This study gets around this because the trans-fat ban (which took a long time to come because of the above factors) was a nationwide thing and so lack of access means we can make assumptions. Even then they had to figure out what was this ban, what was smoking becoming less common, and what was increased use of statins, which is statistics that depending on input assumptions.
1) Eat food. This is basically saying eat stuff that is traditionally considered food in different cultures (i.e., stuff that has been eaten for centuries) because doing nutritional studies is hard, but the fact that certain cultures have thrived for centuries and even millenia eating "food" provides decent evidence that it works.
2) Not too much. This is necessary as a restriction to #1 because in the past it wasn't easy or even possible to eat "too much" since you didn't have modern conveniences that make it easy to prepare food and you couldn't just order it for delivery. So you have to explicitly ensure you don't eat "too much", something that was implicitly enforced in the past.
3) Mostly Plants. If there is one thing all nutritional studies have found, and the one thing that pretty much all the science in this area can agree upon, is that eating plants (i.e. vegetables) is good for you, and for the most part, the more the better. But also note that he is saying "Plants" and not "Veggies" in a nod to the idea that it should be largely simply prepared and as close to its natural formation as possible, so buying a bag of "veggie straws" does not count.
Plenty of cultures heavily process their plants, and for good reason: the raw form is less nutritious. Plants != vegetables. Vegetables exclude fruits and uncultivated plants; wildflowers are delicious and definitively plants but debatably veggies .
Chocolate is an example of a food that is highly processed just for it to be reasonably less bitter and unpromising as it is in raw form.
Unfortunately, the need to get recommendations out on a political schedule meant that they went ahead of the available evidence. This Washington Post piece from 1977 debating the then-proposed guidelines includes an interesting quote:
> Dr. Mark Hegsted, professor of nutrition at Harvard University and one of the three nutritionists who helped write the report, said: "There will undoubtedly be many people who will say we have not proven our point; we have not demonstrated that the dietary modifications we recommend will yield the dividends expected.
> "The question to be asked therefore, is not why should we change our diet, but why not. "What are the risks associated with eating less meat, less fat, less saturated fat, less cholesterol, less sugar, less salt and more fruits, vegetables, unsaturated fat - and cereal products - especially whole-grain cereals? There are none that can be identified and important benefits can be expected."
That “but why not” line of reasoning is interesting given the mixed status of the recommendations in the next sentence. Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, etc. and less sugar is still widely accepted as good advice now but the remainder of the guidelines are problematic, particularly now that we have a better understanding of e.g. how fat interacts with satiation or how the food industry scrambled to produce alternate versions of familiar foods without key ingredients.
What we do know now is that millions of people had worse health outcomes due to that rush because even though studies came out only a few years later in the 80s rejecting the theories about salt, fat, specific foods like eggs, etc. the ghost of that Nixon-era rush job hung around until the 2010s and isn’t completely gone yet. You can still see a ton of food loaded with sugar because the recipe was modified decades ago to remove the fat & salt which made it taste good, not to mention how often people pass over vegetables because someone said it was unhealthy to butter or fry them without considering that this made the most likely outcome skipping them entirely.
Nutrition is not guided by fads, but by food manufacturer and retailer profit margins.
The reason for change is often forgotten or even misunderstood. From what I've read there is nothing wrong with eating saturated far or unsaturated fat, but transfat (a.k.a. partially hydrogenated) is very bad for you, as it chokes the machinery for "consuming" one or the other by being a bit of both.
After the crusade against fat, people also seemed to get the idea that eating fat makes you fat (the original reasoning had more to do with heart disease), but keto and low-carb diets that work would beg to differ. You gotta read the actual results to get to the bottom of things.
The body can deal with saturated and unsaturated fats. It has the enzymes to transport and handle them. They're a normal constituent of membranes.
Trans fats have no place in the body, and they do not arise naturally. You don't have the programming to deal with them. Their structure increases membrane rigidity, decreases lipid raft mobility, impairs cellular function.
Don't put trans fats into your body in any quantity.
But, from wikipedia:
> A type of trans fat occurs naturally in the milk and body fat of ruminants (such as cattle and sheep) at a level of 2–5% of total fat.
Not everything about traditional food is good. Cured meats, for example. But a too-convenient solution is often too convenient to be true.
Its very simple. 11% of the reduction in congenital CHD in the time period is due to the ban of trans fat.
Still massively significant, but not to the point of the silly headline.
I have no input if their research is true or what an overall mortality reduction is. It's beside the issue here.
Over a period you have a reduction of the total deaths due to CHD - 11% of that reduction is due to a ban on trans fat.
That's interesting. The Wikipedia page for linoleic acid (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linoleic_acid) says this under Health Effects:
> Consumption of linoleic acid has been associated with lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death
Linking this study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7326588/
It's so hard to get any conclusive answers at all in food/health science...
Most vegetable oils, the main exceptions being olive oil and high-oleic sunflower oil (not classic sunflower oil), have a very high content of linoleic oil, so the daily intake can be obtained from less than 2 spoons of oil.
Those who use for cooking vegetable oils high in linoleic acid, or who eat mostly industrially-processed food, typically eat significantly more linoleic acid than the recommended intake.
When linoleic acid is in excess over what the body needs, it can be stored only in limited quantities in reserve fat, which must contain other fatty acids in higher proportions. Therefore the excess part of the linoleic acid, over what can be consumed or stored, must be transformed into those other fatty acids, in the liver.
This extra work for the liver is undesirable, and when the processing capability of the liver is also exceeded, then some of the fat in the body can have an abnormal composition, too high in linoleic acid.
The best is to eat mostly vegetable oils that are high in oleic acid, because those also include enough linoleic acid to cover all needs, and if they are eaten in excess, their fatty acids are just used to synthesize human reserve fat, which has a similar composition.
I find it's very hard to even identify controversies, scientific mysteries and open questions. The posture adopted tends to always give the impression of consensus and knowledge.
I was surprised to learn that myself recently.
Furthermore, coconuts are a seed, and coconut oil is often explicitly cited as an alternative to seed oils.
"Seed oil" is a reasonably proxy for the sort of high polyunsaturated oils we should probably avoid eating, but it's a heuristic for identifying products with bad lipid profiles, not a law.
Sunflower oil is mostly linoleic acid; its profile is unhealthy according to current thinking (and my shaky understanding). You’re right about olive oil, which is supposedly good for your heart.
EDIT: unless by “high-oleic sunflower oil” you’re referring to some special variety?
I'm only teasing a little. It's a specific sort of sunflower (safflower is also available in high-oleic) and sunflower oil will either say "high oleic" or it will have a ton of linoleic acid in it.
I use high-oleic sunflower to make mayonnaise because it has a neutral flavor. If I ever deep fry again, which eh, that might happen, I'll use a blend of it and tallow.
What changed, and when?
Unlike tobacco, none of the researchers responsible for this calamity have been censured, sued, or otherwise suffered negative consequences. They are, for the most part, still in power, and research is conducted under their auspices.
Does this mean they're wrong about linoleic acid being healthy as well? No, not inherently, but it does mean that it's worth looking elsewhere and drawing your own conclusions.
However, all nutrients, including all essential nutrients, have a range of daily intakes within which they are healthy, and when eaten in much greater quantities than the upper limit of that range they become unhealthy, or even dangerous.
For example a too low selenium daily intake can cause illnesses, but eating selenium only a few times more than the maximum recommended intake can cause a severe poisoning.
That is true also for linoleic acid, in moderate quantities it is very healthy, in too large quantities it is unhealthy.
Until the last few centuries, it was extremely unlikely for anyone to be able to eat too much linoleic acid. It was possible to do that if one would have eaten huge quantities of, for example, pine nuts, poppy seed paste or walnuts, but all those were quite expensive so most people would not have been able to buy enough of them, much less eat enough of them, to suffer from that.
That changed especially since the 19th century, when the industrial production of edible oils began to provide large quantities of cheap vegetable oils, like sunflower oil and many others, which have a very high content of linoleic acid.
These cheaper oils have replaced the traditional olive oil and also the animal fats in most applications, which resulted in a greatly increased consumption of linoleic acid.
So for most people, now it is more likely that they might eat too much linoleic acid, than it is that they might eat too little linoleic acid.
But I don't think there are any dangers to poly unsaturated fats other than them easily turning into trans fats, so as long as factories are banned from making them into trans fats it should be fine. Or really the opposite, poly unsaturated fats are the healthiest fats, omega 3 and omega 6 and so on belongs to this group, just be sure to treat it carefully and don't let it turn to trans fats.
Here's the British Heart Foundation:
> Contrary to some of the reporting on this issue, cutting saturated fat doesn’t necessarily mean lowering all fat. We all need some fats in our diet and, over time, the very low fat diets recommended in the past have been put to one side as our understanding of the effect of this nutrient has developed. So, current guidance tells us to switch from saturated to unsaturated fats rather than cutting the fat completely.
> However, it is still important to talk about processed foods and what is in them. A lot of the food we eat is pre-prepared, and while sometimes the processing is as simple as canning tomatoes, processed foods also include foods like ready meals, sweet treats or processed meats where food manufacturers can alter the amounts of different fats, salt or sugar.
> As with our diets, when one thing goes out, something else will take its place. The concern is what saturated fat is replaced with when it is removed. Replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates, like sugary foods, or trans fats won’t improve our health, but replacing them with unsaturated fats seems to have a positive benefit.
> We also know that we are already eating too much salt and sugar on average so, while we welcome changes to reduce saturated fat in our everyday products, we also want manufacturers to be mindful of what they replace it with. As consumers, we still need to keep an eye on food labels to understand what is in the foods we are buying and make the best choices for ourselves, too.
Some of this was science not knowing they needed to check things, but a lot of it was media and industry groups trying to sell a product and running a with half truths that fit their narrative. there are a lot of old studies that we cannot/should not reference today at all because things we now know are important were not something science took care to control for.
Problem is good science takes years. Health authorities need to make recommendations today, and often for political reasons don't get the option to say I don't know.
The packaging of olive pomace oil can be deceiving though. If it seems suspiciously cheap, make sure that the label indeed reads "olive oil".
Turns out we were tragically wrong about that, causing tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions to suffer in old age and die prematurely.
So if I saw some mild evidence, like most nutrition scientists retiring, that the industry has reformed, that would be one thing.
As it is? I think they're lying, from Doing My Own Research™, but your mileage may vary. The important part is that you'd be a fool to trust the industry consensus with your own health.
After reading the books based on some internet persons suggestion I realized there’s controversy. Some say it’s junk science pushed by snake oil doctors others says it’s the next scientific revolution.
One fact remains, heart disease has gone way down and obesity has gone way up.
When I search for it, I just see studies about PUFA (polyunsaturated fats) benefits where they seem to always use canola oil (like swapping saturated fats for canola oil) to show benefits.
Yet overnight it seems like popular twitter accounts and podcasters have echoed seed oils = bad.
(I'm assuming in the above your goal is to keep PUFA low and n6/n3 balanced.)
There's also some animal studies w/ canola oil specifically that showed adverse effects, though I don't have them at hand.
Just looking at the characterization of fatty acids by unsaturatedness is omitting details which can matter -- the particular makeup of the fats (chain length -- a fatty acid w/ the same unsaturatedness can have varying effects on metabolism at different chain lengths; cis vs trans) as well as all the other chemicals that are in the oil, whether beneficial or harmful.
As one example, canola oil used to contain high levels of erucic acid, which is a 9-chain monounsaturated fat generally considered toxic. Over time the levels have gotten lower.
You might enjoy this video showing how canola oil is made:
Canola (Canadian Oil) or rape seed was used as an industrial lubricant oil. The first human lifecycle testing is now showing results. I avoid consuming it.
On a similar note, note, water is used as a lubricant, an industrial cleaner, an industrial solvent, and has strong corrosive properties. Too much water consumption can cause death.
The page you link to say says:
> A deficiency of essential fatty acids—either omega-3s or omega-6s—can cause rough, scaly skin and dermatitis .
Then when we go look at  we get:
> Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids (macronutrients). Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2005.
That's not actual data.
Presumably the reference intakes are based on some sort of data (would take some digging to find out, since it's incoveniently not hyperlinked) -- I might speculate it's based on exactly the 1929 Burr study that Peat is arguing was mistaken.
Hard to know though, without some digging.
Do you think PUFA is essential because it's what the NIH tells you, or because of specific experiments that have been done which demonstrate it?
If you had read the entire page that I linked you would have seen that
Do you think biochemical research into these pathways just stopped in the 1930s?
Usually if someone does this, I take it as an indication of arguing in bad faith, and give up on the conversation, but in this case I assumed good faith and scanned your link for the section that seemed relevent to your claim.
> Signaling molecules such as endocannabinoids are constructed from specific essential PUFAs, that combined with our cells swapping out different fatty acids to alter membrane fluidity
No dispute there...
> we literally lack the enzymes to construct them
> tell me that we do need them
But you can't conclude that! You're still missing a demonstration that not being able use PUFA in these ways would lead to pathology.
And if it does, then what is the minimum level of PUFA consumption needed to to avoid it?
As far as I know, those questions have not been answered.
That said, I do think you're probably right, on an intuitive level. Any traditional diet (or indeed any diet that incorporates whole foods) will contain some PUFA, so it would make sense we were evolved to function best with some PUFA in our diet.
But, at least per Ray Peat's claim, all experiments with diets claiming to show the essential nature of PUFA were manifestly defficient in other ways.
So it seems the claim has yet to be demonstrated, and remains somehwat uncertain.
The conclusions is:
"In conclusion, vegetable oils appear to be a health-promoting addition to the diet, and seem to offer a range of health benefits and little to no apparent health risks to the general population. However, one should exercise caution when navigating the current food environment, as vegetable oils are included in many foods that are not particularly health-promoting. If one chooses to consume vegetable oils, it would probably be wise to integrate them into a healthy eating pattern in ways that do not promote the overconsumption of calories. Some possible healthy ways to include vegetable oils in the diet could be in the form of salad dressings or as cooking oils for sauteed vegetables."
Omega-3 is crucial to health, and the very middle-mainstream of nutritional science talks about Omega-3/6 ratios, the more extreme claim is that the ideal ratio is infinity: while there's some amount of Omega-6 we can digest without health consequences, there's no advantage to doing so relative to consuming none at all.
What about olive oil? It is not seed oil but does contain unsaturated fatty acids. Would it be considered safer than seed oils?
Another option is to not allow EBT to buy sugary drinks. This would reduce type 2 diabetes and heart issues in a population that has one of the highest rates.
* A sin tax on sugar would be the utilitarian approach.
* Avoiding regressive public policies would be the deontological approach.
I'm inclined to pull the lever, but my opinions may be biased by the fact that I spend very little of my income on sugary foods and so would see little impact from such a tax.
This seems to be the scientific consensus at the moment:
Trans fat < saturated fat < polyunsaturated fat < monounsaturated fat.
The most heated debate seems to be between saturated fat and, the villain du jour, polyunsaturated (seed oils). So while they have at it I'm trying to mostly transition to monounsaturated fats.
Cut way back on all meats, increase fish, increase vegetables, should be fine.
People were worried that it would put local producers at a disadvantage and promote cheaper, lower quality food from the U.S which would result in higher obesity rates and worse health outcomes for the population.
There was similar issues with Tobacco companies threatening to sue.
Amusingly, if you Google Obama and Trans Fat you find a whole bunch of libertarian articles blaming Obama for banning their tasty donut sprinkles, like some kind of authoritarian tyrant and arguing that people shouldnt be deprived of the right to eat trans fat (and smoke cigarettes).
> Stier said the ban on trans fats could set in motion a series of restrictions on foods that might be seen as unhealthy.
> “It’s precedent-setting,” he said. “I’ve got a whole list of ingredients that could be next. Sugar can be attributed to lots of deaths. Is sugar generally recognised as safe? Maybe we should only allow minute amounts of sugar.”
There are some parallels between the tobacco and auto/petro industry. Many north american cities had excellent tram systems, but they were torn out/abandoned for car roads under pressure from industry lobbyists in the 50-70s.
Some cities retained their tram lines (Portland, Toronto) from that era, but many did not (Chicago, Vancouver).
That's about 74 deaths each year in a country that sees ~50,000 deaths each year, so about 0.15%.
Either we need a nanny state, or we don’t. Pick one and be consistent.
Personally I’d prefer the world where we mandate labels and remove all restrictions on sale/distribution/use of chemicals for ingestion, along with HARSH penalties for causing others to ingest your byproducts without consent (ie secondhand smoke). Let adults make their own decisions (both for what they ingest, as well as how they plan to finance the subsequent healthcare required for bad choices).
We have no freedom if we’re not free to make choices that others regard as “bad” (that hurt no one but ourselves).
So full blown dictatorship or pure anarchy ? nothing in between...
Sitting 8 hours per day also is very harmful, as is not walking enough, or eating meat, or looking at screen for too long, or drinking alcohol, or exercising too much, driving a car also is risky, walking in the streets too, you could even choke on a peanut so be careful...
What's the end goal ? Matrix like coma pods ? because it probably is the best way to live extra long
Yes that is what the longtermists have planned for us. 10^58 humans in virtual reality. Now go and donate to the anti rogue AI center and save billions of lives!
> Pick one and be consistent.
If smoking is bad, alcohol is bad, cars are bad, etc. you can't be consistent here because life is a cause of death.
"To expand the number of women smokers Hill decided to hire Edward Bernays, who today is known as the father of public relations, to help him recruit women smokers. [...] In 1929 Bernays decided to pay women to smoke their "torches of freedom" as they walked in the Easter Sunday Parade in New York."
"Philip Morris even sponsored a lecture series that taught women the "art of smoking""
The association of smoking with coolness, James Dean, Hollywood stars, it's clear that a lot of people wouldn't smoke "for themselves" if it wasn't for other people manipulating them to do it, for profit.
But I have never met anyone that has knowingly bought trans fats, and I doubt such a person exists. It's more analogous to food poisoning
If you ban cigarettes your population will revolt and you will lose votes.
If you ban trans-fats, only health-aficionados will think "good", and the rest of the population will think "what fats"?
I'd bet the majority of voters might be against a total ban if you ask them, but wouldn't actually mind much if it was implemented.
There's no chance the population revolts over this issue. Now a total alcohol ban on the other hand...
Furthermore, if you start banning oils I can see industry just doing what the chemical industry does when you ban stuff and using a very similar compound that isn't on the naughty list and might even be worse because it's not as studied so there needs to be some way to be assured that won't happen.
Most people have gas cans, but didn't know that they cared about the spouts until a change was made that caused them not to work. People have better things to do than keep track of all the details that congress is doing, and I'm not sure anyone anticipated that the change would result in making gas cans unfit for the purpose of getting gas from a pump the your lawn mower. I can't blame people for being mad about it though, new gas cans either don't work or are very expensive for what is in the end just a container.
Meanwhile if you eat at a restaurant, takeout, etc, you don't know what they put in your food.
I think it would be fine to allow it in the cases where it's properly and visibly labeled, and ban it otherwise. But it would be hard to inspect all restaurants and so on to check they are following the law.
Being raised knowing in your soul that your generation was chosen to be permanently infantilized by a decaying nanny state is an excellent recipe for a revolutionary cohort.
Which NZ is likely to need.
Why the dichotomy? You give no reason. And whats a nanny state anyway? A state that actually cares for its citizens and wants them to prosper? Somehow I think you have another definition in mind.
I'm forced to inhale all the pollution caused by industrial farming, by people who feel entitled to burn wood for fun, industrial pollution, cars, etc. I'm forced to drink PFAS, micro plastics and a boatload of other toxic chemicals. I need a so-called nanny state to be able to even have a choice of living in a healthy environment, which is nowhere to be found anymore.
Its also smaller things that the so-called free world is forcing on me. Like having to work long days and commute, to be confronted on my way back home by the smell of cheap fast-food that is easily available. An endless amount of kiosks and food stalls are seducing me as I have to walk past them, offering no healthy alternatives, and each office day I have no choice but to battle them. I am a weak man, yes, not a robot. Like many of us there are only so much things I can resist in a single day, especially as I struggle to even get by.
Is this freedom? It sure doesn't feel like it.
That makes sense, ethically, but only if A) people are actually fully aware and accountable for the consequences of the 'bad thing' and B) the 'bad things' are side-effect free and/or the people who cause bad side effects for others can be deterred by harsh penalties - which actually only happens if the chance of getting caught is high enough.
I think A and B aren't actually feasible for most things, except some classes of drugs maybe. For A you would need such restrictions that the market will revolt or simply die off. Things like obtaining a license after doing an exam or something like that. As for B, the vast majority of bad things have unavoidable effects on others, and for some the potential for abuse calls for unreasonable policing.
In practice, I think humans function much more as a collective than they like to admit, and individual autonomy is a kind of window dressing of the status quo, rather than anything substantial. Like the fairly trivial choice for product A over product B, where they are nearly the same. But its really hard to choose to work for 3 days and accept less wealth, or something meaningful like that.
Thus, I can't really perceive a lot more freedom in the current neoliberal market than the hypothetical nanny state, especially as this so called free market is full of rules and the consequences of other peoples 'freedoms' are forced upon me.
This is so well put.
Then you should argue: "Food safety laws should be very limited in it's restriction and it should be up to the consumers to carefully read and study all ingredients to pick what they eat".
And trans-fats are often used in places where you may not be aware of them.
Smoking is a clear choice, and you are aware that you are smoking and increasing your likely hood of getting ill from it.
So I don’t think the three things are exactly the same or should be treated identically.
Regarding regulations towards companies, for sure too much regulation can be stifling, but I wouldn't call it a nanny state.
The people cigarettes kill are disproportionately older, and they are not killed by any single act of smoking a cigarette, as can happen with opiate overdose, but instead by the cumulative health effects of smoking. That difference is consequential for societies and communities.
Smoking is also more broadly distributed across society, and not nearly as demographically targeted as the opioid situation, debilitating particular types of communities.
A more valid comparison for the opioid situation was the crack situation.
Followed by an advertising blitz along the lines of "Will your kids like the new Mac & Cheese? They've already had it!".
I am willing to bet my house that you won't find 10 people who are annoyed about this ban on trans fats.
If you are smoking you know you are smoking, you make that choice, for good or bad reasons.
No consumer ever chose to eating trans fats on purpose. Do a referendum and the will of the people will be to toss this shit out
Pick one and be consistent
It’s more just standard consumer protections. Good decisionmaking on the part of the end user has accurate information availability as an essential prerequisite.
It’s not onerous to require sellers document plainly what they are selling.
It is very onerous to tell them “you’re not allowed to sell that”.