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Study Design Appears Chosen to Preclude More Illuminating Results

Posted by PBHRJoAnn on 17 Dec 2014 at 19:23 GMT

The authors of this study state:

"A cornerstone of dietary guidelines has been the restriction of saturated fat, but that position is now being questioned in large part because recent analyses have found that saturated fat intake is unrelated to risk of disease "

Yet the study participants selected were already consuming MORE saturated fat and LESS carbohydrates before beginning this study then is average in America -- and coincidental to that they had metabolic syndrome, and worse biomarkers then is average in America. This alone does not appear to support the author's view that fat is more problematic then carbohydrates

Previous research has indicated that type and amount of fat influences insulin resistance. (Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Jun;967:329-35.) Yet at no time, were any of the experimental groups actually given a 10-15% fat, plant-based diet for comparison -- which has been shown not only to improve MORE biomarkers then this study, but actually to translate to significantly reduced morbidity and mortality several years out. (Esselstyn, Caldwell, B., A Way to Reverse CAD, The Journal of Family Practice. July 2014 Vol 63, No 7 page 257)

The data that this study generated are ONLY meaningful in a very limited context -- ie people consuming what is already an extremely high fat, atherogenic diet, AND unable or unwilling to limit saturated fat --THEN they can partially mitigate specific biomarkers by severely restricting carbohydrates, but most likely much less so then eating a diet of unlimited vegetables and legumes while keeping fat at about 10% of calories -- but the authors for some reason chose not to compare it to this.

But to imply that this approach would be more beneficial for populations then eliminating animal foods( and the saturated fat and cholesterol that such foods come with) while encouraging consumption of whole unprocessed legumes, and vegetables, suggests that this study design may have been chosen to appease those who provided the grants to fund it. Furthermore I am not aware of any published data suggesting that this approach would translate to reductions in morbidity and mortality years down the road - while there is plenty to suggest that it would not. (Legumes: the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different ethnicities, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13(2):217-20.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Study Design Appears Chosen to Preclude More Illuminating Results

PBHRJoAnn replied to PBHRJoAnn on 13 Jan 2015 at 01:42 GMT

Correction -- in my second paragraph I meant to say...

"This alone does not appear to support the author's view that CARBOHYDRATES are more problematic then FAT."

No competing interests declared.