Wellbeing: Where’s the Beef?
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m a total 90’s kid. I grew up obsessed with the show “Even Stevens” on the Disney Channel; my favorite movie was Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; and I could be found at any one time wearing my navy Chuck Taylor All Stars, while belting out either the entire Friends soundtrack or Shania Twain’s Come On Over- loud enough for my bratty little sister to scream at me for being “a crappy singer that no one wants to listen to at all let alone in the Cadillac everywhere we go”. Another way the entire 90’s generation was heavily influenced by American media was the so called health “facts” we all learned while in grade school and junior high that are one by one are being discredited (i.e. the food pyramid). Like that thing about Saturated Fats being the worst for you and you should avoid them at all costs? Yeah, that’s total BS!
It’s a pretty innocent notion to prevent Heart Disease, high cholesterol and obesity via drinking skim milk and consuming only products labeled “low fat” or “fat free”, ditching egg yolks for egg white only options and maybe even eliminating red meat and butter altogether from your diet. But there’s one problem with all of that… IT’S NEVER BEEN PROVEN.
The idea that Saturated Fats caused all these huge health problems that led to a shorter lifespan was never a proven fact. It was actually just a hypothesis developed in 1953 by a physiologist named Ancel Keys, Ph.D., published in his well-known paper titled “Atherosclerosis, a Problem in Newer Public Health.” Keys wrote that while the total death rate in the United States was declining, the number of deaths due to heart disease was steadily climbing. He presented a comparison of fat intake and heart disease mortality involving six countries (US, Canada, Australia, England, Italy, and Japan).
The results that Dr. Keys published:
1. The Americans ate the most fat, therefore had the greatest number of deaths from heart disease
2. The Japanese ate the least fat and had the fewest deaths from heart disease.
3. The other countries fell neatly in between.
4. The higher the fat intake, according to national diet surveys, the higher the rate of heart disease, and vice versa; the higher the rate of heart disease the higher the fat intake of the person.
Keys called this correlation between heart disease and fat intake a “remarkable relationship” and even though many scientists were skeptical of this research, Keys began to publicly state that the consumption of fat definitively causes heart disease (later becameing known as the “diet-heart hypothesis”). But that’s not all! The most obnoxious part of Keys’ research is that there were actually 22 other countries involved in the study, which was never mentioned when released to the public.
In a 1957 a paper was released by one of those skeptical scientists by the name of Jacob Yerushalmy; Ph.D. and founder of the biostatistics graduate program at the University of California at Berkeley. Yerushalmy pointed out that while data from the six countries Keys examined seemed to support the diet-heart hypothesis, statistics were actually available for other 22 remaining countries. And when all 22 were analyzed, the apparent link between fat consumption and heart disease disappeared.
So there you have it; everything you’ve ever known has been a lie! Just kidding—but it was mostly based upon a super shady creep-o quack of a doctor from the 50’s who took advantage of Selection Bias… and our heartsL. Woo-hoo, Go America!
While processing all of this new information, I encourage you to become quickly re-educated on saturated fats and step up your health game!
If you want further reading + proper education on Saturated Fats starting with why you shouldn’t fear them, visit: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-8-reasons-not-to-fear-saturated-fats/
Christine Simko is a new Surf Mei Mei contributor. She surfs, snowboards, hikes, and considers herself a TED Talk-obsessed-adventure-seeking-foodie-extraordinaire, who can often be overheard passionately voicing that she “can make that”.
Christine has a particular fondness for spending as many waking hours as possible outside. Whether it’s surfing local at Rockaway on the weekends, while pretending she’s surfing Playa Grande once again; begging her friends to accompany her on a Catskills camp trip in search of an abandoned plane crash site; or merely exploring the New York City streets in search of the coziest coffee shop to chill and read about more about surfing– Christine strives to leads a healthy, active, stoke-soaked lifestyle while striving to help others feel equally inspired along the way.
As the tough-girl, adrenaline-junkie that she is, it makes sense that Christine believes “everything you’ve ever wanted lies on the other side of fear”, an idea meaning complete awesomeness already lies within us and the only way to answer that call is to simply muster the courage to giddy-up and get out there.
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