Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wanting some of you mama's to weigh in on this study. Thanks!

Quote:
CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) -- Eating just one meal high in saturated fat -- in this case, carrot cake and a milkshake -- can quickly prevent "good" cholesterol from protecting the body against clogged arteries, a small study shows.

The results of the research weren't a surprise to the experts, but they say the findings reaffirm something that more people need to understand:

"What we put into our mouth makes a big difference in terms of our health," said Dr. Charles McCauley, a cardiologist with Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, who reviewed the research but wasn't involved with the study. "We really have to be very careful as to how our food is processed and what kind of ingredients we use."

In the study, at The Heart Research Institute in Sydney, Australia, 14 people, ages 18-40, ate two meals of carrot cake and a milkshake one month apart. One meal was high in saturated fat -- using coconut oil -- and the other was high in polyunsaturated fat -- using safflower oil.

Saturated fat has long been linked to the buildup of plaque that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. HDL, the "good" cholesterol, protects arteries from the inflammation that leads to artery-clogging plaques. And plaque hurts the ability of arteries to expand to carry blood to tissues and organs.

The researchers, led by Dr. Stephen Nicholls, a cardiologist now at the Cleveland Clinic, found that three hours after eating the saturated-fat cake and shake, the lining of the arteries was hindered from expanding to increase blood flow. And after six hours, the anti-inflammatory qualities of the good cholesterol were reduced.

But the polyunsaturated meal seemed to improve those anti-inflammatory qualities. Also, fewer inflammatory agents were found in the arteries than before the meal.

"They're looking at things in terms of real live living," said McCauley. "Carrot cake. How more real does that get?"

The study appears in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"It's a simple study. Sometimes the best studies are those that are very straightforward," said Dr. Richard Milani, head of preventive cardiology at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He notes that the research isn't suggesting that people eat a steady diet of carrot cake and milkshakes.

However, he said, "given a choice between something with polyunsaturated fat and saturated fat, please avoid the saturated fat."

Nicholls said "the take-home, public-health message is this: It's further evidence to support the need to aggressively reduce the amount of saturated fat consumed in the diet."

Saturated fats are found mostly in food from animals, including beef, pork, lard, poultry fat, butter, milk and cheeses, and some plants, including coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter.

Polyunsaturated fats are found in oils from plants, including safflower, sesame and sunflower seeds, corn and soybeans, many nuts and seeds.

Dr. James O'Keefe, a cardiologist at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, said Nicholls' study shows "a really important concept -- when you eat the wrong types of food, inflammation and damage to the vessels happens immediately afterward."

Too many people simply are eating the wrong kind of fats, O'Keefe said.

"Even one meal of a double cheeseburger with fries and a Coke will mess up your system, let alone a steady diet of it, which is recipe for disaster," O'Keefe said.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/08/07...eut/index.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
A study with only 14 people seems a little underdone to me..the article also doesn't state any percentages of each group. It also doesn't state how the cardiologist is able to tell "that three hours after eating the saturated-fat cake and shake, the lining of the arteries was hindered from expanding to increase blood flow."
I know my uncle recently had to undergo quintuple bypass surgery because of a massive heart attack that almost killed him...only a few months after the cardiologist gave him a clean bill of health. I'm not saying there is no way to tell, for sure I am not a cardiologist -- but I'd still like to know how they are figuring this out.
Also, all the white flour, sugar and homogenized milk in the cake and milkshake would seem to me the most unhealthy aspects -- so are they saying that this study proves the above ingredients are good for your heart?

First they talk about how you need to avoid saturated fat, then they end the article with:

Quote:
Too many people simply are eating the wrong kind of fats, O'Keefe said.
"Even one meal of a double cheeseburger with fries and a Coke will mess up your system, let alone a steady diet of it, which is recipe for disaster," O'Keefe said.
Above meal contains mostly hydrogenated polyunsaturated fat(ie: transfat). The only thing that contains some saturated fat is the burger patty -- which is usually cooked in transfat. The cheese is usually "process cheese food" which is mostly transfat. The fries are cooked in transfat. And the coke is mainly high fructose corn syrup.
Interesting stuff, but the whole thing seems a bit hollow from my perspective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,620 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by twins10705
Also, all the white flour, sugar and homogenized milk in the cake and milkshake would seem to me the most unhealthy aspects
I agree with this. I think that the study is messed up, and to truly test the effects of various fats, they should give the test subjects nothing but the fat itself. I'm not sure how they can truly test the effects of a particular type of fat with foods that contain various fat sources and also many other ingredients. Frosting is usually made with hydrogenated fats, and it would most likely be the hydrogenate fats, white flour, and sugar in the cake that's causing the trouble.

The way they set up the experiment, one can even draw a conclusion that carrots are bad. It's as absurd as if they compared the carrot cake to a smoothie containing a couple of leaves of spinach with a headline saying: "Root Vegetables Cause Cholesterol Spike"

A good read on fats is "Know Your Fats" written by biochemist Mary Enig. Excerpts of her writing are also available on the WAP site:
The Oiling of America
The Skinny on Fats
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,109 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by saratc
I agree with this. I think that the study is messed up, and to truly test the effects of various fats, they should give the test subjects nothing but the fat itself. I'm not sure how they can truly test the effects of a particular type of fat with foods that contain various fat sources and also many other ingredients. Frosting is usually made with hydrogenated fats, and it would most likely be the hydrogenate fats, white flour, and sugar in the cake that's causing the trouble.

The way they set up the experiment, one can even draw a conclusion that carrots are bad. It's as absurd as if they compared the carrot cake to a smoothie containing a couple of leaves of spinach with a headline saying: "Root Vegetables Cause Cholesterol Spike"
i read the original article a few days ago and i wondered the same thing as the OP. if i'm not mistaken in my reading of it, the carrot cake & milkshake meals were identical except in one case the cake and shake were made with coconut oil and the other time made with safflower oil. i don't think there were any other fats, hydrogenated or otherwise, in the picture. on the surface to me it sounds pretty bad for coconut oil. i don't think i'll be buying any more after the jar i have runs out, but i'm not a big NT person so y'all take that with a grain or two of sea salt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess my big question following the study is how do they know what was going on and how reliable a measure of damage to the body is that.

I know that in Eat Fat Lose Fat she said that many of our (general public) understandings about fats cholesterol etc are faulty and not based on the best science so perhaps these things do happen but they are not indicative of the dangers that we think they are?

And I find the sample size to be highly suspect. That just seems like a tiny test size and it makes me wonder who got weeded out and why.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's the abstract of the study. I don't have acess to get the whole thing but if anyone else does feel free to post it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,620 Posts
I found the original articles and they do say they used the same ingredients except the fats. I was also trying to find the original study to see if there were more details regarding the oils used. Enig talks in her book about how many studies demonizing coconut oil and saturated fats are using the hydrogenated versions.

I don't discount the details in the articles regarding the experiment, just have gotten very skeptical regarding how conclusions are drawn and how fats are twisted. For example, they knew for years that Crisco and hydrogenated oils caused problems but studies were twisted in a way that made it sound like the fault lied in saturated fats. It's ironic that the FDA is now pushing restaurants to stop using hydrogenated oils when they were the ones who pushed them into using them in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is true! It doesn't say if the CO was hydrogenated or not!!! I assumed not since it said saturated fat but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
After looking at the abstract, I personally don't think that anyone that isn't a doctor could really know what it all means.

I also agree with PP that a study with 14 subjects is a little suspect. I think it's just another article to get the general public to continue eating veggie oils.

I also think that it would be important to read The Untold Story of Milk and The Cholesterol Myths before taking too much from this article.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
I've been thinking about this, and while the study is definitely flawed as others mentioned, it got me wondering if there's something else at work that hasn't been considered (although I have absolutely zero premise for hypothesizing). Anyway, I remember reading studies that showed Vitamin A can be toxic, even from animal sources. Then I read the Vitamin A on Trial paper (can't remember where it was - WAPF website?), and they said Vitamin A needs to be balanced with vitamin D. What if saturated/unsaturated fats have some similar kind of relationship, only with respect to processed foods? What if processed foods do significant damage to the animal fats and coconut oil, and therefore that makes the vegetable oil look better, kwim? Again, I have no grounds for this hypothesis, it was just a thought while I was doing some knitting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
I also second the Cholesterol Myths and The Untold Story of Milk.

I also don't know how stdies with 14 people are getting any attention.

Also, the "double cheeseburger fries and a Coke" meal is high in trans fat, white flour, and sugar. Eat a good steak insead!

The thing I try and remember is that people have been eating real food since the beginning of time (whole raw milk, beef, butter included) and humankind has made it this far. And as our consumption of newly invented food goes up, so does obesity and other health problems.

Jennifer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
Here is another way to think about it. Cholesterol is a repair material, right? So if your cholesterol goes up, it means your body is trying to fix something. Now, they fed these people carrot cakes with god knows what as the ingredients. Polyunsaturated oil is known to cause immunosuppression, which means it impairs the immune system. So one conclusion you can draw from this study is that the body was damaged by all the crap in the carrot cake, and the polyunsat fat hindered the immune system to such an extent that it could not repair the damage (ie cholesterol did not go up). Meanwhile, when the cake contained sat fat, the body was able to raise the cholesterol in order to repair the damage done by all the other crappy ingredients.

All any of this really means, however, is that this was a really crappy study and doesn't deserve all this press.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by kallyn
Here is another way to think about it. Cholesterol is a repair material, right? So if your cholesterol goes up, it means your body is trying to fix something. Now, they fed these people carrot cakes with god knows what as the ingredients. Polyunsaturated oil is known to cause immunosuppression, which means it impairs the immune system. So one conclusion you can draw from this study is that the body was damaged by all the crap in the carrot cake, and the polyunsat fat hindered the immune system to such an extent that it could not repair the damage (ie cholesterol did not go up). Meanwhile, when the cake contained sat fat, the body was able to raise the cholesterol in order to repair the damage done by all the other crappy ingredients.

All any of this really means, however, is that this was a really crappy study and doesn't deserve all this press.
This was the thought that I was trying to formulate in my brain but just couldn't get there. Thank you!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,216 Posts
There is something here is that is really bothering me. I'm trying to formulate it into a coherent sentence. Forgive me if I fail, it's 11:30 pm!

First, as has been stated, 14 people is not an appropriate sample size from which to draw any conclusions. It's appropriate to say, "there is something going on here, we need to conduct a more thorough, larger, longer term study to discern what that is".

Second, the last few sentences, where they are talking about cheeseburgers and milkshakes not being a good meal stood out to me. If this is not what the researchers considered good nutrition, then why are they conducting a study on such processed foods? Why not make it really simple, and use fresh ingredients (no processed stuff like sugar and white flour) and the oils? Chances are, that the sat. fats would outshine the polyunsat. fats because there would be less reason for the cholesterol to rise, fewer confounding variables, etc.

And, I think that the PP who raised the theory of the suppressed immune system not being able to mount an appropriate response is onto something. Healthy fats promote a proper immune function. If you aren't consuming enough of those, your body won't be able to initiate a proper healing response to the damage caused by the junk food consumed.

I do agree with the statement that not enough people eat the right kinds of fats, that what you eat has a direct effect on your inflammatory response system. Unfortunately, most of the fats they listed as "bad" are ones that I would consume over those they consider "good". Sat. fats promote a healthy cholesterol response by virtue of the fact that they allow the body to heal from the damage caused by processed foods.

I don't know if any of this is making sense to anyone else, but I have to get it out. It just bothers me so much to see stuff like this making headlines. I know that uninformed consumers will hear (or read) this and think "well, there's all the more reason to eat low fat and avoid all that unhealthy saturated fat in beef, etc.". So, thanks for reading my vent!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Also, if you have read the Cholesterol Myths, you will know that the goal of lowering cholesterol, or raising so-called "good" cholesterol, is not valid.

Besides the small sample, the short term length of the study also invalidates it. Also, this statement makes me suspicious:

"The results of the research weren't a surprise to the experts, but they say the findings reaffirm something that more people need to understand."

Sounds to me that, as with so many studies, they decided ahead of time what they were going to prove, and then set up the study to show the results they expected.

Ann
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by AnnC
Sounds to me that, as with so many studies, they decided ahead of time what they were going to prove, and then set up the study to show the results they expected.Ann


Why else would they have set it up that way?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top