Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Krauss's New Article on Saturated Fat Intervention Trials

Dr. Ronald Krauss's group just published another article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this time on the intervention trials examining the effectiveness of reducing saturated fat and/or replacing it with other nutrients, particularly carbohydrate or polyunsaturated seed oils. I don't agree with everything in this article. For example, they cite the Finnish Mental Hospital trial. They openly acknowledge some contradictory data, although they left out the Sydney diet-heart study and the Rose et al. corn oil study, both of which suggested increased mortality from replacing animal fats with polyunsaturated seed oils. Nevertheless, here is the conclusion:
Particularly given the differential effects of dietary saturated fats and carbohydrates on concentrations of larger and smaller LDL particles, respectively, dietary efforts to improve the increasing burden of CVD risk associated with atherogenic dyslipidemia should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intakes and a reduction in excess adiposity.


Anonymous said...

He is clearly saying don't replace sat fats with refined carbs.

This seems to leave open the idea that replacing sat fats with "heart healthy whole grains" would be a good idea. And he seems to state that replacing sat fats with PUFAs would be a good idea.

I'm sure the article is a major step in the right direction, but is this really an article that will cause any mainstream nutritionists to change their minds?

I don't think you need to give up blogging just yet!

Tucker Goodrich said...

Please keep up the blogging. I'd rank this as one of the finest blogs I've ever come across, and I've been reading blogs since the very first one.

Can you suggest some introductory reading on Weston Price?

Matt Stone said...

Umm, I think we've got plenty of blogging left to do homey. Krauss can talk all day long about limiting refined carb intake, but that's a long way from reaching the billions of people on earth that have been convinced that saturated fat is the enemy. Plus, some of the most heart healthy humans on earth eat the most refined carbs (Asians...white rice), so there are still many points of contention remaining. Many details to sort.

Robert McLeod said...

My comment: several of the marks against saturated fatty acids in the article are against dairy fats, many of which are found in conjunction with casein. The Lyon Heart Trial found the same thing. A study of say ghee versus cream would be instructive. Others are more specific to long chain saturated fats. Also, see reference [121] on the role of bovine serum albumin rather than saturated fats in the Toll-4 receptor. Much of the argument against saturated fats seems to actually be an argument against immune-stimulating molecules found in non-human milk.

Palmitate is particularly interesting because it can be fabricated via de nova lipogenesis in the liver from carbohydrates.

Todd: The author's claim is there's no statistical benefit for dropping saturated fat intake below 9 %. They do point out that fats and carbohydrates do the opposite to LDL particle size one might expect from common nutritional wisdom.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Matt Stone said...
"...Plus, some of the most heart healthy humans on earth eat the most refined carbs (Asians...white rice)..."
White rice is nowhere near as refined as flour & sugar. White rice is more filling and is more slowly absorbed than foods made from flour & sugar.

Jenny said...

Keep blogging until they realize that there is no functional difference between "refined carbohydrates" and the rest of them, metabolically.

There's a decent study out there that compared whole wheat bread and white bread and found zero difference in the speed which which they hit the blood stream.

Oatmeal and rye berries hit the blood stream surprisingly fast, according to my blood sugar meter.

The whole concept of "complex carbohydrates" being better than sugar is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

The more significant division in carbs is at the monomer level.

The fructose that in concert with excess linoleic acid damages your ability to handle any carbohydrate, whether it comes as a dimer or a polysaccharide, and glucose which comes attached to evil things like wheat and fructose monomers.

Complex and simple as a concept is metabolically..

too simple.

Scott Miller said...

>>> Plus, some of the most heart healthy humans on earth eat the most refined carbs (Asians...white rice), so there are still many points of contention remaining. <<<

Having traveled many times to various Asian countries, I had an Asian girlfriend for over a year, and I made it a point to ask Asians I know about this topic, the white rice issue is WAY OVERBLOWN. When they do eat rice, it's a small side dish, unlike in the states, where they dumb half-a-pound on the plate because it's just cheap filler food.

BTW, I met numerous people in their 20's and 30's in China, for example, who had never eaten bread, and hardly any non-rice grains at all.

arnoud said...

>>> Plus, some of the most heart healthy humans on earth eat the most refined carbs (Asians...white rice), so there are still many points of contention remaining. <<<


I have observed the same. In Japan most folks who follow a more traditional Japanese diet, eat a small bowl of rice at the end of their meal, after they have enjoyed a variety of fish/meat/tofu/pickles and vegetables. The variety of items within a meal is quite extensive, and rice is relatively only a small component.

Sadly, younger generations seem to be enjoying more flour based diet choices.

Stephan Guyenet said...

I wouldn't rank the Japanese among the healthiest humans on the planet. They have an extraordinarily high stroke rate. They die of stroke like Americans die of heart attacks.

Anna said...

Tuck asked, "Can you suggest some introductory reading on Weston Price?"

I suggest you start with Price's own book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. I think you can easily find it free online at several sources, perhaps via interlibrary loan, but recent hard copy editions are readily available for purchase, too (photos are better, easier to see). Local bookstores might have to order it, so online ordering is probably easier.

The WAP Foundation also has a LOT of useful and interesting reading on their website, but read and use it selectively - some of it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

The same is true of Sally Fallon and Mary Enig's traditional food/nutrition primer/cookbook, Nourishing Traditions. I say this as a due-paying WAPF member who discovered Nourishing Traditionsin a paradigm shifting year in reading - the vast majority is very good, but there are some minor areas that I think can lead one astray (and aren't really based on WAP research, anyway).

Anonymous said...

Don't stop blogging! Please keep up the good work!

Mavis said...


It is quite premature to stop blogging! Believe me. Hardly anyone believes me that sugar, not saturated fat, is the devil. We need you, and other smart advocates like you, to explain this to the people. (Unfortunately, getting complex, like sugar is worse with PUFAs, just makes them glaze over faster.)


I've read that dairy fats are not correlated with CVD and are actually associated with less CVD in some studies. Although I don't have these references handy. Have you seen this cited elsewhere than in this article?

Senta said...

I almost fainted when I saw comments about you stopping blogging when I glanced at my reader! What would we do without you? I love how you are always coming up with new insights, it's so exciting to read your blog.

Scott Miller:
I had a Chinese girlfriend in the late '80s who told me that Chinese people didn't eat much rice because it was so fattening. I'm embarrassed to remember that I tried to convince her that fat was the culprit.

Anna said...

And I observed lots of uncorrected malocclusion/dental crowding & some acne in young people in Japan when I visited in 2000, though the younger generations were generally taller than I expected and much taller than their elders.

I also observed a lot of unusually small and very stooped over elderly Japanese men and especially women (Yokohama and Tokyo regions). Perhaps even though stunted in growth and stooped, they are in better health and higher numbers than similar aged American elderly and therefore are more visible in public instead of being confined to home or nursing homes. But stooped to the point that you can't look straight ahead anymore doesn't seem very healthy to me. Perhaps nutrition deprivation during WWII contributed. I find it curious.

Kateryna said...

Glad you posted this Stephen and you can forget not blogging for a while yet. Too much work for you to do to enlighten the masses.

I'm 60 and eat tons of saturated fat and have for about 5 years to heal myself after about 55 years of eating carbage. I'm getting much better and have resolved almost all my health issues and don't take any meds anymore.

My in-laws were chinese and I didn't notice an inordinate amount of rice in their diets. Lots of meat (chicken, pork mainly), seafood, low glycemic veggies and lot's of soups (particularly fish broth based). I don't know where people get this idea that they stuff their faces with tons of rice.

Anonymous said...
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Stephan Guyenet said...

All good points. The Japanese are healthy for an industrialized culture, there's no doubt about it. I just think we need to keep things in perspective. There are non-industrial cultures that are healthier than the Japanese, in terms of non-infectious diseases. Aspiring to be as healthy as the Japanese is good if you're an American, but we can do even better.

Anonymous said...

In all fairness to the Japanese, they have the highest per capita tobacco consumption in the world and still outlive Americans.

My best friend growing up was Japanese and I spent many years eating in their household. The amount of white rice they consumed was nothing compared to the amount of wheat and corn based starch that was consumed in my caucasian household. White rice came in a tiny bowl on the side - the rest of the meal was seafood and vegetables. Asian cuisine is NOT high in starch.

Anonymous said...


I completely agree. We can do even better. I think the Japanese are a great example, however, of the enormous benefits gained from eliminating what I'll call The Four Horsemen of the Fatacalypse: flour, sugar, Omega 6 oils, and snacking.

Stan Bleszynski said...

Re: This is really cool. Krauss is channeling Weston Price. If this keeps up, I may have no reason to blog anymore!

I don't do much either, for the same reason. That's why I am digressing into (gasp) computer programming in my blog. The same situation as in medicine except fewer people die of their mistakes.

You should have started 10 years ago. Back then it was a lot more fun talking about eating 200g of butter+pork lard a day. People thought I was crazy or a space alien.


arnoud said...

As this post is about Saturated fat, the discussion on Japanese diet is a bit on a separate track. Apologies for that.

Fat consumption in Japan of course includes a good quantity of sources from seafood.
Stores carry butter, whereas choices in margarine seem much more limited.
Vegetable oils are commonly used for frying.

In general, fat consumption in Japan is rather low, and carb consumption is relatively low. Not sure, but could it be that the Japanese diet is a form of caloric restriction?

By the way, some Japanese have made a goal to get very heavy for competitive reason: sumo wrestlers. How do they do it? They maximize their rice consumption to an extreme level.

Jeff_in_Montreal said...

Hi Stephan - fantastic blog. I read a critique of the first Krauss article, claiming that it was funded by National Dairy Council and Unilever Corporate Research and therefore suspect. (the critique was on a vegan blog, quoted on BoingBoing - What do you think?

Mavis said...

Hey Jeff in Montreal,

Well, the National Dairy Council and Unilever may cancel each other out. Unilever has been behind a push to ban butter in the U.K. They make I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and Country Crock (margarine).

I got the same knee-jerk response about the Dairy Council funding from some people I shared the article with. My response:

Sure, it's fair to question it. The study was also supported by the National Institute of Health, however. (And Krauss' latest paper has no industry sponsor, it seems.)

I looked up the bios of the researchers and they (mainly Krauss), like many medical/health researchers, have associations with a variety of entities (like pharmaceutical companies) that could suggest a bias, but not necessarily one in favor of saturated fat.

My (probably biased) assessment, looking at the trends in his team's research, is that they are honestly trying to clarify for themselves the role of saturated fat in CVD.

Of course, looking at where funding comes from is important. I have no doubt that the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, has heavily influenced published research in favor of its own products.

Yet one of my friends skeptical of the Dairy Council association downs statins and other meds without the same scrutiny with which she looks at a pat of butter. Would the vegan critics who dismissed this research be as quick to dismiss a similar study concluding soy to be healthy, if it were sponsored by "The Soy Council"?

I wish all this research weren't tainted with industry associations, but most of it is. *And,* what people use to dismiss research that they find threatening says as much about them as it does about the research.

I've noticed the same trend with people who dismiss global warming saying that it's made up by "people making money" from green technologies. Last time I looked, far more money was being made in fossil-fuel-related technologies. Indeed, wherever there's a market for something, someone is making money, and probably looking to influence public opinion as well. And there's always a market for food.

Interestingly, I think I heard Sally Fallon on a podcast *blaming* the mainstream dairy industry for promoting the "low-fat" ideology because they could sell skim milk and low-fat yogurt on the one hand, and ice cream on the other, which works very well for them.

The Dairy Council, then, may more be looking at how to market its products than trying to promote a particular point of view about saturated fat.

Mavis said...

P.S. That memory of Sally Fallon the podcast may be a false memory. Still, it's a possible scenario.

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Jeff,

When you see a potential conflict of interest such as funding from the dairy industry, you have to be skeptical. But it doesn't necessarily mean the person is biased. In this case, Krauss's review agreed with every other meta-analysis that has looked broadly at the prospective studies, regardless of funding. He also found exactly the same thing I found when I looked into it, and I'm not supported by anything other than occasional (and much appreciated) reader donations.

His papers were published in the AJCN. It's a good journal. You can bet they went through an intense gauntlet of peer review. Any suggestion of bias would have been ruthlessly exposed by reviewers, given the controversial nature of his statements.

Corporate funding doesn't mean you can dismiss a paper offhand.

Swede said...

Taubes had a lot to say about conflicts of interest and who funds the studies. Academia is always involved, and so is the industry. It's a symbiotic relationship. We don't know about how many studies are funded by industry and never make the journals because the outcome was undesirable. Make sure to always be skeptical, and question not only what was recorded, but what was not.

My Korean buddies tell me that they eat a lot of rice and no one is fat. But what is a lot?


varg said...

Interesting developments ... but whatever happens please continue blogging! I have read your blog for a couple of years with great enjoyment and would miss it greatly.

PS Used the donate button as a small token of appreciation for all the amazingly good material here.

David said...

I thought in earlier posts you suggested that carb intake--including high glycemic index carbs--wasn't a problem, the problem was vegetable oils and various lectins found in "whole" grains, not refined grains...also, you suggested fiber was potentially harmful, which is also found more in whole than in refined carbs. Also Krauss supports replacing reined carbs with vegetable oils and low glycemic whole foods carbs, and you've always regarded vegetable oils as the bogeyman...

David said...

and by the way, this is not new at all - krauss and all the people in Willet's groups have been saying for years, in numerous articles, that refined high glycemic carbs are a bigger problem than saturated fats and that a focus should be on replacing both saturated fats and refined carbs with polyunsaturated fats. I've even posted links to such articles here before, after which you affirmed that vegetables oils were nonetheless the major contributor to disease.

FatFan said...

Krauss´s new article is in fact much older than the sat fat study published few days ago. This one is from 2008.

There is many studies in Sweden where they have found that dairy saturated fats are good for you and prolong live.

Sat fat increases LDL but does it by enlargening LDL particles which is a good thing because small particles are the harmfull ones.


kirk said...

What are you guys smokin? Asian's eat truckloads of rice. Most can't afford much else, especially meats.

François Létourneau said...

I think the best answer concerning the potential conflict of interest comes from Anthony Colpo

"Those of you tempted to dismiss these findings as the work of pro-meat/dairy/egg industry shills or fringe-dwelling skeptics should note that one of the authors, Dr. Ronald Krauss, has worked at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), has been a Senior Advisor to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), and is actively involved with the American Heart Association (AHA), having served as Chairman of the Nutrition Committee. He is founder and Chair of the AHA Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism. The NHLBI, NCEP and AHA have all been key players in gaining global acceptance for the pseudo-scientific absurdity that constitutes the lipid hypothesis of heart disease."

Lisa said...

Like everyone else Stephan, I would really, really hate it if you stopped blogging, but it’s still amazing to see at least a few chinks of light breaking through the black edifice of the lipid hypothesis.

Since the topic came up, I’d just like to add my 2 cents on the issue of rice consumption in Japan.

According to the latest National Health and Nutrition Survey results available from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, which are for the year 2008, average adult Japanese grain consumption is 457g per day (533g for men and 392.4g for women). 15-19 year old boys top the charts with an average of 629.8g of grains per day.

I’ve lived in Japan for 20 years and my impression (and my Japanese husband agrees with me) is that most people eat rice something like at least once or twice a day here most days. Rice is still measured in the traditional units of “go” (roughly 80ml) and I often hear from Japanese women that they cook and consume somewhere in the range of 3.5-5 go (i.e. 280-400 ml raw rice, which will make about 6 to 10 bowls of rice) per day most days in a family of 4, possibly a lot more if they’re packing boxed lunches. Taking into account the fact that children in compulsory education (till age 15) eat a hot school lunch that comes with rice most days and I would say that a clear majority of that grain consumption listed in the survey is still rice, although noodles and bread are also widely eaten of course.

The larger capacity rice cookers for domestic use can cook up to 1 "sho" (= 10 go or 800 ml of raw rice) at a time and the most common models cook up to around 8 go (640 ml raw rice) at a time.

Ned Kock said...

I think it is a good idea for people to look at their background, because they may have inherited genes that predispose them to function better with certain types of diets.

A nutrition-related genetic mutation can spread to an entire population in as little as 396 years, or even less depending on the circumstances. I posted about this here:

R K @ Health Matters To Me said...

Re: Japanese Diet

Let's not forget that these folks have traditionally eaten less of the dietary evils that Westerners eat, particularly refined fructose and white flour. Their habit of eating white rice as their primary starch has given them a leg-up on cultures like the U.S. where fructose and white flour have been around for a long time and, thus, have wreaked metabolic destruction for far longer. Of course, this is shifting as sodas and flour become more widely eaten in Asian cultures.

So I don't think we should focus on a lot of rice or a little rice. It's far more important to instead focus on any given culture's avoidance of dietary evils, as this likely provides the edge in health when compared to the industrialized world.

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi David,

I've always said that refined grains are harmful, particularly white flour. It probably has nothing to do with the glycemic index, it's because they're empty calories and wheat contains gluten which is immunogenic. White rice is better than white flour but it's a one-way ticket to deficiency diseases if you eat too much. About the fiber, yes I've changed positions on that. But grain fiber still needs to be treated properly by soaking and/or fermentation followed cooking to remove lectins, phytic acid, trypsin inhibitors, tannins, etc. Most traditional cultures did get rid of a portion of the bran/germ if they could by sifting, straining, pounding, etc.

The three main factors I've been writing about since the beginning of this blog are sugar, white flour and industrial seed oils. That hasn't changed.

dextery said...

Dr Krause is quoted in this somewhat mainstream article regarding the importance of lipid particle size.

Perhaps Krause has awakened from his long slumber steeped in the drug of the lipid hypothesis.

There may be hope yet that the tide is turning against physician ignorance regarding the Ancel Keys'
lipid hypothesis.

Mavis said...

Hey Stephan,

What are you eating these days? I noticed you said you had upped your carbs somewhat.

If you've answered this elsewhere recently, no need to repeat - just point me to it.


Lisa said...

Ryan, in northern China and Japan wheat noodles are a traditional food so exposure to refined wheat goes back away and while Japanese levels of sugar consumption have certainly never matched contemporary levels in the US or UK, it has slowly diffused into the food supply over the past couple of centuries.

Sugar was, in fact, the lone exception to the ban on imported food stuffs instituted under the shogunate’s policy restricting all trade and contact with the outside world from the 1630s and domestic production technology improved from the late Edo period (late 18th century) although it was only after the Meiji period (1868-1912) that its consumption became more widespread apparently, with demand driven by the army which had adopted the use of “modern” military rations including sweetened hard tack and the popularization of westernized eating habits.

Assuming, as I do, that Stephan’s usual suspects are the key dietary factors it must have only been sometime in the late 20th century that levels of refined carb, sugar and industrial vegetable oil reached metabolic wrecking levels here.

Anonymous said...

Tuck asked: Can you suggest some introductory reading on Weston Price?

"Real Food" by Nina Planck is a very good introduction to the dietary principles of Weston Price. After reading the book I bought several more copies to pass around among friends in order to give them an overview of what "real food" consists of.

The author was a vegetarian for a while and suffered health problems as a consequence. She credits her introduction to the principals of Weston Price for her return to good health.

Real Food was written before mystery of Dr. Price's "activator x", now known to be vitamin K2, was solved. For this important detail, see the article on vitamin K2 by Chris Masterjohn in the Spring, 2007 edition Wise Traditions, available on the website

The classic book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston Price, which was recommended by Anna, is fascinating and an excellent addition to any library, but it is not an easy read and is not, in my opinion, the best introductory read.

Richard Nikoley said...

I lived in Japan for 5 years in the latter half of the 80s and my experience was that rice portions were always pretty small. And, unlike here, the sushi houses served a large, thick piece of fish on dollop of rice.

Other than the fast food craze that had grown to significant proportions even by then, sandwiches seemed to be a rare indulgence.

BTW, there's a post on my blog where we're looking into the whole upping carbs via starch question, if anyone want to add to the comments or get some ideas for self-experimentation.

Anonymous said...

Robert MCLeod said:

"Several of the marks against saturated fatty acids in the article are against dairy fats, many of which are found in conjunction with casein."

Casein is a protein, not a fat. The ratio of fats to protein in milk as 1:1, whereas in cream and butter it is about 1:80. Milk is difficult to digest for many people because of the casein, but there is so little casein in butter and cream that it seldom presents a problem.

The book "Devil in the Milk" by Keith Woodford examines the link between a protein in the milk we drink and a range of serious illnesses. These health problems are linked to a tiny fragment formed when we digest A1 beta-casein, a milk protein present in cows that have a genetic mutation that apparently occurred thousands of years ago. Milk from cows that do not have the genetic mutation, A2 cows such as Jerseys and Guernseys, do not have these problems.

The problem fragment is a casa-morphin, an opioid that is strongly correlated with autism, type 1 diabetes and many other problems. The problem casa-morphins are degraded in the digestive system in those with a healthy gut, but in those with unhealthy gut flora, the opioids get into the blood stream and cause havoc.

The incidence of type 1 diabetes has been steadily increasing for the last fifty years. It seems likely that the increase is the result of increased use of antibiotics, birth control pills, and other drugs that cause disbiosis, together with the fact that a large percentage of milk comes from A1 cows with the problem a1 beta-casein. High carbohydrate diets increase the problem of bad gut flora.

Many of the readers of this blog appreciate the many benefits of raw milk compared to "regular" pasteurized milk. The website has hundreds of testimonials from people whose health has greatly benefited from drinking raw milk. It is my opinion that these benefits are due in part to the fact that most raw milk comes from A2 cows such as Guernseys and Jerseys.

Anna said...

Jack Cameron,

Thanks for reminding me about Nina Planck's book Real Food. You are right, that's an excellent introductory book and I've given away many copies. It's especially good for the person who only wants to read one thing and be done with it. I second the recommendation.

Nice comment about the milk, too. Mmmmm...

Robert Andrew Brown said...

Jack Cameron

Thank you for that succinct summary on the effect of a genetic variant on milk status that brought together a lot of my loose ends.

Anonymous said...

I have been wondering about the insulin response from dairy fat and the saturated dairy fat for a while. i seem to get quite an odd response from dairy(cream and raw cheese) but i love the stuff...

i think you still have plenty of blogging! i love your blog. i just dont see how this information with correctly ever be amplified to the public

Ned Kock said...

Certain people may have inherited adaptations to milk consumption that make them less predisposed to developed related diseases.

Milk has been around for a while among certain populations; unlike refined carbs, sugars and hydrogenated fats.

Stephan, you blog is a reference to many other blogs. If you stop blogging, we may see a mass extinction!

praga said...


In one of your comments here you say you've changed positions on fiber. Have you changed--or are you changing--your position on starch/carbohydrate intake levels?

I have been reading your blog almost since day one and recall you've posted about how to prepare lentils, idli and plain rice. And also at one point you posted your personal food pyramid and after "added fats" you had "starchy foods like root vegetables, winter squash, legumes and quinoa" at the very top.

Thank you for your wonderful blog.

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Prag,

My position on carbohydrate since I discovered the Kitava study and other examples of healthy carb-based cultures is that unrefined carbohydrates are fine, particularly for people who are lean and insulin-sensitive. I probably eat 35-40% of my calories as carb at this point, but I don't really measure it. My carb intake comes mostly from root vegetables, soaked/fermented rice, soaked beans and fruit. I've been eating less of the added fats lately.

Helen said...


Is there any particular reason you've cut down on the added fats? And how do you feel with your current diet compared to your older one?

Robert Andrew Brown said...

Ned Kock

I have not read the literature but understtod modern cattle breed have a genetic milk variant that results in thsi new protein fragment, which is a cause of problems.

IF my understanding is correct then whilst milk has been around a long while and many cultures have developed an ability to digest it these new breeds of cows and milk variants have not (-:

Jack Cameron could you please come back and explain more and give the title of the books etc

Ned Kock said...

Hi Robert Andrew Brown.

I agree with you; good point. What you said applies to many modern food alterations, especially very recent ones.

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Helen,

Added fats aren't whole foods. I still eat them, but I don't think they should be the major source of calories. I think it's better to eat a sweet potato with a pat of butter than a stick of butter with a little bit of sweet potato on top.

Mavis said...

Hi Stephan,

I tend toward a 1:4 butter/sweet-potato ratio myself. (Joking.)

So, when you say you're playing down added fats because they aren't whole foods (agreed), is this because of research you've seen that added fats are harmful, or because of an assumption (fair) that the macronutrient ratios found in nature are probably the most beneficial? I'm interested not for the sake of argument, but for self-improvement.

Thanks again for all your very generous work.

Anonymous said...

Robert McCleod, the name of the book is "Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk", by Kieth Woodford, Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness at Lincoln University in New Zealand.

The genetic mutation in some breeds of cattle that resulted the the serious health problems due to A1 milk apparently occurred several thousand years ago. Most cows in Asia, Africa and parts of southern Europe produce A2 (good) milk, but in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and northern Europe the majority of cows produce A1 (bad) milk.

The Jersey and Guernsey cows favored by raw milk producers because of the high cream content produce A2 (good) milk. Humans, goats, and almost all other animals also produce A2 milk.

A healthy gut can break down the BCM7 (beta-casamorphin 7), the problem fragment, a finding which is which was not in the original edition of the book but which is in the post-script of the last edition. So "the milk devil" only gets in the bloodstream of those with unhealthy gut flora.

A good understanding the problem of a "leaky gut" can be gained from the book "Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell McBride. It became clear to me after reading the book that the continuing increase in the incidence of autism and type 1 diabetes is due to the ever increasing use of antibiotics, birth control pills and other drugs that impair gut health and allow BCM7 to enter the bloodstream.

BCM7 is also broken down when cream is fermented to make cheese, so even though cheese contains a lot of casein, it contains little BCM7, the problem fragment. Butter and cream contain little casein and thus are not a problem.

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Helen,

I haven't sen any research indicating that added fats are harmful. I just try to eat mostly whole foods on principle.

Mavis said...

That was fast! Thank you.

Anonymous said...


Are you familiar with Paul Ewald's ideas concerning chronic diseases?

I'm convinced that both the low-carbers and he seem to have big pieces of the puzzle of what causes chronic diseases in modern populations.

For example it's clear to me that refined carbs cause diabetes II and obesity, but for example CVD (Taubes) and MS (Cordain), I'm not so sure.

Anonymous said...

The health of the Japanese has nothing to do with saturated fat intake.

They have much greater long chain omega 3 fat levels in their blood than do Americans.

Their average intake per person is around 600 mg DHA and EPA, I think.

Anonymous said...

Just so some of the commentors know........

It's irrelevant whether the Japanese eat diets rich in saturated fat fat or low in it.

The explanantion for their good cardiovascular outcomes is long chain omega 3 intake from fish.

It's a shame researchers didn't point this out before and always attributed it to low saturated fat intake .

Apolloswabbie said...

Thanks for getting these out there!

Robert Andrew Brown said...

Jack Cameron

Thank you for taking the trouble to respond, and explain further.

Jamie said...

Stephan said...

All good points. The Japanese are healthy for an industrialized culture, there's no doubt about it. I just think we need to keep things in perspective. There are non-industrial cultures that are healthier than the Japanese, in terms of non-infectious diseases. Aspiring to be as healthy as the Japanese is good if you're an American, but we can do even better.
January 20, 2010 5:22 PM

The markers for a japanese diet being healthy are outdated...Western disease is growing in this culture... CVD is high, Diabetes is high, Okinawans were once vaunted for their healthy diet which once consisted of Fish, Pork and Sweet potatoes. This was up until the late 1900's, in the past 100 years the diet has been inundated with rice and western fast food as well as BREAD!! IN that hundred years they have gone from one of the healthiest prefectures in Japan to the most obese. If anyone wanted to do a study on what the addition of high glycemic carbs do to a society they need to look no further than Okinawa.

Dr. B G said...


I highly doubt Krauss is WAPF-y or paleo. Maybe I should ck?? (he's probably definitely low-carb and mod-high sat fat, right? *smile*)


U R so right on about the Okinawans -- it only took a few generations for high carbs, Western food and canola oil (n-6 replacing sat fats) to RUIN THEIR track record for longevity.

big fat okinawan myth

The men and women in their 60-80s had high HDLs (60s) as expected by their high lard, goat milk, goat sashimi and protein intake when they ate their trad'l diet.


Unknown said...

Whenever you hear a reference to the Japanese having a high incidence of stroke bear in mind that for hundreds of years it was considered 'dishonourable' to die from heart disease, and would bring dishonour on the family.
Conversely, to die from stroke was no problem, so that's what went on the death certificate.
This has changed in the last fifteen years or so but is often used an example of how the Japanese now die from an increase in heart disease and have less strokes.