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  1. #1
    hazyjane's Avatar
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    The Spanish Paradox

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    I thought everyone might enjoy reading about a study in Spain linking lower carbohydrate and higher fat intake to a decrease in heart disease deaths:


    From Barry Groves' site
    http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/spanish_paradox.html

    A study published in 1995 noted that heart disease deaths in Spain from 1966-1990 dropped by 25% for men and by 34% in women.(1) The study published a table which indicated that between 1964 and 1991:

    bread consumption fell by 55%,
    rice consumption fell by 35%,
    and potato consumption fell by 53%.
    At the same time consumption of

    beef went up 96%,
    pork went up by 382%,
    poultry was up by 312%,
    and full-cream milk went up by 73%.
    Under the circumstances, you might expect that the authors would suggest that these changes might have been responsible for the changes in patterns of heart disease. But paradoxically, they didn't. To say such a thing, when 'everone knows' that fats and meat are bad for you, is'nt politically correct.

    What they did say in their conclusions was:

    "Nevertheless, our results, in the context of current knowledge about the relation between diet and health, suggest several dietary recommendations that might be applied to the prevention of CVD in Spain:
    Promote moderate consumption of all meat (beef and pork in particular)
    Increase consumption of foods rich in complex carbohydrates (bread ... rice)
    Encourage use of skim milk and low-fat cheese?."
    In other words, stop the Spanish eating their protective diet, and get them to change to our version of 'healthy eating'!

    The British Medical Journal published another Spanish study in its 13 September 2003 edition.(2)

    The authors say they "found unexpectedly high numbers of plaques in young Spanish men, similar to the prevalence in populations with much higher rates of coronary heart disease". So the Spanish diet did not prevent the build-up that is thought to be the cause of heart attacks. They go on to point out that "In Spain, coronary atherosclerosis evolves more slowly. Although a time lag to increased rates of coronary heart disease could be approaching its end, unknown protective factors might also prevent coronary plaques from becoming unstable in this population."

    Could it be the Spanish high-fat, low-carb diet that protects them as it does other populations throughout the world?

    Or would it be heresy to suggest such a thing?

  2. #2
    Helen in Oz's Avatar
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    o.m.f.g. - do we need little red blood cells to hold up neon signs for these people? They just can't bring themselves to admit that they are wrong, can they!

  3. #3
    hazyjane's Avatar
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    LOL, Helen! You're so right!
    I'm sure the Spanish aren't sweating it, though- I bet they're more than happy to eat a little less rice and a little more mancehgo and jamon! Yum! I bet I'd be a happy camper in Spain;-)

  4. #4
    Bushrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazyjane View Post
    I thought everyone might enjoy reading about a study in Spain linking lower carbohydrate and higher fat intake to a decrease in heart disease deaths:


    From Barry Groves' site
    http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/spanish_paradox.html

    A study published in 1995 noted that heart disease deaths in Spain from 1966-1990 dropped by 25% for men and by 34% in women.(1) The study published a table which indicated that between 1964 and 1991:

    bread consumption fell by 55%,
    rice consumption fell by 35%,
    and potato consumption fell by 53%.
    At the same time consumption of

    beef went up 96%,
    pork went up by 382%,
    poultry was up by 312%,
    and full-cream milk went up by 73%.
    Under the circumstances, you might expect that the authors would suggest that these changes might have been responsible for the changes in patterns of heart disease. But paradoxically, they didn't. To say such a thing, when 'everone knows' that fats and meat are bad for you, is'nt politically correct.

    What they did say in their conclusions was:

    "Nevertheless, our results, in the context of current knowledge about the relation between diet and health, suggest several dietary recommendations that might be applied to the prevention of CVD in Spain:
    Promote moderate consumption of all meat (beef and pork in particular)
    Increase consumption of foods rich in complex carbohydrates (bread ... rice)
    Encourage use of skim milk and low-fat cheese?."
    In other words, stop the Spanish eating their protective diet, and get them to change to our version of 'healthy eating'!

    The British Medical Journal published another Spanish study in its 13 September 2003 edition.(2)

    The authors say they "found unexpectedly high numbers of plaques in young Spanish men, similar to the prevalence in populations with much higher rates of coronary heart disease". So the Spanish diet did not prevent the build-up that is thought to be the cause of heart attacks. They go on to point out that "In Spain, coronary atherosclerosis evolves more slowly. Although a time lag to increased rates of coronary heart disease could be approaching its end, unknown protective factors might also prevent coronary plaques from becoming unstable in this population."

    Could it be the Spanish high-fat, low-carb diet that protects them as it does other populations throughout the world?

    Or would it be heresy to suggest such a thing?

    This is a good example of the fact that any studies statistics and methods are MORE important than their conclusion and yet nobody reads anything but the conclusion, especially the media.
    Last edited by Bushrat; 05-20-2010 at 04:42 AM. Reason: I offended the grammar fairy but now have made amends.

  5. #5
    ChrisJ's Avatar
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    mmmmm, manchego, my favourite cheese!

  6. #6
    hazyjane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    mmmmm, manchego, my favourite cheese!
    +1!!

  7. #7
    Lady Grok's Avatar
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    I went to Spain last year- this was before I went Primal, but at the time, remember thinking it was "low carb paradise." Jamon EVERYWHERE! Vegetables, however (at least in restaurants) were practically invisible. I ordered ham and eggs in a diner, and I think they were both deep fried.

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