Friday, 22 February 2008

nutrition - fats - myths and facts

Myth: For good health, serum cholesterol should be less than 180 mg/dl.
Truth: The all-cause death rate is higher in individuals with cholesterol levels
lower than 180 mg/dl. (Circulation. 1992;86(3):1026-1029.)

Myth: Animal fats cause cancer and heart disease.
Truth: Animal fats contain many nutrients that protect against cancer and heart
disease; elevated rates of cancer and heart disease are associated with consumption
of large amounts of vegetable oils. (Fed Proc. 1978;37:2215.)

Myth: Children benefit from a low-fat diet.
Truth: Children on low-fat diets suffer from growth problems, failure to thrive &
learning disabilities. (Food Chem News. 10/3/94.)

Myth: A low-fat diet will make you "feel better . and increase your joy of living."
Truth: Low-fat diets are associated with increased rates of depression,
psychological problems, fatigue, violence and suicide. (Lancet 3/21/92;339.)

Myth: To avoid heart disease, we should use margarine instead of butter.
Truth: Margarine eaters have twice the rate of heart disease as butter eaters.
(Nutrition Week. 3/22/91;21:12.)

Myth: Americans do not consume enough essential fatty acids.
Truth: Americans consume far too much of one kind of EFA (omega-6 EFAs found in most
polyunsaturated vegetable oils) but not enough of another kind of EFA (omega-3 EFAs
found in fish, fish oils, eggs from properly fed chickens, dark green vegetables and
herbs, and oils from certain seeds such as flax and chia, nuts such as walnuts and
in small amounts in all whole grains). (Am J Clin Nutr. 1991;54:438-463.)

Myth: Low-fat diets prevent breast cancer.
Truth: A recent study found that women on very low-fat diets (less than 20%) had the
same rate of breast cancer as women who consumed large amounts of fat. (NEJM.

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