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Thread: NY Times Article Today - Sat Fat Bad for Aging page

  1. #1
    Dave's Avatar
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    Unhappy NY Times Article Today - Sat Fat Bad for Aging

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    From the article:

    "A study showed that people who mostly ate foods low in saturated fat and rich in nutrients were at one-third lower risk of Alzheimer's than those who ate more higher-fat foods."

    Ok. I'm confused. Being a new convert to PB and an Elder Apple this does not bode well. How do we reconcile this with the PB lifestyle?

    Here's the link:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/he...althupdateema5

  2. #2
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    Its nice that they have a link to read the whole article, sounds like they just did a baseline survey and then a followup a few years later. Anybody that is good with statistics have any input regarding there numbers?

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    "Among older people whose diet included the most of these foods, the risk for Alzheimer’s was more than one-third lower over the course of four years than among those who ate the least such foods and more high-fat dairy products, butter, red meat and organ meat. "

    Okay the main problem with this is that it is simply an epidemiological correlation and not a causation. In a society where most people already take that red meat and butter are unhealthy as an unquestionable absolute truth, those who eat more meat and butter are generally going to be the ones who have a "to hell with it" attitude towards health in general, because meat and butter are fucking delicious and these are the people who indulge in everything. They are likely to have more nutrient deficiencies, especially omega 3 and vitamin d, and are likely to consume sugar, trans fats and not exercise. It's not the saturated fat, it's the type of person that usually goes along with the saturated fat.

    There are other problems that I'm sure others who are more learned will chime in with.

    edit: just one final point. Science is fucking awesome right now. If there is a reason why something is the case, it can most likely be shown WHY it is the case. And yet nobody can show using experimental studies and empirical evidence why red meat and saturated fat cause heart disease, cancer, anything at all. There is plenty of empirical evidence for the unhealthiness of PUFAs, fructose, wheat products an grains in general, where's the empirical evidence against meat and butter? There is none so they resort to this kind of knavery. Weston A Price foundation has effectively refuted any meat and butter bashing and I'm sure they will tackle this one with their usual righteous fury . I think there is enough ostensibly wrong with such a "conclusion" to dismiss it outright.
    Last edited by Stabby; 04-20-2010 at 09:37 AM.

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    Dave's Avatar
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    I'm not willing to dismiss these findings as simply another evil attempt by misinformed scientists to bash food groups that I might have a personal investment in believing that are good for me. Look at some of the tables that accompany the actual study. The correlations by specific food groups are uniformly strong and supportive of the overall conclusion.

    I guess we could argue that the level of physical activity doesn't seem to have been accounted for but, then again, we're talking about a population with a mean age of 77. I suspect not a lot of lifting of heavy things and sprinting going on in that group.

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    Very true regarding the comments about lack of exercise and resistance training. A very good book is 'SparK: The Revolutionary New Science Behind Exercise and the Brain' by John Ratay. While mainly focusing on aerobic exercise he goes into a lot of science about how exercise increases many of the neurotransmitters and hormones that play a significant role in preventing a wide variety of ailments. He covers learning, depression, alzheimers etc. It is very good book and it shows how lack of physical exercise can prevent or even lessen symptoms. Though he does advocate the CW of chronic cardio as opposed to sprints its worth the read and besides that there is not much CW.

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    Saturated fat is surely bad for you if you consume a crap load of sugar and carbs along with it. Did this study take into account other nutritional choices of the people in the study? That would be my first question.

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    It's funny the cause of Alzheimers disease is still unkown, yet they know factors that "increase risk". If you don't know how you get it, how can you know what increases your risk? You really need to look into the study further.
    Just like red meat causes heart disease.........well did they consider the bleached white flour bun, high fructose cornsyrup ketchup, plastic cheese, hyrdrogenated oil fries and corn syrup soda with the multiple years worth of inactivity that came with that evil cow meat? Your activity level, genetics, environment, stress level and the foods you eat accompanying the saturated fat that make all the difference in the world.

    Conventional wisdom glorifies the rice paddy farming culture of vietnam and other Asian area diets , who have no cancer or heart disease and weigh 100 pounds due to their low in saturated fat diet......well they have also never eaten a piece of processed anything, have small portion sizes and perform physical labor sunrise to sunset, with im sure at times going without food. Take a look at places in asia where industrialization is taking place, where burger chain restaurants have been introduced and other processed food-their disease rates are rising at a worrying rate....hmm i wonder why?

    haha okay little bit of a rant, but yes like the others say, we must remember the person that comes with the saturated fat

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    Dave's Avatar
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    Again, folks, look at the tables: http://archneur.ama-assn.org/cgi/data/2010.84/DC1/1

    Yes, they did account for the other foods that were consumed; all broken out into 30 different groups, each with their own correlation coefficient.

    To dismiss the study as "just correlation and not causation" is kind of a specious argument when we're talking about studies of foods consumed over time. All such studies could only be correlational. For causation you'd have to have a population that only ate, I don't know, say Cherios for five years and then look at what's left of them after that to determine that such a diet 'causes' people to be sick and/or dead.

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    Exactly. You would have to conduct real science. *gasp*

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    I don't know about this study, but I do know that Alzheimers incidence is greatly increased in diabetics, and there is some plausible theory about the causality (I think insulin is involved). So a primal diet would improve that risk factor anyway.
    Ref: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dia...eimers/AZ00050

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