Thursday, 29 January 2009

So, when & where did it all go wrong?

No, I'm not talking about Demand Five! I'm talking about us, modern man & woman. We have improved hygiene, clean water & food, modern medicine, antibiotics, antivirals etc. We should be enjoying good health and vitality into our nineties. We're not, though. Degenerative diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Cancer, Dementia, IBS etc are afflicting increasing numbers of people (including youngsters) and are even starting to reduce our longevity statistics. Why?

On one side of the fence are the anti-animal fat brigade who claim that animal fats are the cause of all our health problems and that we should all be eating more vegetable fats and reducing our cholesterol.

On the other side of the fence are the anti-carb brigade who claim that carbohydrates are the cause of all our health problems and that we should all be eating less carbohydrates and increasing our fat consumption.

I'm sure you can guess where I am. I have the splinters to prove it!

In 1911, hydrogenated vegetable oil (Crisco) entered the marketplace. So, in 1911, fat turned bad! See The rise and fall of Crisco.

Interestingly, rates of Coronary Heart Disease started to rise from 1920, 9 years later. Co-incidence?

Our genes may have not changed much in the last few hundred thousand years, but our lifestyles certainly have. We now live mostly sedentary lives (which makes our muscles less sensitive to insulin). We now live and work mostly indoors (which makes us deficient in Vitamin D).

We now don't eat much oily fish. Our vegetables contain much less omega-3 fat than they used to (to make them stay fresh for longer). Our meat now contains much more omega-6 and much less omega-3 fat than it used to (due to feeding animals on grains). These changes make us deficient in omega-3 fat (which makes our muscles less sensitive to insulin).

We now eat loads of refined carbohydrate (which causes unstable blood glucose & insulin levels) and loads of processed foods (which makes us deficient in Magnesium and fibre/fiber).

As a result of all of the above changes, we have many modern diseases.


Zoe Harcombe said...

Hi Nigee - me again! I've been unfaithful and been on Yahoo answers whenever I've not been doing my various jobs!
I'm seeking your help - please do you have any idea how I could get hold of a copy of the 2004 Horizon BBC2 programme on Atkins and the twins? I've got the transcript but I'm so keen to see the actual programme. Did you see Monday's horizon by the way?
Thanks so much for any leads you may have. Happy to pay/donate to charity to find someone who could send me a video copy.
Bye for now -
p.s. came across your ebook - looks fab - deffo one to read when I don't have to read board papers!

Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD said...

Hello! Here's a factor---the American Heart Association is wrong!

Here's the problem--AHA made sweeping statements about omega-6 fats that are not supported by the research.

A cardiac scientist is not expected to be an expert on cancer, but one would hope, that when they proclaim there is no harm from eating high levels of omega-6 fat, they would use an inter-disciplinary approach to confirm their thinking. That’s not what happened.

Recent studies from the USA, France and Sweden indicate a compelling link between omega-6 fat and breast cancer.

Also, conspicuously missing from AHA’s report, were the Lyon Diet Heart study findings, which fed heart patients, either a Mediterranean diet (low in omega-6 fat) or a diet advocated by the AHA. The Mediterranean diet group had a striking 70% reduction in all causes of death, including cancer, compared to the group eating the "heart healthy diet".

In 1999, there was enough evidence of harm to prompt scientists to call for an upper cap on omega-6 fats. Now the AHA is advocating twice that amount! How confusing for consumers!!

Lastly, there is a curious association with Unilever, a large global margarine manufacturer. Three of the 12 scientists declared that they received either advisory or consulting fees from this food conglomerate. Keep in mind that margarines and spreads are among the highest sources of omega-6 fat in westernized countries.

Here are links to full text studies--see what you think:

Nigel Kinbrum B.Sc.(Hons) Eng said...

Hi Zoe. Have you tried contacting the BBC to get a copy of the 2004 Horizon? I saw Monday's Horizon, as my skinny ex-G/F e-mailed me to tell me that it was on. Eileen is a great fidgiter and doesn't think about food as much as I do. Ditto for her blood relatives, who are also skinny! Ironically, she wishes that she wasn't so skinny.

Hi Evelyn. Hello to you, too! It's good to have a visit from someone who actually treats people and is at the sharp end of medicine. So the AHA is doing it wrong. The ADA (& Diabetes UK) are doing it wrong. Is anyone in authority actually doing it right?

I hope that the message I'm trying to get across in my Blog helps people to change their diets for the better and enjoy better health. There are more and more studies coming out showing the risk factors associated with high omega-6:omega-3 ratios and yet I still have arguments with people with letters after their names or who have years of experience who insist that 250mg of EPA + DHA a day "will do".


Lyle said...

In Britain, the government requires farmers to feed pigs corn and soy. In the US, it's not required, but it is common practice anyway. So lard is not what you think it is.

Nigel Kinbrum BSc(Hons)Eng said...

Hi Lyle,

So, lard is not what I think it is. I think it's probably safe to say that nothing is what we think it is anymore.


Lyle said...

After reading more of your blog, it appears that you are well aware that lard is not what it used to be, so my comment was out of place.

BTW, I am not Lyle McDonald. Different Lyle.

Nigel Kinbrum BSc(Hons)Eng said...

Hi Lyle.

It's funny you should mention that you're not Lyle McDonald as that thought did go through my head when I saw your name!