Author Topic: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.  (Read 2494 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #135 on: July 19, 2019, 10:57:00 AM »
Science is a slow, usually gradual, process. We take three steps forward then one step back. A conclusion starts to form, and then we are forced to let go of it. But in the long march of time we get closer and closer to understanding how things work. It's easy to point to some bit of information where we've recently had to change our thinking, maybe more than once. But we definitely understand how things work better than we used to, and we're closer to the truth than we used to be. The question of eggs may still be uncertain, but we know a lot more about nutrition than we did even just 35 years ago when I took up jogging and read Diet for a Small Planet and Kenneth Cooper's book Aerobics. And in spite of the incomplete science back then, my health is certainly better for learning what we knew at the time.
Daniel
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Offline CarbShark

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #136 on: July 19, 2019, 02:08:51 PM »
Science is a slow, usually gradual, process. We take three steps forward then one step back. A conclusion starts to form, and then we are forced to let go of it. But in the long march of time we get closer and closer to understanding how things work. It's easy to point to some bit of information where we've recently had to change our thinking, maybe more than once. But we definitely understand how things work better than we used to, and we're closer to the truth than we used to be. The question of eggs may still be uncertain, but we know a lot more about nutrition than we did even just 35 years ago when I took up jogging and read Diet for a Small Planet and Kenneth Cooper's book Aerobics. And in spite of the incomplete science back then, my health is certainly better for learning what we knew at the time.

So, in historical context the Fat-causes-heart disease theory (The Diet Heart Hypothesis) is more than 50 years old. That includes restrictions on dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. Does science some how know less now than then?

That hypothesis has never been supported in randomized clinical trials. We have spent billions on massive epidemiological studies that also failed to support (much less prove) the hypothesis.

40 years ago, the USDA introduced the dietary guidelines that were more informed by politics and business considerations (along with a good amount of woo) than science.

Those have been part and parcel of the US food environment ever since. During the intervening decades the rates of overweight and obese; metabolic syndrome; heart disease; TypeII diabetes have all skyrocketed. A hockey-stick graph, where the big increase begins with the USDA dietary guidelines.

Just recently, 2015, the USDA concluded that fat is no longer a nutrient of concern (although, for some reason, saturated fat still is); dietary cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern; added sugar should be limited.

and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #137 on: July 19, 2019, 02:47:43 PM »

That hypothesis has never been supported in randomized clinical trials. We have spent billions on massive epidemiological studies that also failed to support (much less prove) the hypothesis.


No wonder the medical establishment is backing out of it's former recommendations.  Class action lawsuits from people  injured by the medical establishment are a thing... 
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Online stands2reason

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #138 on: July 19, 2019, 02:52:17 PM »
So, in historical context the Fat-causes-heart disease theory (The Diet Heart Hypothesis) is more than 50 years old. That includes restrictions on dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. Does science some how know less now than then?

I suspect that dietary science is more aware of what it doesn't know, or at least how much more incomplete the picture is on a number of questions. I get the impression that controlled dietary trials, as well as observational studies, are not giving a clear enough signal to support a number of standard recommendations. Add a dash of motivated reasoning and publication bias...

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #139 on: July 19, 2019, 04:53:55 PM »
Okay, friends, if you don't like New Scientist, here's a blog post - admittedly an opinion piece but it appears to have relevant citations - that basically hits the same points that the article does. And it's not behind a paywall.

Nutrition Science Is Broken. This New Egg Study Shows Why.

Quote
IT’S BEEN A TORTUOUS PATH FOR THE HUMBLE EGG. For much of our history, it was a staple of the American breakfast — as in, bacon and eggs. Then, starting in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it began to be disparaged as a dangerous source of artery-clogging cholesterol, a probable culprit behind Americans’ exceptionally high rates of heart attack and stroke. Then, in the past few years, the chicken egg was redeemed and once again touted as an excellent source of protein, unique antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, and many vitamins and minerals, including riboflavin and selenium, all in a fairly low-calorie package.

This March, a study published in JAMA put the egg back on the hot seat. It found that the amount of cholesterol in a bit less than two large eggs a day was associated with an increase in a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease and death by 17 percent and 18 percent, respectively. The risks grow with every additional half egg. It was a really large study, too — with nearly 30,000 participants — which suggests it should be fairly reliable.

So which is it? Is the egg good or bad? And, while we are on the subject, when so much of what we are told about diet, health, and weight loss is inconsistent and contradictory, can we believe any of it?

Quite frankly, probably not. Nutrition research tends to be unreliable because nearly all of it is based on observational studies, which are imprecise, have no controls, and don’t follow an experimental method. As nutrition-research critics Edward Archer and Carl Lavie have put it, “’Nutrition’ is now a degenerating research paradigm in which scientifically illiterate methods, meaningless data, and consensus-driven censorship dominate the empirical landscape.”

Click the link for the full article.

The JAMA study showed that the risk of a cardiovascular event or death was increased by either 17% or 18% if the participants ate the equivalent of 2 eggs at the beginning of the study which lasted for the participants from 13 to 30 years.  And the risk increased with increased reported egg consumption at the beginning of the study.

The opinion piece noted that the exact egg consumption at the beginning of the study was actually unknown.  And the average egg consumption over the study was also unknown.  The study would provide useful results if it could be assumed that a person reporting eating two eggs a day at the beginning actually did eat more eggs than a person reporting eating one or no eggs, and less than someone reporting eating three or four eggs a day.  And that a person eating two eggs a day at the start of the study, did proceed to eat more eggs over the length of the study than someone reporting eating no eggs at the beginning of the study.

If the study’s critics are right, and egg consumption at the beginning is either unknown or not predictive at all of subsequent egg consumption, then the study wouldn’t have shown an increased risk.  But it did - 17% or 18%, which has to mean something.  Not necessarily that eggs are unhealthy, if confounding factors weren’t completely controlled for (apparently they were though).

Accepting the study’s inherent assumptions, it could be that people eating 2 eggs a day, actually ate an average of one egg a day over the length of the study, in which case eating eggs was more unhealthy.  Or they actually ate an average of 3 eggs a day, in which case eating eggs was less unhealthy.

Who knows?  Certainly it’s not enough to stop me eating one hard boiled egg a day.
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Offline CarbShark

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #140 on: July 19, 2019, 06:46:49 PM »
So, in historical context the Fat-causes-heart disease theory (The Diet Heart Hypothesis) is more than 50 years old. That includes restrictions on dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. Does science some how know less now than then?

I suspect that dietary science is more aware of what it doesn't know, or at least how much more incomplete the picture is on a number of questions.

I'm not so sure. Maybe now, within the last 5 years. But until recently there was very little movement away from the Diet Heart Hypothesis, and the advice to avoid dietary cholesterol and fat. That advice permeated dietary science but was never actually supported by good science.

Quote
I get the impression that controlled dietary trials, as well as observational studies, are not giving a clear enough signal to support a number of standard recommendations. Add a dash of motivated reasoning and publication bias...

If the dietary recommendations are not supported by trials or observational studies they should not be recommended.
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #141 on: July 19, 2019, 07:39:09 PM »
So, in historical context the Fat-causes-heart disease theory (The Diet Heart Hypothesis) is more than 50 years old. That includes restrictions on dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. Does science some how know less now than then?

I suspect that dietary science is more aware of what it doesn't know, or at least how much more incomplete the picture is on a number of questions.

I'm not so sure. Maybe now, within the last 5 years. But until recently there was very little movement away from the Diet Heart Hypothesis, and the advice to avoid dietary cholesterol and fat. That advice permeated dietary science but was never actually supported by good science.

Quote
I get the impression that controlled dietary trials, as well as observational studies, are not giving a clear enough signal to support a number of standard recommendations. Add a dash of motivated reasoning and publication bias...

If the dietary recommendations are not supported by trials or observational studies they should not be recommended.

That also means that you shouldn’t be proselytising for your low carbohydrate/high fat ketogenic diet too.  There’s no evidence that it’s ‘best.’  There’s no evidence that any single diet is ‘best.’ 
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #142 on: July 19, 2019, 08:02:52 PM »
Those [dietary guidelines] have been part and parcel of the US food environment ever since. During the intervening decades the rates of overweight and obese; metabolic syndrome; heart disease; TypeII diabetes have all skyrocketed.

You have mentioned this before. It does not necessarily mean that the dietary guidelines are responsible for all these conditions. A more likely (IMO) explanation is that Americans are not following the guidelines. They eat massive amounts of calories, huge quantities of junk foods, and mind-boggling quantities of sugar and salt. You and I disagree about the advisability of eating large amounts of fats, but even without looking at fat consumption, the typical American diet is extremely unhealthy by your standards, by my standards, and by the standards of the guidelines.

You cannot blame the guidelines for all that obesity and diabetes if people are not following the guidelines, and most Americans are not following them. OTOH, people who follow the guidelines, which includes eating in moderation and getting exercise, are not part of the obesity and diabetes epidemics.

I still like Michael Pollan's succinct synopsis: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. I know you disagree with the "mostly plants" part of that, but there is no evidence that it is unhealthy to eat mostly plants. The only thing Pollan left out of that 7-word summary, which is important, is variety: eat a wide variety of different foods.
Daniel
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #143 on: July 19, 2019, 09:35:41 PM »

I still like Michael Pollan's succinct synopsis: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Including psylocibin mushrooms, according to his latest (and fantastic) book, "How to Change Your Mind".  I suppose having been an adventurous young man in the late sixties I have a rather intimate knowledge of such things.

Oh,BTW, his book "Cooked" actually focusses on meat (and other animal products), in large part.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 12:53:50 AM by lonely moa »
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Offline bachfiend

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #144 on: July 19, 2019, 10:25:23 PM »

I still like Michael Pollan's succinct synopsis: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Including psylocibin mushrooms, according to his latest (and fantastic) book, "Hw to Change Your Mind".  I suppose having been an adventurous young man in the late sixties I have a rather intimate knowledge of such things.

Oh,BTW, his book "Cooked" actually focusses on meat (and other animal products), in large part.

Well, Michael Pollan is an omnivore.  One of his books includes ‘omnivore’ in its title.  He’s an interesting writer.  I’ve just bought three of his books from Audible.com to listen to when I’m getting my daily exercise fix in the gym.  And walking the dog.  And on public transport.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #145 on: July 20, 2019, 12:00:16 AM »

I still like Michael Pollan's succinct synopsis: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Including psylocibin mushrooms, according to his latest (and fantastic) book, "Hw to Change Your Mind".  I suppose having been an adventurous young man in the late sixties I have a rather intimate knowledge of such things.

Oh,BTW, his book "Cooked" actually focusses on meat (and other animal products), in large part.


Please to not put things I did not say inside quotes under my name. I'm not sure if this was a typo of the quote tag, or an intentional misquoting of me. I'd appreciate it if you would fix your post to put your own comments outside the quote box. The parts I have struck out do not belong inside the quote box as I didn't say them.

Thanks.
Daniel
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Why is food such a damn blind spot for so many.
« Reply #146 on: July 20, 2019, 12:55:44 AM »
My humblest apologies.
"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

 

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