Are some diets ‘mass murder’

Yes, hallelujah, the headline on a paper in the BMJ by Richard Smith, the previous editor of the journal. He has finally, if belatedly, come to realise that the dietary advice that has dominated western medicine for the last fifty years, or so, is complete nonsense.

This damascene conversion is mainly due to the fact that he read Nina Teicholz’s book ‘The Big Fat Surprise.’ As he states:

‘…the forensic demolition of the hypothesis that saturated fat is the cause of cardiovascular disease is impressive. Indeed, the book is deeply disturbing in showing how overenthusiastic scientists, massive conflicts of interest, and politically driven policy makers can make deeply damaging mistakes. Over 40 years I’ve come to recognise which I might have known from the beginning – that science is a human activity with the error, self-deception, grandiosity, bias, self-interest, cruelty, fraud, and theft that is inherent in all human activities (together with some saintliness), but this book shook me.’

The amazing thing, to me, is not the Richard Smith has finally realised the diet-heart hypothesis is a complete crock. The amazing thing is that it still holds sway, despite the fact that it was never based on anything other than the propaganda of a power-mad egotist (Ancel Keys). Any evidence that saturated fat, or any other fat consumption, causes heart disease has always been weak at best, more usually non-existent, or just flatly contradictory.

Many years ago Dr George Mann (who was running the Framingham Study at the time) stated that:

‘The diet-heart idea – the notion that saturated fats and cholesterol cause heart disease – is the greatest scientific deception of our times…The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century,’

And what effect did this comment have? Well, none. In 2008 the Food and Agricultural Organisation concluded the “there is no probable or convincing evidence” that a high level of fat in the diet causes heart disease. A 2012 Cochrane review found no benefit from total fat reduction and no effect on cardiovascular or total mortality. ”More recently we have the Women’s Health Initiative, which enrolled fifty thousand women in the randomised trials of the low fat diet and cost £460m. To quote Richard Smith again:

‘The women were followed for 10 years, and those in the low fat arm successfully reduced their total fat consumption from 37% to 29.5% of energy intake and their saturated fat from 12.4% to 9.5%. But there was no reduction in heart disease or stroke, and nor did the women lose more weight than the controls.’

A 23% cut in saturated fat intake, and no impact on anything. What effect has this had? Well, none. Evidence has never had the slightest effect on this hypothesis. As of today, you can still order posters and other information from the British Hear Foundation which announce, in bold, ‘I cut the Saturated Fat.’ The blurb underneath states1:

‘Find out how to reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat using our A2-sized wallchart. It includes information on the different types of fat in food and advice on the healthiest options to choose both when cooking and eating out.’

So, saturated fat still demonised. And the BHF are still saying that:

‘At the crux of this debate is the role of saturated fat in our diet. Diets that are high in saturated fat have been shown to increase cholesterol. A high cholesterol level is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, so that’s why current recommendations emphasise the importance of reducing the saturated fat in our diets2.’

I suppose one could laugh at all this. Because, the BHF also states (in the same article) the following

‘Last week saturated fat came back to the top of the news agenda because research we’d helped to fund suggested there isn’t enough evidence to support current guidelines on which types of fat to eat. While the latest study didn’t show saturated fat is associated with cardiovascular disease, it also didn’t show that eating more of it is better for your heart health2.’

In short, the British Heart Foundation states that they funded a study which shows there is no evidence that saturated fat is bad for the heart. However, they also state that diets high in saturated fat have been shown to increase cholesterol and a high cholesterol level is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Be careful guys. If saturated fat does raise cholesterol, yet a high saturated fat diet does not cause heart disease then. Logically, you are stating that cholesterol does not cause heart disease/cardiovascular disease. In fact, this is exactly what they are stating. There is no escape from logic my friends.

This is just one example of the knots that people tie themselves into when they try to defend the indefensible. Luckily, for them, no-one seems able to draw the obvious conclusion from their incomprensible gibberish. Either the diet/heart (saturated fat) hypothesis is wrong, or the cholesterol hypothesis is wrong, or both. [The correct answer is, or course, both].

Of all the stupid scientific hypotheses of the twentieth century the idea that fat/saturated fat causes heart disease – or any other disease – is by all possible measures the most stupid. It is the most stupid because it has driven dietary advice to eat more and more carbohydrates a.k.a ‘sugars.’ Anyone who understood anything about human biochemistry and physiology could tell you what this would do

1: Cause millions upon millions of people to get fatter and fatter

2: Cause millions upon millions of people to become diabetic

3: Cause millions upon millions of diabetics to completely lose control of their sugar and fat metabolism, get even fatter and die prematurely

All of these things have happened, exactly as could have been predicted. Yet, our esteemed experts still propagate the dangerous myth that saturated fat is bad for us and we should stuff ourselves with carbohydrates instead.

Yes, some diets are ‘mass murder’. To quote Richard Smith for the last time:

‘Jean Mayer, one of the “greats” of nutritional science, said in 1965, in the colourful language that has characterised arguments over diet, that prescribing a diet restricted in carbohydrates to the public was “the equivalent of mass murder.” Having ploughed my way through five books on diet and some of the key studies to write this article, I’m left with the impression that the same accusation of “mass murder” could be directed at many players in the great diet game. In short, bold policies have been based on fragile science, and the long term results may be terrible.’

Richard, there is no may about it. The long term results have been terrible. So, to those ‘experts’ who continue to propagate the idea that saturated fat causes cardiovascular disease. Merry Xmas – you dangerous idiots. As it is the festive season, I shall refrain from calling them mass murderers.



117 thoughts on “Are some diets ‘mass murder’

      1. dearieme

        The rat here is Smith. Just look at “overenthusiastic scientists, massive conflicts of interest, and politically driven policy makers can make deeply damaging mistakes”. Someone – corporations presumably – is guilty of conflicts of interest: what crooks! Other people, policy makers, are “politically driven”: what crooks! But scientists, being all cuddly and warm, are guilty of nothing worse than being “overenthusiastic”: what rubbish! It’s the scientists, and doctors, who have been the crooks, telling bare-faced lies in their pursuit of advancement and power.

        Comparing my time in the universities with my time working for a company, I have to say that moral standards were higher in the latter. And there was much less hypocrisy too.

        Anyway, as a former editor of the BMJ, Smith should presumably turn himself in as one of the mass murderers. Or is this article supposed to be the equivalent of turning Queen’s evidence?

    1. JP Sand

      Dr. Kendrick,

      Many thanks for bringing this matter to our attention. Here are a couple of LINKS for readers to access further readings on the topics under discussion:

      1) PDF of the current article by former BMJ editor, Dr. Richard Smith, “Are Some Diets ‘Mass Murder'”: See also the BMJ website for the article plus responses from readers:

      2) Obituary/biography for Dr. George V. Mann who died in 2013 at the age of 95. Dr. Mann was former associate director of the Framingham Heart Program, an ongoing cardiovascular study on residents of the town of Framingham, MA that began in 1948. Dr. Mann’s life-long research led him to the conclusion that human heart disease was not the result of the consumption of foods like meat and eggs that are high in cholesterol, but are instead the result of other factors such as a lack of exercise. Dr. Mann authored several books, including “Coronary Heart Disease: The Dietary Sense and Nonsense” wherein he stated: “The diet-heart hypothesis has been repeatedly shown to be wrong, and yet, for complicated reasons of pride, profit and prejudice, the hypothesis continues to be exploited by scientists, fund-raising enterprises, food companies and even governmental agencies. The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century.” See more at: more at: who


      1. Mary Richard

        Cheers to you, too, JP. It is a scam and disgraceful to vilify foods that man has consumed for eons to maintain his health and stamina. Money talks and that is what this whole debacle is about. It started with a theory, never proven, but one that just took off. Someone (and I am not naming names) pulled it out of an orifice somewhere and befuddled and fooled so many. Many smart, but trusting people became victims. So, all one can do is what they know how and that is to spread the word and make it right somehow.

  1. ET

    I’ve never seen an explanation of how saturated fat raises serum cholesterol or why polyunsaturated fats lower serum cholesterol.

      1. George Henderson

        Eating linoleic acid INCREASES production of cholesterol in the liver, this is where 22% of LA carbon goes. Amazing eh – it increases the sum total of cholesterol in the body, even as the LDL-R upregulation draws a little from the blood. And this effect over-rides the normal controls on cholesterol synthesis. And, the extra cholesterol attracts (if you’re lucky) other (mainly unsaturated) fatty acids including omega 3 to esterify (or neutralise) it.
        I think very few of the people recommending an increase in PUFA know anything about how it is metabolised in the liver. Most of it is sequestered in this somewhat hazardous way. And of course some of it ends up in atherosclerotic plaques, where it tends to be associated with instability.

  2. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    I love that you brought this subject up!

    My favourite!

    Nina Teicholz’s book ‘The Big Fat Surprise though seems to be a bleak, although updated (without giving proper credit) version of the ‘block buster’ “Good Calories & Bad Calories” by the internationally rewarded journalist of science Gary Taubes. That guy turned my world!

    I also love your use of the word “stupidness” for in my view this is what it all is about.

    When will this stupidness i medicine ever end?

    With my present skew towards fundamental philosophy (partly due to Taubes) I am presently reading the collective work of Plato and find frequent references to the importance to have a balanced view of our bodily homeostatis as well as the Hippocratic view of letting the your food be your medicine which is exactly the view of the Swedish LCHF- movement where the saturated fats seem to by our Graal.

    Wonder where ths is going to end.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      It will end with the ‘experts’ shifting their position into the Mediterranean diet, and pretending that this is what they thought all along. These people do not much care what direction the carriage is going, they just want to hold the reins.

      1. Sue Richardson

        That’s spooky – just recently there have been a few articles in the news saying almost exactly that ie “Mediterranean Diet adds hundred of years to your life” or something similar. Your crystal ball is obviously working! What next? Backing down on the cholesterol/diet/heart theory? It will be interesting to see how they manage to do it without looking stupid, but I suppose they will – and most people won’t even notice what’s happening. Apart from those of us who read your blog, and others like it, in which case we will be nodding our heads wisely, and trying not to look smug or use the words ‘told’, ‘so’, ‘I’ or ‘you too often.

      2. Jo

        LOL, yes here is a direct quote from the BHF site that you linked to:

        “Lots of research studies have shown that people who follow this type of Mediterranean-style diet have a lower rate of heart disease as well as maintaining a healthy weight and better quality of life and even though there are still unanswered questions about why this diet is so much better for us, this does seem to be one area where there is agreement.”

        Well at least there is agreement. Or is that group think.

      3. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        With that ‘scientific’ attitude at the ‘top’ the supernatural is all natural, evil is good and whatever …

        As a researcher in metallurgy this attitude is almost impossible to imagine. I just wonder what is to be trusted in medicine. The antibiotics seems to have been a hit – here I am a believer since the ‘medicine seems to address the cause – anything more?

      4. Stephen Rhodes

        Except that they will still be wrong, as Denise Minger explains in ‘Death by Food Pyramid’, unless they are also advising strict adherence to the Greek Orthodox faith with respect to fasting, and that we should all collect wild greens and snails to add to our salads.

    2. Richard

      Well said re: Taubes. Teicholz is getting credit for the efforts he also went to a few years ago but never got as much of an airing. At least however there is a groundswell of opinion that should wash away the low fat dogma.

      1. George Henderson

        Nina Teicholz frequently credits Gary Taubes with not only inspiring but also reading and critiquing her early versions of Big Fat Surprise. No problem there. There is more than one good book about Pearl Harbour, though all cover the same events.

      2. BobM

        I’ve read both Taubes’s books and Teicholz’s (and Kendrick’s and a bunch of others). Teicholz’s benefits include that she might be the best story teller of the bunch, especially when it comes to the personalities that drove this wayward foray into hatred of saturated fat. Her story telling is the first to make me angry. I’ve her book three times, and each time I got angrier at the non-scientific, ludicrous way we got to where we are. You have to understand, I was one of these people who blindly believed the “experts” and kept my fat to below 10% of calories by day. I couldn’t understand why I could eat so much (carbs) and then be famished 15 minutes later or why I was depressed, tired at 3pm, etc. Even after finding low carb, I still thought I “had to have carbs” for exercising or vitamin C, or whatever. Heck, I still look at a fatty piece of meat and can’t believe I’m eating it.

        All of these books have benefits and detriments. Taubes’s might be the most complete; Kendrick’s the funniest. But I think that Teicholz’s has a great story and might be the most accessible for the layperson (who hasn’t read 10+ other books on this topic, as I have). It may also be the most damning for those personalities involved and their exploits.

      3. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        George Henderson

        Thank you for pointing this out!

        I am sorry to admit that I made a jumping conclusion about Teicholtz not crediting Taubes based on a video presentation I watched. I have actually not read her book and feel hesitant to do so since, as far as I understand just now, her book does not seem to add very much new to the story of diets – or am I wrong here as well?

        Based on public video performance comparisons I guess Teicholtz is an easy winner over Taubes but from at scientific point of view I guess – I might be wrong here as well – that Taubes gets the first prize. Right?

      4. Jennifer

        Richard. In my copy I feel that Nina does credit Gary quite significantly.
        As BobM suggests, she has a good way of getting the message across to the general public, and that is what needs to be done, ‘cos aiming eloquent scientific papers to the ‘great and the good'(!), has got us no-where, has it? This war is going to be won from the front line, by those of us desperate to know why such an escalation of ill health is taking over, mainly in poorer communities.
        Both she and Gary are ‘merely journalists’ and thus their work will never get into the official reading lists of those studying nutrition, dietetics or even medicine. Yet…..both books contain excellent material.
        So long as there are articulate writers promoting the case so well….please don’t let us go down the route of ‘divide and conquer’, as it detracts from the issue, and plays into the hands of the enemy.
        For the last 2 years I have enjoyed reading around these subjects and have gleaned a gem from each and every author.

      5. celia

        I don’t think Teicholz is getting credit for the work done by Taubes. She spent nine years on her research and if you read her book you will find how thoroughly she researched, even meeting and interviewing many of the men who did the research and quoting them. She takes us on a fascinating trail of personal ego etc etc. Really well worth taking the time to read, although I have read many others.

  3. Donna

    I just found your blog and am finding it fascinating. One of the current themes I am reading about and seeing on TV are the newest studies now claiming sugar is the real cause of inflammation and heart disease. I would be most interested in hearing your take on this.

  4. Jennifer

    YES! YES! YES! Getting there at last.
    Cherishing my Teicholz book.
    Anticipating receipt of Dr K’s new book in January.

      1. Jennifer

        The site is a bit addictive, isn’t it?
        However, I have found time to watch Avatar in 3D ….amazing.
        Those creatures obviously know the way to a slim and very energetic physique, so we could possibly learn something from great science fiction.
        Makes a difference to the darned fiction we have been fed in the name of nutrition for the last 40 years.
        Cheers to all for the festive season.

  5. Helen

    I was sent a link to the BMJ Teicholz review a few days ago. Have you noticed the ad hominem attacks in the responses? Shock, horror, Teicholz isn’t a doctor, but a mere journalist!

    1. celia

      Well, they do say the best form of defense is attack. I do hope this valuable book won’t be attacked too much. We need people to sit up and take notice.

  6. tannyo

    If cholesterol doesn’t cause heart attacks, why would anyone take statins? Especially since in men who had CVD, the first clinical trial showed only a one percent difference in heart attacks between the placebo and statin groups. Even worse, in women trials only showed a zero percent difference. With the information they had then and especially the information they have now, it seems like medical malpractice to prescribe statins.

    This is from 2010 from UCLA, in a study of over 22 thousand patients who had heart attacks, 75 percent of them had low to normal cholesterol. Out of that 75 percent, almost 50 percent had low cholesterol. Yet, the doctor’s conclusion was that we need to reduce cholesterol to an even lower rate.

    Why do they want to kill us?

    1. Maria

      In German there is a saying, a doctor needs to be kept his patient just between life and death.

      Eugen Roth
      Was bringt den Doktor um sein Brot?
      a) die Gesundheit, b) der Tod.
      Drum hält der Arzt, auf daß er lebe,
      Uns zwischen beiden in der Schwebe.

      1. ProZ@matswiman

        Quite. The little known political party Riktiga Sverige (Real Sweden) has as one of its main goals for the Swedish NHS the revolutionary goal to heal their patients, NOT treat them which you are talking about Eugen! Remuneration should be linket to success,, not to the number of recipies.
        Mats J C Wiman

      2. shirley3349

        A more literal translation:
        What takes the bread from the doctor’s mouth?
        a) health, b) death.
        Therefore, the doctor, in order to live,
        Keeps us vacillating between the two.

  7. Adriaan Keij

    Tnx for this news, and LOL: A 2012 Cochrane review found no benefit from total rat reduction and no effect on cardiovascular or total mortality.

    HAGD, Adriaan

    Op 22 dec. 2014 om 14:50 heeft “Dr. Malcolm Kendrick” het volgende geschreven:

      1. Mary Richard

        I love this post, Dr. Kendrick!!! They are stupid and what is more insulting is that they count on our being as stupid as they think we are. Where is the common sense in all this? My parents never ran to the doctor and took one drug after the other. I never saw my father take an aspirin for God sake (sorry God) or my mother for that matter. Both parents hated the idea of psychotropic drug therapy and thought it was dangerous territory. My grandfather who was an alcoholic, smoked cigarettes until his death, and basically threw this life away, lived to exactly the same age as my dear father. My dad lived an exemplary lifestyle with little drinking (a Pabst Blue ribbon on rare occasions) or an Old Fashion during social/work events was his limit. So, how do your figure it all? You don’t. But, I have seen more lives ruined with the give a script for everything from a burp to a hangnail mentality than any of my ancestors could ever have imagined. Yet people in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s are dying of cancers, heart disease and neurological diseases at record numbers. I can recall as a child that most of the funerals we went to were of people very old who “died of natural causes”. Nature just took its toll and they peacefully passed away.

        I am in the process of selling our family home in the country. My mother actually is living with me at this time. She wanted to visit the home and her housekeeper of 40 years was all too excited to stay with her. Her old friends and some of our family went to see her. When she returned Sunday night, I asked her how she felt. She looked so vibrant and rested…better than I had seen her in years. Guess what? She forgot to take with her the plethora of medications these so called “doctors” have been feeding her for years. When I researched them on the internet, she was given two different anti-depressants, one blood pressure medication with a diuretic, and had increased the medication Aricept to a double dose. The Aricept did not help anyway. Essentially, she has been off these medications for four days now. Although her memory is still not what I would have wanted it to be, she functions so much better and said, “I am not going to take all that stuff anymore”. I told her that is fine with me. By pure chance, she was given a respite from all these drugs and in so doing, found that they are not increasing her quality of life. Rather, she feels better, is ambulating more and is thinking more clearly. My mother has led a great life. She never resorted to any medications until Statins in her early 70’s with absolutely NO EVIDENCE of arterial blockage in her heart or lower extremities. They just gave it to her because she had one fleeting case of stable angina. It was stress related, I feel sure now!!! From the statins came every other awful and debilitating condition. I now see that my dear mother probably would still be living alone, driving, and be totally independent had it not been for statins. Now, I think I will put her in God’s hands where she can live her life with some dignity and autonomy until she does, in fact, die of “natural causes”. Until that day, I a grateful for every day I have left with her.

        I loved your post, Dr. Kendrick. More importantly, I love your passion for leading us all to truth and for telling it like it is.

        God Bless you and your family!!

    1. celia

      I personally have found a great benefit from rat reduction! Nasty smell things spread disease. Now, fat reduction I found more likely to cause disease…

  8. Flyinthesky

    An equal consideration should also be give to the often toxic and nutritionally worthless substances we have been encouraged to use instead, trans fats, over refined and hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarines with various health giving claims attatched, cream substitutes et al. Most of which have more dubious ingredients than you could shake a stick at.
    What we should all realise is fear is power and fear and power lead to aggrandisement and monetisation of someone else.
    High blood pressure and high cholesterol “may” possibly shorten your life, worrying about it certainly will.

    1. Barb S

      Exactly why I eat only what I enjoy, moderately and balanced, ignoring all of the diet zealots as well as my doctor. I suffered enough deficiencies from over 15 years on Lipitor.

  9. George Henderson

    What did Ancel Keys really say? Not what you might think. He’s not saying that Mediterranean populations benefited from higher intakes of PUFA lowering cholesterol. There’s no “5% increments” here. And in New Zealand (for example) cardiac mortality dropped spectacularly since the 1960s, but PUFA intake has only changed by 2-3%, and SFA is still at 13%, well above AHA recommendations (under 10% and preferably under 7%) so….

    ‘The coronary incidence rate of the cohorts was not significantly correlated with the percentage of calories in the diet provided by proteins or by polyunsaturated fatty acids. In regard to the latter, the averages for the cohorts ranged from 3 percent to seven percent of calories from linoleic acid, with only trivial contributions from other polyenes. These findings conform to the general picture that in no natural diet of man so far studied do polyunsaturated fatty acids contribute more than a very small fraction of the total calories. Accordingly, it must be expected that in such natural diets variations in the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids will have at most only a trivial effect on the concentration of cholesterol in the blood serum or risk associated with it. As indicated above, the very narrow range of the average protein contribution to the diet calories in these cohorts precludes judgment of the possible effect of important differences in dietary protein.’
    from page 253 of Chapter 14 of Keys, A., Aravanis, C., Blackburn, H., Buzina, R., Djordjević, B.S., Dontas, A.S., Fidanza, F., Karvonen, M.J., Kimura, N., Menotti, A. et al. 1980. Seven Countries A Multivariate Analysis of Death and Coronary Heart Disease. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      With Kendrick I also wonder what your point about PUFA actually is.

      As far as I remember large amounts of PUFA was given to kidney transplant candidates in the early days to suppress the immune system but a route that had to be abandoned since the candidates developed cancer instead although keeping their kidneys.

      Personally I am keeping away from the vegetable PUFAs as far as possible while honouring animal PUFA’s as EPA and DHA.

      1. George Henderson

        The point is –

        1) even Ancel Keys, in his 7 Countries analysis, was saying that an intake of polyunsaturated fat high enough to have the effect of lowering cholesterol is impossible in a normal, naturally occurring human diet, and that such a concept can have nothing to do with the various rates of CVD he is seeing.

        2) normal human diets only vary in their PUFA content by 4%, (3-7%) whereas today the AHA is recommending I believe 13%, and everybody in epidemology talks about increases of 5% being beneficial.

        3) massive reductions in CVD mortality have occurred in populations where the increase in PUFA has been nowhere near the 5% predicted to bring about a 13% reduction or whatever in CHD mortality.

        Interesting point Professor Göran Sjöberg about PUFA suppressing immunity and damaging the liver.
        I believe the liver damage occurs because linoleic acid induces the liver to form excessive amounts of cholesterol, and if this cannot be esterified at the same rate it oxidises and peroxidises cardiolipin, causing mitochondrial damage and apoptosis; the general peroxidisability of a liver full of PUFA and helps promote cancer, and some CYP products of PUFAs are also imflammatory.

        Nuts, on the other hand, are probably beneficial for many despite having a high LA content. Such is nature.

      2. Alan

        This is also my understanding regarding PUFA’s. SFA’s were once considered cardio-protective and eaten in abundance – a tradition I like to continue.

      3. Spokey

        Interesting George. But I thought cholesterol is an anti oxidant, so I think it’s the LA that leads to an oxidative burden rather than cholesterol itself, although I suppose the cholesterol might be throwing itself on the fire so to speak, taking a bullet/electron for the team.

        But anyway, what is the evidence for LA increasing cholesterol production in the liver?
        I’m interested as I’d heard the opposite though I hadn’t followed up on the evidence for that. I assumed it was true and this was why it was being recommended as a means to lower ‘cholesterol’ levels. For example the the Sydney Diet Heart Study tried to identify if that would have an effect of CHD (I’m assuming because of the cholesterol lowering).
        They found it increased CHD.

        Though I suppose it’s possible that LA could locally raise cholesterol somewhere while lowering lipoproteins somewhere else.

        Your idea about esterification sounds similar to Stephanie Seneffs views on the way the liver handles excess fructose.

    2. Z.M.

      George Henderson: “Nuts, on the other hand, are probably beneficial for many despite having a high LA content.”

      Do you have any trial evidence that nuts reduce CV death and total mortality? Because the only one conducted failed miserably (PREDIMED).

      1. George Henderson

        The onus is surely to provide evidence that any naturally occurring food, especially in this context one high in fat and protein, is harmful, and in the absence of such evidence to accept as a given what such a food contributes to nutrition and pleasure, as well as to look favourably on what evidence there is from epidemiology and anthropology.
        One can only eat so many nuts – they won’t protect against a crap diet or necessarily make a great one better.
        It would be foolish to rule out nuts because they contain LA and soy oil is undesirable. My ancient ancestors ate hazelnuts and I am here.

    3. Z.M.

      George Henderson: “The onus is surely to provide evidence that any naturally occurring food, especially in this context one high in fat and protein, is harmful”

      Not saying they are harmful or that you shouldn’t eat nuts, but I see no credible evidence of its so-called benefits. Looks to me another over-hyped food, just like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

      1. George Henderson

        Ultimately there is a real science of nutrition, which is not concerned with hypotheses, but with essential nutrients. Optimal health depends on getting a little bit of everything and not going without for too long. A variety of foods from a variety of growing soils and climates is more likely to supply this- food miles notwithstanding, this is a more valid explanation for people living longer today than the lipid hypothesis.
        Tree nuts may stand out in the epidemiology of health and mortality simply because they supply one or more nutrients that are otherwise deficient in most people’s diets, such as magnesium, vitamin E, or certain of the B vitamins or trace elements.
        It is one of the products of the lipid hypothesis that such basics of nutrition are undervalued today.

  10. andrew Bell

    Good on ya sport from New Zealand.

    There is a professor over here on a few guideline committees, gets interviewed on TV a lot, who I met at a conference and asked him about folk like you Malcolm, tubes and others. He said if I had my way I’d ban butter and walked off!! When folk like him retire or die change will happen. But not until then as he has his hands on too many reins I guess.

    1. Paul

      I take it you idenity Prof. Mann, I wonder if he is a kinsman of the other Mann the climate reseacher, both need to retire.

      1. Paul

        Not George Mann who did the Masia studies, but Professor Jim Mann from N.Z. ( “Recent evidence, however, confirms the established cornerstones of dietary advice—reduce saturated fat .”)
        I’am glad to see George Mann is enjoying a long retirement.

  11. Paul helman

    Very well stated. I also read The Big Fat Lie after it was referenced in the Time Magazine article on fat earlier this year. Among the many things I learned was the rather ironic connection between P&G and the AHA going back to it’s receiving a cash infusion through a popular radio Quize show of the 1940’s. Their product was “pure all vegetable Crisco” and the show’s name?
    “Truth Or Consequences”

  12. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    As Kendrick is pointing out, the important thing is to get the message across and Teicholz seems to be very good at this.

    I still wonder why Gary Taubes book, which hit me like a heavy hammer five years ago, didn’t came across like Teicholz. Probably, the most important part is that today there is more overwhelming data available on the role of saturated fats in ‘mainstream’ physiology circles which makes the present stupidity so much more glaring.

    It has been so utterly chocking to me that the established stupidness has been allowed to rule for so long time in medicine and the most disgusting is that it has been claiming ‘Science’. It is devastating!

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Goran, if I may call you that. I have been reading books about the stupidity of the saturated fat hypothesis for years before Taubes. Barry Groves had been writing about it for years, as had James le Fanu etc. As had, of course, Uffe Ravnskov, and many others. When an edifice of stupidity reaches a certain critical mass it becomes self-sustaining, and it requires a lot of firepower to blow it apart. It also has a horrible tendency to simply alter shape and re-animate. We now have the amazing, yet to defined what the hell it actually is, Mediterranean diet. This is the epitome of everything that Karl Popper would hate about a scientific theory. It cannot falsified, as it cannot be defined in such a way as to be falsified. He would have filed it under ‘gravity fairies’, minute creates that push all matter together, are invisible, and cannot be measured in any way. Blah.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        Malcolm, it’s my pleasure!

        Well, I guess the facts have been there all the time for those with the eyes to see them.

        With Popper it is enough to realise that whole tribes of people have nurtured on saturated fats for millennia without any trace of heart disease in order to refute the existing paradigm.

        But with another of my favourite philosophers, Schopenhauer, it is impossible for anyone to approach the material, real, world without preconceived concept , without a worldview if you like. You may talk about blind cherry-picking.

        Anyway, when the facts are unveiled these facts are glaring with intensity and the whole world may then crumble in front of you. High stakes indeed! Today it still seems as if the establishment has chosen to do what the inquisition practised at the time of Galileo; just refuse to look into the telescope.

        One thing is to remodel your house, quite another tho replace the whole foundation of the your building. I though think you are quite right about the top notch people; expert converters (opportunists is another word) where honesty doesn’t seem to be an absolutely necessary prerequisite.

      2. Mary Richard

        What is lacking here is a clear cut vision for a grass roots effort at doing something about the lies, organized crime, and pure greed. What happened to organized crime? Well, you have RICO statutes. Those statutes enacted in the U.S. in the 1970’s were expanded to encompass many types of organized crime. Why are pharmaceutical companies guilty of the same if not worse than the organized crime syndicates (glamourized in Hollywood by the way), not being made to stand accountable under the same statutes? They get fined, sued, and slapped on the hand, told not to do that again and still… it keeps happening. They are, for all practical purposes, behaving as Al Capone and his cronies. If RICO had been around during the days of Capone, they would have gotten him on more than just income tax evasion, I promise you that. Recall the Labor Unions in the U.S.? They started out with good men leading them and for good reasons, however, they were eventually infiltrated by criminals and thugs and made doing business in the U.S. impossible due to greed and corruption. Just read “Freedom in the Workplace”. It is all the same mentality. Today, American workers suffer because so many of our manufacturing plants have relocated overseas. I have searched and searched for the many organizations that talk about change at the state and Federal levels, but see very little being DONE. My European friends, you are brilliant, well read, and passionate. What will you do?

      3. BobM

        Uffe Ravnskov’s first book was also the first book I read in this area. I’ve read his updated book, too.

        Yes, the Mediterranean diet is complete hogwash. As you suggest, it can be shape-shifted to fit whatever shape it needs to be in. Sort of like the cholesterol hypothesis: Total Cholesterol doesn’t work? Voila! We have “bad” cholesterol and “good” cholesterol to save the day! These don’t work? Well, then we have triglycerides, etc.

        I think the low fat idea hit critical mass, once people who believed in it got to be in charge of the research funds and once the Government got involved. In the US, for instance, my daughter cannot get full fat milk in school due to Government regulations requiring low fat for children older than 2. Yet, she can get fat-free chocolate milk overflowing with sugar. It makes no sense. But I know many people who blindly believe saturated fat is bad for you. They drink skim milk, refuse to eat pork, duck, beef, etc. For no reason other than “experts” believe saturated fat is bad.

        I think the reason Teicholz’s book works is that she writes for a non-scientific audience, her argument is laid out well, and she proceeds from one topic to another in a well thought out fashion. I also think the many books that came before hers helped elevate hers. People like me, who have read many similar books, still bought her book. But other people, even if not scientifically minded, can digest her material. My wife has an English degree, and Teicholz’s book I’d recommend to her. I would not recommend the first Taubes book to her, or even the Uffe Ravnsov books, because they are too scientific. I’d probably recommend the Kendrick book, because there’s enough humor in it to break up the scientific nature.

        Personally, I hope the tide is turning from vilifying saturated fat to incorporating saturated fat into the diet. I’d like for my daughter, for instance, to be able to get full fat milk at school.

      4. Kevin O'Connell

        More firepower has just arrived. I am reading Richard Feinman’s new book (The World Turned Upside Down). Nice to have a well-respected Professor of biochemistry also in the front line of the (rat redox?) charge.

      5. Craig

        Gravity fairies—very tasty rolled in thin slices of pork belly and salt and charcoal grilled. Mediterranean diet, mmmmmm: bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit …. finish off with the cheese platter, one small green leaf and a pat of fresh butter in your coffee.

        Pass the port wine please and Merry Christmas!

      6. Fiona

        Well, Dr Kendrick, please give us a ‘scientific’ definition of ‘what the hell’ the Mediterranean diet is! Here in London a typical Italian restaurant would serve mainly pasta and pizza, made with highly refined white flour, and risotto – a poor-man’s diet? Does the typical Mediterranean dweller eat as much first-class protein and vegetables as we do? Or does their health benefit most from spending more time in the sunshine?

  13. Steve Prior

    I used to be on a Mediterranean diet, it happened when I lived in the … erm.. Mediterranean, Malta to be exact.

    One of the things I noticed about the people of Malta was their somewhat laid back lifestyle. People would spend time sitting outside their homes, just relaxing and chatting to each other well into the evening.

    The sun and fantastic climate had more than a little impact on the way people lived. They seemed less stressed about life in general.

    I’m left wondering whether the Mediterranean diet in terms of food will work or not. Does the sun, a generally warmer climate and relaxed culture have just as much if not more importance than diet on it’s own?

    1. BobM

      That’s the problem with using epidemiology to “prove” anything. The relaxed culture (or any of a number of other possibilities) could be the cause of any differences and saturated fat or diet could be totally unrelated to the differences. It’s impossible to tell.

      Personally, I think that stress is a huge factor in heart disease, although the recommended high carbohydrate diet does not help and may exacerbate whatever causes heart disease. Concerning stress, take Americans, for instance. We are crazy. I have a coworker who took no vacation this year. That’s right, no vacation whatsoever. That cannot be good from a stress and health standpoint. And his story is not unusual — many workers in the US do not take their allotted two weeks of vacation per year. Compare that to the Europeans, who often go on vacation, aka “holiday”, for a month at a time. Could this explain differences in heart disease rates between US and other countries?

      Although this brings me to a graph by Uffe Ravnskov, which showed a perfect correlation between the number of TVs purchased and the amount of heart disease. No one would say that TVs “cause” heart disease, but one might say that TVs are a risk factor for heart disease. Perhaps stress is like that too, a risk factor but not necessarily a “cause” of heart disease.

      1. ProZ@matswiman

        I do not know how you define “risk factor” but puchase of a TV-set it is definely not a cause, just as little as a beer belly/overwight/obesity are.. It, like they, covary, just a the length of ladies skirts does with the economic outlook 😉
        The false prophets love the word “risk factor” beacuase it conveys the idea of risk=cause which is easily bought by the unknowing and lends the uttererer an air of expertise.

  14. Spud Murphy

    If the growing evidence is that sat fats are not the evil nutrients that they have been portrayed over the years does this also call into question the justification for removing trans fats from hydrogenation of veg oils. On a very basic level there was a push in the early 00’s to remove all hydrogenated fats from fats/oils (in the UK at least). This was justified on the basis of sat fats= bad, trans fats equivalent ( or worse) than sat. fats therefore trans fats= bad.

  15. mikecawdery

    I look around the supermarket, the obese, the shelves stacked with low fat, low cholesterol, hicarb products, trollys filled with same and I think back to pre-Keys days when people were generally of normal to overweight. I think of Flegal (CDC researcher) who has consistently shown (3 times) that the overweight lived longest. I look back to the time when only 2% of 85+year-olds were Alzheimic, compared to current expectations of 50%. I look back to the time when Type 2 diabetes was virtually unknown (mellitus and insipidus), and all this has changed with the so-called “healthy diet”. And I remember Banting’s advice of 150 years ago. I remember Yudkin’s work on sugar and remark on the whiz kids sudden recent discovery of SUGAR.

    And I wonder at how many lives would have been saved if Keys, cholesterol, Hicarb/lofat and statins had never been discovered. But of course $billions would never have been made for the few and status for others would never have happened; and scientific integrity of the medical establishment would not be endangered,

    1. David Bailey


      I believe I remember that you are a vet. I wonder what your view is of the various “science diet” cat foods. Many years ago, we had a cat die of kidney disease, and the vet told us this was likely caused by too much protein in the diet. She recommended “science diet” biscuits as the main food for cats, and I notice that they seem to contain quite a lot of carbohydrates.

      Since I have recently heard of cats getting diabetes, I am wondering whether this diet is wise. To be fair, however, our previous cat lived to 19 – 12 of those years on “science diet”, so we must have done something right!

      1. M. J. Hope Cawdery


        Indeed I am a vet and when I was training in the early 1950s diabetes in cats and dogs was very rare. Now I am assured that it is a major problem as in humans. While a limited, researched diet is probably OK (dogs and cats getting the approved intake daily) with exercise; if over fed on carbs it will end up as in humans, obesity, diabetes, etc. High protein, maybe but the source of protein may be the problem in kidney disease. After all Carnivores live on protein (not vegetable) and saturated animal fat.

  16. Flyinthesky

    “When an edifice of stupidity reaches a certain critical mass it becomes self-sustaining,” Amen.
    That sustenance is power, influence, control and financial opportunity. The problem is there are dozens of these scenarios.
    Merry Christmas to all and remember to drink your officially sanctioned units of alcohol responsibly, no salt in the potato water and don’t baste the turkey, (to be handled,raw, with a full hazzard suit and breathing apparatus,) with butter. Enjoy.

  17. Berny

    I feel like you may have overstated something here. You say that increased starches and sugars “cause millions upon millions of people to become diabetic.” I am not a doctor, scientist or expert, but I do read a lot on health (including this blog which I enjoy). And I have never seen anyone make a convincing case that eating sugar and starches “causes” diabetes, though people often seem to take this as a given. And by “cause” I mean that they cause the pancreas to fail to produce sufficient insulin or the liver or other parts of the body to develop insulin resistance.

    There are people who eat tons of sugar who don’t become diabetic just as there are people who eat tons of saturated fat who don’t get heart disease.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Had I said billions and billions I may be guilty of hype. There is no convincing evidence that eating sugar and starches is sufficient to cause diabetes. However, since type II diabetes is defined by having a high blood sugar level, and eating a high fat diet can reduce blood sugar levels – thus ‘curing’ type II diabetes – I rest my case. [My own view on the condition of high blood sugar commonly known as type II diabetes is that – it is not actually a disease].

      1. George Henderson

        Type 2 diabetes is overdiagnosed to sell drugs, but the end stage is real diabetes.
        Forcing the beta cells of the pancreas to make more insulin and amylin than they were designed to secrete over a lifetime by making the diet higher in carbohydrate than it would otherwise have been, especially in the modern context of plenty of food, round the clock eating, and a toxic environment, can certainly be said to have resulted in the modern upsurge in diabetes.

      2. Berny

        Mr. Henderson – I think what you have is a hypothesis and not necessarily facts. It’s one thing to discredit the saturated fat/heart disease theory, but that does not necessarily make sugar and starches the villains.

    2. Mats J C Wiman

      Merry Christmas Berny,

      You say:

      “There are people who eat tons of sugar who don’t become diabetic just as there are people who eat tons of saturated fat who don’t get heart disease.”

      I was such a healthy guy who had “tons” of sugar/(carbs for decades until my pancreas became so worn out that its capacity to take care of the masses of carbs that we are advised eat simply decreased.
      Result: Too high blood sugar=Diabetes type 2.
      My overweight had been established by the same cause: Too many carbs (triggering insulin response which blocks the burning of fat).
      When I minimised my carb intake to close to zero and dared to start eating satisfying SFA (Thanks Uffe Ravskov!), I lost 15 kg in 3 months and got normal blood sugar in a few months. I felt so healthy that I threw away my statins (Lipitor), blood pressure pills (Felodipin) and Metformin without even consulting a doctor.
      Since then (May 2008) I’ve been fit as a fiddle (zero sick days) and have kept my blood sugar level at 41 (Total cholesterol 6,2, other values normal).
      In my first five LCHF years I have consumed 100 kgs of SFA per year (I ought to be dead according to the prevailing myth)

      Mats J C Wiman (74)
      (Healthy Diabetics)
      Board member of DiOS (Diabetesorganisationen i Sverige).
      (Diabetes Organisation in Sweden)

      1. Jennifer

        To Mats Wiman.
        Well stated!
        It is now 2 years since I started questioning my health situation. It took me 2 months to pluck up the courage to completely change my diet, in defiance of NHS guidelines, and ultimately question all the meds I was taking.
        My GP was a bully, but after a few weeks of my new regime, the consultant endocrinologist thought I was a walking miracle and advised that I continue my own regime, and he would advise my GP accordingly.
        I have seen neither person since, and am wonderfullylly well, (even enjoying a bit of excess this Festive Season). Generally sticking to High Sats, good protein, low carbs, a few tipples, but…. NO meds, NO GP. ( my contribution to reducing the NHS bill)
        I have skipped the ‘flu jab 2 winters running, never had flu, and overcome 1 dose of winter cold, quickly, and without resorting to even a paracetamol.
        Now, if I compare that to the previous years, starting around the new millennium, when I entered my early 50s, and got caught up into the grasp of the NHS…..I am a new woman….now heading towards my 3 score years and 10, and watching Christmas come round quicker each year.
        From your address, you seem in a better position to spread the word than I am, as a mere housewife, so please do your best.
        Happy New Year.

    1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      A good point you are making to my opinion!

      It is said that there even exist writers who deliberately introduce such typos to make their readers comfortable of being ‘at par’ with the author when they find these ‘errors’. The correction process definitely creates a feeling of unity among us believers 🙂

      Though, that a 12 year old whisky may be, as you claim, a quite acceptable treat does not contradict my strong Christmas belief that it can be scientifically proved that the TEN year old Ardbeg Scotch whisky is without competition – not least from a religious point of view – and thus to be absolutely true. (The 10 year Talisker, which I am sipping just now, is also acceptable.)

      With a Merry Christmas to all true believers in science, Malcolm’s mission an of course in the 10 year Ardbeg.

  18. Ash Simmonds

    1982, this is around about when the 50-70s dogma was basically turned into legislation, and yet even from the time the analyses of the AHA’s position was nothing short of incredulous, have probably shared it before but it’s great for a laugh/cry:


    The AHA:
    – completely misinterpreted a bunch of science;
    – used out of date stuff that had well and truly been usurped;
    – made some stuff up without explaining reasoning;
    – said that the science thus far doesn’t really stack up to see a real correlation;
    – but concluded you shouldn’t eat fat or cholesterol anyway, because science.

    This was already known, yet things still trundled on.

    1. Jennifer

      Mary, that is quite correct…..we wouldn ‘t have survived beyond our mother’s breasts… which produce perfect infant formula, high in sats and ..OMG….CHOLESTEROL.

      1. Mary Richard

        Yes, Jennifer, which is why so many men continue to be fascinated by them!!! Yes, mother’s milk is almost total saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. I never could understand as a very young mom, how I saw so many rosy cheeked, fat, thriving babies who ate nothing but breast milk for the first several months of their little lives. I had to get very ill myself to ask those age old questions. It is so simple, really.

  19. Cindy C

    On one of the chronic pain groups I am on, a supplement was mentioned-Peapure or Normast. From reading on it, and its anti-inflammatory actions, it appears to play a role in pain relief, and more. It is a fatty acid, originally found in egg yolks. I did some research, and got into similar lipids. Also it took me into “rafts” and how the body carries the lipids to where they are needed. We usually find it difficult to explain to people and doctors how eating a lot of eggs, meat, and dairy reduced our pain, and how we did not seem to get infections as much. Also, if our body is working right, it makes these, so why should a drug be taken to lower levels of these compounds I would appreciate some comments.

    1. Mary Richard

      Cindy, I read all the studies you provided and it makes so much sense, both on a scientific and common sense level. We eat eggs daily here. I feed my poor mother eggs every morning. If I have to stand over here to make her finish them…I do. She has lived with me now for two months. I have stopped any of the medications that are making her more confused than ever. She is doing fine. I check her blood pressure three times a day. It is on the low side, but normal. This morning, she relayed some stories about her visits with my sister and those she saw at a local restaurant she frequents. She recalled every detail of those interactions. I have not seen her do that in two or more years. Oh…by the way, I took her off statins over one year ago and give her 200mg of Ubiquinol a day. She has congestive heart failure (or so we were told) and that is the only thing that worries me. She also has dementia, but seems to be more clear thinking since on Ubiquinol and off the two anti-depressants she does not need!!! Oh, and one aspirin a day 81mg.

      Thanks for sharing this information. The PEA discussion is very interesting. Just eat healthy. I think starches in the diet are not so bad. It is the processing of those I fear. Just try to eat those more healthy varieties of carbs, lots of poultry, beef, pork (protein and naturally occurring fats of all kinds) and do not eat more than you are willing to expend in terms of physical output. If you do that, read labels and are careful, you will feel okay. I have never met a really thin person who ate like a lumberjack. Thin people just don’t over indulge. They say the French consume a large amount of saturated fat but have very low levels of heart disease. They have the most wonderful beautiful desserts in the world and enjoy them. But, they do not over indulge for the most part I think. I just believe in the common sense approach to what we discover in science.

      Thanks for sending those three studies. It was very fascinating.

      1. Cindy C

        Thanks Mary for sharing those experiences. There are 2 more supplement that have been around for years. Egg membrane for arthritis, and lecithin, both coming from eggs. Many will take those, but are still afraid to eat a lot of eggs. I do have to watch out for desserts and too much fruit. They will make me hurt, and also, I have problems eating them in moderation. Nuts do not seem to make me hurt, but too many and I will gain weight. Taurine, from meat and eggs seem to be helpful for those with congestive heart failure. It can be taken as a supplement. Also related to improved memories.

      2. Mich

        Thanks! I have observed this after the past year trying to eat eggs everyday. When I eat 3 eggs religiously, my knuckles swell alot less and don’t crack as much. I’m only 32!

        Screw you, fruit!

  20. Mats J C Wiman

    Are some diets mass murder?


    After studying the nutritional mess from Ancel Keys onwards and trying to understand
    how so-called “science” can produce such hogwash as the “food pyramid”, “healthy food”
    and the Swedish “plate model” (tallriksmodellen) the only ‘red thread’ or explanation
    one can detect was that it was in the interest of some interests to achieve a situation where
    doctors, bureaucrats and politicians (and of course, the population) could be manipulated
    into believeing that what “science” told them where to go is also the road to choose
    – with ENORMOUS profits landing in the laps of the manipulators.

    The diets recommended by, adhered to and marketed by the western world is no doubt
    mass murder, not by killing people instantly but seeing to it they become victims to long term
    diseases leading to premature deaths due to their diet necessitating (most people blieve)
    pharmaceutical treatment, which does not heal but keeps the patients as customers of the
    pharmaceutical industry.
    Healing is not and cannot be the goal. Instead, the goal is the maximizing of profits.
    The mass murdering is slow but still mass murder because the perpetrators have planned it
    or taken it into account when condoning the disastrous outcome.
    So do the politicians, ignorant and having let themselves become dependent on bought
    ‘experts’ as the are.
    The similarity of a recent era in the history of mass murder is striking: “I only obeyed orders”
    Today’s version “I can only do what my (bought) ‘experts’ tell me”

    No effort has been made to find out how to empower governments to loosen themselves
    from this deadly iron grip on the national health systems of the world or are they in on
    Project Mass Murder themselves?

    1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      You are, as me an my wife, a part of the LCHF Swedish grass root movement doing nutritional experiments on ourselves and experiments which completely contradict the established doctrines!

      To me our experiments are ‘scientific’ – and I mean it!

      By the results!

      We regaining our health!

      This is as incredible as it is revealing and with the philosopher of science per se, Karl Popper, we are all refuting the official doctrine of vilifying the saturated fats by our simple experiments to avoid carbs and instead to honour these fats as much as possible.

      (Today e.g., I made me a Christmas treat of two heavy slices of home made liver pâté – 50 % grass fed liver, 50 % lard)

      These facts also tell me that most of modern medicine is religion in the hands of Big Pharma and with the meagre scientific part of this discipline just abused by the that overwhelming part.

      Disgusting facts!

    2. Mary Richard

      Matt, I so agree with your assessment. Many systems have to undergo periodic “cleansings” so to speak. I have no doubt that pharmaceuticals have saved many lives and are necessary to the health and well being of many. But too much of any good thing is bad and those seeking not to heal but to steal have run amok. That system or business can run efficiently and with a sense of honesty and good will toward others. The dishonest, immoral among them must go.

      This is a very complicated maze of influences not only of the powers that be in business and industry and government. The Hollywood elite and media also have done a grave injustice to our society by misleading our young and old alike. All of this has been forced upon our society for artistic expression…right? No!!!!…for money. They control as much of what goes on in this world as the White House, Congress and the courts. They have become, for all intents and purposes, smut peddlers who will say or do anything for the almighty dollar. And…they lie and are laughing all the way to the bank.

      I see our young ladies acting like animals and dressing like…well use your imagination. I so wish and hope that our young women will see Kate Middleton as a “fashion icon” and take note of her impeccable manners and mode of dress. Like her late mother in law before her, Princess Diana (although not altogether saintly) did represent the epitome of a well groomed and well counseled fashion icon who had the common touch but held herself with a sense of dignity. Instead they (our young women) fall prey to the vixens they see on T.V. and the Big Screen. It speaks volumes about the attitudes and loose morality we see in the Western world. The Reality T.V. epidemic does little to boost the belief systems and behavior of women and men. No one can get through a day without lots of champagne and wine or designer clothing most people can not even come close to affording. What a self defeating message it all sends!!! So, we are as a society, being taught we are entitled to have that which we can not afford, to indulge in excess to the point of bankruptcy and then run out on our obligations when we cannot fulfill, to take a pill when we are not living up to impossible standards, and to live off the government because of that entitlement mentality cultivated by the powers that be.

      Though it seems an impossible proposition, it can be done and must be lest more lives are ruined as the insanity of it all continues to run unchecked. Those of you who do care and are honest and honorable must be so fearless as to “storm the gates of hell with a bucket of water” by doing his or her part in making your voices heard. You know what you need to do. You could all make such a difference. You could hit them with the real truth or consequences…and if a formidable, united front, they would never see it coming. Change things…make the world a better place. Find out how to organize those “grass roots” campaigns and fight for what is right. And, if you suffer, it is better to do so for doing right, rather than wrong.

      1. David Bailey


        While I agree with a lot of what you have written, I can remember when sex was something barely discussed – and people felt dirty for even imagining sexual activity – particularly anything that was not considered ‘normal’.

        While I think society has swung too far the other way, I would hate us to swing all the way back to the way things were. I am sure modern films go too far, but in the not too distant past, they lead us out of the dark age where sex and the devil were almost seen as synonymous. If young women want to dress so as to show off their assets, I will not object!

        I would much rather clamp down on the violence (including, of course sexual violence) in films.

      2. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        David Bailey, Mary Richard,

        Funny that we today so easily get into the ‘objectification’ of women as ‘sex objects’ which to me is a sure sign of weirdness in a society.

        Jared Diamond, professor of physiology at UCLA, is more than well known for his books looking ‘back’ into ‘natural’ (or ‘traditional’ as he says) societies where people were closer to nature but in a constant struggle for survival without much technology at hand but, or because of that, in a rather ‘stable’ equilibrium. He laconically states in his 2012 book “The World Before Yesterday” that in these kind of societies, he had first hand experience from, sex was never an issue but that people could have endless talk about food for hours without immediate reasons.

    3. chris c

      Couldn’t agree more!
      My mother would be 100 this year if she hadn’t died 5 years ago. When she was young there WERE no “epidemics” of obesity, diabetes, CVD etc. and “everyone knew” if you wanted to lose weight you cut back on starches. Some people still called dieting “Banting”.
      She was a teacher from the thirties to the seventies, during which time there might be one or two “fat kids” per class, and at most one diabetic and a few kids with asthma or allergies in the entire school. This was much the same when I was at school in the fifties and sixties.
      Compare and contrast to today, since (saturated) fat became vilified and carbs became wholly beneficial.
      There were always a few outliers: her brother was not much older than me when he died of a heart attack, her uncle had what I know now to be Type 2 diabetes, and geneological research shows a line of folks with this weird form of non-obese Type 2 and CVD along with the long lived healthy folks – but if they hadn’t been sucked into the low fat lunacy they may have had a chance.
      I’m almost convinced that what is currently occurring is genocide, everyone who cannot eat enough carbs to be profitable is being removed from the population, as cheaply as possible. Only the people who have evolved the ability to survive on a high carb low fat diet deserve to live.
      When even the checkout girls in the supermarket have noticed the fat people becoming ever fatter while eating their “low fat” foods, and the fit healthy old folks using the local butchers and greengrocers, it becomes even harder to understand that the doctors (including the morbidly obese one) and the nurses (many of which are as plump as most dieticians) have failed to notice and continue to push the “low fat” diet, accompanied of course by statins and BP meds.
      Longevity here is commonplace and goes back a couple of centuries if you look in the local churchyards. I believe this will be brought to an end in the current generation: obviously octagenerians and nonagerians are not cost effective. Let alone my neighbour who was 108!

  21. LaurieLM

    Trans fat primer. From Trans fat question above.

    Fresh cholesterol is the master ‘antioxidant’.
    ‘Oxidation’ and drying-out can be considered ‘aging’.

    At the turn of the last century the paint, putty and varnish industry needed a place to park their excess (polyunsaturated, PUFA) vegetable oil, oxidizing, DRYING compounds….. They experimented and fed them to turkeys- but they died. They were then added to human chow, claimed as a health food, and they have remained there ever since.

    There are risks and benefits to running on Oxygen. The risk is producing, from metabolism and living, reactive oxygen species, ROS. One benefit?- The creation of our highly successful human brain. Antioxidants to the rescue.

    Butter, lard and tallow are solid at refrigerator temps. At body temp., these saturated fats are fluid. Sat. fats keep our 50 trillion, or so, cell membranes fluid, lithe, and active- and protected against oxidation. Liquid, at fridge temps, cis and trans PUFAs do some nefarious things at (and in) body temp conditions.

    Trans, unsaturated, fats are SHAPED like sat fats, and can insert into membranes but can be oxidized- HARDENED, DRYED in place. PUFA’s in general, can get around and in the membranes (cis not as well as trans because they are shaped like stacked logs with branches sticking out) but they all ‘call’ for immune system (inflammatory) and anti-oxidant back-up. They are inflammatory and can be oxidized, thus depleting cholesterol (master anti-oxidant), which is trying to cope with ‘normal’, healthy operational production of ROS.

    So- invented, manufactured vegetable ‘oils’ are trouble, both trans, and cis, and they DISPLACE velvety, healthy, flowy saturated, non-oxidizable animal saturated fats.

    1. Mary Richard

      Laurie, I agree that if there appears to be anything that has poisoned our diet in the last 50-60 years, it is trans and unsaturated fats because they are vulnerable to oxidation. They are also found in so many pre-packaged foods that we have over used them. I used cholesterol lowering medications and statins for over ten years. I apologetically used vegetable oils frequently as I was none the wiser. Guilty also am I of using convenience foods, sugar, and fast foods when on the run. I developed PAD. However, I returned to a wide variety of foods in moderation and engage in moderate exercise and have had not needed any other interventions in over 8 years now. I am a recovering statin addict but I had no fun on them, I can assure you.

      I just read some articles dating back to 1987 where famous heart surgeon, researcher and vascular medical device inventor Dr. Michael DeBakey, was interviewed. He stated that he did not think cholesterol was a significant contributor to heart disease and that his observations in operating on over 13,000 people seemed to contradict the studies citing cholesterol as a major factor in vascular disease. He said it seemed to have no real effect as he had seen those with vascular blockages also have moderately high, normal and low cholesterol levels. Further he stated that eating a diet rich in cholesterol would have no effects on blood cholesterol levels. He thought smoking and perhaps high blood pressure placed people at risk but that these factors in and of themselves did not “cause” atherosclerosis. He postulated early on that the cytomegalovirus common in most people but dormant with no symptoms might initiate the lesions that later cause atherosclerosis. He said he had observed the virus was present in the walls of the arteries of 11 of the patients who had atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries” of the heart. He rejected the diet heart hypothesis as far back at the above date of 1987. In 1988 he reported that atherosclerosis was not a new disease and that it was discovered 500 bc or so more years in Egyptian mummies when there was no meat consumption or smoking.

      His observations of the time and what he had seen in his many years of practice (he was in his late 70’s at the time) was that moderation in all things was the key. He also believed in moderate exercise. He had no interest in what he considered fad diets. DeBakey felt people should be able to enjoy food rather than deprive themselves as long as it was in moderation. He did not even take an aspirin a day as he did not like taking medicine. His only other advice in preventing heart and vascular disease was to pray everyday. He lived to be 99. At the age of 97 he was operated on for a torn aorta using the same method he developed himself years earlier. It took him 8 months to recover, but recover he did and he continued his work. He was pretty amazing. I think his love of his profession and passion for what he did in his life was probably as preventative a measure as his views on moderation and the reason for his longevity and good health until his 90’s. Amazing.

      Dr. DeBakey was from the same small town in which I was born, was a friend of our family and successfully operated on several family members. He was a gifted and talented surgeon. His depth of common sense knowledge and observational studies were well ahead of his time as he rejected the common diet heart hypothesis. He liked eggs.

      Perhaps as one of our bloggers commented egg yokes can actually have some protective effect from viral and bacterial infections and, if true, halt the proliferation of cells in the cytomegalovirus Dr. DeBakey thought most of us have in our bodies. Interesting.

      1. Jennifer

        Mary…an excellent réponse to Laurie’s excellent blog, and thanks for saving me the time to write very similar thoughts.
        As we enter 2015, I have been enjoying the last 2 weeks by returning to the lifestyle of the Christmases of my early childhood, with the exception of a few tipples.
        i.e. moderate intake of real food, and a slower pace of life:-
        1) A FEW nuts, carefully and slowly extracted from their shells, once I could find the elusive nut cracker, (not massive quantities from enormous bags of the ready-shelled sort that are too easy to consume).
        2) just ONE solitary, home made YORKSHIRE PUDDING with my Christmas dinner, (not half a dozen ready-made look-a-likes from a card board box, which I see in the supermarkets).
        3) Best quality gravy served with my beef….made as my Mam made, i.e. without the need for toxic granules from a box or drum.
        4) ONE SLICE of home made Christmas cake, served without sugar icing….as per the rules at home….”one piece of cake, merely dusted with icing sugar, and complemented with a portion of cheese”.
        5) A nice juicy orange, like the one and only orange allocated to me in Santa’s stocking ….not a net-full of squishy soft satsumas I have been known to aimlessly eat in my adult years of over indulgence….”good for me…full of vitamin C…PAH!
        6) a few squares of dark chocolate with my coffee, and a couple of indulgent, quality chocolates…..yes, I am not perfect(!), and there was always a sweet treat in my stocking, as war rationing was over by then.
        7) Very little TELLY…..didn’t have telly in our house until I was 9 years of age.
        8) Incredibly funny parlour games with the near relatives….nothing changes there….the adults always cheat and the grandmas behave badly!
        9) a few minutes dozing off in the pleasantness of comfortable surroundings…..well, I realise I did not do that in my childhood…but the oldies did….and I am one of them now.
        10) excitedly opening a few parcels, and discovering that nice thoughts had accompanied their purchase by loving folks.
        Does this sound like a smug, self-centred individual, spinning a rose-coloured yarn?
        I believe it does, but I think my 10 prompts are the essence for good health. I did not come across the dreadful stories of families fighting during the Festive Season, as annually regurgitated on news bulletins, until 30 or so years ago….and remember I worked in the NHS from age 17, (half a century ago). Until then, I think most families were being fed proper food, which maintained a healthy psyche, as well as a healthy body. ( I will discount the ravishes of excess alcohol, which have been with us for centuries). It seems that the toxic food-like rubbish we are having pushed at us has been, and is, the cause of many of today’s ills.
        HAPPY NEW YEAR to all.
        Off to watch my lovely gift of the 3D version of THE WIZARD OF OZ, for the VERY FIRST time in my life!….you see, when the kids were young, and watching it on the telly, I was in the kitchen peeling the Brussels, chopping the carrots, roasting the spuds, mixing the Yorkshires,….ahh, poor me…. sneaking a tipple, AND….. secretly scoffing those awful, addictive chockies and assorted rubbish that I didn’t want them to eat.

  22. Mary Richard

    David we are in agreement. I don’t by any means advocate a return to the Victorian era. In fact, I don’t recall a time when sex was not discussed openly. For as long as I can recall, the Sexual Revolution has been in full swing. I never thought of nor was taught that it was something to be ashamed of. I am glad we can talk about it, particularly as it relates to the realities of homosexuality and child sexual exploitation. That is, in fact, a good thing. I just think there are not enough positive role models for our young women and men and that, in many respects, we are going backward in how women are portrayed in the media. There is a time and place for showing one’s assets. I think that may be the one point on which we disagree.

    There is just too much excess and not enough people who take responsibility for themselves and those around them. That is how we have come to this place where we are talking about pharmaceutical and mass murder diets. It is all about the almighty dollar and who cares how you make it…as long as you can.

    1. David Bailey

      Yes, you are right that it is excess that does the damage (either way), and the malign effects of money. I think the tail end of the Victorian era was still about in some places even in the 60’s, when I was a teenager. Even now, I think it could return on a wave of extreme religious movements, and I would hate to see that happen.

  23. John Marshfoot

    I’ve enjoyed reading your book and now this blog. In fact I had to read the book twice just to try and get my head round the situations with satins and diet since we have to consider throwing away what we’ve been taught up to now.

    Being satirical now, I can see a press release coming on like this:

    “Latest study recommends that over 40s take one a day wonder pill to prevent heart attacks, strokes and save lives.

    New evidence from the Cochrane Committee shows that taking a low dose of the cholesterol-reducing drug Ratvorstatin prevents heart attacks, stokes and can save lives. The NHS recommend this is combined with a balanced high fat but low sugar diet, which has been shown to prevent obesity and provide protection against disease. Patients are encouraged to drink two pints of full fat milk a day and eat a balanced diet, which includes fatty foods like sausages and red meat, but eliminate products high in sugar like cakes and fizzy drinks. The over-40s should contact their GP to obtain a prescription. £ 200m has been allocated to employ new outreach teams, who will be embedded in the community, searching out all the hard to reach groups who need to start this treatment.

    Previous studies indicated that taking a statin and following a low fat diet gave the greatest reduction in heart disease but this latest study shows increased life expectancy by those also following the new diet guidelines. It’s believed the increased fat intake can offset some of the harmful effects of excess cholesterol reduction induced by the statin. A further study, now underway, expects to find other health benefits including cancer prevention and a reduction in muscle wasting diseases.”

    So there you, have can now have a full fat diet but still need to take a statin, of course.


    Excellent post..

    well done on all your work

    Marian Marian Devlin Paediatric Dietitian Derbyshire Children’s at the Royal Derby Hospital Uttoxeter Road Derby DE22 3NE tel 01332 786252 OR 01332 785233 bleep 3520 ________________________________________

  25. Jean
    can someone decipher this study it basically says that if you eat saturated fat your LDL protein receptors are affected. I’m not a scientist, my background is in health promotion, I’d like to understand this study. Does it mean fat does cause cholesterol to get into the arteries? this is the ‘new’ theory I take it, for how s fat = heart disease.

    1. Christine Whitehead

      This appears to be a very old study – 1997. Why this piece has resurfaced now is a mystery.
      If the research that saturated fat = heart disease is as plain as this paper appears to think, it is truely amazing that the Swedish study – the one that led to Sweden’s change of advice – failed to find it.

    2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      If saturated fat causes LDL/cholesterol to rise. Yet saturated fat consumption does not cause CHD, as is increasingly obvious to everyone, then raised LDL/cholesterol does not cause heart disease.

  26. shirley3349

    Just found online a interesting interview from 2006, www. asp?UID=52 , with the late Dr Harry Keen, one of the leading diabetes specialists in the UK in the last century, and a pioneer of many modern forms of treatment.

    From his account, he also seems to be one of the people who first promoted the still current dietary orthodoxy for the treatment of diabetes. He appears to have acted from the best of motives, but his reasoning for why in the mid 1970 s he moved away from advising carbohydrate restriction seems very confused to me (sections 25 to 28 of the interview). He says it followed his visit to Japan, and being informed that Japanese diabetic patients rarely had heart disease unlike those in the West.

    My best guess is that he was also reacting to ideological pressure from his cardiology colleagues, most of whom were now convinced by the low saturated fat dogma.

    The later parts of the interview are also fascinating for me because they cover a time, the 1980 s, when I was nursing full-time in an N H S hospital and experienced many of the changes on the ward that he writes about. For example, the changeover to human from pork insulin, and the problems some patients had adapting to this when they now had little warning of hypos. However, this was counterbalanced by the relief felt by the nursing staff, now the insulin strength was 100 units per ml and the syringes were calibrated accordingly, unlike the old system where the insulin was either 40 or 80 units per ml and the syringes calibrated to 20 units per ml. This daft situation had gone on for years due, we were told, to financial constraints and was, of course, an accident waiting to happen.


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