The battle over the causes of cardiovascular disease heats up!

By George Henderson and Grant Schofield In today’s Guardian, there’s a report on the backlash against an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine entitled “Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions”.[1] The authors are cardiologists Aseem Malhotra and Pascal Meier, well known for their support of low carb interventions (Pascal Meier is also editor of BMJ Open Heart). And, coming as a surprise to us, Rita Redberg, a cardiologist who is better… Read More

The fat emperor again

Ivor Cummings latest talk is worth a watch. He basically does my entire third year “Lifestyle Disease” class in a single lecture. So you can save taking that and just watch this. I don’t buy the whole “you have to be an engineer to have a problem solving brain” line Ivor.  I’ve heard enough of that from my Dad over the years, who is also an engineer.  True though, they are both good problem solvers. http://www.thefatemperor.com/blog/2017/4/3/fat-emperor-at-weston-price-limerick-a-root-cause-talk-cholesterol-diabetes

The BROAD study – a super-low fat vegan intervention for weight loss

By George Henderson and Grant Schofield There are few diet trials published from New Zealand, so we’re always keen to see them; and there are even fewer vegan diet trials. We are even more interested when they go beyond their data, and start in on a sort of zealot approach to running down low carb diets which this study gives no insight into. So what did they do? They went vegan (plant only) That is, we think this was a vegan study, because it’s called a “whole food plant based diet”, well-known vegan doctors… Read More

What Really Happens to Saturated Fat on a Low Carb Diet?

In our last post, we went into a lot of detail about specific types of saturated fat and their effects on HDL. Here, we’ll try to summarise that information, and highlight some interesting conclusions, in simpler language. But first, a short chemistry lesson. Nothing too hard, hopefully – we’ll just focus on the main dietary saturated fats (technically, fatty acids), the 4 “even numbered, long-chain saturated fats”. Lauric acid – a 12 carbon saturated fat (C12:0). This is the rarest of these 4 fats. It is mainly found in the diet in… Read More

Diet and HDL; the effect of myristic acid vs carbohydrate.

The nutrients that raise and lower HDL and ApoA1. So is getting your HDL high a good thing?  It probably depends if you earned it or not…..and what you eat especially myristic acid This very interesting study from 2014 brings into focus many of our recent posts about HDL, TG/HDL, ApoB/ApoA1 in the context of our more food-focused posts about butter and the dietary guidelines.[1] hdl-diet This is a very readable paper which covers a lot of interesting ground. It looks at the associations between reported intake of micronutrients and macronutrients and a… Read More

Dietary Guidelines – our letter in The Lancet

If anyone’s interested in the public health nutrition debate around the dietary guidelines, then here’s a summary and critique of our latest jousting round(s) with conventional wisdom. In late 2016, an article from New Zealand in defense of the current dietary guidelines was published in the renowned medical journal The Lancet. While the authors (who included Prof Jim Mann, Dr Lisa Te Morenga, Prof Rod Jackson, and Prof Boyd Swinburn) ranged far and wide over the justifications for current guidelines, they cited no research critical of them, and ignored the most trenchant criticisms, which… Read More

Margarines, Cooking Oils, and Non-dairy Spreads – is there enough evidence for benefit or harm?

How much evidence do you need to make recommendations about what the public should eat? It depends really. “On fair evidence we might take action on what appears to be an occupational hazard. For example, we might change from a probably carcinogenic oil to a non-carcinogenic oil in a limited environment and without too much injustice if we are wrong. But we should need very strong evidence before we made people burn a fuel in their homes that they do not like or stop smoking the cigarettes and eating the fats and… Read More

Rebuttal to Rod Jackson – Are New Zealanders the world’s leading butter eaters?

Yesterday this headline appeared in Stuff. Included in the article was a claim from Prof Rod Jackson that “Butter consumption has increased and the underlying cause of heart disease is a diet high in saturated fat.” Kiwis follow advice of advocates for high-fat, low-carb diets, who promote foods such as coconut oil and butter, to the detriment of their health, Jackson said. “Everything was going in the right direction and now people are getting confused. Coconut fat should never go in your mouth, it’s saturated fat.” We think this is a bit rich…. Read More

The importance of the fasting TG/HDL ratio

By George Henderson and Grant Schofield If you have a standard lipid test done in New Zealand and most other parts of the world, it will usually give a couple of ratios at the bottom. One of these is the fasting triglyceride-to-HDL cholesterol ratio. It can also be calculated from the other measurements using this online calculator.* http://www.hughcalc.org/chol-si.php Note that the reference range says that under 2 is ideal, 2-4 is “normal”, over 4 is high. In our opinion TG/HDL ratios in the 2-4 range may be normal, but they are still… Read More

Audio: Low Carb Healthy Fat for sports performance. World triathlon age champion Bevan McKinnon

I’ve witten a lot about fuelling for training and racing for sport performance, especially endurance, and most especially Ironman triathlon.  That’s what inspired What the Fat? Sport Performance, and several blogs about this guy: Bevan McKinnon and his sucess in using low carb healthy fat. He’s now the current Ironman 70.3 and Ironman Hawaii World champion. That follows from his record time for an age grouper at Ironman NZ, Match 2016, and an group win in the ITU long course world champs in 2015. Here’s the audio of my interview with Bevan… Read More