Lyon Diet Heart Study

The Lyon Diet-Heart Study was a “randomized, single-blind secondary prevention trial aimed at testing whether a Mediterranean-type diet, compared with a prudent Western-type diet, may reduce recurrence after a first myocardial infarction.”

The study consisted of 605 patients who had recovered from a myocardial infarction at a hospital in southern France. The experimental group emphasised “more bread, more root vegetables and green vegetables, more fish, less meat (beef, lamb and pork to be replaced with poultry), no day without fruit, and butter and cream to be replaced with margarine” which was high in alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid).

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Autoimmune Diseases and Biomimicry

Autoimmune diseases are a group of sinister diseases where the immune system attacks the body that it was designed to protect. One mechanism that explains auto-immune conditions is molecular biomimicry. When intruders invade our bodies, the immune system creates antibodies that mark these intruders (antigens) as a foreign foe. The immune system then able to destroy the intruders.

During digestion, proteins from animal-based foods are broken down into their component amino acids. Some proteins may be absorbed from the intestine without being fully broken down into their amino acid components. Small chains of amino acids are called peptides. These peptides may be treated as a foreign invader by our immune system.

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Ancel Keys and the Mediterranean Diet

In 1951, Keys was working at Oxford when the Food and Agriculture Organization asked him to chair their first conference on nutrition in Rome. He states, “The conferees talked only about nutritional deficiencies”. When he asked about the new epidemic of coronary heart disease, Gino Bergami, Professor of Physiology at the University of Naples, said “coronary heart disease was no problem in Naples”.

In 1952, Keys and his wife Margaret visited Naples. Margaret measured serum cholesterol concentrations and found them to be very low except among members of the Rotary Club. Heart attacks were rare except amongst the rich whose diet included daily servings of meat. He obtained similar results in studies in Madrid.

Ancel Keys and colleagues posed the hypothesis that differences among populations in the frequency of heart attacks and stroke would occur as a result of physical characteristics and lifestyle and diet. Surveys were carried out between 1958 – 1970 in populations of men aged 40-59, in sixteen areas of seven countries. Follow-up surveys were continued until the 1990s. Most of the areas were stable and rural and had wide contrasts in habitual diet.

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Harvard Researchers Paid to Support Sugar

A recent story that has been appearing on the internet is that Harvard Researchers Paid to Support Sugar and this is the reason why sugar and carbohydrates have been exonerated in their role of causing heart disease. Fats and saturated fats have unfairly blamed for the obesity and heart disease epidemic.

The article states that, “Early warning signals of the coronary heart disease (CHD) risk of sugar (sucrose) emerged in the 1950s.”

“By the 1960s, 2 prominent physiologists were championing divergent causal hypotheses of CHD: John Yudkin identified added sugars as the primary agent, while Ancel Keys identified total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol. However, by the 1980s, few scientists believed that added sugars played a significant role in CHD, and the first 1980 Dietary Guidelines for Americans [4] focused on reducing total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol for CHD prevention.”

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Rural Indian Regional Diets

Despite India’s reputation for a healthy, vegetarian cuisine, it is not justified. Only 1.5% of Indians are vegan, 24% are lacto-vegetarian. 3% add eggs to their lacto-vegetarian diet which leaves 72% consuming meat.

The Indian population has the highest prevalence of diabetes worldwide and exhibits high-risk metabolic profiles at younger ages and lower body mass index than their Western counterparts. There are significant regional variations to this observation.

The reasons why Asian populations exhibit diabetes at a lower threshold than western populations are not known.

According to WHO mortality statistics, India is ranked 17 for Low Birth Rate, 37 for Diarrhoeal Diseases, 40 for Tuberculosis, 60 for Malnutrition and 62 for Influenza & Pneumonia out of 183 countries.

Given the current increase in consumption of meat and oils and a decrease in grains, the prevalence of obesity and diabetes is likely to continue.

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Impact of Gluten-free Diets

There is a substantial difference between a standard western diet and a gluten-free diet. If a gluten-free diet is no warranted, a gluten-free diet may have unintended health consequences that are not beneficial as well as creating an additional inconvenience.

Consumption of complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides) and dietary fibre can be significantly less.

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Glucose Tolerance – Comparison of High-Fat and High-Carb Diets

Way back in 1927, J. S. Sweeney assigned healthy, young medical students into four dietary groups: A high-carbohydrate diet; a high-fat diet; a high-protein diet; and a fasting diet.

After only two days on their highly improbable diets, the students were given a glucose tolerance test.

Which diet had the best response to the glucose tolerance test?

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