The Saturated Fat Myth and Heart Disease

By Helen Sanders

For many decades now mainstream medical advice has been that saturated fat is bad and should be lowered at all costs to prevent heart disease. Surely then there must be strong evidence that saturated fat is a primary cause of cardiovascular problems? Actually there isn’t.

Let’s look at the saturated fat myth, how it relates to heart disease and why low-fat diets, along with recommendations to replace meals containing saturated fat with more high carbohydrate foods, can lead to obesity and related diseases like diabetes.

Heart Disease and Saturated Fat

Approximately one third of all deaths in the USA are attributed to heart disease and health organizations like the American Heart Association advise that less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat.

But is there any solid scientific evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease or is it a myth perpetuated by old and long since discredited research?

Saturated fat healthy

While it has been observed, in some short-term studies, that increasing the amount of saturated fat eaten can also increase blood cholesterol levels, longer-term studies do not show a strong association between blood cholesterol and saturated fat intake. There is also ample evidence in recent years that cholesterol is not the dietary villain it’s been made out to be.

We actually produced three quarters of the cholesterol in our bodies ourselves and it is a vital component of a well functioning body.

Only one quarter comes from dietary intake and for most people increasing saturated fat from healthy sources like free range eggs, grass fed meat or coconut oil will not increase blood cholesterol long-term as your body simply lessens the amount it makes.

For a detailed breakdown of why cholesterol and saturated fat are not the cause of heart disease for most people, read Chris Kresser’s excellent four-part serieson the subject.

Studies on Saturated Fat

A 2009 study entitled ‘A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and heart disease’ conducted a detailed examination of all the cardiovascular disease studies on Medline that met their strict criteria of good science and optimal research methodology.

This wide-ranging investigation found “strong evidence… of protective factors” for “an increased intake of vegetables, nuts and a Mediterranean-style diet” but “insufficient evidence” of an association between reducing dietary saturated fat and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

They did however find “associations of harmful factors, including intake of trans fatty acids and foods with a high glycemic index or load.” The pages on What Is Margarine? and Cutting Carbs to Lose Weight have more details on reducing these harmful factors in your diet.

Another large-scale meta-analysis of all the recent studies of the association between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease found “no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) or CVD (cardiovascular disease).”

Heart disease Saturated fats

​How the Saturated Fat Myth Leads to Weight Gain and Disease

While the mainstream medical community slowly comes around to the likelihood that its assumptions about heart disease, cholesterol and saturated fat may well have been a myth based on bad science, many cardiovascular experts are becoming vocal in their criticism of the saturated fat dogma.

Cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra said recently in the British medical Journal that recent studies “have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of CVD.”

He also says that in the USA, the percentage of calories coming from fat has declined from 40% to 30% in the past three decades, yet obesity has rocketed. He believes the reason for this is that food manufacturers “compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar.”

Dr Malhotra concludes with, “It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity.”

In response to the same article, Professor David Haslam of the UK’s National Obesity Forum said: “It’s extremely naive of the public and the medical profession to imagine that a calorie of bread, a calorie of meat and a calorie of alcohol are all dealt in the same way by the amazingly complex systems of the body. The assumption has been made that increased fat in the bloodstream is caused by increased saturated fat in the diet, whereas modern scientific evidence is proving that refined carbohydrates and sugar in particular are actually the culprits.”

Even more scathing of mainstream medicine’s view of saturated fat is an excellent new investigation by the ABC’s Catalyst program called the Heart of the Matter. I’d highly recommend watching this video to understand just how saturated fat was demonized in the first place and what really causes cardiovascular disease.

Ultimately, the saturated fat myth looks to be an idea based on bad science that has remained dogmatically accepted and strangely persistent, despite a lack of any real evidence.

Large meta-studies in recent years have found no strong correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease (unlike stress, sugar, smoking, trans fats, lack of exercise and several other factors), and yet this drive to reduce saturated fat in our diets has been damaging.

It has millions of people around the world on statin drugs to reduce their cholesterol (now the most profitable drugs in history), with questionable benefits and many side effects.

It has vilified healthy cooking oils like virgin coconut oil, in favor of highly processed and inflammatory vegetable oils, themselves now been linked to cardiovascular disease.

It’s led to low-fat versions of everything on the supermarket shelves, usually a simple switch from hunger satiating fats to hunger promoting sugar that increases the risk of diabetes.

And, despite the irony, eating less fat has definitely made people in Western countries fatter, as processed, high glycemic carbohydrate foods overtook more traditional meals with their higher saturated fats.

Do you still believe in the saturated fat myth? I be interested to hear different opinions and studies, but I would ask that you look at those listed on this page, and especially the Catalyst Heart of the Matter program above and see what the cardiologists and other cardiovascular specialists have to say about saturated fat and heart disease.

The event was FANTASTIC; I Wasn’t

I felt GREAT. Now, after 9 years, I would wake up at 8:00am and got to bed at 11:00pm…and I wouldn’t even have to take a nap!

My friend, Keith, invited me to this event to raise money for stroke survivors and caregivers. I had a few minutes, so I looked at their mission:

To assist stroke survivors and their caregivers through the utilization of rehabilitation technology, research and treatment of the stroke disease process; and to provide support with community integration for daily life, recreational and vocational pursuits

This signified what I was doing. Keith was a  stroke survivor and he thought I should hear about this. He was right: I purchased tickets for Jill and I.

We got there at 7:00pm and everybody was SO NICE.  We enjoyed wine for an hour and then we sat down for dinner.

Mara, one on the organizers, spoke briefly, thanked everyone and said why we were all here.  I thought to my self:  I feel blessed to be included!

We had two of the courses. But now something WAS wrong.  My wife ask me if  I wanted to leave. I looked at her and said “No, I feel great.”  But I didn’t feel great…but  I thought it didn’t show.  I didn’t remember much from that time on; I guessing it was 9:00pm.

I sat there but I don’t know what happened.  A little after 10:00pm, my wife could tell I was in trouble.  She quickly dragged me out.

The next phase was a blur. I remember walking up the next morning in my bed.  I didn’t know how I got there.  The last thing I remember was a leaving the night before.

Could it be that I was drunk? I had 2 glasses of wine in two hours followed by a few glasses of water.  So, No.

I think the MESSAGE was great, but maybe I should waited another couple of years before attending again. I hope the other attendees didn’t see me leave. It was kind of embarrassing!

Portland Stroke Walk … #pdxHeartWalk

On Saturday, I volunteered for the 2017 HeartWalk in Portland Oregon. When they started,  they used to have 120 people attend.  Now, they get over 7000 people attending the walk!

This year, Jill could’t help me; she was talking care of our grand daughter Stella!  What about me? I was in charge on giving the t-shirts out to people who got over $100 in donations.

People who survived a stroke got a hat.

I REALLY enjoyed this tip from OHSU.

And our course, there was the magnet.

Want to what it WAS really like? Click on PDX HEART Walk  now.

Hey, we are speaking again!!!

Nobody likes to think about the “What If’s” in life…that’s why its good to have a plan BEFORE something bad happens.

Come listen how the Viggiano family overcame overwhelming odds and LEARN what you can do to be better prepared.

4.30 – 6.00pm ~ Thursday, May 18, 2017
Oregon Wine Reserve – 600 State St. Lake Oswego.
FREE Admission. First 50 people get an autographed copy of the book written by Gordon Viggiano and Jill Krantz Viggiano.

RSVP to save a seat with Alex Sloy 503.603.3334 or alex.sloy@primelending.com

#haveaplan
#whatifs
#beprepared
#nosurprises
#stuonthat

 Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling

Younger Americans Are Experiencing Strokes!!

Posted by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter 

The study looked at a sample of data from some U.S. stroke hospitalizations. From 2003 to 2004 in this sample, more than 141,000 people from 18 to 65 were admitted to hospitals for stroke. By 2011 to 2012, that number had risen to more than 171,000, researchers found.

“Our results stress the importance of prevention of stroke risk factors in younger adults,” said lead author Dr. Mary George. She’s a senior medical officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of heart disease and stroke prevention.

“Young adults, ages 18 to 54, are experiencing a small but sustained increase in stroke and in the prevalence of traditional stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, tobacco use and obesity,” George said.

Up to 80 percent of strokes are thought to be preventable, she said.

George said the study’s findings “should prompt a sense of urgency to promote and engage young adults in practicing healthy behaviors, such as exercising, eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoiding smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.”

The impact of a stroke is significant at any stage of life, she said.

But George added, “It is uniquely complex when younger adults in the midst of careers, serving as wage earners and caregivers, may suffer disability that can impact their lives and the lives of family members and loved ones.”

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Each year stroke kills more than 130,000 Americans. Stroke is also a leading cause of disability, George said.
To study trends in stroke, the researchers used a database of some U.S. hospital stays gleaned from billing records. The 2003-2004 data included more than 362,000 stroke hospitalizations. The 2011-2012 information included nearly 422,000 stroke hospitalizations.

There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, is a stroke that occurs when a blood clot blocks the blood supply to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by bleeding in the brain from a ruptured blood vessel.

Men between 35 and 44 years old saw a striking increase of 41.5 percent in hospitalizations from ischemic stroke over the two study periods.

The researchers found that the rate of hemorrhagic strokes remained basically stable during the study period. The one exception was in the 45 to 54 age group. There was a slight decline in hemorrhagic strokes for men and blacks in that age group, the study showed.

The researchers think an increase in stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking, are behind the rise in strokes among younger adults.

During the study, the percentage of people with three or more stroke risk factors roughly doubled for all age groups.

“Preventing and controlling stroke risk factors among young adults can save lives, reduce disability, decrease health care costs and improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of people and their families,” George said.

The study was published online April 10 in the journal JAMA Neurology.

One specialist questioned the use of billing data to uncover trends in stroke and isn’t sure a real increase in strokes among younger adults is occurring.

“The systems for counting stroke in the United States are extremely limited,” said Dr. James Burke, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan.

“Credible alternatives may explain what appears to be an increase in stroke among young men and women, but is not,” said Burke, who co-wrote an accompanying journal editorial.

“MRIs are more widely used, which can lead to an increase in diagnosis of stroke,” he said.

“MRIs are being used for all kinds of things, and so when you put lots and lots of people in MRI scanners, for example for headaches, we will find asymptomatic brain injury that is stroke-like, and how much classifying of these as stroke is not clear,” Burke said.
In addition, the United States doesn’t have extensive databases that track patients and medical conditions, he said.

“Our ability to make strong conclusions is surprisingly limited since we don’t have national health data on everybody. When we are making these measurements, we are looking at a small chunk of the population,” Burke said.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Am I a Disability Guru?

I am beginning to think I am!  Why, you may ask?  Let me tell you my thoughts.

First of all, it’s kind of cool to start being thought of in that way.  When people see me, they respect me for all I have been through. I have my disability and I’m happy for that.

But I don’t want to be respected. (After I said it, I thought about it and wish to renege that.)  I want to give hope and encouragement to all of those people who may be effected by a heart attack, kidney failure, loss of a friend, cancer, stroke…or anything else.  You can live life as you choose: with regret and pity…or with happiness for each day you have.   It is your choice.

  • You can choose to be happy with your disability
  • You can choose to live life to the fullest with your disability
  • You can choose to be happy for each day you have with your disability

I will tell you my secret: you can choose whatever you want!  My choice is to be happy.  Some people I know have LOTS of THINGS…and I don’t begrudge them; I am HAPPY for them; good for you! It’s not WHAT you have. It’s this:  are you happy?

A while back (9 years ago), I had lot of THINGS.  But when they were all gone, it didn’t matter. Everyday that I wake up to see my beautiful wife, I feel blessed. I have nothing to complain about…I am truly the happiest man on earth.

 

Jill is just amazing! Come see her speak….

Jill Viggiano headshot

Business Men And Women of
PORTLAND BUSINESS LUNCHEON
Invite you to Downtown April 26 with

Jill Viggiano

 You are invited to join us for our Downtown PBL luncheon, on Wednesday, April 26th at the University Club in downtown Portland. Our guest speaker will be Jill Viggiano.
Jill Viggiano spent 19 years working in commercial real estate before retiring to become a full time mom. As an active volunteer, Jill couldn’t help but raise her hand and take on leadership roles in the community.
The opportunity to form and advance philanthropic organizations and their causes kept her engaged in both local and national efforts. Jill’s style is to create a team environment where cooperation and accomplishment happen while having fun.
When her husband survived a massive stroke in 2008, Jill focused her skills on his recovery. She now assists him in his day-to-day needs as well as in his speaking career.
Jill wrote Painful Blessing, a book about her spouse and caregiver experience shedding light on the real life impact of acquired brain injury, and providing hope and encouragement to those facing significant challenges.
Jill’s story will touch your soul and inspire you to press through any circumstance. The cost of lunch is $25.00. Register today and invite a friend.
LUNCHEON DETAILS
RSVP REQUIRED
UNIVERSITY CLUB
1225 SW 6th Ave. Portland, OR 97204
WEDNESDAY APRIL 26TH
11:45 AM- 1:15 P

 

Nerve ‘zap’ treatment may speed stroke recovery

Healthday Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

An implanted device that provides electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve leading to the brain enhanced arm movement in a small group of stroke patients, researchers report.

Evaluating 17  with chronic arm weakness who also received intense , scientists found that three-quarters improved with vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), while only one-quarter of those receiving “sham” nerve stimulation did.

“Arm weakness affects three of every four of our  patients and persists to a disabling degree in at least 50 percent of them, so it’s a hugely important problem in the long term,” explained study author Dr. Jesse Dawson. He’s director of the Scottish Stroke Research Network and a clinical researcher at University of Glasgow.

“A unique aspect of this [device] is that patients can deliver the brain stimulation technique in their own home during exercise . . . which is an important breakthrough that opens a huge number of possibilities for increasing patient access to this potential treatment,” Dawson added.

The study was funded by the VNS device’s manufacturer, MicroTransponder Inc., based in Texas.

About 700,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, two-thirds of whom need post-stroke rehabilitation to help them regain skills lost due to stroke-related brain damage, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve leading to the head, which passes through the neck and down into the abdomen. Surgically implanted just below the collarbone, the VNS device stimulates the brain with small electrical pulses through an internal wire as patients simultaneously move.

All 17 study participants (average age nearly 60) had the device implanted, but Dawson and his team randomly assigned half to receive VNS and half to receive “sham” stimulation. All had suffered clot-caused strokes and took part in six weeks of intensive physical therapy. Their strokes had occurred up to five years prior to the study and had caused chronic arm weakness.

Not only did more patients receiving VNS experience enhanced , but those patients continued to improve throughout the 90-day study period, Dawson said.

Stimulating the vagus nerve, Dawson said, triggers the release of various chemicals in the brain, two of which are known to increase the brain’s potential to recover after injury.

“We can conclude that VNS does drive a change and have an effect for patients recovering from stroke, but we can’t [yet] conclude there’s magnitude enough to introduce it into clinical practice,” he said.

A larger clinical trial enrolling 120  from the United States and the United Kingdom will begin this summer, Dawson added.

Dr. Daniel Labovitz is director of the Stern Stroke Center for the Montefiore Health System in New York City. He said the new research was promising, but the study’s design and small number of participants made it difficult to discern if results are “sustainable.”

“I think it’s exciting to at least be working toward proof of concept—that we can influence the brain to organize itself and enhance recovery long after a stroke occurs,” said Labovitz, who wasn’t involved in the new research.

“This is the holy grail of rehabilitation,” Labovitz said. “And this technique may be the first time where we can actually get the brain to heal itself better than just having the patient move their limb around [during physical therapy].”

Dawson pointed out that implanting the VNS device does carry certain potential risks, such as infection around the device; anesthesia complications; and temporary hoarseness due to vocal cord trauma.

The study was presented at the recent International Stroke Conference in Houston. Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Explore further: Study shows stimulation helps stroke patients

More information: Jesse Dawson, M.D., director, Scottish Stroke Research Network, and clinical researcher, University of Glasgow, Scotland; Daniel Labovitz, M.D., director, Stern Stroke Center, Montefiore Health System, New York City; Feb. 24, 2017, presentation, International Stroke Conference, Houston

Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-03-nerve-zap-treatment-recovery.html#jCp

Walking can help improve stroke recovery

Computational walking model could help stroke patients achieve optimal recovery

by News Medical Life Sciences

After a stroke, patients typically have trouble walking and few are able to regain the gait they had before suffering a stroke. Researchers funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have developed a computational walking model that could help guide patients to their best possible recovery after a stroke. Computational modeling uses computers to simulate and study the behavior of complex systems using mathematics, physics, and computer science. In this case, researchers are developing a computational modeling program that can construct a model of the patient from the patient’s walking data collected on a treadmill and then predict how the patient will walk after different planned rehabilitation treatments. They hope that one day the model will be able to predict the best gait a patient can achieve after completing rehabilitation, as well as recommend the best rehabilitation approach to help the patient achieve an optimal recovery.

Currently, there is no way for a clinician to determine the most effective rehabilitation treatment prescription for a patient. Clinicians cannot always know which treatment approach to use, or how the approach should be implemented to maximize walking recovery. B.J. Fregly, Ph.D. and his team (Andrew Meyer, Ph.D., Carolynn Patten, PT., Ph.D., and Anil Rao, Ph.D.) at the University of Florida developed a computational modeling approach to help answer these questions. They tested the approach on a patient who had suffered a stroke.

The team first measured how the patient walked at his preferred speed on a treadmill. Using those measurements, they then constructed a neuromusculoskeletal computer model of the patient that was personalized to the patient’s skeletal anatomy, foot contact pattern, muscle force generating ability, and neural control limitations. Fregly and his team found that the personalized model was able to predict accurately the patient’s gait at a faster walking speed, even though no measurements at that speed were used for constructing the model.

“This modeling effort is an excellent example of how computer models can make predictions of complex processes and accelerate the integration of knowledge across multiple disciplines,”says Grace Peng, Ph.D., director of the NIBIB program in Mathematical Modeling, Simulation and Analysis.

Fregly and his team believe this advance is the first step toward the creation of personalized neurorehabilitation prescriptions, filling a critical gap in the current treatment planning process for stroke patients. Together with devices that would ensure the patient is exercising using the proper force and torque, personalized computational models could one day help maximize the recovery of patients who have suffered a stroke.

“Through additional NIH funding, we are embarking with collaborators at Emory University on our first project to predict optimal walking treatments for two individuals post-stroke,” says Fregly. “We are excited to begin exploring whether model-based personalized treatment design can improve functional outcomes.”

Source:

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering