The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Potatoes and cereals are heart disease risk while dairy, fat and meat are good for you


Results: ...The most significant dietary correlate of low CVD risk was high total fat and animal protein consumption. Additional statistical analyses further highlighted citrus fruits, high-fat dairy (cheese) and tree nuts. ... The major correlate of high CVD risk was the proportion of energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, or from potato and cereal carbohydrates.

Conclusion: Our results do not support the association between CVDs and saturated fat, which is still contained in official dietary guidelines. Instead, they agree with data accumulated from recent studies that link CVD risk with the high glycaemic index/load of carbohydrate-based diets. In the absence of any scientific evidence connecting saturated fat with CVDs, these findings show that current dietary recommendations regarding CVDs should be seriously reconsidered.

(CVD stands for "Cardio Vascular Disease")

by Cecilia Bleszynski (C) 2017

The first graph published in the paper:

is the most interesting in conjunction with the rest of the results, showing that the high consumption of animal fat and protein correlates very well with high blood cholesterol level and at the same time (see for example Fig.4 and 7) the high cholesterol and high consumption of animal fat and protein correlate consistently and strongly with the low cardiovascular and other diseases' risk! That is yet another nail to the coffin of the cholesterol-heart hypothesis and an indication that the blood cholesterol correlation with cardiovascular disease (+ or -) is secondary and spurious while the primary risk factor appears to be related to the carbohydrate contents of the diet! Note that some of the graphs refer to women some for men but the actual correlation factors are similar for men and momen (see Table 1) with the exception of correlations involving BMI and smoking which are opposite for women and men (that is another interesting subject).

Most of the results point consistently and strongly, see for example Fig.10 towards the carbohydrates contents of the diet as being the strongest positive correlator with the cardiovascular disease risk, where as the animal and most plant fats correlate most negatively (that is being protective) against cardiovascular disease, see Table 1, with the notable exception of sunflower oil which correlates strongly and positively with the CVD.

It is also interestingly to notice a strong linear correlation graph with very low data scatter, between the prevalence of raised blood glucose and consumption of carbohydrates plus alcohol ('CA' variable), on Fig.9:

Although diabetes risk was not directly measured in the study, Fig.9 appears to indicate that diabetes risk may be steeply correlated to the total consumption of carbohydrates plus alcohol, and strongly inversely correlated with the consumption of animal fat and protein (see Table 1). For example an increase of the dietary carbohydrate+alcohol contents from 42% to 68% seems to increase the prevalence of high blood glucose (and thus probably diabetes risk as well) by a factor of 3!

The overall results of this study are also remarkably consistent with the original China Study data as published on the Oxford University web site and  discussed on this blog (see my previous posts).

The study is also discussed in the following journalistic article:

"Potatoes and cereals are health risk, while dairy is good for you, says new study".


annlee said...

There seems an obvious transitivity here - A is strongly associated with B, which is strongly associated with C. Ergo, A is at least associated (if not strongly so) with C. I note the bar graph from the 2005 article "Insulin-treated diabetes is associated with a marked increase in mortality in patients with advanced heart failure" (behind a paywall, sadly -

I'll keep my cholesterol nice and high, thank you very much.

Stan Bleszynski said...

Hi Annlee,

Unfortunately transitivity (the law of syllogism) does not work in statistics, see for example the paper I quoted here:

However, your plan to keep your cholesterol high will work for you as long as you follow a low carb diet. Neither high cholesterol nor low cholesterol are always harmful or healthy, it depends what has caused it to be high or low. If your total cholesterol goes up due to overconsumption of sugar then your health will deteriorate, if it is above average due to high consumption of animal fat (on a low carb diet) then your health will improve.
Stan (Heretic)

Stan Bleszynski said...

I looked into the paper you linked, its fascinating! 2.7 times as many diabetic patients with heart failure died after 1 year, who were treated with insulin as those who were not treated with insulin! It again point towards insulin as one of the main risk factors for diabetics (and perhaps all?), more important probably than the glucose level alone.

This was also found in those 2 papers, publishes half a century ago:





annlee said...


'Tis sad there isn't a transitivity to associations :-). I've been LCHF for at least 3 years, with VERY occasional excursions, all of which served to remind me why I am LCHF. I lack a blood ketone meter, but I do experience life differently -- more clear-headed, more energy, more positive outlook, etc. -- almost all the time that my fat content is high.

I know there are some who disapprove of dairy, but it seems benign to me (not a surprise, given my overwhelmingly British ancestry; the rest is "North European"). My TG:HDL is excellent (barely over 1), so I frankly don't worry about the magnitude of the numbers. My last blood work was during an extended high stress time, and I suspect I had cortisol-driven elevation. Given the signs of Pattern A, the high LDL calculation (which wasn't as high using the Iranian formula, of course) is not a problem as far as I can see.

All in all, I tend to think Dr. Jason Fung is on the right track with his emphasis on insulin. The older papers just keep popping up, don't they?

Stan Bleszynski said...

Yes, the older previously forgotten papers like those of R.W. Stout seem to be coming back. Incidentally, Dr. Stout is or was a professor and a dean at Queens' Universy Belfast, Medical Faculty. He never seemed to have followed his own medical research that he started early in his career. I think he probably realized that being right was not a good career move in "big medicine" ...

I begun eating high animal fat low carb diet in 1999, originally I decided to do it for 2 weeks to prove my friend who was very enthusiastic about it, wrong. I immediately felt so much better that I never looked back. Then I begun also enjoying the " on the parade" feel with every piece of food I eat. 8-:)

Stan (Heretic)

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JC said...

In fact, our ecological comparison of cancer incidence in 39 European countries (for 2012; (59)) can bring another important argument. Current rates of cancer incidence in Europe are namely the exact geographical opposite of CVDs (see Fig. 28). In sharp contrast to CVDs, cancer correlates with the consumption of animal food (particularly animal fat), alcohol, a high dietary protein quality, high cholesterol levels, high health expenditure, and above average height. These contrasting patterns mirror physiological mechanisms underlying physical growth and the development of cancer and CVDs (60). The best example of this health paradox is again that of French men, who have the lowest rates of CVD mortality in Europe, but the highest rates of cancer incidence. In other words, cancer and CVDs appear to express two extremes of a fundamental metabolic disbalance that is related to factors such as cholesterol and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor)."

Stan Bleszynski said...


Re: "ecological comparison of cancer incidence in 39 European.."

Not so.

If you look at the quoted paper (2012 (59)), Fig.3 lower two pictures, Age Standardized Rate (ASR) for men (left) and women (right):

www ejcancer com/article/S0959-8049(13)00007-5/fulltext

You will see a pretty random picture of much lower spread (the age standardized risk range is 1:1.5 minimum to maximum), much lower span than in case of CVD of the main paper above (there the CVD risk range is 1 to 6, min to max). In addition it does not follow the West-to-East pattern like in CVD.

This might indicate being a secondary effect unrelated to the diet. The raw figures that are not adjusted for the age (for example Fig.3 of the (59) paper, top 2 pictures) are totally spurious because they simply reflect the strong age-dependence of the cancer risk. Western countries' populations live longer thus have much higher chance of dying of cancer due to their age.

JC said...

Stan,I took the quote directly from the study you posted. JC

Stan Bleszynski said...

I know, but I went to the reference they quoted (59) and found that what I wrote above.

The statement in the original paper I posted, for example this:

French men, who have the lowest rates of CVD mortality in Europe, but the highest rates of cancer incidence.

... is nominally correct but practically useless because the incidence of cancer uncorrected against age does not tell us anything (see Fig.3 bottom, (59)) In my opinion, the authors of the study were most likely correct about CVD but most likely incorrect about cancer.


Sam said...

I'm not so sure potatoes are sudden death. I talked to you before about Resistant starches(RS)here,

The Resistant starches in potatoes seems to regulate insulin. Could be that the RS actually promotes good gut bacteria and the starch itself has nothing to do with it.

I'm not even sure that ALL wheat is the problem. I read once...somewhere...that wheat had changed about the time we started having so many health problems. It seems that the wheat breeders found a wheat that would grow much shorter with a stronger stalk. This was a good thing because farmers had a big problem with "lodging", the plant would break it's stem and fall over due to breeding heavy seeds on top. The bad part was with the short strong stem came a much more toxic wheat plant. The reason health has gone down is the food is toxic. So maybe not eating wheat is just removing toxins and has nothing to do with insulin or any of that.

Diet is really super complicated when you include gut bacteria and all the hormones...etc.

Anonymous said...

Not even published in a peer reviewed journal. Why?

Stan Bleszynski said...

Hi Anonymous,
not sure why, but it is good that it was published regardless. Do you agree or disagree with a particular statement in the paper? Would you like to expand?

War Lord said...

"Not even published in a peer reviewed journal. Why?"

What is meant by this sentence? What was not published in a peer reviewed journal?

"... is nominally correct but practically useless because the incidence of cancer uncorrected against age does not tell us anything"

But the statistics of cancer incidence are just corrected for age.

"You will see a pretty random picture of much lower spread (the age standardized risk range is 1:1.5 minimum to maximum), much lower span than in case of CVD of the main paper above (there the CVD risk range is 1 to 6, min to max). In addition it does not follow the West-to-East pattern like in CVD."

It does follow this pattern, but more in women, because cancer statistics in men are heavily influenced by alcohol drinking.