Month: January 2011

Are High Fat, High Cholesterol Diets Linked to Breast Cancer?

Have I mentioned how much it kills me to post anything less than eight pages long (especially when the not-eight-page-long thing is also not the promised wheat post)? I’ll risk some death today.┬áMark Sisson kindly invited me to write a guest blog post for Mark’s Daily Apple about that recent study blaming fat and cholesterol for faster-growing, more aggressive breast cancer tumors. It generated quite a few headlines a week or two ago and probably made the low-fat crowd a little smugger about their mammary health. But as usual, the publicized conclusions are a far cry from what the research showed.┬áHere’s a closer look at the study and what it really uncovered:

High Fat Diet Linked to Breast Cancer?

And because this feels a little too much like a link-and-run crime, here’s some stuff this post would’ve had if it were longer:

Get it? Because I’m kind of cheesy and corny? I’m here all night, folks.

Vegetarians and Heart Disease: Will Ditching Meat Really Save Your Arteries?

Welcome to 2011! (Why don’t we have flying cars yet?) My new year’s blogolutions are to 1) write here more often and 2) actually answer emails. So far, I’m failing at both, but I’ve got 359 days left to clean up my act.

Sometimes, when I feel like I don’t have enough stress in my life and start craving a blood-pressure boost, I go to my old vegan haunts to read gems like these:

The only way meat can be digested is by putrefaction, our stomach acid is only 5% of that of a carnivore or omnivore so instead of being digested it basicly [sic] rots in your intestines which leaves toxic gases and waste to be absorbed into the blood. (From here.)

we know what’s happening. we’ve known for decades. however, we also have found that when we talk about the health detriments associated with eating the products of the corpse industries, people don’t believe us. (From here.)

[T]here is a single, sole cause to heart disease: cholesterol. If your total cholesterol is below 150 and LDL is below 70, you are essentially heart attack proof. What is the cause of high cholesterol? Saturated fat and animal products. (From here.)

Don’t you love this stuff? But I digress. What I want to talk about right now is one of the most oft-cited perks of being a vegetarian: an apparently lower risk of heart disease compared to omnivores. A recent paper called Chemistry Behind Vegetarianism sums it up by saying “Omnivores have a significantly higher cluster of cardiovascular risk factors compared with vegetarians, including increased body mass index, waist to hip ratio, blood pressure, plasma total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol and LDL-C levels, serum lipoprotein(a) concentration, plasma factor VII activity, ratios of TC/HDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C and TAG/HDL-C, and serum ferritin levels.”

This is a trend that some folks translate as “meat causes heart disease”—a sentiment I saw plastered all over the veggie message boards during my most recent lurking spree. I assume this belief is bolstered by all the perfectly-preserved chunks bacon found in meat eaters’ arteries during heart biopsies. (more…)