The Hypocritic Oath

Food Pyramids

Posted in Uncategorized by trinkwasser on September 11, 2009

Courtesy of  The Onion

Thanks to Gretchen Becker for this one

My favourite is here

More seriously Walter Willetts at Harvard has come out with something a bit more sensible.

They are still a tad lipophobic though

Dietary Fat Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women: 20 Years of Follow-up of the Nurses’ Health Study

I’ve seen Frank Hu put his name to better papers also.

Well OK, they were only looking at the relationship of fat to cardio risk, but hey, look at the reduction of fat intake over time and ponder to yourself, what did they replace this fat with. Could it conceivably have been carbs??? I think we should have been told!

Intakes of saturated fat and monounsaturated fat were not statistically significant predictors of CHD when adjusted for nondietary and dietary risk factors

That was pretty interesting to find five years ago.

Intakes of total fat, saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat had no clear relation to CHD regardless of age group (data not shown).

There it is again!

So it looks like linoleic acid improves heart attack risk – BUT what was it replacing in the diet? If it was replacing carbs there might conceivably be a stronger effect than if it was replacing saturated fats, this would have been interesting to see.That’s one of the huge big major problems with dietary research, when you add something to the diet it generally means you are reducing something else. Which has the effect you are measuring?

A limitation of our study is that we did not measure blood lipid levels, which could be useful in determining whether the effects of dietary fats on CHD risk are mediated by blood lipid levels.

Oh dear! All that data and they seem to have missed out on a couple of potentially crucial measurements. Those lipophobes! <sigh>

Here in the UK we don’t do pyramids, we have the Eatwell Plate

It may be a significantly different shape but it still seems to have exactly the same effects as a pyramid, rapidly increasing levels of obesity and cardiovascular disease including Type 2, all of which has a surprising (or not if you aren’t a lipophobe) correlation to the reduction of dietary fat and especially saturated fat. Hey, perhaps it’s all those carbs we also are replacing the fat with?

Personally I use the Eat Better Plate. A big hunk of meat or fish dripping with healthy saturated fats and Omega 3s, loads of fresh veggies including salads, herbs and spices and not many carbs at all. When I get round to finishing the My Story pages you’ll see what effect it’s had on my BG, lipids and blood pressure, but I can tell you now that the answer is – ALL GOOD!

Damn, now I made myself  hungry again. Hmmm, salmon or prawns? I think some mixed salad with watercress and olives. OK maybe a prawn curry with coconut oil and creamed coconut and a bunch of coloured peppers, chillies, garlic, ginger root, cumin, cardamom, coriander and anything else I can find beginning with C. After all it’s about six hours since I polished off those sausages and runner beans and strawberries. Oh look, there’s about a glass of Shiraz left in the bottle, what a pleasant coincidence! OK and I’ll add some sesame seeds, that’ll balance the meal nicely, some S’s to go with the G’s and all those C’s.

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2 Responses

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  1. mezzovoice said, on September 19, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I just had a look at your favourite food pyramid. It has sunflower oil on the fat panel and puts fat fairly high up on the pyramid? Willett still has grain at the base and red meat at the top – and sunflower oil among the fats. Not a good idea.

    • trinkwasser said, on September 20, 2009 at 12:36 pm

      Hey, nobody’s perfect! Personally I do more fats, especially saturated, and less Omega 6 (don’t forget there’s sat fat and Omega 3s in that meat and fish at the base!) that was just the nearest pyramid I could find resembling what I eat, there were a whole bunch of them posted on a blog some time back.

      Yeah I think Willett has made a major step forward from the Official Pyramid but I suspect his funding would be severely affected if he took a step further, he does work for Harvard after all 😦

      Some types of sunflower oil have been developed to be higher in oleic acid which is probably not too bad. Personally I use some groundnut oil, simply because I like its cooking characteristics, olive and coconut oil, and cross my fingers and hope the O6s are outcompeted by the O3s I get from the rest of my diet. I’ll let you know posthumously if I was wrong.


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