Cheese does not increase risk of heart attack or strokes, find researchers


Review of 29 studies involving nearly a million participants finds saturated fats ‘do not increase risk of cardiovascular disease’

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The belief that cheese is bad for you is wrong, researchers have said, after finding no link between eating dairy products and a heightened risk of heart attack and strokes.

Even full-fat cheese, milk and yoghurt, often avoided by the health-conscious due to their high saturated fat content, does not increase the risk of death or conditions such as coronary heart disease, according to a review of 29 different studies involving nearly a million participants.

“There’s quite a widespread but mistaken belief among the public that dairy products in general can be bad for you, but that’s a misconception,” said researcher Ian Givens, a nutrition professor at Reading University.

“While it is a widely held belief, our research shows that that’s wrong,” he told The Guardian.

“There’s been a lot of publicity over the last five to 10 years about how saturated fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and a belief has grown up that they must increase the risk, but they don’t.”

NHS guidelines suggest people cut the amount of saturated fat they eat, because a diet high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in the blood, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Men are recommend to eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day, and women no more than 20g. This sounds like bad news for cheese lovers – if two people share a whole baked 250g camembert, for instance, they will both consume around 19g of saturated fat.

But overall levels of dairy consumption did not appear to be associated with an increased risk of circulatory conditions such as stroke and heart attacks, according to the study, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

The research analysed results from previous studies carried out over the last 35 years, using information on the health and diet of 938,465 participants.

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Assorted cheeses

Scientists are divided on whether limiting saturated fats can improve overall health and lower the risk of heart disease.

A study published earlier this year in the British Medical Journal(BMJ) swapping even one per cent of your daily calorie intake from saturated fats like butter and meat to vegetables, wholegrain carbohydrates or polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil and fish can improve heart health.

However, previous research from the University of Bergen in Norway found fatty foods such as cheese, butter and cream could in fact help protect people from heart disease when eaten as part of a diet where overall calorie intake is restricted.

Simon Dankel, who led the study, told The Independent in December the research showed the human body “can do perfectly well with fats as its main energy source.”

“People will say: ‘you can’t lose weight, you can’t go on any diets with saturated fats, no matter what’,” said Dr Dankel.

“But in this context, we see a very positive metabolic response. You can base your energy in your diet on either on carbohydrates or fat. It doesn’t make a big difference.”

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF)’s website, eating too much cheese “could lead to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease”, and the organisation recommends people “enjoy it sensibly”.

“Saturated fat can increase the ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol in your blood which can cause fatty material to build up in your artery walls. The risk is particularly high if you have a high level of bad cholesterol and a low level of good cholesterol,” says the organisation.

 

The Big Fat Lie You’ve Been Told About What’s Hurting Your Heart


Despite multiple studies showing that carbohydrates hurt your heart, and not saturated fats, misguided advisories and Big Pharma profiteering both persist.

There is no need to stay away from meat, butter, cheese and eggs to keep your heart healthy. Credit: RitaE/pixabay

There is no need to stay away from meat, butter, cheese and eggs to keep your heart healthy.

I’ve been taught since my undergraduate days in medical college that eating saturated fats was to ask for trouble. Meat (red or white), cheese, butter and egg yolk were prohibited. Repeated guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology and even the World Health Organisation were clear that fats in general, and saturated fats in particular, were to be strictly avoided to prevent a heart attack. The message was to reduce fats to less than 30% of the total calories consumed in a day, and with saturated fats to be kept well below 10%. Why, most people on the planet followed these dietary commandments from the two most powerful and respected cardiology associations.

The AHA declared in 1961 that saturated fats were bad because they increased blood cholesterol, which blocked coronary arteries and caused heart attacks. Surprisingly, the AHA was driven this conclusion by the hypothesis of one physiologist who didn’t bother to submit a shred of evidence. Ancel Benjamin Keys, a physiologist with a PhD from Cambridge University, stamped his ‘diet heart’ hypothesis into the consciousness of Paul Dudley White, a founder-member of the AHA. White was attending to Dwight Eisenhower, then the US president, who suffered his first heart attack in September 1955. Many middle aged Americans were succumbing to heart attacks in the 1950s and the situation demanded convincing answers from the health community. Eisenhower had helmed NATO and, before that, had been the supreme commander of the Allied forces that wrenched Europe back Europe from the Nazis.

Eisenhower managed the brilliant generals George Patton and Bernard Montgomery, and famously warned the American public in his farewell address of the “military-industrial complex”. But as president, he had no clue of the new and rapidly developing “health-pharmaceutical-industrial complex.”

Keys was able to launch his ‘diet heart’ hypothesis because there was little science available in the 1950s that could explain the near-epidemic heart attack among middle-aged Americans. He presented his “seven countries study” that displayed a clear association between eating greater amounts of saturated fats and deaths due to heart disease. The seven countries were the US, Japan, Yugoslavia, Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Finland. The method behind the study was seriously flawed, however.

The biggest was that Keys had cherry-picked these countries because they supported his hypothesis. He left out 15 countries that did not reveal any association between saturated-fat consumption and heart mortality. He conveniently ignored Denmark, Sweden and Norway, each of which had relatively few deaths from heart attacks in spite of sporting diets with lots of saturated fats. And Chile, on the other hand, had a high cardiac mortality despite eating little saturated fats. An unbiased investigator would have realised these problems in Keys’ hypothesis – as they do now – but didn’t: they hadn’t been presented with the complete data.

Keys also checked food samples for fats in less than 4% of the 12,000 participants he studied, and when the food was studied it was checked for a single day among the American and for less than a week among the European participants. Keys had been impressed by the large number of long-lived people on the Greek island of Crete, but had tested them when they’d been fasting for more than a month during a religious festival. In this period, more than 60% of the population abstained from meat, butter and cheese. This led Keys to the wrong conclusion that a low-fat diet was the key to longevity.

The AHA was so impressed by the ‘diet heart’ hypothesis that it made an official policy of it, and voila! By 1977, more than 220 million Americans were being urged by the US government to adhere to a low-fat diet. The British, true to form, officially imposed the same diet guidelines by 1984 on their subjects.

Remarkably, the AHA ignored no fewer than six randomised studies – including almost 2,500 heart patients – that showed no difference in mortality between the intervention group (low saturated-fat diet) and the control group (which continued with its regular eating habits). Both the intervention and control cohorts had 370 deaths each. Moreover, no women were being studied, and in the absence of a single primary prevention trial, the AHA and the US government had formulated their advisories.

The food industry also got in on the action. Vegetable oils started being manufactured in the millions of tons. Leading them all was Procter and Gamble, which began to aggressively market cottonseed oil – as well as make a sizeable donation to the AHA, an amount worth $20 million today. The corresponding “diet-food-health-industrial complex” has not looked back in the 60 years since.

The largest randomised trial assessing the effects of a low-fat diet on heart and cardiovascular diseases was the Women’s Health Initiative. It followed up 49,000 postmenopausal women who had been on a low-fat diet (alongside an increased intake of fruits, vegetables and grains) for eight years but had failed to lower their risks of death, heart attack, stroke or diabetes.

Two large reviews and meta-analyses (this and this) involving more than 600,000 participants have also failed to show any reduction in cardiovascular events, or death, by replacing saturated fats with vegetable oils. There was an increase in cardiovascular events due to trans-fats.

The Minnesota, DIRECT, Framingham and PURE studies

In 1967-1973, doctors intervened in the diets of a group of people randomly picked from a cohort of 9,000 for the famous Minnesota Coronary Experiment. The intervened group had saturated fats replaced by a polyunsaturated vegetable oil. The control group continued with their regular American diet. These people were from enrolled from mental institutions and from homes for the elderly. More than 2,500 participants continued on their respective diets for at least a year, and autopsy reports were available for about 140 deaths. This trial’s results were never published until a group of investigators got its hands on all the raw data.

They were dumbstruck to learn that the autopsies revealed 42% of the people in the intervention group had suffered a heart attack against only 22% in the control group. Both groups had similar amounts of atherosclerosis in their coronary arteries.

The other major finding was that, in spite of a 13% reduction in blood cholesterol with a vegetable-oil diet, there was a paradoxical 30% higher mortality in people older than 65 years. To explain this, the investigators hypothesised that the lowered cholesterol had the denser LDL particles that are oxidised more easily and so invade the coronary faster. As it happened, the principal investigator of the Minnesota Coronary Experiment was none other than Ancel Keys.

The other distinct possibility (to explain the mortality paradox) is that polyunsaturated vegetable oils produce hundreds of oxidised molecules that are toxic to the human body. For example, the aldehydes are carcinogenic apart from being able to compromise cognition. Another randomised trial assessing the replacement of saturated fats by corn oil also showed an increased mortality against the control group.

More recently, the DIRECT trial finished up in Israel in 2008. It divided participants into three groups. The first was kept on a low-fat diet; the second, a Mediterranean diet; and the third, a low-carbohydrate high-fat diet. At the end of follow-up period, the low carbohydrate high fat group was found to have lost the most weight, have the highest levels of HDL (a.k.a., ‘good cholesterol’) and have triglyceride levels lower than the high-fat group. In fact, the low-carbohydrate high-fat group also had better metabolic markers across the board.

The Framingham study, which began in 1948 and still continues, has been following the consumption of dietary fats and the development of heart disease among its 5000+ inhabitants, chosen from Framingham, Massachusetts. At the end of the first follow-up, the investigators were unable to find any correlation between fat-intake, cholesterol and heart disease.

But like with the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, the data was never deliberately published. In William Kannel, who served as the study’s the chief investigator in 1969-1979, at one point even stated: “That blood cholesterol is somehow intimately related to coronary atherosclerosis is no longer subject to reasonable doubt.” After a 30-year follow-up, the study reported that 1 mg% per year reduction in cholesterol was associated with 14% increased cardiovascular mortality and 11% total mortality.

Finally: the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) survey examined cardiovascular risk factors around the world in 2003-2009, with more than 150,000 participants. Though the results are yet to be published, a recently leaked (and now unavailable) video stated that there seemed to be no correlation between saturated fats (red meat, white meat, dairy products) and heart disease but a positive correlation between carbohydrates and heart disease. Moreover, a very sensitive cardiac-risk-factor marker was found to have increased with carbohydrates and reduced by saturated fats. Vegetables and fruits had no effect on the marker.

Though the PURE trial was very large, it was an observational that, strictly speaking, can’t explain causality.

So, based on the evidence obtained from well-conducted clinical trials, Keys’s ‘diet heart’ hypothesis is wrong. However, it remains to be seen when the big cardiac bureaucracies will begin to edit their guidelines. The ‘big cholesterol is bad’ maxim remains firmly in place because its persistence allows drugmakers to persist with large profit margins on drugs that may not even be necessary. Precisely this was confirmed by the FOURIER trial presented in the American College of Cardiology Meeting held in March 2017.

FOURIER was a ‘mega-trial’ that randomised 28,000 cardiac patients to a statin-plus-evelocumab versus a only-statins for two years. The annual cost of an evelocumab regime is $14,000 (Rs 9 lakh). In the end, LDL cholesterol levels had plunged to about 30 mg% in the evelocumab group versus about 90 mg in the only-statins group. There was also a 1.5% absolute reduction in stroke and myocardial infarction risks but – get this – no reduction in mortality. Implication: 75 patients will need to be treated for two years to prevent a single heart attack or stroke, at a total cost of Rs 13.5 crore. You’re likely to get a better deal without spending a penny by following the Copenhagen study: 10 minutes of slow-jogging per day reduced mortality by 70% compared to being sedentary the whole day.

It’s difficult to not feel dizzy when confronted by organisations like the AHA and the WHO, which have converted hypotheses into dogma etched on stone without any evidence in the past. But what then would be good and sane dietary advice to a layperson? There has to be an application of common-sense, a request to continue to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. At the same time, there is no need to stay away from meat, butter, cheese and eggs. There is no evidence that eating saturated fats along with reasonable amounts of proteins, with about 45% of calories as carbohydrates will, trigger a heart attack. Au contraire: evidence has emerged that increasing carbohydrates to 55% or more can actually be harmful to the heart. Even the current obesity epidemic and type-2 diabetes are most likely the handiwork of an increased carbohydrate intake that has replaced fats in people’s diets.

Source:thewire.in

Cheesy Goodness No Higher Risk of Heart Disease for Cheese Lovers Study Finds


Contrary to what you’ve been taught, cheese is not the artery-clogging heart destroyer that it’s been set up to be, according to researchers at the University of Dublin, who studied 1,500 Irish who love their cheese. In fact, as reported by StudyFinds, researchers found that those who ate low-fat dairy products actually had higher cholesterol levels than those who didn’t.

If you’re confused about this study and cholesterol in general, it’s not your fault. Cholesterol has been a highly-publicized scapegoat for causing heart disease for decades, causing countless people not only to avoid healthy saturated fats, but to be talked into going on to cholesterol-lowering drugs — both of which are exactly opposite what you should be doing. The truth is, it’s a myth that cholesterol is bad for you.

Your body needs cholesterol. That’s why your liver makes it. In reality, cholesterol has many health benefits, including regulating protein pathways involved in cell signaling. It also plays an essential role in your brain, which contains about 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body. It is critical for synapse formation, i.e., the connections between your neurons, which allow you to think, learn new things and form memories.

If you’re looking for a non-drug way to boost your heart health, start by reducing or eliminating grains and sugars from your diet and learn to burn fat for fuel, instead. Make sure you’re getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, which can improve your cholesterol levels.

Replace harmful vegetable oils and synthetic trans fats with healthy fats, such as olive oil, butter, avocado, pastured eggs and coconut oil. And, include fermented foods in your daily diet and optimize your vitamin D levels.

Source:http://blogs.mercola.com

Eating lots of cheese may help you lose weight


Forget what you have heard about cheese – we have Gouda news for you.

Eating cheese does not raise your cholesterol and could actually help you lose weight, scientists have found.

Research from Ireland found people who eat a lot of cheese do not have a higher cholesterol than those who don’t.

They also discovered that people who eat more dairy tend to have a lower body mass index.

But current health guidelines suggest eating foods high in saturated fat can increase your risk of high cholesterol.

Evidence strongly suggests that high cholesterol can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots and angina.

It is often caused by an unhealthy diet or having a family history of stroke or heart disease.

For the study, 1,500 Irish adults kept a four-day food diary and were asked to note how much dairy they ate.

Their blood samples were then analysed for cholesterol levels and other metabolic health problems.They found that the adults with a lower body mass index ate more dairy.

However, lower blood pressure was associated with eating cheese more than other products like yogurt and milk.

They found that while adults who ate large amounts of cheese consumed more saturated fat, they did not have the associated higher cholesterol.

Dr. Emma Feeney, Food for Health Ireland’s program manager, said: “Simply looking at individual foods does not reflect the real story.

“What will really impact on our metabolic health, is the overall pattern in which whole foods are consumed.”

Source:http://nypost.com/

Cheese triggers same part of brain as hard drugs, study finds.


If you’re planning a few cheese boards this Christmas, you might want to know a little-known fact about cheese first.

Your favourite yellow food contains a chemical that’s also found in highly-addictive hard drugs, scientists from the University of Michigan have found.

The researchers used the Yale Food Addiction Scale, which measures a person’s dependence on different foods. They asked 120 students to answer the addiction scale, and choose between 35 foods, and then did a second test on a further 384 subjects.

Their findings? The foods that ranked top of the scale contained cheese.

Lovely, melty, cheesy cheese.

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Cheese contains casein, which is present in all dairy products, and can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors, which are linked to addiction.

The study states:

The current study provides preliminary evidence that not all foods are equally implicated in addictive-like eating behavior, and highly processed foods, which may share characteristics with drugs of abuse (e.g. high dose, rapid rate of absorption) appear to be particularly associated with ‘food addiction’.

Why You Love Cheese – The Scientific Explanation


If you’ve ever sat around wondering why it is you love that hunk of cheese you’re eating so much, researchers have figured out that it may just be your genes: Some people are genetically wired to prefer fatty foods, according to the Independent.

A gene already linked to obesity also is the cause of your fat food preferences, the researchers said. But don’t let that knowledge be an excuse to overindulge. Instead, use it to your advantage, to plan and eat high-quality, high-fat foods that actually are good for you.

The truth is not all fats are created equal: some do harm while others are vitally important for optimal health. And that’s where flawed science has sabotaged your diet and health. The facts are: Eating fat does not make you fat; saturated fat does NOT cause heart disease; and most importantly, eating “low-fat” foods is NOT healthy eating.

Despite what you’ve been told, saturated fats are important to an overall, balanced diet. Not only that, the replacement fats in vegetable oils that you may be consuming in the belief that they are better for you have actually been found to increase mortality risk from all causes, including coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease!

Today, saturated fats found in real foods like avocados, pastured eggs, seeds, nuts, butter, olives, grass-fed meats, coconut oil and raw cacao have finally been vindicated as foods that have many important health benefits. A properly balanced, disease-fighting, healthy high-fat diet comprises 75 to 85 percent of your total calories.

Cheese triggers same part of brain as hard drugs, study finds


Casein is the reason why you can’t put down the brie.

Cheese contains a chemical found in addictive drugs, scientists have found.

The team behind the study set out to pin-point why certain foods are more addictive than others.

Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure a person’s dependence on, scientists found that cheese is particularly potent because it contains casein.

The substance, which is present in all dairy products, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors which are linked to addiction.

The authors also found that processed foods were more associated with addictive behaviour, with fatty foods being the most difficult to put down.

In addition, they found that the top-ranking foods on the addiction scale were those containing cheese.

To make their findings, researchers asked 120 undergraduates to answer the Yale Food Addiction Scale, and were asked to choose between 35 foods of varying nutritional value, TechTimes reported.

A second part to the study involved 384 people who were presented with the same items of food, but in a hierarchical linear order.

Researchers behind the study published in the Public Library of Science One journal found that fat was linked to problematic eating whether or not participants were addicted to food.

Erica Schulte, one of the study’s authors, told Mic: “Fat seemed to be equally predictive of problematic eating for everyone, regardless of whether they experience symptoms of ‘food addiction.”

Can Eating Cheese Lower Your Risk For Diabetes?


A recent study shows a link between lowering cheese consumption and a decreased risk of diabetes. Have a look!

If you told me I had to give up cheese forever, I’d probably tell you that wasn’t going to happen. While cheese is high in calories and saturated fat, a recent study shows a link between cheese consumption and decreased diabetes risk. Have a look.

Researchers analyzed eight countries in Europe, which included 340,234 people and found that people who consider themselves cheese eaters have a 12 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes than people who don’t eat cheese. The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and defined cheese-eaters as consuming anywhere from 11 to 56 grams of cheese a day.

This particular study showed a link between cheese consumption and lower diabetes risk, but other previous studies have found the exact opposite. So, researchers aren’t suggesting we all go cheese wild as a way to avoid diabetes, but if you’re already a cheese lover, it may not hurt to keep up with your habits. So long as they also include plenty of fruits and vegetables, of course.

Cheese Is Just As Addictive As Hard Drugs


A new study done by the author, Alanna Ketler onCollective-Evolution has shown that cheese obtained from animals can be just as addictive as hard drugs.

Cheese is a very popular ingredient in Western cuisine. It is very common in many traditional foods in the Western world. In the United States for example, it is said the average American consumes about 30 pounds of cheese a year.

According to the article revealing how addictive cheese is, Ketler wrote that dairy actually contains a chemical that is similar to morphine. She stated that in 1981, researchers identified a protein known as casein. Casein is said to be present in all mammals, including humans and cows.

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When humans eat dairy, and it begins to digest, the casein releases opiates that are known as casomorphins. Casomorphins are said to be similar to morphine, and belong to the opioid family.

Ketler argued further that when we consider the purpose of breast milk from mothers, it is to provide nourishment for rapidly growing infants and to establish a strong connection between mother and child. This, she said, makes the purpose of casomorphins very clear. It causes addiction.

The majority of cheese consumed on a regular basis, is primarily made from cow’s milk. Ketler revealed that cheese produced from cow’s milk has at least 10 times the amount of casomorphins compared to that of humans (breast milk).

According to Ketler, in the process of converting milk into cheese, about 10 pounds of milk is required to make 1 pound of cheese, which means that the presence of casomorphins is highly concentrated in cheese derived from cows.

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Therefore, once you start consuming cheese, it becomes very difficult for you to stop. Using the U.S. as an example again, it is said cheese consumption has nearly tripled in the country since the 1950’s. The only difference between hard drugs and cheese, is that the drugs will let you be ‘high’, but cheese will not.

Cheese will give you health problems once you become addicted to it. Researchers have proven that most humans are lactose intolerant. It is said our bodies are not actually capable of properly breaking down and digesting cheese, and other dairy products. Apart from this, there is also plenty of evidence to suggest links between dairy consumption and a number of serious health concerns; various forms of cancer, obesity, gastrointestinal disorders, and osteoporosis.

Study Finds that Cheese Is Just as Addictive as Drugs


Grilled Cheese Sandwich

We always knew there was something chemical about our hopeless obsession with cheese.

A new study from the University of Michigan that examined over 500 foods — and their addictiveness — found that cheese is particularly addictive due to its casein content. Casein, a protein found in all dairy products, releases opiates called casomorphins during the process of digestion.

That’s right. Cheese’s delicious butter-fatty goodness is not the sole reason why we think about/need/crave it all the time.

“[Casomorphins] really play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element,” registered dietitian Cameron Wells told Mic.

Unsurprisingly, pizza ranked pretty high on the list of addictive foods, largely due to its cheese content. The study, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, also found that the more processed and fatty a food is, the more it inspires addictive eating.

While there’s definitely power in awareness, we feel more discouraged than ever by the prospect of minimizing our cheese consumption, knowing the sort of odds we’re up against.