Lipid hypothesis-previous sidebar post

Fun Food Fact:

Homemade mayonnaise imparts valuable enzymes, particularly lipase, to anything it's added to. Adding whey enhances the enzyme content and increases shelf life.

Commercial sauces and condiments invariably contain neurotoxic additives to make them palatable--MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and related substances--often deceptively labelled as "natural flavourings" or "spices."

Image copyright: hariets / 123RF Stock Photo

What is behind the concept of a Low Fat Diet?

Politically Correct Nutrition is based on the assumption that we should reduce our intake of fats, particularly saturated fats from animal sources. Fats from animal sources also contain cholesterol, presented as the twin villain of the civilized diet.

The theory--called the lipid hypothesis--that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease was proposed by a researcher named Ancel Keys in the late 1950s. Numerous subsequent researchers have pointed out the flaws in his data and conclusions. Nevertheless, Keys received far more publicity than those presenting alternative views. The vegetable oil and food processing industries, the main beneficiaries of any research that could be used to demonize competing traditional foods, worked behind the scenes to promote futher research that would support the
lipid hypothesis.

The most well-known advocate of the low fat diet was Nathan Pritikin. Actually, Pritikin advocated elimination of sugar, white flour and all processed foods from the diet and recommended the use of fresh raw foods, whole grains and a strenuous exercise program, but it was the low fat aspects of his regime that received the most attention in the media. Adherents found that they lost weight and that their cholesterol levels and blood pressure declined. The success of the Pritikin diet was probably due to a number of factors having nothing to do with the reduction in dietary fat--weight loss alone, for example, will lower cholesterol, at least at first--but Pritikin soon found that the fat-free diet presented many problems, not the least of which was the fact that people had trouble staying on it. Those who possessed enough will power to remain fat-free for any length of time developed a variety of health problems including low energy, difficulty in concentration, depression, weight gain and mineral deficiencies. Pritikin may have saved himself from heart disease but his lowfat diet did not help him recover from leukemia. He died, in the prime of life, of suicide when he realized that his Spartan regime was not working. We shouldn't have to die of either heart disease or cancer--or consume a diet that makes us depressed....

Today the Diet Dictocrats advise us to limit fats to 25-30 percent of the caloric intake, which is about 2 1/2 ounces or 5 tablespoons per day for a diet of 2400 calories. Careful reckoning of fat intake and avoidance of animal fats, they say, is the key to perfect health.

These "experts" assure us that the lipid hypothesis is backed by incontrovertible scientific proof. Most people would be surprised to learn that there is, in fact, very little evidence to support the contention that a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat actually reduces death from heart disease or in any way increases one's life span.


-from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, available at www.chapters.ca.