A Low-Fat Diet?
Medical Tribune. Vol 36: #18:p20
September 21, 1995
As in the movie Network, "I'm mad as H - - -, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" If I didn't appreciate Medical Tribune so much, I'd get upset, cancel my subscription, or something! But, despite your weaknesses, you continue to lead by reporting information insightfully that will only appear months to years later in other journals. It was through you in the very early 1970's that I first read about Nathan Pritikin's 10% fat, 80% carbohydrate ("80-10-10") dietary recommendations.
Concerning this matter, the 6/8/95 MT issue, made me recall a local regular cable access TV program called "Putting It All Together." Pertaining to dietary disease prevention, my position, and that of other Darwinist physicians, (the new literary term for medical conservatives) is that there is likely a "Natural Human Design" which fits with the architecture and physiology of the human teeth/jaw/body as a whole, and what kinds of diseases occur when we eat not only the standard Western diet, but also the American Heart Association Step I and Step II diets, with their associated unchanged all-cause mortality.
The first upset was your 6/8/95 article "Low-fat diet safely, albeit modestly, lowers children's lipids: What was reported as "low fat," I consider to be very high fat for this human physiology, so no wonder it worked so "modestly." Low fat in this article is "no more than 28 percent of calories." Accepting that concept (28% as low fat) is the very beginning of the problem. It is others, as well as my own belief, supported by cross multicultural studies, that the vast majority of the earth's non-Westernized populations uniformly have blood cholesterol levels of 90 to 130, in general survive very well on whole foods, 75-100 grams/day fiber intake, calorie restricted 10% to 15% fat diets, and have virtually none of our Western diseases. It is my science-based belief that the diet in this article works "so modestly" because it is simply too high in fat at 28% and too low in whole foods and fiber.
Another article on the same page is "Poor Compliance with AHA diets." I like to joke that I am three times better than the average physician getting my patients to do (comply with) what I want, I only fail 70% of the time. I fully acknowledge that obtaining patient compliance is difficult for all in medicine. But part of the problem, I believe, for such poor compliance with the AHA diets is because they look and are so much like the Standard American Diet ("SAD"), with meat instead of fiber.
The article on page 7 of this same issue entitled "Aspirin, low-fat diet protects against colon cancer" is similarly of interest, as cancer of the colon is virtually non-existent in those populations who eat the same "common denominator" high-fiber, low-fat diet that is typical of a multitude of the world's cultures that are not dominated by a Western diet.
H. Robert Silverstein, MD, FACC