7

votes

Have you seen Denise Minger's latest post "The Truth About Ancel Keys: We’ve All Got It Wrong"?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 22, 2011 at 9:53 PM

What do you guys think of what Denise has to say about Ancel Keys? I have to admit to being a little confuzzled by it.

http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/12/22/the-truth-about-ancel-keys-weve-all-got-it-wrong/

Basically she's saying that a correlation between saturated fat and heart disease is indeed there, but the data are unreliable (not because Keys fudged it, either), and that correlation doesn't equal causation, so we're ok...at least I think that's what she said. (Please correct me if that is a completely incorrect interpretation.)

What do y'all make of it?

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 25, 2011
at 01:40 AM

"But then again, she is a raw-foodist" Denise is very clear when it comes to distinguishing her personal food preferences from "what the data shows." And she would be the first to admit that as a person with multiple food sensitivities her dietary choices preclude eating foods that others thrive on...

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on December 24, 2011
at 04:06 AM

Cody, I said that was Quilt's reality where veggies are high in K2. Read throught comments of Firestorm's answer and Melissa's answer here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/80936/has-anyone-seen-dr-terry-wahls-video-re-curing-her-ms#axzz1hMc7haCR

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 24, 2011
at 02:34 AM

Kale is not high in K2. You get K1 from veggies. At least be accurate when you are lambasting someone.

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on December 23, 2011
at 01:39 PM

Quilt’s reality operates on an optic from 30,000ft and twisted slightly into a different plane (sometimes called bizzaro world). Within this reality eating green vegetables cures MS because of all the K2 present in kale. All of his scatter-brained comments on PH are just a devious ploy to weed out all the rational thinkers from his followers.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 23, 2011
at 01:09 PM

Oh noes! Not teh hoel milkz!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 23, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Correlation is not a cucumber.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 23, 2011
at 02:51 AM

And Quilt, how is it helpful to come make a snarky comment about someone's perceptive abilities without offering anything else? Why come here at all?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 23, 2011
at 02:08 AM

QUILT, care to describe your reality? :)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 23, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Well stabbed Stabby

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 23, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Thank you Stabby - I was hoping you would weigh in.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 23, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Amen to that, Evan.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 23, 2011
at 12:02 AM

Yeah Quilt -- help me out! I'm truly just confused. And of course perception colors realities -- everyone's realities. :(

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 23, 2011
at 12:02 AM

Did you ever see Burzynski: The Movie? http://vimeo.com/24821365 You'll be scared sh*tless.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:50 PM

I ate it for lunch, since I said i would when my cortisol levels were lower http://media-1.web.britannica.com/eb-media/43/343-004-DE246535.gif

C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:43 PM

I read crap like that for breakfast!

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:39 PM

I wub you too conciliator.

C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:38 PM

Tbh she should have made the point about "available" vs "consumed" a much bigger point. This was thrown in near the end of the essay and briefly touched on. TLDR version: These studies, while perhaps great in its time, are quite outdated and flawed. Please stop basing gov't food pyramids off of it, thanks!

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:37 PM

'...in certain contexts' I love you.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:29 PM

I think she's saying saturated fat could be unhealthy but there are honestly a billion and one different factors that convolute the data and any analysis. Maybe I'm projecting my own (moderate) views onto her though.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:21 PM

How do you interpret it, then, Quilt? TeaElf's interpretation is pretty accurate, IMO - the data is too complex to be reliable, but what it _shows_ is correlation, even though that correlation might not work out if we had accurate and specific data.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:15 PM

plus one.......

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:14 PM

I dont think Denise is saying this at all......amazing how perception colors some realities.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:09 PM

Seems right to me.

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6 Answers

11
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:36 PM

Copy and paste from comments section. Note: I did retract "I'm not going to read this crap" and I did read it, but the rest of it stands. Also a disclaimer that I do know that her conclusion isn't that he is right, just clearing up a misunderstanding.

Denise, you are funny and smart and I like you, but I???m not going to read this crap because it is completely meaningless. Saturated fat DOES contribute to cardiovascular disease, but only in certain contexts. Unless we have data that controls for context we are seriously at risk of false positives. Even if we have extremely good data showing that there is basically no way that an association is explained by anything other than causation, we still don???t have -necessary- causation. There???s the obvious point, that saturated fat is associated with affluence which is associated with processed crap and stress, possibly pollution at the time. But then there is also the very important biochemistry. Saturated fat does impair endothelial function, but only in the context of an omega-3 deficiency http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/H10-020?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3dpubmed

The informed and intelligent conclusion from clinical nutritionist Byron Richards is that DHA helps saturated fat function properly in the body http://www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/dha_helps_saturated_fat_function_properly_in_your_body/

If you want to talk red meat we can do that, if you want to talk alcohol or sugar, we can do that too, if you want to talk any number of things that people think is unhealthy, we can do that too, and we???re always going to find mitigating factors. Epidemiology is the conversation starter.

The concept of the mitigating factor has set epidemiology back another 50 years in my mind. Until they identify, quantify, and incorporate mitigating factors into epidemiology, it isn???t worth much to me other than as a place to start looking.

And I'll just add to that now that if we don't want to waste our time we shouldn't be asking whether or not Keys' study supported his conclusion or not, but whether or not his methods should be given the credence that they have. Looking back on that era it is hard to say that he was justified in his conclusion, even in that context where all of the real science was still young, but now it just seems absurd. It's not Denise's fault that she gets sucked into this stuff, it's the entire zeitgeist's fault for wanting her to.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:37 PM

'...in certain contexts' I love you.

C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:43 PM

I read crap like that for breakfast!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 23, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Well stabbed Stabby

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 23, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Thank you Stabby - I was hoping you would weigh in.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:50 PM

I ate it for lunch, since I said i would when my cortisol levels were lower http://media-1.web.britannica.com/eb-media/43/343-004-DE246535.gif

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:39 PM

I wub you too conciliator.

11
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:09 PM

I enjoyed her article a lot. It was a good reminder that correlation does not mean causation.

The bottom line for me is that there's no reason to assume animal products are anything but healthy. There's also no reason to assume we have to eat tons of animal products every day. As always, a wide variety of whole, natural foods seems the best choice.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:15 PM

plus one.......

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 23, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Correlation is not a cucumber.

8
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on December 22, 2011
at 11:27 PM

Here's what I got out of the article

-Paleos accuse Key's of cherry-picking

-Even without the cherry-picking, his data stil supports his conclusion

-Here are a list of problems with that conclusion

-So there are problems, but there is also a point to the evidence. Life's not so simple.

Which is how I feel. Life's not so simple, saturated fat can probably range from harmless and even healthy, to unhealthy. We simply don't know yet, and it would be hubris to recommend slathering everything with butter just because you can. Read that very carefully: no reason to be afraid of butter/saturated fats, but that doesn't mean you should go too far in the other direction.

If I had to guess how this will all turn out, I would probably guess that saturated fats will be shown to have deleterious health effects, sometimes. I think that this certainly won't hold true in every situations. For example, saturated fats don't change HDL/LDL in trained cyclists (there's a study) as long as they're in energy balance. So I expect, leanness, activity, energy balance (losing weight is heart-protective), amount consumed (poison's in the dose), and genetics to all play a role in determining the health of saturated fats.

To whom it may concern: As I write this, I'm drinking whole milk.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 23, 2011
at 01:09 PM

Oh noes! Not teh hoel milkz!

2
C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:40 PM

My takeaway:

It frightens me that such pervasive government policy & medical mindset is based on such flawed studies/research.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on December 23, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Amen to that, Evan.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 23, 2011
at 12:02 AM

Did you ever see Burzynski: The Movie? http://vimeo.com/24821365 You'll be scared sh*tless.

1
Medium avatar

(10663)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:08 PM

No, she's not saying Keys is right. The first part of the article may seem confusing because she brings up anti-Paleo arguments of why Keys was NOT wrong with his cherry-picking because there's still a correlation when using all 22 countries. The rest of the article proceeds to provide counter-arguments for this. So, it's like you posited: she's only saying his data is unreliable but not for the reasons we have previously believed. She made a big point about using food/fat that was available rather than what was actually consumed (which tends to be overestimated, as she puts it, in developed countries). She also points out faulty medical filing; if someone died of heart disease but it was filed under non-cardiac related deaths, that would appear to make it look like that country has an overall low rate of deaths from heart disease.
But then again, she is a raw-foodist, so maybe I don't really know what point she's trying to make....
Still a nicely written article.

C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:38 PM

Tbh she should have made the point about "available" vs "consumed" a much bigger point. This was thrown in near the end of the essay and briefly touched on. TLDR version: These studies, while perhaps great in its time, are quite outdated and flawed. Please stop basing gov't food pyramids off of it, thanks!

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 25, 2011
at 01:40 AM

"But then again, she is a raw-foodist" Denise is very clear when it comes to distinguishing her personal food preferences from "what the data shows." And she would be the first to admit that as a person with multiple food sensitivities her dietary choices preclude eating foods that others thrive on...

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 22, 2011
at 11:29 PM

I think she's saying saturated fat could be unhealthy but there are honestly a billion and one different factors that convolute the data and any analysis. Maybe I'm projecting my own (moderate) views onto her though.

1
C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on December 22, 2011
at 11:07 PM

From what I understand, it's impossible to draw any conclusions from the data because there are too many cofounding factors, such as level of advancement/technology, diagnostic procedures etc etc (ie: countries that have a lot of meat available tend also to be more advanced societies, more economically stable, have better methods of diagnosis and so on and so forth). Also, the data showed how much of each type of food was available for consumption - not how much was actually consumed by actual people.

Also, correlation was there for heart related deaths, but not for non-heart related deaths... basically, you can't draw any conclusions from the data at all.

Gotta love Denise! She is so GOOD at this stuff.

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