Are Cheeseburgers Really Heart Healthy?

cheeseburger

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill/PRNewsFoto

The New York Times headline read “Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link.” It’s OK to order the cheeseburgers again!!

The article was highlighting new research showing that saturated fat, the kind found in meat and dairy products, is not linked to heart disease. The new research also found that taking supplements like fish oil to raise “good” cholesterol did not have any impact on heart health.

Dr. John McDougall – author of The Starch Solution and a whole food, plant-based diet advocate was quick to respond.

This March 18, 2014 Annals of Internal Medicine article will become a feeding frenzy for the animal-food-industries: a “nugget of proof” that their saturated fat-laden foods can be eaten guiltlessly. Millions of people worldwide, especially those who are looking to hear good news about their bad habits, will die of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity, and if left unchallenged, resulting increases in livestock production will accelerate global warming even faster.

The headlines proved him correct.

Why almost everything you’ve been told about unhealthy foods is wrong – from The Guardian

Another Blow to the “Saturated Fat Is Bad” School of Thought – from Diabetes Health

A different view on saturated fats – a rather subdued headline from meatpoultry.com

More from Dr. McDougall

The main scientific study they used showing the safety of saturated fat, was a study supported by the National Dairy Council. This is the single study used to promote eating animals by the low-carb movement and the animal food industries.

The majority of the studies this research looked at were from the US and Europe. These studies, for the most part, looked at people eating the typical Western diet.

In the nineteen that were based in North America and 42 in Europe, people all ate the same diet (full of saturated fat, ie. Dairy, meat, and eggs) – how could you possibly see any difference in health?

I found this article – reprinted from WebMD – Saturated Fats: Bad, Not So Bad? It included information about the main author of the study, Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the companies he receives fees from – Bunge (agribusiness), Pollock Institute, Quaker Oats (agribusiness), Life Sciences Research Organization, Foodminds (PR), Nutrition Impact  (“helping food & beverage companies develop and communicate aggressive, science-based claims about their products and services”), Amarin (pharmaceutical), Astra Zeneca (pharmaceutical), Winston and Strawn LLP (corporate law firm), and UpToDate (evidence-based clinical decision support resource), and serving on the scientific advisory board for Unilever North America (among other companies, owner of Ben & Jerry’s).

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

With more and more people wanting organic, non-GMO food and “healthier” options for their families, the meat and dairy industries feel threatened. This study was just what they need to continue to push back against the issues with eating the saturated fat in their products.

Let the “feeding frenzy” begin. Me, I’ll stick with what is working for me to keep me healthy and feeling great.

Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

SupplementsThe editorial couldn’t be clearer, with the title “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.” It was published in the prestigious journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

With respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit…Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful,… Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases.
Unfortunately, despite the growing evidence that most vitamins and supplements aren’t worth the money, the use of them continues to grow.
Despite sobering evidence of no benefit or possible harm, use of multivitamin supplements increased among U.S. adults…Sales of multivitamins and other supplements have not been affected by major studies with null results, and the U.S. supplement industry continues to grow, reaching $28 billion in annual sales in 2010.
In his book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Dr. Colin Campbell makes the case for why vitamins and supplements won’t give you the nutritional value of eating whole foods. He explains that your body breaks down whole foods and uses the nutrients it needs in their natural state, not when certain parts are separated from the whole. The complexity of the digestive system – which Campbell believes we will never fully understand – makes it imperative that in order to have good health you need to eat whole foods.
Disclaimer: because of my whole food, plant-based diet I do take vitamin B-12, as suggested by most physicians who work with patients who do not eat meat or dairy.