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Oops, they got it wrong about cholesterol

(546 Posts)
claig Tue 26-May-15 13:33:42

"We've all spent time worrying about our cholesterol levels, but what if it was all... a conspiracy! What if the truth was that eating lots of fat doesn't clog your arteries and kill you, and that there's been a deliberate effort to ignore that evidence in order to secure the financial fortunes of Big Pharma's major anti-cholesterol drugs?"

"Flawed science triggers U-turn on cholesterol fears"
Its Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee plans to no longer warn people to avoid eggs, shellfish and other cholesterol-laden foods.

The U-turn, based on a report by the committee, will undo almost 40 years of public health warnings about eating food laden with cholesterol. US cardiologist Dr Steven Nissen, of the Cleveland Clinic, said: 'It's the right decision. We got the dietary guidelines wrong. They've been wrong for decades.'

Doctors are now shifting away from warnings about cholesterol and saturated fat and focusing concern on sugar as the biggest dietary threat.

The Daily Mail's GP Martin Scurr predicts that advice will change here in the UK too.
He added that the food industry had effectively contributed to heart disease by lowering saturated fat levels in food and replacing it with sugar.

Matt Ridley, a Tory peer and science author, yesterday said there should be an inquiry 'into how the medical and scientific profession made such an epic blunder'.

He described the change of advice in the US as a 'mighty U-turn' and said studies linking high cholesterol and saturated fat in food to heart disease were 'tinged with scandal'."

I wonder if a similar thing will happen in about 40 years to the "save the planet" climate change warnings.


lotsofcheese Tue 26-May-15 13:41:30

More media-sensationalised half-truths!!

It has been well-established for a long time that foods which are high in cholesterol eg eggs/shellfish, have little impact on blood cholesterol levels.

Without a link to the actual US guidelines, it's not possible to comment more.

TelephoneIgnoringMachine Tue 26-May-15 13:42:56

My DH will be gutted. He's got high cholesterol & is a sugar addict. I keep telling him to cut down the sweets but he keeps saying he needs to cut out the eggs & cheese as per guidelines & he'll be fine. Err, no. I eat lots of eggs, fat etc, very little sugar (almost no processed sugar at all) & have low cholesterol. I don't eat much meat though.

I wonder when the official guidelines will change. Hope the ridiculous preponderance of low fat, high sugar and/or artificially sweetened foods in the shops will then start to change likewise.

sunbathe Tue 26-May-15 13:44:12

I've ignored the stuff about eggs and cholesterol for years. Ditto fats.

Doesn't the body make most of the cholesterol it needs, anyway?

BeeHappyAndSmile Tue 26-May-15 13:44:51

I'm not surprised to be honest. My elderly relatives always ate a lot of butter, milk, saturated fat etc but very little sugar but none suffered from heart disease despite having high cholesterol levels. By contrast, two younger relatives who ate a lot of sugary foods but had low cholesterol both have heart disease.

26Point2Miles Tue 26-May-15 13:47:29

Well Ive kinda known about this for some time due to low carbing

Lost 5 stone eating eggs/butter/cheese/anything low carb

Sugar is everywhere tho, sadly. Not just in the usual cakes and biscuits, but generally, everything that comes in a packet! It's v hard to avoid

LowryFan Tue 26-May-15 13:47:42

Lol @ climate change. I'll pop over to Roswell, check with Lady Di and get back to you wink

FishWithABicycle Tue 26-May-15 13:51:21

Interesting. The other big business which benefits from the pervading belief in unsaturated fat being better than saturated fat is the margarine industry. I've heard it asserted (though can't provide references) that margarines and all types of hydrogenised oil butter-like spreads were heavily marketed to provide a steady demand for the leftover hydrogen which is a byproduct of various industrial processes and was often just vented off into the atmosphere before it started to be captured and sold for making flora etc. I wonder whether it's a coincidence that these doubts are arising just as there begins to be more of an emerging market for hydrogen for fuel cells etc?

claig Tue 26-May-15 13:52:39

'Lol @ climate change'

It's no laughing matter. You have to understand the game, the same with food etc.

Kewcumber Tue 26-May-15 13:54:30

It has been well-established for a long time that foods which are high in cholesterol eg eggs/shellfish, have little impact on blood cholesterol levels.

Not only ^this but its also been known for a while that high insulin levels cause high cholesterol.

Lots and lots of people have been warning about low fat foods for years (about how it just replaces fat with sugar otherwise it's tasteless)

Low GL is the way to go if you can.

overmydeadbody Tue 26-May-15 14:00:10

This is why a low carb high fat diet is actually very good for you.

Kewcumber Tue 26-May-15 14:04:33

I'm pretty sure that NHS guidelines on dietary cholesterol changed years ago NHS advice is already that dietary cholesterol has a much smaller effect on your cholesterol levels than the level of saturated fat intake. The only thing they don't mention is managing your sugar intake.

And btw - no-one is arguing that saturated fats are healthy (having just read some of the dimwit comments on the Daily Fail) and that you should eat more of them! So the American advice isn't changing that much from what the NHS already recommends, just that you need to pay attention to refined sugar in your diet too.

GooodMythicalMorning Tue 26-May-15 14:13:37

I did this. Cut out sugar but still have some fat. I lost 6 stone doing this and hula hooping a bit.

Kewcumber Tue 26-May-15 14:16:23

DO you have any links to where the research says a low carb high fat diet is good for you?

I've only seen some limited short term studies which appear to show that a high protein, moderate carb, moderate fat diet is best with the majority of carbs being unrefined and majority of fats being unsaturated (with the jury out on saturated medium chain fats like coconut oil)

Baddz Tue 26-May-15 14:33:01

My cousin had a massive heart attack a few weeks ago.
His cholesterol level was 4.3
He had total heart block in one artery.
My dad collapsed and died of a heart attack and his cholesterol level was normal too (tested just a week before he died)
I don't really pay much attention to cholesterol any more tbh.

GooodMythicalMorning Tue 26-May-15 15:15:27

Its just about being sensible and informed really isn't it.

Seriouslyffs Tue 26-May-15 15:20:59

Not really gooood when the nutritional guidelines that have been force fed us over the last 40 years are wrong. Even more so in the US where sugar is added to everything and low fat is the norm.

TheMagnificientFour Tue 26-May-15 15:24:30

There are two issues there.

1- is the diet advice and tbh that has been known for a long time. It's just that the medical establishment is slow at recognising they got it wrong!

2- Is high cholesterol an issue as such? Some posters seem to be thinking that actually it's not that representative of te risk for heart attack. There are some research that seem to be supporting that too.
The issue there is that, if cholesterol levels aren't that much of an issue, then why are GPs still prescribing statins?

I think the article is very much about point 1. But point 2 really needs to be looked at too.

TheMagnificientFour Tue 26-May-15 15:30:08

And yes sugar is everywhere and 'slimming down' our diet will be much harder than what we tried to do with fats.

Having said that, trans fats are still a really big issues and should still be avoided. So all the commercial stuff, take aways etc... are still NG for us.

LotusLight Tue 26-May-15 16:45:50

It is taking a long time to get this through to people - good fats are good for you, Sugar is bad. All very simple.

In particular high c is not necessarily a bad thing particularly for women either.

hackmum Tue 26-May-15 16:53:37

I remember reading this article 10 years ago about why all the warnings about cholesterol weren't true:

It was by a GP, Malcolm Kendrick, who also wrote a book about it. It's a compelling argument - ever since I read the Spiked piece, I've been sceptical about the claims about cholesterol.

It's a completely separate issue from climate change, however. I don't know if you've spotted, claig, but the people who have the most to benefit from denying climate change are large, powerful multinationals. You've got it arse about tit (as usual).

claig Tue 26-May-15 17:52:07

hackmum, I think I have it right.

It is not done for money, money and corporations are only a side issue. The same elite that decided to promote the cholesterol/heart disease line is the same elite that promotes the climate change line. Governments just spout the line the elite decide it, and they all fall in line worldwide. Why did the elite want to give the wrong information about what was healthy and not and why do they want you to believe that the planet is doomed by man-made climate change? The answers are linked and are part of understanding the game.

"Catalyst says consensus wrong on cholesterol – but unquestionable on climate

On the ABC program Catalyst this week, Dr Maryanne Demasi slayed a few dietary myths–like, cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease.

She described how medical science was distorted for decades by the influence of money, and how one key researcher networked his way to the top of an influential association,
Everything said about the processes in this tale could be equally well said about climate science: Correlation is not causation. Weak, flawed studies can be cherry picked while good studies are ignored. Associations can be taken over by one activist. Large financial interests distort science.

So the consensus was wrong about cholesterol, but is untouchable on climate?"

The same elite says don't eat meat, because they say it is not good for you or for the "planet".

As the Thin Lizzy song so rightly said

"Don't believe a word, cos words can tell lies ..."

JaWellNoFine Tue 26-May-15 18:15:08

This is not new information. It has been known for a very long time....

I also think that science is not infallible. Unless we know everthing, which we will never do, any evidence of anything is based on our current understanding. As our knowledge and understaning improves so science changes...

So yes, our understanding of climate change could very well be wrong. Personally I think climate change is the least of our worries.

JaWellNoFine Tue 26-May-15 18:20:15


The people who had the most to gain by the sugar lies were large multinationals too. The sugar industry!

Same as the people who gain most by the Cannabis ban was the cotton industry.

That is how it works. If you think that it's anything other than money that drives these decisions you are being naive.

WindMeUpAndLetMeGo Tue 26-May-15 18:24:05

Ignore it all, it all folds in on itself eventually, eat in moderation, a bit of everything. The big nasty at the moment is sugar, soon it will be replaced with sweeteners (as many are replacing sugar with this). IMO a bit of sugar is better than a chemical sweetness

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