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More evidence that fat isn't bad for you..... - Input Junkie
March 29th, 2010
09:44 am

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More evidence that fat isn't bad for you.....
http://www.slate.com/id/2248754/

It might well be that animal fat isn't bad for people, and LDL is too crude a measure-- particle size matters.

And the dangerous thing is refined carbs.

I don't know where this leaves the Mediterranean diet, which has a lot of refined carbs.

I tend to think that eating foods which actually leave you feeling good is a safe path-- this isn't just the foods that taste good (though they well may) or the foods you feel compelled to eat (another maybe). It's what makes you feel content for hours afterwards. Some people need to consider a longer time span-- they have allergies which take a day or two to hit.
Will this new research on fat and carbs will be reflected in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines? According to Meir Stampfer, a Harvard professor of nutrition and epidemiology who worked on the 2000 guidelines, scientists on this year's committee know perfectly well what the evidence says. But few researchers want to shake the status quo or risk confusing the public. Robert Post, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, admits that when it comes to nutritional recommendations, "simple messages, few messages, targeted messages, are very important." Ultimately, then, policymakers have to choose between keeping the message consistent and actually getting it right.

Guys, the point was to keep people healthy, not to get them to obey you.

Link thanks to The Agitator.

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From:richardthinks
Date:March 29th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)
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the point was to keep people healthy, not to get them to obey you

...I like the cover image of that book, which shows a zigzag in a supposedly hyper-straight highway in the midwest, created by a mismatch in cadastral survey data between two states (I forget which). It's not Scott's primary point, but I think one of the conclusions to be drawn from his book is that states wind up behaving in authoritarian ways pretty much by default/accident: it takes careful thought and conscious effort to avoid it.

God help me I'm finally watching Lost (a confession about which I am still not comfortable) and there's a nice motif in it, that whenever any subset of the stranded passengers discovers something discouraging they keep it secret, because each group of random individuals is afraid of how the larger group will react to the news: everyone knows that they, and their immediate interlocutors, are civilised, brave and rational, but everyone is also confident that "the others" will be thrown into barbarous panic. This strikes me as nicely observed.
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From:anton_p_nym
Date:March 29th, 2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
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And the dangerous thing is refined carbs.

I don't know where this leaves the Mediterranean diet, which has a lot of refined carbs.


Yeah, that's the point that made me shrug. I have a lot of issues with dietary guidelines given that they seem to be horribly prone to fads. Sorry, folks, but when the model's predictions don't match the data gathered it's not the data that's the problem.

Besides, it's not healthy to obsess on food... and it's no better when that obsession focuses minutiae of content rather than volume.

-- Steve thinks that there are lots of possible healthy diets out there, given only that they match the exercise levels and metabolisms of those eating them.
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From:richardthinks
Date:March 29th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
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I remember a claim from the Shackleton exhibit at AMNH that one could live quite healthily on a predominantly protein (meat & fish) diet or a predominantly/entirely vegetable diet: that data from (IIRC) studies of Inuit seal-hunters suggested that a high-protein, high-fat diet was just fine long term - this in response to questions regarding what a diet of penguins might have done to Shackleton and his crew over 2 years. Their conclusion was that the human body was a remarkably adaptable thing.

Damned if I know. I just eat what I like.
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From:madfilkentist
Date:March 29th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
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The comments on fructose suggest that consuming fruit may be overrated.
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From:freyas_fire
Date:March 29th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
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Seems to me the trend is that they're finally figuring out that the PROCESSED fats, carbs, sugars, are what's really causing the problem. Best thing you can do? Stay away from foods that come in a box, and stick to foods with the least amount of processing, like fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, etc., and keep everything else in moderation. The body needs some amount of fat in the system to work properly. Replacing it with processed sugars, which is what most of those "low-fat" food products do, is far worse.
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From:nancylebov
Date:March 29th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
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Meat doesn't need much processing, and I don't know of any evidence that a mostly vegetarian diet is the best for everyone.
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From:freyas_fire
Date:March 29th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
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I would say a vegan diet is probably not very healthy (on a long term basis), but if the vegetarian diet still included a good source of protein and fats from dairy products like cheese, it shouldn't be too bad. Meats are fine too, in moderation, though I would try to steer clear of ones loaded with antibiotics and growth hormones. If they could make up their minds about eggs, a few of them a week would also work.
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From:nancylebov
Date:March 29th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
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I believe there's a lot of variation in what people need, both between people and for the same person over time, and it's necessary to pay attention to how your food affects you.
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From:lilairen
Date:March 29th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
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For the record, I'm one of those people who, if she doesn't get a certain amount of animal protein in her diet, feels like she's starving after a while. I can make do in a vegetarian-dominated environment with enough cheese and eggs, and tended to go home from those retreats with a "COULD WE STOP FOR A BURGER PLEASE I HAVEN'T EATEN IN DAYS" feeling.

I usually don't like burgers.

I have heard, though I take this with something of a grain of salt 'cos it sounds like the crackpot paleo diet stuff, that the only people some doctor has encountered who could be vegetarian long-term were blood type A, blood type B does moderation well, and blood type O can't sustain vegetarianism at all. I am not a counterexample to this potentially crackpot piece of data.
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From:jimtbari
Date:March 30th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
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I have heard, though I take this with something of a grain of salt 'cos it sounds like the crackpot paleo diet stuff, that the only people some doctor has encountered who could be vegetarian long-term were blood type A, blood type B does moderation well, and blood type O can't sustain vegetarianism at all. I am not a counterexample to this potentially crackpot piece of data.
Huh. Nor am I (vegan for almost a year now and type A+) a counterexample. I've heard of the "different blood types need different things" hypothesis, but didn't remember any details.

I don't recall ever having felt an urge to eat meat, and was astonished at how much I *didn't* miss cheese. Only thing I do miss is Vitamin B12, which I was warned about. I felt great, got tired about a month in, and started supplementing at that point (and got un-tired within hours, IIRC. Definitely within two days).

And I do rather agree with nancylebov about how, probably, different people will need different things. Just seems sensible and obvious to me.



Edited at 2010-03-30 05:10 pm (UTC)
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From:bradhicks
Date:March 29th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
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You know, nothing has happened recently that would encourage me to reconsider my decision to ignore any "food science" or nutrition claims until they've gone 20 or more years without being contradicted.

Seriously. I don't see evidence piling up that this food or that food is good for you or bad for you. What I see piling up is evidence that nutritionists don't even know what the hell it is their measuring, or how any of those chemicals actually work in the human body, let alone what advice they should be giving.

Eat a balanced diet. Don't eat when you're not hungry. Stop eating before you get full. Don't eat more calories than you need. None of it controversial, none of it recent, all of it time tested (heck, most of it all the way back to Hippocrates), and I'm far from convinced that anybody, anywhere, needs any more nutritional advice than that.
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From:nancylebov
Date:March 29th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
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I think some exploring and attention can be necessary to find food sensitivities-- celiac for example.
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From:captain_button
Date:March 30th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
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Wait, I may not be shortening my life by eating all this crap?

Dammit.
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