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Are high fat diets truly health ?

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Graelwyn75
Graelwyn75 Posts: 4,404 Member
Notice quite a few who are doing Paleo and Primal here, have very high fat intakes, some as high as 180g a day, mostly animal fat and coconut oil and must admit, that would worry me, as I have not yet found any recent studies that say a high intake of saturated fat in particular, animal fat, is not bad for health. In fact, only recently, a study showed that more than a 20g of bacon or processed meat a day does cause issues.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/07/cancer-risk-processed-meat-study

I am certainly impressed by the healthy whole foods in the diaries of those eating Paleo and Primal, and find it a tempting lifestyle on occasion, but I do wonder about the longterm impact of so much fat, rather than a more balanced approach.
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Replies

  • SanteMulberry
    SanteMulberry Posts: 3,202 Member
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    Well, there are only three macros to pick from.

    If you aren't going to eat high carbs (and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that high carb (and especially simple carbs and sugar) is bad for you. Consuming a lot of sugar is associated with obesity, Type II diabetes, hypertension, gouty arthritis, renal disease and maybe even various forms of cancer. Cancer cells need fructose and glucose to survive and prosper. There is some experimental evidence that a ketogenic diet will wipe out cancerous tumors better than chemotherapy because the cancer cells cannot survive on ketones and must have a ready supply of fructose and glucose (which is in short supply when the patient is in ketosis).

    The next macro, protein, is a good thing to eat but too much protein (despite what some bodybuilders will tell you) is not a good idea, as burning protein for energy in the body (which is what will happen if the diet is too heavily weighted in the direction of protein) is problematic.

    That leaves fat, out of default. There is no evidence that eating a high proportion of the diet as fat calories is particularly a problem. To the contrary, there is evidence that the "low fat/no fat" craze of the past few decades has been very detrimental to the national waistline and health. Fat has a satiating effect as opposed to sugar (and especially the fructose component of sugar) which researchers believe has an "anti-satiety" effect and leads to food addiction in some people. Scientists have known for decades that eating cholesterol does not cause high cholesterol in the blood. The liver makes much more cholesterol every day than we could possibly eat. Our ancestors ate a lot of fat, and many of them ate a lot more than we would today--and yet, most of them were slender. The only dietary difference between us and them is that they only ate 5 pounds of sugar per capita per year and we eat 150 pounds of sugar per capita per year. Could be the sugar and not the fat.
  • Graelwyn75
    Graelwyn75 Posts: 4,404 Member
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    They were slender, but we do not know what their lifespan would be given today's medical options. Slenderness is not a measure of health. There have not yet, to my knowledge, been any longterm studies on the longevity of those eating high fat diets ? I would love to read if there has though as I like learning all I can about the various options.

    I do not do high carb, high fat or high protein. I have them all pretty much balanced out currently, about 100-150g carbs, 70-90g fat and 80-130g protein per day.
  • auddii
    auddii Posts: 15,357 Member
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    I'm a believer of the calculating how much fat and protein you need based on your weight, and then redistributing whatever calories you have left as you see fit. So, I treat my fat and protein goals as minimums and try to work with that. I'm usually over on fats, and kind of low on protein. Working on that; just bought some protein powder this weekend. I already treat chicken as a side dish at lunch :laugh:
  • SanteMulberry
    SanteMulberry Posts: 3,202 Member
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    They were slender, but we do not know what their lifespan would be given today's medical options. Slenderness is not a measure of health. There have not yet, to my knowledge, been any longterm studies on the longevity of those eating high fat diets ? I would love to read if there has though as I like learning all I can about the various options.

    I do not do high carb, high fat or high protein. I have them all pretty much balanced out currently, about 100-150g carbs, 70-90g fat and 80-130g protein per day.

    Here's a fascinating website of an M.D. Ph.D. by the name of Ravnskov, who discusses "The Cholesterol Myth" and who believes that dietary fat is extremely important to good health. http://www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,034 Member
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    Unfortunately most if not all studies about saturated fat are associated with other variables where it's then linked to disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes and those other factors generally are lifestyle. Much like the study you linked to.

    Better question to ask is, if in fact saturated fat is deleterious to health, then there must be a lower safe limit where the mechanisms that cause disease from saturated fat are negated. Lets face it if saturated fat was the boogy man then there would be no argument about what in saturated fat causes heart disease, but we don't, because it doesn't.

    Again I don't see the point in leaving out a macro to lose weight or justify a lifestyle, but as long as your getting proper nutrition overall then consume more fat than the RDA or what you might think is healthy probably is not too much of a concern.
  • SanteMulberry
    SanteMulberry Posts: 3,202 Member
    Options
    Unfortunately most if not all studies about saturated fat are associated with other variables where it's then linked to disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes and those other factors generally are lifestyle. Much like the study you linked to.

    Better question to ask is, if in fact saturated fat is deleterious to health, then there must be a lower safe limit where the mechanisms that cause disease from saturated fat are negated. Lets face it if saturated fat was the boogy man then there would be no argument about what in saturated fat causes heart disease, but we don't, because it doesn't.

    Again I don't see the point in leaving out a macro to lose weight or justify a lifestyle, but as long as your getting proper nutrition overall then consume more fat than the RDA or what you might think is healthy probably is not too much of a concern.

    I usually avoid things like bacon (more because of the nitrites than anything else) but I don't believe it is a terribly healthy thing to eat. I like to eat healthy fats like avocados--and nuts also. I think it is a mistake to exclude both of those very healthy foods. In those studies where they link saturated fat to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, one wonders if there was any attempt to limit sugar consumption. I believe that sugar will turn out to be much more deleterious to health than saturated fat. They already know that sugar consumption is tied to high triglycerides and that is part of the cardiovascular disease picture.
  • babymaddux
    babymaddux Posts: 209 Member
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    I usually avoid things like bacon (more because of the nitrites than anything else) but I don't believe it is a terribly healthy thing to eat. I like to eat healthy fats like avocados--and nuts also. I think it is a mistake to exclude both of those very healthy foods. In those studies where they link saturated fat to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, one wonders if there was any attempt to limit sugar consumption. I believe that sugar will turn out to be much more deleterious to health than saturated fat. They already know that sugar consumption is tied to high triglycerides and that is part of the cardiovascular disease picture.

    slightly off topic, but my grandmother was diagnosed with lymphoma in the early 80s. she looked into alternative treatments and found something that worked for her. she ate 1lb of red meat per meal every day for about 12 months i think it was. it could have been longer, i never got that info from her. no radiation therapy and only 1 round of chemo that didn't help. she changed her diet following the chemo. she was in remission for over 20 years.
    all her life she covered bread, vegetables, rice, pasta etc in butter, only drank full fat milk and fried everything she could. she died 3 years ago aged 90 with low blood pressure and low cholesterol. my grandfather ate the same foods and is 91 and counting.
    look at seniors who lived through the depression, war years and rationing. not many are obese compared to younger generations and they all lived on what we would now consider to be unhealthy diets. butter, pastry, eggs, fried foods. what they didn't regularly eat was a lot of sugar or chemical alternatives to food.
  • SharpieV
    SharpieV Posts: 26 Member
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    In fact, only recently, a study showed that more than a 20g of bacon or processed meat a day does cause issues.

    Somehow that doesn't surprise me- bacon and other processed meats are typically high in salt and sugars as well. Unprocessed meats tend to avoid that issue. I would be far more interested in a study that looked at high fat as the only variable while avoiding the high sugar and nitrates that go along with most processed meats and other processed foods. Don't get me wrong- I love bacon, but the primal/paleo stuff I read doesn't consider it any more of a truly 'healthy' option than most 'mainstream' eating plans.

    So long as you're hitting the minimum fat and protein requirements (along with proper vitamins, etc), I am with the 'let the rest fall as makes you happy' group. I am not familiar with a 'minimum carb' requirement for health, and in most cases, think that even if there is one, no one seems to be having any trouble meeting it with the ready availability of healthy carbs in fruits and veg, and then the somewhat more questionable but delicious pastas, breads, beers, etc.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,034 Member
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    Unfortunately most if not all studies about saturated fat are associated with other variables where it's then linked to disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes and those other factors generally are lifestyle. Much like the study you linked to.

    Better question to ask is, if in fact saturated fat is deleterious to health, then there must be a lower safe limit where the mechanisms that cause disease from saturated fat are negated. Lets face it if saturated fat was the boogy man then there would be no argument about what in saturated fat causes heart disease, but we don't, because it doesn't.

    Again I don't see the point in leaving out a macro to lose weight or justify a lifestyle, but as long as your getting proper nutrition overall then consume more fat than the RDA or what you might think is healthy probably is not too much of a concern.

    I usually avoid things like bacon (more because of the nitrites than anything else) but I don't believe it is a terribly healthy thing to eat. I like to eat healthy fats like avocados--and nuts also. I think it is a mistake to exclude both of those very healthy foods. In those studies where they link saturated fat to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, one wonders if there was any attempt to limit sugar consumption. I believe that sugar will turn out to be much more deleterious to health than saturated fat. They already know that sugar consumption is tied to high triglycerides and that is part of the cardiovascular disease picture.
    Trigs in the blood is a problem, no doubt about it and sugar in the diet does promote the type of lipoproteins called Lp(a) or ldLDL to be produced, where replacing sugar with fat and saturated fat lowers those low dense LDL particles and trigs in the blood.
  • Graelwyn75
    Graelwyn75 Posts: 4,404 Member
    Options
    Unfortunately most if not all studies about saturated fat are associated with other variables where it's then linked to disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes and those other factors generally are lifestyle. Much like the study you linked to.

    Better question to ask is, if in fact saturated fat is deleterious to health, then there must be a lower safe limit where the mechanisms that cause disease from saturated fat are negated. Lets face it if saturated fat was the boogy man then there would be no argument about what in saturated fat causes heart disease, but we don't, because it doesn't.

    Again I don't see the point in leaving out a macro to lose weight or justify a lifestyle, but as long as your getting proper nutrition overall then consume more fat than the RDA or what you might think is healthy probably is not too much of a concern.

    I usually avoid things like bacon (more because of the nitrites than anything else) but I don't believe it is a terribly healthy thing to eat. I like to eat healthy fats like avocados--and nuts also. I think it is a mistake to exclude both of those very healthy foods. In those studies where they link saturated fat to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, one wonders if there was any attempt to limit sugar consumption. I believe that sugar will turn out to be much more deleterious to health than saturated fat. They already know that sugar consumption is tied to high triglycerides and that is part of the cardiovascular disease picture.

    I tend to take the view that almost anything taken in excess, might be detrimental to health. I have no issue with fat, just unsure as to how healthy it would be to have a diet consisting of large amounts of saturated ANIMAL fat. I eat between 70 and 90g a day, as said, so I am hardly of the low fat brigade. I also believe highly processed, sugary foods may well be a larger issue, but as said, I think anything in excess is probably not too healthy, barring perhaps vegetables. I regularly have avocado, nuts, eggs and even a few tbsp coconut oil a week as well as some butter and full fat cottage cheese. But fat is 35-40% of my diet.
  • SanteMulberry
    SanteMulberry Posts: 3,202 Member
    Options


    I usually avoid things like bacon (more because of the nitrites than anything else) but I don't believe it is a terribly healthy thing to eat. I like to eat healthy fats like avocados--and nuts also. I think it is a mistake to exclude both of those very healthy foods. In those studies where they link saturated fat to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, one wonders if there was any attempt to limit sugar consumption. I believe that sugar will turn out to be much more deleterious to health than saturated fat. They already know that sugar consumption is tied to high triglycerides and that is part of the cardiovascular disease picture.

    slightly off topic, but my grandmother was diagnosed with lymphoma in the early 80s. she looked into alternative treatments and found something that worked for her. she ate 1lb of red meat per meal every day for about 12 months i think it was. it could have been longer, i never got that info from her. no radiation therapy and only 1 round of chemo that didn't help. she changed her diet following the chemo. she was in remission for over 20 years.
    all her life she covered bread, vegetables, rice, pasta etc in butter, only drank full fat milk and fried everything she could. she died 3 years ago aged 90 with low blood pressure and low cholesterol. my grandfather ate the same foods and is 91 and counting.
    look at seniors who lived through the depression, war years and rationing. not many are obese compared to younger generations and they all lived on what we would now consider to be unhealthy diets. butter, pastry, eggs, fried foods. what they didn't regularly eat was a lot of sugar or chemical alternatives to food.

    Yes, I remember my grandmother saying that sugar was too expensive to eat very often when she was growing up. She also said something interesting about acne, of all things. She observed that so many of my friends had acne and said that, when she was a "young person", few of the boys and none of the girls had acne. She blamed our acne affliction on the sugar and white flour we were eating (she only ever ate "brown bread"). Researchers are now coming back to the idea of a dietary link to acne. The possible culprits? You guessed it---sugar and simple carbs! Grandma knew. :wink:
  • Akimajuktuq
    Akimajuktuq Posts: 3,037 Member
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    YES. Better revisit those "studies". Are you reading studies or published reports from government or health organizations? Ancel Keys research has had the greatest impact on what we are told is healthy, even though he cherry picked his data to show a link between heart disease and saturated fat, when there actually is none. In the past and to this day, any researcher who challenges, or disproves, Keys' fat hypothesis risks disappearing into oblivion. The processed food industry has every interest in keeping us scared of saturated fat and the health/pharmaceutical industry has every interest in keeping us sick.

    Is it logical that the food we are adapted to eat for a million years or so would cause disease? If so, why do modern hunter/gatherers show no "diseases of civilization" until they start eating sugar, refined flours, etc.?

    Just one example: Inuit had no heart disease, diabetes, cancer, tooth decay, autoimmune disorders until they started eating what the rest of us are eating. Their natural diet is animal based, very high in fat, with a few berries and sea vegetables (depends on region) for a brief period. Ancel Keys, and some other researchers, ignored the research of the Inuit (along with larger populations where the data disproved his hypothesis). Perhaps he thought they weren't quite human or were somehow genetically distinct from the rest of us (they are not).

    I tire of arguing this issue repeatedly on MFP. If you really were well read on this subject, you would no longer fear natural fats. The only results of a very high fat diet (quality matters!) are: the resolution/prevention of disease, a healthy body weight, a happy mind, and crazy energy. Being sick, sad, and fat is NOT normal. Check out the research of Dr. Weston Price; that's a good place to start your research.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,371 Member
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    The question then is what would cause high cholesterol? I can't imagine eating high fat considering my cholesterol is too high. I try to stay under the fat goal, personally.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,034 Member
    Options
    Unfortunately most if not all studies about saturated fat are associated with other variables where it's then linked to disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes and those other factors generally are lifestyle. Much like the study you linked to.

    Better question to ask is, if in fact saturated fat is deleterious to health, then there must be a lower safe limit where the mechanisms that cause disease from saturated fat are negated. Lets face it if saturated fat was the boogy man then there would be no argument about what in saturated fat causes heart disease, but we don't, because it doesn't.

    Again I don't see the point in leaving out a macro to lose weight or justify a lifestyle, but as long as your getting proper nutrition overall then consume more fat than the RDA or what you might think is healthy probably is not too much of a concern.

    I usually avoid things like bacon (more because of the nitrites than anything else) but I don't believe it is a terribly healthy thing to eat. I like to eat healthy fats like avocados--and nuts also. I think it is a mistake to exclude both of those very healthy foods. In those studies where they link saturated fat to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, one wonders if there was any attempt to limit sugar consumption. I believe that sugar will turn out to be much more deleterious to health than saturated fat. They already know that sugar consumption is tied to high triglycerides and that is part of the cardiovascular disease picture.

    I tend to take the view that almost anything taken in excess, might be detrimental to health. I have no issue with fat, just unsure as to how healthy it would be to have a diet consisting of large amounts of saturated ANIMAL fat. I eat between 70 and 90g a day, as said, so I am hardly of the low fat brigade. I also believe highly processed, sugary foods may well be a larger issue, but as said, I think anything in excess is probably not too healthy, barring perhaps vegetables. I regularly have avocado, nuts, eggs and even a few tbsp coconut oil a week as well as some butter and full fat cottage cheese. But fat is 35-40% of my diet.
    Even vegetables can be a problem if they interfere with balancing of individuals nutritional needs.

    Why did you emphasis "ANIMAL" saturated fat, what's in that saturated fat that you feel might be different than other sources of saturated fat?
  • Graelwyn75
    Graelwyn75 Posts: 4,404 Member
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    I usually avoid things like bacon (more because of the nitrites than anything else) but I don't believe it is a terribly healthy thing to eat. I like to eat healthy fats like avocados--and nuts also. I think it is a mistake to exclude both of those very healthy foods. In those studies where they link saturated fat to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, one wonders if there was any attempt to limit sugar consumption. I believe that sugar will turn out to be much more deleterious to health than saturated fat. They already know that sugar consumption is tied to high triglycerides and that is part of the cardiovascular disease picture.

    slightly off topic, but my grandmother was diagnosed with lymphoma in the early 80s. she looked into alternative treatments and found something that worked for her. she ate 1lb of red meat per meal every day for about 12 months i think it was. it could have been longer, i never got that info from her. no radiation therapy and only 1 round of chemo that didn't help. she changed her diet following the chemo. she was in remission for over 20 years.
    all her life she covered bread, vegetables, rice, pasta etc in butter, only drank full fat milk and fried everything she could. she died 3 years ago aged 90 with low blood pressure and low cholesterol. my grandfather ate the same foods and is 91 and counting.
    look at seniors who lived through the depression, war years and rationing. not many are obese compared to younger generations and they all lived on what we would now consider to be unhealthy diets. butter, pastry, eggs, fried foods. what they didn't regularly eat was a lot of sugar or chemical alternatives to food.

    This is also something I considered, but I concluded they were also more active in their daily lives than a lot of today's people are, due to there being a lot less technology around.
  • Graelwyn75
    Graelwyn75 Posts: 4,404 Member
    Options
    YES. Better revisit those "studies". Are you reading studies or published reports from government or health organizations? Ancel Keys research has had the greatest impact on what we are told is healthy, even though he cherry picked his data to show a link between heart disease and saturated fat, when there actually is none. In the past and to this day, any researcher who challenges, or disproves, Keys' fat hypothesis risks disappearing into oblivion. The processed food industry has every interest in keeping us scared of saturated fat and the health/pharmaceutical industry has every interest in keeping us sick.

    Is it logical that the food we are adapted to eat for a million years or so would cause disease? If so, why do modern hunter/gatherers show no "diseases of civilization" until they start eating sugar, refined flours, etc.?

    Just one example: Inuit had no heart disease, diabetes, cancer, tooth decay, autoimmune disorders until they started eating what the rest of us are eating. Their natural diet is animal based, very high in fat, with a few berries and sea vegetables (depends on region) for a brief period. Ancel Keys, and some other researchers, ignored the research of the Inuit (along with larger populations where the data disproved his hypothesis). Perhaps he thought they weren't quite human or were somehow genetically distinct from the rest of us (they are not).

    I tire of arguing this issue repeatedly on MFP. If you really were well read on this subject, you would no longer fear natural fats. The only results of a very high fat diet (quality matters!) are: the resolution/prevention of disease, a healthy body weight, a happy mind, and crazy energy. Being sick, sad, and fat is NOT normal. Check out the research of Dr. Weston Price; that's a good place to start your research.

    I have no interest in anything you have to say. I simply posted a civilised question, based on genuine curiosity. You seem so obsessed with your lifestyle choice, that you feel the need to attack someone who is simply trying to learn more. Get s life, seriously. I have no time for internet bullies. Especially ones who assume I am afraid of natural fats, proving they have not even bothered to properly read my posts. Lol.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,034 Member
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    YES. Better revisit those "studies". Are you reading studies or published reports from government or health organizations? Ancel Keys research has had the greatest impact on what we are told is healthy, even though he cherry picked his data to show a link between heart disease and saturated fat, when there actually is none. In the past and to this day, any researcher who challenges, or disproves, Keys' fat hypothesis risks disappearing into oblivion. The processed food industry has every interest in keeping us scared of saturated fat and the health/pharmaceutical industry has every interest in keeping us sick.

    Is it logical that the food we are adapted to eat for a million years or so would cause disease? If so, why do modern hunter/gatherers show no "diseases of civilization" until they start eating sugar, refined flours, etc.?

    Just one example: Inuit had no heart disease, diabetes, cancer, tooth decay, autoimmune disorders until they started eating what the rest of us are eating. Their natural diet is animal based, very high in fat, with a few berries and sea vegetables (depends on region) for a brief period. Ancel Keys, and some other researchers, ignored the research of the Inuit (along with larger populations where the data disproved his hypothesis). Perhaps he thought they weren't quite human or were somehow genetically distinct from the rest of us (they are not).

    I tire of arguing this issue repeatedly on MFP. If you really were well read on this subject, you would no longer fear natural fats. The only results of a very high fat diet (quality matters!) are: the resolution/prevention of disease, a healthy body weight, a happy mind, and crazy energy. Being sick, sad, and fat is NOT normal. Check out the research of Dr. Weston Price; that's a good place to start your research.
    Then there's the Kitevans of SEA who consumed 70% carbs............... no heart disease, diabetes or obesity.
  • BullletproofPaleoman
    BullletproofPaleoman Posts: 20 Member
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    Notice quite a few who are doing Paleo and Primal here, have very high fat intakes, some as high as 180g a day, mostly animal fat and coconut oil and must admit, that would worry me, as I have not yet found any recent studies that say a high intake of saturated fat in particular, animal fat, is not bad for health. In fact, only recently, a study showed that more than a 20g of bacon or processed meat a day does cause issues.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/07/cancer-risk-processed-meat-study

    I am certainly impressed by the healthy whole foods in the diaries of those eating Paleo and Primal, and find it a tempting lifestyle on occasion, but I do wonder about the longterm impact of so much fat, rather than a more balanced approach.

    I've been doing a high-fat version of Paleo/Primal/Bulletproof since the first of the year. 67% fat/22% protein/11% carbs is what I came in at this week. I've been low-carb off and on for several years, but this is the best I've felt in a long time.
  • SanteMulberry
    SanteMulberry Posts: 3,202 Member
    Options
    YES. Better revisit those "studies". Are you reading studies or published reports from government or health organizations? Ancel Keys research has had the greatest impact on what we are told is healthy, even though he cherry picked his data to show a link between heart disease and saturated fat, when there actually is none. In the past and to this day, any researcher who challenges, or disproves, Keys' fat hypothesis risks disappearing into oblivion. The processed food industry has every interest in keeping us scared of saturated fat and the health/pharmaceutical industry has every interest in keeping us sick.

    Is it logical that the food we are adapted to eat for a million years or so would cause disease? If so, why do modern hunter/gatherers show no "diseases of civilization" until they start eating sugar, refined flours, etc.?

    Just one example: Inuit had no heart disease, diabetes, cancer, tooth decay, autoimmune disorders until they started eating what the rest of us are eating. Their natural diet is animal based, very high in fat, with a few berries and sea vegetables (depends on region) for a brief period. Ancel Keys, and some other researchers, ignored the research of the Inuit (along with larger populations where the data disproved his hypothesis). Perhaps he thought they weren't quite human or were somehow genetically distinct from the rest of us (they are not).

    I tire of arguing this issue repeatedly on MFP. If you really were well read on this subject, you would no longer fear natural fats. The only results of a very high fat diet (quality matters!) are: the resolution/prevention of disease, a healthy body weight, a happy mind, and crazy energy. Being sick, sad, and fat is NOT normal. Check out the research of Dr. Weston Price; that's a good place to start your research.

    Yep. The medical establishment ignored the fact that non-Inuit explorers who adopted the diet of the Inuit also prospered in their health. (The anti-saturated fat docs had earlier declared that the Inuit must be genetically different from the rest of us and that is why they could tolerate so much dietary fat.) Ahhh, "evidence-based" medicine in action! :noway:
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,371 Member
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    Somehow I think those Inuit and explorers had much more physical activity than the average American or European though.

    I haven't really researched it because I couldn't do it though. Maybe I'd lose weight for a while, then I'd want to eat normally again and put it all back... again.