Imagine a nature documentary which showed gorillas frying up hamburgers, eggs and bacon as part of their staple diet. I think that it might be met with some skepticism.
Actually gorillas have a reduced small intestine in comparison with humans and a larger colon which would suggest that they evolved to eat a more plant based diet than we did.
See: Leonard WR, Snodgrass JJ, Robertson ML. Evolutionary Perspectives on Fat Ingestion and Metabolism in Humans. Montmayeur JP, le Coutre J, editors. Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2010. Chapter 1. Frontiers in Neuroscience.
I think that there is a pattern here. If you read the book "Merchants of Doubt" see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt you will see how for 60 years industry sponsored "think tanks" have challenged mainstream science on everything from the hazards of tobacco smoke, to acid rain, to DDT, to the ozone hole to climate change.
This meticulously researched book, which some have suggested is the top science book of 2010, shows that the industry strategy has always been the same, invent or distort facts to create a contrarian position, then denigrate respectable mainstream scientists as militant extremists or worse.
You cannot argue science with these people as the arguments really centre on propaganda, not science at all. The key issue is not science but dollars, and there is always a good supply of convenient "facts" available to support the contrarian arguments.
If high fat meat based diets were really superior from a health standpoint, then this would be obvious from large epidemiologic studies. In reality, the oppostite is true. This does not deter the industry sponsored think tanks from pushing their viewpoints.
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Very bad tendentious article, completely ignoring paleoanthropological evidence of the important role of meat in human evolution and numerous new experimental, epidemiological and clinical evidence about the health benefits of animal food in human nutrition.
So far, I have read nothing in the plant-food world about chronic kidney disease. It's almost as if the subject is avoided. What is your advice about this?
What Dr. Fuhrman and the persons commenting seem to have missed is that there is a vast difference between grass-fed animals and those fed grains and injected with growth hormones and then antibiotics to correct the bad effects of the hormones. Dr. Al Sears, the anti-aging expert, says grass-fed beef is very healthy and the other stuff is very unhealthy. And all but one of the many leading alternative doctors I am familiar with think a vegetarian diet results in a shorter life span. They also promote saturated fats as healthy. The eminent research physician Dr. Uffe Ravnskov of Denmark is one of the biggest proponents of saturated fats, having even written more than one book about it. Bariatric Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, authors of a dozen or so books, use a diet high in saturated fats to take weight off their patients. In February 2010, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the findings of the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Center in California, which pooled data from 21 studies that included a total of almost 348,000 adults. Participants were questioned about their dietary habits and then tracked for between five and 23 years. Of the 348,000, 11,000 developed heart disease or suffered a stroke. The researchers found no difference in the incidence of heart disease and stroke between those with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat. The renowned lipid biochemist Mary Enig, Ph.D., writes that saturated fats play many important roles in the body chemistry." She listed them as: (1) they give cells their necessary stiffness and integrity; (2) they are vital to the health of our bones, effectively incorporating calcium; (3) they lower Lp(a) (lipoprotein (a), a substance in the blood that indicates susceptibility to heart disease, and protect the liver from toxins; (4) they enhance the immune system; (5) elongated omega-3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats; (6) saturated 18-carbon stearic acid and 16-carbon palmitic acid are the preferred foods for the heart; and (7) saturated fatty acids of short and medium chain protect us from harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
The Drs. Eades echo Enig and add to her assessment:
• The only means for lowering Lp(a), which "strongly correlates with heart disease," is by eating saturated fats, because there are no medications for it. Also, saturated fats raise the level of HDL, the so-called good cholesterol. And research has shown that dieting women with the highest percentage of saturated fat in their diets lose the most weight.
• Medical research has shown that saturated fat encourages the liver cells to eliminate their fat content, the critical first step to halting middle-body fat storage. Not only does saturated fat protect the liver from toxins, but it can even reverse damage. Polyunsaturated vegetable fats (including canola oil) do not afford this protection.
• To function properly, air spaces of the lungs must be coated with a thin layer of "lung surfactant," the fat content of which is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Replacement of these fats with other fats potentially causes breathing difficulties, and has been associated with problems among infants and children.
• The brain is made mainly of fat and cholesterol, and most of the fatty acids are saturated. Hence, one's diet needs saturated fats for an optimally functioning brain.
• Certain saturated fats – particularly those in butter, lard, coconut oil and palm oil – act as nerve signals that influence the metabolism, performing such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin.
• Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells weakens the immune system, hampering its ability to destroy foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Enig cautioned, however, that both fats and cholesterol can be oxidized, or damaged, by exposure to heat and oxygen, and in this form can be harmful to the cells of arteries, where they may form plaque buildup. Powdered milk, which is added to reduced-fat milk for body, contains damaged cholesterol, as do meats and fats heated to high temperature.
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