One for the health care loons

Scientists have discovered that saturated fat does not cause heart disease while so-called ‘healthy’ polyunsaturated fats do not prevent cardiovascular problems.

In contrast with decades old nutritional advice, researchers at Cambridge University have found that giving up fatty meat, cream or butter is unlikely to improve health.

They are calling for guidelines to be changed to reflect a growing body of evidence suggesting there is no overall association between saturated fat consumption and heart disease.


The point
being that if we’re all allowed to eat these fatty foods again then consumption of salt and sugar will quite naturally fall for the use of those two is to try to give some flavour to things that have no fat in them.

I very much doubt that the prodnoses currently campaigning on salt and sugar are going to recommend this though.

29 thoughts on “One for the health care loons”

  1. Now be a good boy and eat your salt-and-sugar-free oatmeal water porridge while drinking your soya-milk caffeine-free latte.

  2. Question of the day:
    Is it worth ordering a portion of lard fried chips or will the scientists have changed their minds again before they’re browned.?

  3. @BIS… Eat what you bloody-well-like mate! I’m old enough to have seen all these food fads, whether “sociologically”, “fashionably” or “medically” inspired do the rounds several times… Something that “everyone” says is good for you is bad for you this week, and good again next week.

    Consequently, I ignore all dietary advice from the medical profession – and anyone else for that matter – and simply eat a diet that seems tasty, nutricious and enjoyable… I suggest that you do the same, and sod-the-lot-of-’em! 🙂

    Most of the time they’re just making things up in order to reinforce their own, often fanatical, prejudices.

  4. @BIS – no, because the chips are basically sugar.

    @Rob – my grandfather died a year ago, aged 94, having smoked a pipe most of the days of his life. My granny died in her late 80s and was a cigs and martini woman – the martini being broached at 11am most days.

    Mind you, neither was overweight.

  5. Whether living till age 43 or living to age 120, I will have eaten and drunk what I liked. And most importantly will have lived.
    If I listened to the ‘experts’ about what to eat or not eat I’d be stuck eating a few raw vegetables and with an occasional glass of tap water to drink. Not enjoyable, not living.

  6. Interested

    @BIS – no, because the chips are basically sugar.

    How curious. I’ve tried putting mashed potato in coffee but all you get’s a sort of brown porridge that’s not sweet at all. Is it the way the spuds are cut?

  7. BiS:

    Is it the way the spuds are cut?

    Partly. Dice the spuds finely and coat them with saliva. If you don’t have enough saliva of your own, you can use other people’s too but best to confine this to folk you wouldn’t mind snogging.

    Leave to stand for twenty minutes and then add to coffee, stirring gently.

    You mustn’t cook or mash the spuds – that’s what gives you the undesirable porridge woe.

    Let me know how this works for you.

  8. ” If you don’t have enough saliva of your own, you can use other people’s too but best to confine this to folk you wouldn’t mind snogging.”
    I think I’d better leave that suggestion to one side or stick to very small cups of espresso. There’s someone here gets very exercised about things like that & Colombian neckties are not an item of apparel you get for Xmas.

  9. This will be presented as “New Research Reveals” while the truth would be nearer to “Old ‘research’ was a pack of lies”.

    At least the Global Warmmongers started off being hubristic and incompetent; the lies came later. The don’t-eat-fat campaign was dishonest from the start.

  10. @BIS I’m sure you know what I meant…

    Personally, I eat whatever I like so this fat news means nowt to me. Fish and chips last night, with a couple of pints of Best in Show. Truly, the apogee of civilisation.

  11. Is it just me or is all this very odd? For 30+ years we’ve had the great and the good telling us that saturated fat is the work of the devil, to be avoided at all costs. And now suddenly out of nowhere they’re all saying ‘Actually that was all bollocks, saturated fat makes no difference’. Whats changed? Has some piece of research that we’re not being told about conclusively proved the whole thrust of public health policy for 30 years is wrong? If so why aren’t those responsible being hauled up on charges of mass murder, or at very least public humiliation for being so incorrect?

    I mean I’ve realised for a number of years now that there’s nothing wrong with saturated fat, and its high carb diets that are the killers, but why the sudden turn around in public pronouncements? After all hard science and facts haven’t bothered the climate change mongers much, why are the health fascists more amenable to a 180 degree about turn?

  12. Jim, statins have gone off-patent. Does that matter? Dunno. Doesn’t seem all that likely since there are no doubt patented statin-substutiutes that can be sold as being better.

    Maybe it’s like asking why one of those cliff arches over the sea should collapse NOW. We know erosion will bring them down eventually, but we never know in advance when the erosive ‘last straw’ will occur.

  13. “Maybe it’s like asking why one of those cliff arches over the sea should collapse NOW. We know erosion will bring them down eventually, but we never know in advance when the erosive ‘last straw’ will occur.”

    But for virtually all the last 30 years the ‘anti saturated fat’ camp have had zero opposition. No-one other than a few odd cranks who no-one listened to would say a good word for saturated fat. Suddenly within a couple of years the whole thing has turned on its head, and the last 30 years of public health policy has been sucked into a black hole as if it never happened. Why? There don’t appear to be any smoking guns, why change tacks now? They could have gone on demanding we all eat low fat high carb diets for years and no-one would have batted an eyelid.

  14. @Jim, Dearieme

    Allowing that most of the scientists are probably well-meaning (it’s the politicians who extrapolate), I’m guessing firstly it’s not easy, and secondly the long-term studies needed to arrive at conclusions are long term, and thirdly, other noise. (Did I not recently read that pollution was behind the spike in heart deaths – if so, maybe that was at the same time as our fat intake increased and they just looked at the wrong culprit? Have to say, like a lot of us probably, I don’t know as I don’t worry about or read about this stuff much precisely because it keeps changing.)

  15. There is no hard evidence to proof that if you give up smoking you will live years and years longer. The last study I saw could only show 18 months, and that was after torturing the data like Mann.

    What is undeniably true is that if you give up smoking your life feels longer as you keep on wishing for a puff.

  16. Always been grateful that I’ve only ever been a social smoker. Haven’t had a fag for two years, could easily smoke 20 tonight and then not smoke again for another two.

    Odd thing is, if I open a bottle of wine I will always finish it, and quite possibly one or two more.

  17. In contrast with decades old nutritional advice, researchers at Cambridge University have found that giving up fatty meat, cream or butter is unlikely to improve health.

    The French could have told us that for free, having eaten tartiflette for hundreds of years without becoming porkers.

  18. Funny thing is Tim tart inflected is spud based (ie rammed with carbs). But it’s a mountain dish (savoyade in origin I think?) so maybe the combination of altitude, cold and inclined planes kept the fat off?

  19. “Allowing that most of the scientists are probably well-meaning (it’s the politicians who extrapolate)”: sad to say, that’s almost certainly wrong. The key politicians were probably no worse than dimwits incapable of critical thinking, and with a desire for glory. The real misbehaviour came from scientists and medical men. Look up Ancel Keys.

  20. “Did I not recently read that pollution was behind the spike in heart deaths”: what spike in heart deaths?

  21. ” I don’t worry about or read about this stuff much precisely because it keeps changing” But the official doctrine on fats has been unchanged for decades – they’ll kill you as soon as look at you. It’s been obviously wrong for about as long. As Jim says, why is it only now that the news is breaking through? On reflection, I wonder if it’s just some natural cycle among careerists. The generation which exacted compliance with its doctrines got it from every young bumsucker who wanted an appointment or promotion. Now, perhaps, the panjandrums are retiring, and you can hope to get career advancement by claiming to be a radical iconoclast. Maybes.

  22. “I wonder if it’s just some natural cycle among careerists”

    Wasn’t it Max Planck who said “Science advances one funeral at a time”?

    One suspects thats the only way we’ll be rid of Warble Gloaming crew.

  23. Could it be that all those who hitched their rising academic stars to the low fat wagon, have all retired, and their underlings, now freed from having to be diplomatic to their overlords, are now looking at the data? If so what is the timeline and can we expect a similar trajectory for the Thermageddonists?

  24. Wasn’t it Max Planck who said “Science advances one funeral at a time”?

    Aye, but I remember reading once about a psychologist who investigated the proposition. He found it to be wrong. Mind you, that was then.

  25. “what is the timeline and can we expect a similar trajectory for the Thermageddonists?”

    Well given the low fat diet concept started as early as the 1960s in the USA, thanks to Ancel Keys, and migrated to the UK by the 70s certainly, I’m not too hopeful for getting rid of the AGW crew any time soon. That kicked off in the late 80s I guess, so I’d put its demise c. 2030-40 on a similar timeline. However with a bit of luck the evidence against it will be so blatantly obvious by about 2020-25 that those responsible will be more worried about getting out with their pensions intact (and not being indicted for scientific fraud) to hang around too long, or try and get their proteges installed as their successors, as is normally the case.

  26. There is a good account of the history of this particular piece of foolishness in the chapter The Melting of the Lipid Hypothesis in Michael Pollan’s 2009 book In Defense of Food, which I recommend.

    The realisation that the official advice on fat intake was wrong and in fact increased the consumption of foods which were less healthy has been around for some years. I think it’s mostly been plain old embarrassment which has prevented this being officially acknowledged.

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