Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Reason to Eat Red Meat, Fat, Eggs and Salt

It looks like Reason magazine has been reading about my diet...or maybe just studies showing no associations between red meat and mortality, saturated fat and heart disease, stroke or cardiovascular disease, or salt consumption and disease. Summarizing published research from the past few years, the article calls the government's dietary advice of the past forty years a fiasco of misinformation,  even noting there's a positive association between a low-sodium diet and death. It adds that the US government's Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has dropped their long crusade against cholesterol.

The article explains,

Observational studies [which the government relied on] may be good at developing hypotheses, but they are mostly not a good basis for making behavioral recommendations and imposing regulations.

It's refreshing for the mainstream media to recognize that mainstream dietary advice hasn't been working instead of parroting the same misinformation. The comments section of the article is happily free of the usual vegan trolls, too: Reason is libertarian (a way of thinking that doesn't draw many vegans) and commenting requires registration.

See "The Red Meat, Eggs, Fat, and Salt Diet" by Ronald Bailey, Reason magazine's Hit & Run Blog, February 24, 2015. 

17 comments:

FogDog said...

When I think of misinformation I think of intentional actions. As a mechanical engineer I'm sure you understand how the same data can be viewed multiple ways. I really don't think anyone intentionally misled the public, I just think a lot of studies are flawed and open to interpretation and you never know what will resonate with the public and what won't.

Remember, over the years there have beena lot of food "villians" - Fat, Cholestoral, HFCS, and Carbs just to name a few. Nowadays Gluten and Sugar seem to be in the spotlight and I can find studies that support and refute all of these things.

-FogDog Weight Loss

Lori Miller said...

Nutrition research is full of magic tricks to yield the conclusions the researchers want: LC studies that aren't long enough for adaptation, LC studies that aren't really LC (>180g/day), and at least one involving wheat where the control was dairy protein, something that wheat intolerant people tend to also be intolerant to. Then there's statistical shenanigans. Then there's just saying what you want to say regardless of the actual conclusions.

Yes, data can be viewed in different ways, but all we heard about until a few years ago was the evils of fat, when the evils of carbs were lurking there.

Gwen said...

As long as this great nation requires wheat and corn farmers (and it always will)...the government cannot afford to bankrupt itself by admitting that wheat and corn is toxic to humans. It's a matter of simple economics, sadly.

Lori Miller said...

Why would the US require as many wheat and corn farmers if there were less of a demand for the stuff?

Lori Miller said...

If you mean from loss of tax revenue, the government will face a huge burden of medical costs of illnesses (especially diabetes among Baby Boomers) if they don't change their recommendations. Besides, wheat and corn farmers will do something else with their land if their current business isn't profitable enough: raising livestock, growing other crops, or starting a wind farm where trees grow diagonally.

Lowcarb team member said...

Well I love eating meat, fish, poultry, fat, eggs, non starchy vegetables, everything LCHF and will continue to do so.

Farmers unite and grow more great whole real foods for the population to enjoy .........

All the best Jan

Lori Miller said...

Hear, hear! Better food, better health, fewer subsidies, and where animals start grazing and foraging again, it's better for the land.

FogDog said...

Yes, data can be viewed in different ways, but all we heard about until a few years ago was the evils of fat, when the evils of carbs were lurking there.

True indeed, but at the time I don't believe the public was intentionally being misled. Fat just had a lousy PR agent. Finally it fired the agent and he moved on to represent carbs.

Additionally, most people suffer from confirmation bias including scientists who first concluded fat was bad. From there on subsequent studies just supported what they already believed.

20 Years from now people will be screaming about how the evils of of corn starch were clear in 2015 but everyone was too focused on carbs or better yet someone will discover that eggs were bad after all and we'll start all over again..

-FogDogWeightLoss.Blogspot.com

Lori Miller said...

Actually, the studies didn't support what they already believed. (Read some of the links in the Reason article.) Neither did evolution, endocrinology textbooks or common experience. But they persisted, probably not with the intention of deceiving the public, but with making a living. Neither that nor confirmation bias, which scientists are supposed to take into account, were an excuse for their intellectual prostitution. If you think I'm being harsh, look up Barnard and Cambell on my blog or "low carb scare studies" over at the Diabetes Update blog in my blogroll.

You mentioned mechanical engineering. My thermodynamics professor said to us, "Concepts are fine, but if you can't get the right answer, you're no use to anyone." The researchers, politicians, and industry flacks who pushed low-fat diets were worse than useless.

Galina L. said...

I do feel very negatively about vegetarianism, and so many people are victims.

Lori Miller said...

If a person enjoys a vegetarian diet and feels good on it, that's fine with me. What I don't like is some proponents of veganism are out-and-out dishonest. If it's so great, why make things up?

Galina L. said...

I keep coming across the people who follow vegetarianism because they BELIEVE it is a healthy choice or pressured by their social circle while being blind to what it is doing to them.I am thinking at the moment about my favorite yoga teacher. She is 5 years younger than me - 49, I know her for longer than 10 years, and I can observe what that "enjoyment" looks like.

Lori Miller said...

That's true--some people don't connect their diet to their health problems. I've heard some people say that they had some mysterious health problem and their doctor said it was a good thing their diet was so healthy, or they'd be a lot sicker. Turned out the problem WAS their diet.

Galina L. said...

It is the case with my yoga teacher - she is very health-oriented, don't eat sweets and cooks her food, but her extremely tired face all the time (not explained by a busy life), mysterious numerous illnesses and energy problems are the marks that she is not thriving at all.

Lori Miller said...

If she's really into Indian culture or spirituality, it might be hard for her to accept that ditching her brown rice and lentils for a bunless cheeseburger could solve her problems.

Galina L. said...

It is hard to ditch believes for many people.

Lori Miller said...

Especially if the beliefs are based on feelings.