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Saturday, December 23, 2006

The last word on low-fat diets: DENIED!

Whoa, Nelly - big news in the diet wars (unless you've been a reader of mine - then you've known it all along), as reported in no less than the New York Times...

It turns out that the low-fat diet the so-called "experts" have been touting for decades has NO statistically significant affect on rates of heart disease, strokes or various common cancers, a new large-scale study has revealed.

Now, this isn't just some flimsy University study of 500 participants or anything like that, it's apparently one of the biggest and most comprehensive health studies ever conducted.

Executed at a price of $415 million in tax dollars, the National Institutes of Health affiliated research involved approximately 49,000 female subjects aged 50 to 79 divided into two groups: Those that consumed 25-29% of their calories from fat, and those that derived 35-37% of their daily calories from dietary lipids. The two groups consumed roughly the same amount of calories each day.

The results were these:

No statistically significant decrease in heart attack rates in the low-fat group

No statistically significant decrease in the number of strokes among low-fat dieters

No statistically relevant reduction in breast cancer rates among the low-fat eaters

No statistically significant decrease in the number of colon cancer cases in the low-fat group

Though LDL levels were measurably higher among the higher-fat diet group, that increase didn't translate into ANY noticeable increase in their heart disease risk

Hmmm. Now where have we heard all of this before, I wonder?

The feds could've just asked me and saved the $415 million - I've been saying this stuff for decades!

As great as it is to see this major study finally validate what I've known for years, it's still funny to see the reaction among the smarmy, do-gooder pointy-heads of modern medicine. The Times article gives ink to several of these, including one left-coast doctor who claims the study didn't allow the low-fat approach enough time to work properly... To this quack-pot, I say: If a dietary approach ain't workin' in 8 years - it just ain't workin! Keep reading...

Now, as significant and groundbreaking as this massive study is, have no illusion - it's still only the first salvo of a major war.

NOBODY debunks the medical establishment in this country and gets away with it, not even the federal government that largely sets the mainstream agenda!

I'm sure that over the next few months (or years), the fat-Nazis will dig into their trenches and start a major PR war against this study's results. They'll say the study wasn't long enough. They'll say the study groups weren't separated by an extreme enough difference in dietary fat levels. They'll say the results would be a lot different if men were involved (they wouldn't - when it comes to heart disease, stroke and cancer risks, what's good for the goose is good for the gander)... But it'll all be smoke and mirrors.

These are the real numbers, bought and paid for by your own dollars. Just because rank and file doctors, vegetarian "health organizations," and fad-diet purveyors will rail against this study doesn't make them right.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time major research has flown in the face of the mainstream's fat-phobia. A few years back, in the midst of the high-fiber craze (also a low-fat diet, mind you), some large-scale studies showed that the "movement" was only good for bowel regularity - not for preventing colon cancer, a widely held opinion.

Also interesting is this: The same research body that concluded what you've just read (the Women's Health Initiative of the National Institutes of Health) also debunked through study another mainstream medical myth - they were the ones who sounded the alarm about hormone replacement therapy possibly having more risks than benefits... Hat's off to 'em, again.

William Campbell Douglass II, MD

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