Friday April 26, 2019

Low Fat Diets do not Curb Heart Disease

However, a recent data shows that replacing saturated fats and trans fatty acids with omega 6 fatty acids, without a corresponding rise in omega 3 fatty acids, seems to increase the risk of death from coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases

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Snacks
Stay healthy with dried fruits, health bars. Pixabay

In a setback to those who have switched to low-saturated fat diets for better heart health, a leading US cardiovascular research scientist has claimed diets low in saturated fat or based on Omega 6 fats do not curb heart disease risk or help you live longer.

“Current dietary advice to replace saturated fats with carbohydrates or omega 6-rich polyunsaturated fats is based on flawed and incomplete data from the 1950s,” declared James DiNicolantonio in the medical journal Open Heart.

The best diet to boost and maintain heart health is one low in refined carbohydrates, sugars and processed foods, he recommended.

Anyone who has had a heart attack should not be thinking of replacing saturated fats with refined carbs or omega 6 fatty acids — particularly those found in processed vegetable oils containing large amounts of corn or safflower oil, he added.

“Dietary guidelines should be urgently reviewed and the vilification of saturated fats stopped to save lives,” he insisted.

DiNicolantonio said the idea that fat causes heart disease was based on a flawed 1950s study which used data from six countries but excluded data from another 16.

This study “seemingly led us down the wrong ‘dietary road’ for decades to follow”, he said.

low fat
In the race to cut saturated fat intake, several dietary guidelines recommend upping polyunsaturated fat intake. Pixabay

There is now a strong argument in favour of the consumption of refined carbohydrates as the causative dietary factor behind the surge in obesity and diabetes in the US.

While a low fat diet may lower ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol, there are two types of LDL cholesterol.

“Switching to carbs may increase pattern B (small dense) LDL which is more harmful to heart health than pattern A (large buoyant) LDL, as well as creating a more unfavourable overall lipid profile,” DiNicolantonio noted.

In the race to cut saturated fat intake, several dietary guidelines recommend upping polyunsaturated fat intake.

Also Read: Stem Cell Thearpy To Treat Heart-Failure

However, a recent data shows that replacing saturated fats and trans fatty acids with omega 6 fatty acids, without a corresponding rise in omega 3 fatty acids, seems to increase the risk of death from coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases.

“We need a public health campaign as strong as the one we had in the 70s and 80s demonising saturated fats, to say that we got it wrong,” urged DiNicolantonio.

“Eating a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruit, veg, pulses and fish would help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease,” he suggested. (IANS)

Next Story

Native American Chef Wins The Food Industry’s Highest Honors

"We want to become a resource for anyone interested in decolonizing foodways across the globe," he said. "It doesn't matter if you're in Africa or India or Southeast Asia; it's the same story everywhere. We just want to set the tone."

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Chef
This undated photo shows Chef Sean Sherman, a winner of a 2019 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award, preparing apple blossoms. The award acknowledges Sherman's efforts to decolonize the Native American diet. VOA

A Native American chef has been awarded one of the food industry’s highest honors for his efforts in revitalizing traditional indigenous food systems in North America.

On Tuesday, the James Beard Foundation (JBF) announced that Sean Sherman, a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and founder/CEO of The Sioux Chef is to receive a Leadership Award for his work in helping Native Americans reclaim historic food and agricultural systems.

Beard awards, which Time magazine has dubbed “the Oscars” of the American food industry, are given out annually in a number of categories; the 2019 Leadership Award celebrates food system ” visionaries” and acknowledges Sherman’s extensive research into diverse Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, food preservation, as well as tribal cultures and histories.

A dish created by Lakota "Sioux Chef" Sean Sherman, which features elk, wild rice, fern fiddlehead, berries, spring onion and sunchoke.
A dish created by Lakota “Sioux Chef” Sean Sherman, which features elk, wild rice, fern fiddlehead, berries, spring onion and sunchoke. VOA

“We’re trying to raise awareness of the history of the land and on how to live sustainability on what’s around us,” said Sherman, speaking to VOA by phone during a two-hour drive to Iowa to buy heritage seeds. These seeds of rare, heirloom and open-pollinated plant varieties could disappear if not cultivated and banked.

“Even non-indigenous chefs should be really excited to learn about plant diversity to utilize in their cuisines,” he said.

"The broiling of their fish over flame," an engraving by Theodor De Bry, 1590. Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
“The broiling of their fish over flame,” an engraving by Theodor De Bry, 1590. Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. VOA

Lessons of the ancestors

Prior to the arrival of European settlers, tribes hunted, fished, gathered and farmed a wide array of animals and plants, depending on their locations. By the late 1800s, forced onto reservations that were often far from their traditional homelands, tribes were restricted in their rights to hunt, fish or forage for wild food and forced to make do with U.S. Army rations of flour, lard and salt—ingredients alien to the indigenous diet. The rations were later replaced by the commodity food program.

“That has never been a nutritional program, and it has contributed to the health epidemics that we see in tribes across the country–mass obesity, mass rates of heart disease,Type Two diabetes—you name it,” said Sherman. “A change has to take place, and this is the best way to start to utilize the lessons of our ancestors that would have been passed down to us, if it hadn’t been for cultural assimilation efforts.

In 2014, Sherman launched “Sioux Chef”–a play on the French term sous-chef, the number two person in any restaurant kitchen. The Minneapolis-based business was more than just a catering company; it was a collaboration of chefs, food preservationists, botanists and enthusiasts from several U.S. tribes all bent on restoring pre-contact diets.

This 1906 photo by Edward S. Curtis shows Hopi women grinding grain into flour.
This 1906 photo by Edward S. Curtis shows Hopi women grinding grain into flour. VOA

Sherman and Minneapolis chef/food critic Beth Dooley in 2017 published “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen,” a cookbook featuring modern takes on traditional ingredients: stuffed squash blossoms, for example, wild-rice cakes or venison with apples and cranberries, all made from ingredients easily found in nature. This earned him the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award in the Best American Cookbook category.

This year, Sherman and his team will open a Native American restaurant in Minneapolis, along with a non-profit indigenous food laboratory for shared use. “People can take classes on wild foods and education, agriculture or food preservation, and the restaurant is designed to allow people to develop their skills working alongside us in the restaurant,” he said.”Our ultimate goal is to open up indigenous food labs in cities everywhere.”

He’s also a big proponent of so-called permaculture design — working with nature to meet food needs.

Sean Sherman prepared this modern version of a traditional Lakota dish, Wasna, made with duck, popped wild rice and amaranth, foraged fennel and miners lettuce at the 20th annual World of Flavors at the Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, Ca.
Sean Sherman prepared this modern version of a traditional Lakota dish, Wasna, made with duck, popped wild rice and amaranth, foraged fennel and miners lettuce at the 20th annual World of Flavors at the Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, Ca. VOA

“We want to get tribes to use their open spaces and landscape with the foods that are particular to their regions,” he said. That might be cultivated crops like squash, beans or corn, staples of pre-contact agriculture across the country; amaranth, a highly nutritious grain on which South American tribes once thrived; or wild rice from the Great Lakes Region.

Also Read: U.S. To Begin Search Through The Remnants Of The Islamic State’s Final Enclave

While his work focuses on North American foods and peoples, Sherman said it has important applications for all indigenous peoples.

“We want to become a resource for anyone interested in decolonizing foodways across the globe,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in Africa or India or Southeast Asia; it’s the same story everywhere. We just want to set the tone.” (VOA)