Ancel Keys and the High-Fat Diet “Experts”

Popular commentators frequently accuse Keys of manipulating data in his 1953 paper, Atherosclerosis, A Problem in Newer Public Health.[1]

This study is sometimes referred as the “Six Countries Study”. A number of popular commentators think this is the Seven Countries Study— they count England & Wales as two countries.

This paper was presented in Amsterdam in 1952 and in January 1953 in New York.

Far too much attention is paid to one page of a minor discussion paper written in the early 1950s. Keys writes, “The fact that the present high rate from degenerative heart disease in the United States is not inevitable is easily shown by the comparison with some other countries.” This was the purpose of the paper.

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Foundations of Naturopathic Nutrition by Fay Paxton – a text book

Fay Paxton (PhD) is an Australian-based naturopath and nutritionist. She has taught nutrition at the Southern School of Natural Therapies and has worked as a consultant for dietary and herbal supplement manufacturers.

She is an author of a popular text book, Foundations of Naturopathic Nutrition.

Unfortunately, she is an advocate for low-carbohydrate diets and paleo diets.

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Ancel Keys did not manipulate his data

Popular commentators frequently accuse Keys of manipulating data in his 1953 paper, Atherosclerosis, A Problem in Newer Public Health.[2]

This study is sometimes referred as the “Six Countries Study”. A number of popular commentators think this is the Seven Countries Study— they count England & Wales as two countries.

This paper was presented in Amsterdam in 1952 and in January 1953 in New York.

Far too much attention is paid to one page of a minor discussion paper written in the early 1950s. Keys writes, “The fact that the present high rate from degenerative heart disease in the United States is not inevitable is easily shown by the comparison with some other countries.” This was the purpose of the paper.

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Robert Lustig and The Men Who Made Us Fat

Robert Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. He specializes in childhood obesity and studying the effects of sugar in the diet. He is the director of the UCSF Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health Program and a member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society.

Unfortunately, much of what he says is simply wrong, which given the amount of media exposure that he receives, is deeply worrying.

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CSIRO Low-Carb Diet

The CSIRO Low-Carb Diet and CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet were developed in Australia by the CSIRO.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet plan “is higher in protein, and lower in high Glycemic Index carbohydrates which supports weight loss, especially fat mass whilst helping with appetite control”.

The CSIRO Low Carb Diet is “lower in carbohydrate and higher in healthy fats which may improve blood glucose control and possibly a reduction in need for diabetes medication”.

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The Pioppi Diet

The Pioppi Diet is a book by the London cardiologist Aseem Malhotra and Donal O’Neill, an Irish film-maker.

Pioppi is a small village on the Tyrrhenian Sea which is located on the west coast of Italy. It is approximately 150 km (90 miles) south of Naples. Ancel and Margaret Keys resided here for over 25 years. Martii Karvonen of Finland and Jerimiah Stamler of the USA are other well-known medical researchers who resided in the village.

Malhotra is a keen high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet advocate and is desperately trying (unsuccessfully) to merge this opinion into a distorted view of the Mediterranean diet.

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Best Diet to Lose Weight – And it is Not Low-Carb

The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) was established in 1994. It is the largest study into long-term weight loss programs. The principal researchers are Rena Wing (Brown Medical School, Rhode Island) and James Hill (University of Colorado). There are now over 10,000 participants enrolled in the study.

To be eligible to enrol in the study participants must be at least 18 years have lost at least 13.6 kg (30 lbs) of weight and kept it off for at least one year.

According to the researchers “almost nobody is on a low-carbohydrate diet” and they have looked “very hard to locate them. We can’t find more than a handful of people who follow the Atkins program in the registry”.

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Eating Red Meat is Not Natural

Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose is popularly known as alpha-gal. It is a carbohydrate found in the meat of mammals – exceptions being primates (which includes humans) and other African and Asian apes.

Since the early 2000s, severe allergic reaction has been observed several hours after the consumption of red meat. Several deaths have occurred. This is associated with IgE antibodies to alpha-gal as a result of the patients been bitten by ticks. This has occurred in eastern Australia, south-east USA and Sweden.


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BMJ Editorial – Are Some Diets “Mass Murder”?

Richard Smith’s wrote an article Are some diets “mass murder”? in The BMJ on 15 December 2014. He uses a work of a popular commentator to reach his conclusions in this article. Smith’s claim that Nina Teicholz’s The Big Fat Surprise, demolishes the hypothesis that saturated fat is the cause of cardiovascular disease fails with just a little scrutiny.

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