Polyunsaturated Fats Cause Cancer – LA Veterans Trial

The Wadsworth VA Hospital in Los Angeles operated a home where male army veterans resided. The meals were provided by one of two dining halls.

Men in dining Hall A continued their usual diet. The “saturated animal fat and hydrogenated shortening replaced with vegetable oils in the experimental diet” for the diets provided in dining Hall B. Low fat diets were not considered because such a diet required “gastronomic sacrifice”. The total fat content of the 2 diets were the same, providing 40% of the total energy. (Diets of 40% fat cannot be considered a healthy diet.)

This study is sometimes used to “proof” that a polyunsaturated fats promote cancer.  A reading of papers from the trial shows that this is not the case.

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Why are there so many points of view regarding nutrition?

There can be a tendency for researchers and commentators to become attached to one particular area and not be able to see the relationship and interconnectedness with the different aspects of the same disease.

Also, much research is focused on individual components of nutrition, such as individual minerals, vitamins, or components such as fats or saturated fats.

Once again, researchers can become attached to one particular element of nutrition. We search for the magic supplement or the one miraculous cure.

Nutrition is the result of endless number of components in food. Health is the result of the relationship between all that we eat (and absorb during digestion), our relationships with others, the community that we live in and the world that we inhabit.

Looking at individual components of food in isolation can never give a complete picture.

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MRFIT Study – What did it tell us?

The Australian Broadcaster ABC televised the program Heart of the Matter Part 1 – Dietary Villains on Thursday, 24 October 2013. This program listed the MRFIT study as more evidence that cholesterol is not implicated in heart disease.

The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) was a coronary heart disease prevention trial that was conducted at 22 US clinical centres (18 cities) from 1973 to 1982. The multiple risks evaluated were elevated serum cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and cigarette smoking.

A number of popular commentators use this trial as proof that cholesterol is not implicated in heart disease.

The tobacco industry also used the results of the MRFIT study to argue that smoking is not harmful.

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Diet Does Not Affect Breast Cancer?

The objective of The Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Randomized Trial [1] was to:

To assess whether a major increase in vegetable, fruit, and fiber intake and a decrease in dietary fat intake reduces the risk of recurrent and new primary breast cancer and all-cause mortality among women with previously treated early stage breast cancer.

The conclusion of this “controlled trial of dietary change in 3088 women previously treated for early stage breast cancer” was:

Among survivors of early stage breast cancer, adoption of a diet that was very high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber and low in fat did not reduce additional breast cancer events or mortality during a 7.3-year follow-up period.

This made headlines all over the world.  This is the proof people were waiting for – that changes to your diet has no impact on breast cancer.  Medical practitioners, dieticians and the public now have the evidence that there is no need to change your diet.

It appears that the authors are deliberately being deceptive.

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Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes

For a person with Type II diabetes, the problem is that sugar (glucose) is not able to pass from the bloodstream into the cells. Since the glucose cannot get into the cells, it ends up in the blood stream and removed from the body in urine.

It seems obvious that if you have too much sugar in your blood then you need to limit the amount of sugar and starch in your diet. Starches are complex carbohydrates that consists of many glucose molecules.

The diet of people that live in countries that have low incidence of diabetes do not have a diet remotely like the standard diabetic diet. They eat a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates.

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