No...low fat does not mean high carb!!!
It means complex carbs, not simple, refined junk carbs. And even the "good" fats are mostly "bad" fats still.
Please read up on both Dr. Esselstyn's and Ornish's books.
In addition to the suggestions from Jeff, read up on the work of Dr. Dean Ornish in reversing heart disease as well as Dr. Neal Barnard. That should pretty much put any doubts to rest. The science and the evidence is as solid as it gets.
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What is your definition of a processed food? Removing all the fiber and protein, and extracting pure fat, tossing away the rest, that is a processed food in my book. Eat an olive, that is a whole food.
If you're going to watch Dr. Esselstyn's presentations, great. He does a great job explaining why you want to eliminate all added fats from your diet, as well as refined carbs. He also limits nuts and seeds because of their high fat content. His diet is to aggressively reverse heart disease and open up clogged arteries, making you heart attack-proof within a couple of weeks of starting to follow his diet.
I would say whatever effect you believe palitic acid has on raising cholesterol, if it is a byproduct of a starch-based whole foods diet, it is negligible. People switching to Dr. Esselstyn's diet get off of cholesterol meds and are able to achieve excellent numbers. After you watch his talk, I'm sure you could contact Dr. Esselstyn directly with further questions.
Well, I got the book today and immediately read chapter 10. I am sorry to say that I find it far from convincing. There are statements of what one may call "case studies", but in other books we find quite the opposite statements, see for example the books by Artemis Simonopoulos.
On the other hand we have number of clinical studies published in peer-reviewed international journals consistently showing that a high-carb diet increases tryglicerides and lowers HDL-cholesterol, without significantly affecting the total cholesterol (which means TC/HC increases). This and the conversion of excess carbs to palmitic acid are two critical points that proponents of a low fat diet should address explicitly, instead of just contenting themselves with observational studies. If memory serves, I haven't find a discussion of these aspects in the China Study (I also wrote to the Campbell foundation, no answer).
Don't get me wrong, I am ready to accept the thesis of the low fat, if a convincing explanation of what currently looks like a striking contradiction is given. If someone has references to some studies addressing these points I would be most happy to study them.
My advice is to read Dr. Esselstyn's full book, watch his video presentations on the DVD, and read his peer reviewed studies on his site http://www.HeartAttackProof.com
I suspect that the reason you didn't hear back from the Campbell Foundation, other than that they probably get a ton of mail and don't have staff to respond, is that they are not big on over-focusing on micronutrients. There's a sort of silver bullet thinking in a lot of fad diets where they focus on a few micronutrients and extrapolate all sorts of stuff. But when the diet is right, health follows, and trying to tease apart all the different aspects and narrow it down to a few important nutrients -- is a dead end (or a sales gimmick).
If you have credible studies showing that whole food diet which is high in unprocessed potatoes, rice and whole grain pastas is shown to increase heart disease, you can send them to Dr. Esselstyn, I expect he will reply when he is not traveling and has time.
The bottom line is that oils injure the endothelial layer of your arteries. When you have a high fat meal, be it McDonald's junk food or a meal high in cold pressed olive oil, your blood flow is impaired for a period of time after. The more fat, the longer the recovery. When people are eating a lot of oil and fat, they are repeatedly injuring their arteries, creating a sludge where a vital flow is required. You can look at the work of Robert Vogel MD on that, fascinating stuff.
I also recommend Jeff Novick's DVD called "Oil to Nuts," which debunks the Mediterranean Diet craze, which I think Simopoulos is part of. Here is an excerpt:
I work with another cardiologist, Dr. Baxter Montgomery. He has a diet plan that also cuts out oils. Generally when patients follow all of the other guidelines of the diet but keep using oil, they still may have problems with cholesterol, etc. When they cut out the oils, their condition gets better. He has had amazing results with his approach, which is similar to Esselstyn's but has more specific classification levels depending on the patient's condition. This page has a video of a patient who had dramatic results: http://www.drbaxtermontgomery.com/diet-heart-disease/
I think that if a specific diet plan gets results consistently, it's at least worth trying. So many people just argue with these approaches, while others follow them and get the results.
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