Thursday, March 02, 2006
NOW does anyone want to go to McDonald's with me??
Seems that eating fat isn't as bad as everyone (other than me) thought. Two major studies have come out recently regarding the (lack of) effect of eating fat on obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
Here's the heart and cancer article (this one surprised me):
I can't seem to find a link to the article that shows it, but a few weeks ago a major study showed that low-fat diets are, if my memory serves me correctly, only weakly related to obesity. Anybody have that link?
It's always bothered me that people take this nutrition crap so seriously. If you're fat or at a particular risk, then watch what you eat. But please don't try to tell me that everyone should eat a low fat, low carb, high fiber diet that avoids beef because of mad cow and bird because of avian flu and pork because a pig's a filthy animal.
I asked a public health professor at Emory once what the relationship was between diet and longevity, and he said that a low-fat, high fiber diet gives you an estimated 3 months to live. Yeah, I'll have the bacon double cheeseburger. When I bring this up people do not bring up studies that contradict this. Which means that there aren't any, or people have very strong beliefs that are not tied to science-- that is, there's a popular notion of what you should eat and that's good enough for most. What people come back with is "quality of life." They're like "yeah, but if you eat better you will feel better." Uh-huh. For me, eating fatty food is life's highest pleasure, as anyone who's ever had a meal with me can corroborate. You want to talk about quality of life? Watch me eat a Reese's Pieces Sundae at Friendly's. It's 5 scoops of Valhalla, peanut butter Heaven sauce, and sprinkled with Nirvana. And a cherry on top.
The only reliable link that appears to hold between diet and longevity (and even this has only been proven in non-humans) is severe caloric restriction. I tried to severely reduce my calories for this reason, but had to give it up. It was the most miserable four hours of my life.
And don't start with me about the Italians. They are healthy because of genes, not because they eat olive oil. If you don't believe me, please, please, read Matt Ridley's Genome.
But people have a hold on nutrition ideas like they are religion. As the heart and cancer article says:
" "Nothing fascinates the American public so much as the notion that what you eat rather than how much you eat affects your health," said Dr. Libby, the Harvard professor."