You like death, right? You want to meet your maker earlier rather than later, and what's better is that you're very interested in following known conflicted advice -- right?
For decades, if you asked your doctor what your odds were of suffering a heart attack, the answer would turn on a number: your cholesterol level.
The end result: Twice as many Americans — one-third of all adults — would be told to consider taking statins, which lower cholesterol but also reduce heart risks in other ways.
There are several problems with this.
First, the lipid hypothesis has never been proved.
The evidence, however, is that the alternative hypothesis, that systemic inflammation is what causes coronary artery disease (along with dramatically increasing the risk of strokes) is the true cause.
But there's no money in the alternative hypothesis and in fact there's plenty of disincentives to prove it up.
Let's leave aside the conflicts for a minute, although I'll get back to them. I'll simply focus instead on the lipid hypothesis itself.
See, it dates to 1850 or thereabouts. This is not something new, and with roughly 150 years and billions of dollars to be made from it one would expect that by now there would be a multitude of hard scientific studies that could demonstrate by strict proof that this hypothesis was correct.
So where are they?
Now let's talk about conflicts:
"It is practically impossible to find a large group of outside experts in the field who have no relationships to industry," said Dr. George Mensah of the heart institute. He called the guidelines "a very important step forward" based on solid evidence, and said the public should trust them.
Uh huh. Sure. Just like I should trust those who argue that a person with a compromised insulin response should eat carbohydrates that require an insulin response to metabolize -- when there are other options available that fulfill the actual dietary needs of the body?
Exactly how many attempts to kill people -- albeit slowly -- do you expect me to tolerate?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. High cholesterol leads to hardened arteries that can cause a heart attack or stroke.
There's no proof of that. In point of fact cholesterol is necessary for cellular metabolism and there is no evidence that the presence of high cholesterol levels causes hardened arteries. There is, however, plenty of evidence that inflammation leads the body to respond by attempting to encapsulate the inflammed tissue -- this is the ordinary and normal response that heals injuries.
That is, by the way, the alternative hypothesis -- that it is systemic inflammation that is in fact responsible for coronary artery disease and that while lowering cholesterol may blunt the body's inflammatory response it is neither safe or effective since the underlying condition remains.
Most cholesterol is made by the liver, so diet changes have a limited effect on it.
Right. And that's the problem -- the evidence strongly suggests that drugging people targets the wrong thing.
It gets worse. One of the claimed "new indications" for Statin use is this:
—People ages 40 to 75 with Type 2 diabetes.
Statins have listed as one of their side effects the potential to cause Type 2 diabetes!
So now we want to prescribe a drug for people with a given condition that has listed as one of its side effects causation of the condition itself?
Never mind that we're still peddling the crap diet advice:
—People should eat a "dietary pattern" focused on vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Include low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, beans and healthy oils and nuts. Limit sweets, sweet drinks, red meat, saturated fat and salt.
Obesity is without question a major factor in heart disease and stroke. That's not a hypothesis, it's fact. Obesity is also a major factor for high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. In short if you're fat the odds are all tilted the wrong way when it comes to your health in both coronary and stroke-risk factors.
The simple answer to this is to quit trying to fight evolution. That is, stop believing that man is smarter than God - because he isn't. The processed food industry, along with many others (Nike anyone?) puts forward the premise that man is smarter than God and drills it into your head on a daily basis but what you'll note is the utter absence of anything approaching scientific proof of these assertions -- all you see instead is marketing slogans.
Why? Strict scientific proof would be the gold standard if it existed. Since it's absent in said messages and yet it would be the best marketing possible I am forced to conclude that it's absent because such evidence does not exist.
If you stop fighting evolution -- that is, if you stop fighting that which you were born with and that which has evolved over millions of years you come to the conclusion that if it didn't exist 5,000 years ago you probably shouldn't eat it -- and that when it comes to dietary balance you should pay attention to the balance available 5,000 years ago.
You didn't have a given fresh fruit, for example, all the time -- only for a few weeks out of the year when they were ripe and could be picked. You had an assortment of vegetable material available to eat, but again, in variety through the year. What you did have available to you nearly all of the time was meat and fish, including animal protein and fats, of various species and types.
Note that there were no transfats, no vegetable oils, no hydrogenated anything and no processed grains of any sort. In other words all of the things that spike your insulin response today did not exist -- all of the so-called "fast carbohydrates" are modern inventions.
In other words the insulin spike caused by modern eating is biologically abnormal.
Want to fight God? Go right ahead. I will simply observe that you're betting against several million years of evolution (or "the guy upstairs", depending on what you believe.) Either way this is a crappy bet and you're odds-on to lose.
This may be anecdotal, but it's also true. A few years ago I was having happen to me what happens to most men and women as they get a bit older. My waistline was expanding, my body mass was going up slowly but inexorably, my athletic performance was going down and while I didn't have anything serious going on medically the path I was on was quite clear, if I bothered to look.
I ran cross-country when I was in High School -- as "recreation" (we had to take a sport every semester.) I never was any good at it and in fact I hated it, but I did it. I always had an issue with heel striking while running, and had various so-called "professionals" tell me that this orthotic or that "funky shoe" would fix whatever was going on. They were all full of crap and none of it worked. Through my 30s several times I tried to lose the "spare tire"; I bought exercise equipment and used it diligently, counted calories and similar. Sure, it sort of worked -- if I kept at it with diligence I could lose 10lbs or so. But as soon as I dropped the diligence -- even a bit -- the weight came right back on.
When I saw what was going to happen with Obamacare and came to the conclusion that our government was going to destroy any hope of my having access to reasonable health care and so-called "safety net" programs as I aged, mostly due to the fact that the people in our nation simply insist on being stupid, I came to the conclusion that my 210lb body was either going to have to become a 150lb body or I was going to end up weighing 300lbs by the time I was 70 and somewhere between here and there I would likely wind up with a serious chronic and debilitating disease or be dead outright.
Worse, none of the so-called "standard advice" like you have in that article had worked. I had tried it all. You've probably tried it. It doesn't work folks, and the reason it doesn't work is that your body actively fights what is being propounded because you're trying to fight how the human animal has evolved over millions of years.
It fights because that's how you are hard-wired by God. When you take in fast carbohydrates which includes nearly all grains (e.g. breads, etc), sugars (especially "high-fructose corn syrup") and other items with a high glycemic index your body reacts by spiking its insulin production because it was never designed to process any of those things and you are insulting your body's systems. If you consume enough carbohydrate to fill your glycogen stores before that energy can be consumed (which are quite limited) the rest is stored as fat -- it has to be otherwise it would wind up as excessively-high blood sugar.
The problem is that due to the spike in insulin when that processing is complete you feel hungry again even though you just packed on the remainder of your intake into fat cells. The calories you just packed on and stored as excess are not burned up before you become hungry! Your body is wired this way because absent processed foods it is nearly-impossible to trigger this response; it is simply an amplification of what would otherwise be the normal response to eating brought about by the engineering of foods we were never designed to consume.
Can you resist this? I suppose you can try but if you're wondering why all these "diets" fail this is the reason -- you're fighting how your body is wired.
Likewise, I found that all the so-called "running shoes" were trying to prevent my body from being harmed by heel striking while I ran. This is backwards as it was trying to prevent an injury rather than prevent the cause of the injury, which is the excessive shock loads placed on your joints.
Your body knows how to run such that you do not heel strike and instead use your calf muscles as shock absorbers but in order for it to do so you must not interrupt the signals that would be otherwise transmitted from your foot to your brain -- and you also probably ought not alter the natural mechanical relationships that exist between your foot and leg structures.
How did I figure this out? I started thinking for myself and integrating what we all learn and in fact know to be true and when that conflicted with the so-called "conventional wisdom" I decided to err on the side of that which we had scientifically proved instead of what someone with a lot of letters after their name was pontificating on.
So I bought a pair of "Five Fingers" shoes and began the "Couch to 5k" program. When I started I could not run a quarter mile without stopping to walk, my per-mile time was over 12 minutes, I couldn't do more than a mile and a half in total and my max heart rate exceeded 170bpm even with that very-moderate level of exertion. I felt like I'd been hit by a damned truck while doing it too.
In short I was a fat, out-of-shape bastard -- like many of you.
At the same time I began moving my butt I got rid of all processed foods and began eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate (vegetables and a few fruits only), moderate-protein diet. No hydrogenated anything, no sugars, no processed grains. The simple filter before it went down the pie hole was this: if it didn't exist 5,000 years ago don't eat it.
Results? Five months later I ran 3.73 miles without stopping at a 9:04 pace with my heart rate in the 150s. My body mass was down 30lbs. I kept going and eight months later reached my goal body mass of 155.
A year later I was running 10ks at an 8 minute pace, 5ks sub-22 minutes and my body mass had been completely stable, never varying by more than 5lbs.
More importantly, there both remain. I'm objectively in the best health I've ever enjoyed in my life, absent perhaps my adolescence. I run 5 and 10ks for fun all the time, competing once in a while just to do it. I'm contemplating entering a half-marathon next spring. I'm not hungry all the time, I eat what I want when I want -- but what I want are things that existed 5,000 years ago. I'm 50, my A1c is normal, resting heart rate is in the low 50s, BP is normal and most-importantly I feel good.
Here's before -- and today -- in pictures.
We're all going to die some day and I've come to grips with my own mortality. But irrespective of what some guy with a bunch of letters after his name wants to try to tell me I'm not intentionally putting poisons in my body that have listed side effects including causing type 2 diabetes and serious, even fatal muscle tissue breakdown (such as rhabdomyolysis.) Yeah, I know, that latter side effect is "rare", but if it happens to you then you're utterly screwed. I'm certainly not going to take crap like that in pursuit of an unproved hypothesis related to cholesterol, when the evidence continues to pile up that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease in the first place.
I note that our own government and doctors have told us for years to prefer things like margarine over butter, for example -- and yet we are now warned about trans-fats. Was that a "mistake" or a lie driven by pecuniary interest? It doesn't matter if you're dead, does it?
We are all issued exactly one meat sack in this life and if you pay attention every doctor and other so-called "professional" in the field flat-out admits that they are practicing medicine.
Well, absent damn good cause they're not going to practice on me.