of fat, and 73 grams of protein. The low-carbohydrate group got about the same amount of protein, about double the amount of fat, and about a third less carbohydrate than the other group. After six weeks on 1,000 calories per day the higher-carbohydrate group had dropped their insulin levels by about 8 percent, the low-carbohydrate group dropped their insulin levels by a whopping 46 percent over the same period. Glucose, insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations decreased signifcantly in patients eating the 15 percent carbohydrate diet, but not so in the higher carbohydrate diet. We find it both interesting and telling that the authors chose to entitle the report of their study "Similar Weight Loss with a High- and Low-Carbohydrate Diet." The only result in these two groups that was similar was weight loss. In every other way, the low-carb group fared better. [The title was therefore very timid. And the authors of the study gave only this very timid conclusion:] it is "reasonable to question the advocacy of this [low-fat] dietary approach." Reasonable indeed!"

You see, even when studies suggest that low-carbing is better at lowering lipid levels, the authors of the studies are very reluctant to conclude that low-carbing is better than low-fat.
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Jul-22-02, 19:25
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Voyajer Voyajer is offline
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Plan: Protein Power LP Dilletan
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I've changed my mind. After reading Dr. Enig's article and all the politics, back-stabbing, and corruption that has happened during the last 50 years over the cholesterol/saturated fat and low-fat diets issue, I see quite clearly that there was manipulation all the way around. It sounds like Godfather Part IV. Yes, I am crying conspiracy, dirty-dealing, and strong-arm tactics.

I work in the medical field and deal with data and studies for publication in peer-reviewed medical journals all the time. In fact, it is so common that it has become a joke and a slogun and you can even buy T-shirts with this on it:
"When all else fails, manipulate the data."

I've seen it done first-hand on a small scale, but not to the extent of big business that has boycotted any data except that which they wanted to be published and recognized, as was outlined by Dr. Enig in her article The Oiling of America.

As far as Ornish is concerned, I think he is a duped pawn in all this. He has a pet theory and wishes it to be proven. But he is small-fry compared to what Dr. Enig describes went on in big business, government, and the medical profession. It all boils down to the same thing every time: MONEY!

Read the article that made me cry conspiracy:
http://www.westonaprice.org/know_your_fats/oiling.html
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Jul-23-02, 12:34
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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That article was downright disheartening. Those who FUND the research CONTROL the research. I can't believe it's gone this far, and that there weren't more counter punches from the meat and dairy industries.
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  #7   ^
Old Tue, Jul-23-02, 12:58
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DebPenny DebPenny is offline
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Plan: TSP/PPLP/low-cal/My own
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I think the press has been so hard on the meat and dairy industry that they pulled their heads in like turtles to try to ride out the storm. And they couldn't fight back because they couldn't get the studies done that prove they are not the culprits in the fattening of America.

I think that now with the government finally funding some studies into low-carbing we will start to see more from them. They need to weigh in.

;-Deb
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Jul-23-02, 15:40
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Voyajer Voyajer is offline
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Plan: Protein Power LP Dilletan
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Progress: 73%
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Quote:
That article was downright disheartening.


Kristine, I couldn't agree more.

Deb, actually the meat and dairy industry did try to get their own doctors in on studies and these studies actually did disprove the Lipid Hypothesis/Cholesterol scare party, but no one listens to them because they have the meat and dairy money behind them. (Search studies by Donald J McNamara of the Egg Nutrition Center) Everyone thinks the studies are tainted, but no one really understands how the Lipid Hypothesis studies were tainted. I have half a mind never to buy anything made by Proctor and Gamble again except that they make about half the products in the grocery store!
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