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    pixiet's Avatar
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    Saturated Fat

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    You and other authro's like Sally Fallon argue very convincingly that saturated fats are good for you. Yet the nurses health study followed over 80,000 nurses for 14 years and found that while total fat intake didn't affect heart disease rates, women who ate more unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat had fewer heart problems. With so much good evidence on both sides of the argument, I am completely confused. Can you clear up the apparent contradictions?

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    Most studies look at consumption of fats in a vacuum. The study may not have looked into other dietary and activity inputs that led one group to have better health than the other. This could indicate that saturated fats are not a causal factor but was a indicator or trouble groups. If all the groupls ate similar with the exception of the fats and particiapated in similar physical activities and these controls were documented these studies w ould have scientific merit. Without controls the study is simply correlative and weakly at that.
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    Which saturated fats were studied???
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryanccfshr View Post
    Most studies look at consumption of fats in a vacuum. The study may not have looked into other dietary and activity inputs that led one group to have better health than the other. This could indicate that saturated fats are not a causal factor but was a indicator or trouble groups. If all the groupls ate similar with the exception of the fats and particiapated in similar physical activities and these controls were documented these studies w ould have scientific merit. Without controls the study is simply correlative and weakly at that.
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    Such studies on dietary intervention are 999 times out of 1000, fundamentally flawed and biased so they're a huge waste of money and resource.

    If epidemiologists ever started agreeing on everything, they'd soon put themselves out of a job.

    Word of mouth and personal experience are far more valuable. As are empirical studies of illness rates in relation to standard traditional diets where they still exist, e.g. the French paradox.
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    Correlation does not prove causation.

    Observational studies, such as this (at least it seems like an observational study) aren't all that reliable.
    Clinical studies has proven this theory to be wrong. And since about 80% of all observational studies are flawed (maybe even closer to 100%), there is no reason we should consider them in our dietary guidelines.

    Another nurse study has been done to determine if extra estrogen improves your health or not (I don't exactly recall the protocol). After examining the results of this observational study, it seemed that the nurses who took the extra estrogen were healthier. So they assumed it helped.
    In another study however, it was proven to be completely wrong. (This study was a clinical study with controlled variables). It appears that the nurses who took the advice and took some extra estrogen were healthy in general, that is health conscious people. So they tend to smoke less, drink less (alcohol that is), exercise more and so on. And the other nurse group who didn't take it were simply less health conscious. They smoked more, drank more.. etc.

    That's why correlation does not prove causation.

    In this study it might just be that the people who chose to eat saturated fat were less health conscious, and didn't really give a dam, so they probably got some of their nutrition from processed foods, smoked more and so on, which might just explain why they were at a higher risk for heart disease.

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