The LCHF war is here

This week have been interesting. It started with debate article in one of the largest newspaper. Well actually I think it is the largest. But that is besides the point, so I should not mention that. But for anyone to who like to read some swedish here it is:
”De populära fettdieterna är ett hot mot folkhälsan”

Then one of the tabloid papers. Papers not worth to be named newspaper, had big headlines like “LCHF-war divides Sweden”.

The debate article was signed by 5 Swedish professors/doctors and the gist was that high diet fads are killing swedes. This makes me think of the excellent blog of Deinse Minger. She do not seem to write anything any more on that blog, but she should come out with a book later this year. ”Death by the food pyramid” But her latest blog post written a year ago is well worth to take a look on:  Are Low-Carb Diets Killing Sweden?

But back to the debate article. We swedes live longer nowadays because Coronary heart disease (CHD) has fallen. Different reason for this is put forward. They are changes in diet and lowering of cholesterol values (40 %), less smoking and lowering blood pressure (55 %) and finally improvements in medicine and treatment (35 %). Mmm.. this is 130 %.

But of course a person who quit smoking and get medicine. What made him not part of the negative statistic? This is the first problem. As no trial have been taken place where they randomized people in different groups. Telling some to quit smoking, some to change diet and others to get different improved treatment and so on. So any claims on why CHD have been going down in in Sweden is purely built on observation. Anyone who like to learn the difference between observational and clinical studies should listen to Tom Naughton’s  Science For Smart People
He is very funny also.
In short, you can with different parameter and values, hypothesis about any reasons you like. But only with testing can you prove them. Something not have been done.

By the way, they point out that CHD have gone down while at the same time we been getting fatter and rounder. During the same time we been cutting down on the fat. Does anyone see a connection there?

Now it been a shift in the country. Couple of Swedish doctors, and others without medical background are telling people to eat butter, fat and so on. Hey they mention me, I am one of the people without medical background. Wow I am in the newspaper.

One thing I can do is to actually read, I also do trust people with the right education who refer to proper scientific work and not just claiming things without presenting where the proof comes from.

One thing I wonder, why do they not mention all professors and doctors and other specialist around the world that is promoting a LCHF diet?

They claim in the article that because of our good work, we who promote LCHF,  we now see an increase in CHD among young people, men and women. Mostly among uneducated. Their source is a report of the health of the population for 2013 Folkhälsan i Sverige. Page 27 shows following graph:

CHD statistic for young people

Some explanation. Left do you have young women aged 35-44 and to the right the men, same age group. They are first timers for getting CHD, As long they did not get CHD within last 7 years. What you also can see is that lower education gives a higher probability for CHD. A more solid line and less dashed, indicate lower education.

So they claim is that CHD increase among the young people. I would call that a direct lie. You can say that among uneducated young women do we see an increase. And maybe a very, but very slight increase among high educated men.

So this is their proof that they have. We have an increase among uneducated young woman and maybe among highly educated men. A strange difference, is it young uneducated women that listen to people like me, and the very very few men listening to doctors/professors? Or is vice versa? I am not sure what I prefer.

So how long have the LCHF been going on? It could be around December 2005. With the case of Annika Dahlqvist. For anyone to learn about her in english listen to: Livin la vida low carb show podcast 107.

But it took till January 2008 when she so to say got acquitted, when I suppose it rely took of. People learned that if they could not prove that what she suggested was dangerous. Then it was no problem to eat it.

I suggest that below graph of butter consumption in Sweden from one of the talks tells part of the story.

butter sales

So compare the graph earlier about uneducated women and the butter. You find a correlation? Well maybe, 2006 did butter sale go start to go up, while CHD for uneducated women also started increasing. But why do we not see same with uneducated men or anyone else? I have myself gotten the idea that LCHF is not that popular among women. But of course I could be wrong.

Most of all do I like to say that I do not believe that changes in diet show changes that quickly for such a large group of people. It takes years for anything to take effect. So the reason for the increase happened years before the bad effect would bee seen. More about this below.

What other proof do they write about? They mention about the Norsjö and Västerbotten project, Sollentuna program and Habo model.

So what are they?
I have added a page about
The Norsjö and Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP)
Where I describe it and try to say what is wrong with it.
In short it does not prove that fat is dangerous.

The Habo model is more or less same I think. Also an intervention where they make people to do large lifestyle changes like start moving around, lose weight, quit smoking and try to relax more. So of course according to the debate article. It’s all about eating less fat.

I found no information about anything called Sollentuna program.

Alternative explanation for the increase of CHD among young women
It is something that did change in Sweden in the 80’s. Girls started to smoke much more. And when I say girls I mean those in the age of 15.
It is a well known fact that the majority of smokers in Sweden since several years are women. Long time earlier was young girls in majority among same age groups.

It has gone so far that I have for many year joked whenever I talk to guy who smokes, that it is girlish thing to do.

So what have this do to with anything? It is also considered that smoking causes CHD. And here does it take long time. Not as long time as carbohydrates take to do bad things with our bodies. Here we are talking about a 20 years lag.

15 years when starting to smoke. The effect is seen when they get 34-44. Is anyone rely surprised?

Lets take a look on some graphs from the excellent  talk by David Diamond Bad Science Created the Obesity Epidemic You find his talk at the bottom of the page in the link.

Saturated fat vs CHDFirst an image showing that saturated fat have nothing to do with the increase of heart diseases,

20yearsLagBetween smoking



Then a graph that shows we got about  20 years lag between cancer and CHD rates

Of course this as usal does not prove any causation. But to me they are more striking.


Will a cola kill you?

Of course will not a cola kill you. But according to an article in Time. Sugary Beverages Linked to 180,000 Deaths Worldwide Could a 12 oz can of soda a day be harmful for you.

The study does fall into the category, observational. And I would not count on to much on it. But it is nice that again I can hear the wind is changing.

Thinking of that it is not only  the sugary drinks that contains sugar. Today at lunch did we discuss weather the fish not only was coated with crushed almond but also if it contained  some sugar. We agreed that it was very tasty. So that meant it had to contain sugar.

Do you get smarter by eating egg?

Today did the Swedish paper SvD have an article about that one get smarter by eating eggs. Not that it was referring to any new study or so. It just stated that the short time memory is getting better with some of the nutrients it has.

Another thing mentioned, was that egg have gone from a cholesterol filled deadly bomb to something of the most cleverest to eat. Of course when one think off that an egg contains all necessary to create living being. Then one have to come to believe that eggs seems to be an hell of a smart thing to eat.

So even though it was not referring to any bad or good science. Do I think that something is changing in society. The wind do seem to change.

Fat % what about it?

So the word is getting around that BMI is not the best way to define if a person is unhealthy or not. But is a calculation of the body fat better? I assume it should be.

Unfortunately, it is a little hard to measure it. I myself have a scale at home that besides the weight also gives me a fat %, muscle % and water % of my body.

Of course a consumer scale is not something one should trust completly. But I think I can trust it when reporting a change over long time. I think that when I started lower my  weight was the fat closer to 25 % than I think was comfortable, But I do not remember any real values. I do remember that I did see more change as I started with LCHF. That is, the more fat I ate. The more did the fat % decrease. Now I am around 17-18 %.

But what is a good value? And how did they come to know it is good? Looking around on the net did I come accross some data on wikipedia, seen below. On other places did I also find tables that also divided people into age groups.

And guess what. If you are older can you have more fat. Again how did they come to that conclusion? Is it just as with BMI, that you can have high fat %. But by staying fit and excercise regurarly, do you have a better chance in life.

I used to think that gaining some fat with age was normal, not anymore. That it is common yes, but not normal. To me, do I think that is a way of our bodies to tell us something.

And that is that you have started to become ”allergic” to carbohydrates. Because the body do like to regulate itself. And will do good job if you do not give it much work, for a too long time.

Description      Women      Men
Essential fat*    10–13%      2–5%
Athletes            14–20%      6–13%
Fitness             21–24%     14–17%
Average            25–31%      18–24%
Obese              32%+           25%+

*Essential fat is the level below which physical and physiological health would be negatively affected.

How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change

This is a fantastic talk by a guy named: Allan Savory
He talks about the problem with deforestation. And how to solve it.
One comment on youtube did say something like ”In your face vegans”
Because that what it is. Some people claim that the meat production is bad for the climate.

This guy proves them wrong To save the land from deforestation, cattle is the answer.
Because clearly slash an burning have not done it.

And the idea to mimic nature is to me fantastic. It how the world evolved.
How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change

It is well worth to listen do.

Is the glass half full or half empty?

Today did I find this uplifting talk about positive thinking. Many of the things he talks about, is something I think I felt a lot before. One thing is,, that if you look on things from a positive angle then in general, are you a much more content and therefore happier person.

And it is important to feel content in life. That why the search for more wealth and status always make you unhappy, And makes people to  look into different aspect of Buddhism. Usually run by people who just like to make money

Is the glass half full or half empty? The final proof! Leo Bormans at TEDxGhent


Meat pie with no horse but……

Last weeks have been flooding the news about horse meat mixed in to normal beef meat. And of course even though most agree that it is bad. Because one should be able to trust the label.

Some maybe would not like to eat horse. While other like me have no problem with it. But of course not only do I want to be able to trust the label. I also want to be sure that the animal does not contain medications not suitable for human food. This brings to point on how much can we trust processed food.

But at least there are some fun coming out of this. The Icelandic authorities was testing different products and came across a meat pie that luckily did not contain horse.  In fact, it did not contain no meat at all.

Meat pie with no meat