Study finds High Fat Diet Increases Risk of Stroke by 40%

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Ron AKA Posted: Thu, Feb 25 2010 12:09 PM

Here is a link to an article summarizing the findings of a recent study. Post menopausal women who ate a high fat diet were 40% more likely to suffer a stroke, compared to those who ate a low fat diet. The study was based on over 87,000 subjects.

High Fat Increases Stroke Risk

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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Simi_Papa replied on Thu, Feb 25 2010 1:58 PM

Again, let's put those numbers in perspective.  Stroke events occured in only 1.2% of the total number of women in the study and 43% of those strokes could not be linked to any clear cause.  So 57% of the strokes were linked by the authors to fat intake, and that is their interpretation of the cause.  So 57% of 1.2% is about 0.7% of the women had strokes related to "fat" intake.  So your risk of getting a stroke from eating too much fat is 0.7%.  Now that is a really scary number!!:))   Not!

Bill

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Diagnosed in 1997; Off all meds except Metformin!! Smile

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Ron AKA replied on Thu, Feb 25 2010 9:55 PM

I think you are trying to suggest strokes are nothing to worry about? In other words 40% of nothing is nothing? Consider that there are 600,000 stroke incidents per year in the US. Consider that risk of stroke in diabetics is about 2.5 times higher than non-diabetics.

The study was quite simple. Those who averaged 86 grams of fat per day had a 40% higher incidence of strokes than those who averaged 26 grams per day. If 40% is nothing, then I guess it is nothing to worry about...

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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Sugarboo replied on Thu, Feb 25 2010 10:19 PM

Hi Ron, I like your post. I am a juvenille diabetic of 35 years and until recently was in good health. Last year I was in the hospital four times getting angioplasty and 3 stents. I have learned since then that the Dean Ornish Diet is exactly what all diabetics shoudl be on. Basically Just fruits, vegetables. I learned from a lot of reading that a by product of amino acids, found in protein: chicken, meat, eggs cheese milk, in called Homocystein. High levels of this by product cause damage to the inner lining of the arteries and is what essentially causes them to get blocked. I have always had a super good, clean diet, no process foods, but have eaten a lot of meat and protein my whole life. They say that you need to take about 5 milligrams of folic acid a day, which lowers the homocysteine levels, along with 400 mcg of B-12 and 50 milligrams of B-6. I only wish someone had taught me this ten years ago, when I first started to show small signs of artery problems. Check this out. It will save you a lot of heart pains in the future.

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Simi_Papa replied on Thu, Feb 25 2010 10:27 PM

Ron you appear so caught up in your point of view you seem to be not seeing the trees while you are in the forest.  The results showed that the group with the highest risk was also the group that consumed the greatest number of trans fats.  We all understand the danger that trans fats pose to our health.  The authors could have, rightly so, concluded that the consumption of trans fats could have been causitive in the strokes, but they chose instead to lump all fats into one category.  We know this is a big mistake because we know that polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good for your health.  This is the same approach that earlier studies used, lumping all fats into one category, that got the world started on low fat diets and introduced trans fats into our food chain (because butter and lard were the worst products we could consume, so they gave us lower fat margarine that was loaded with trans fat, wasn't that nice!).  My personal take on this article it is interesting but doesn't bring anything new to the knowledge base.

Bill

"May the Force be with you!"

Diagnosed in 1997; Off all meds except Metformin!! Smile

www.nvhealthy.com

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Ron AKA replied on Fri, Feb 26 2010 1:29 PM

Simi_Papa:
The results showed that the group with the highest risk was also the group that consumed the greatest number of trans fats.  We all understand the danger that trans fats pose to our health.  The authors could have, rightly so, concluded that the consumption of trans fats could have been causitive in the strokes, but they chose instead to lump all fats into one category.  We know this is a big mistake because we know that polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good for your health. 

Actually they looked at both aspects. The highest risk group ate 7 grams of trans fats per day, compared to 1 gram in the lowest risk. The higher risk group based on trans fats experienced 30% more incidents of stroke, when trans fat was 7 times higher. However on a total fat basis the high risk group ate 4 times as much, but risk was elevated 40%. This suggests to me that total fat is more indicative of risk than just trans fats. But, of course neither one is good for you.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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Oh boy, yet another study showing how terrible fat intake is.  Note that the study did take into account the type of fat, saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fats being consumed.  But what was reported in the media was only total fat results and trans fat results.  That's interesting, isn't it.  More than 87,000 women were followed,  1,049 ischemic strokes occurred.  The reported relative risks were after adjusting for a large number of variables, no data is given on just how many ischemic strokes were analyzed after these adjustments. 

But what about saturated fats, aren't they the real villain?  Certainly, I suspect many would like it to be, but there is no reporting about the hazards of saturated fat, or even the specific foods that led to those high risks, such as the oft maligned red meat.

But a clue comes from the New York Times reporting of this study.  "Eating a lot of fat, especially the kind that's in cookies and pastries, can significantly raise the risk of stroke for women over 50, a large new study finds"

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/24/health/AP-US-MED-Stroke-Dietary-Fat.html?_r=1

Wow, excuse me, but cookies, pastries, stick margarine, etc., what about red meat?  Hey, cookies and pastries also contain large amounts of refined carbohydrates, might that not be an issue?  Stick margarine, until very recently, contained trans fats, as people were advised to not consume saturated fat laden, butter. 

I'm fed up with this kind of reporting.  If the researchers tracked saturated fat intake, as the article states, why don't we see the relative risks from eating large amounts of saturated fats.  From the New York Times article, I'd deduce that those who ate large amounts of both fat and carbohydrates, were at higher risk of ischemic stroke (and probably CVD as well).  That's always been the position of many low carber researchers and authors as well.  But you can't apply this kind of journalistic sensationalism to a high fat, low carb diet.

 

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Ron AKA replied on Sat, Feb 27 2010 12:30 PM

nomorecarbs:
Oh boy, yet another study showing how terrible fat intake is. 

I agree there is no end of them. They are just finding the obvious, but unless you do the studies, there are others that will try and distort the facts to sell their fad diets. I'm appreciative of the Heart and Stroke Foundations funding of these studies so we can get the truth, rather than the spin.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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"There were 288 strokes in the group of women who consumed the most fat each day (95 grams) versus 249 strokes in the group eating the least fat (25 grams), Yaemsiri told the conference. "

That doesn't sound like 40% higher risk to me, plus the headlines are misleading, it was trans fats that posed the risk, not saturated fat or meat intake.

But it would suggest a worthy study to be made.  Why not get a large group of women, and provide them with intensive dietary instructions to lower their fat intake, and increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Then compare them to a control group that continues to eat as they were.  Now, you just know the low fat group is going to do so much better.

Oh wait, it's already been done.  Check out the Women's Health Initiative.


"

The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed no benefits for a low-fat diet. Women assigned to this eating strategy did not appear to gain protection against breast cancer,(1) colorectal cancer,(2) or cardiovascular disease.(3) And after eight years, their weights were generally the same as those of women following their usual diets.(4) "

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-news/low-fat/

 

Back to the stroke study, wonder how many women were consuming all those trans fat foods, because the authorities told them to avoid cholesterol and saturated fat foods.  And wonder how much of the increased risks were due to the trans fats, and how much to all the refined carbohydrates in those trans fat baked goods, cookies, crackers, fried foods, etc.

 

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Ron AKA replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 12:13 PM

But the findings of this study were quite simple to understand. The highest quartile of total fat consumption ate 4 times as much fat, as the lowest quartile. Risk of stroke was elevated 40% in the high fat quartile. The highest quartile consumption of trans fats was 7 times that of the lowest quartile. Risk was elevated 30%. This indicates total fat consumption is a more important factor than just trans fats in causing increased risk from a high fat diet.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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Madman replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 1:26 PM

just curious, was there a linear correlation between fat consumption and events? Or was there a point where, once crossed, incidents rose noticably?  I'll admit to being too lazy to have read the study.

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Ron AKA replied on Mon, Mar 1 2010 6:02 PM

Have not seen a copy of the original report that may have that kind of detail. Here is a link to a bit more detail.

Report

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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Well, at least, the headline for Ron's latest link is more honest, note the addition of the phrase, particfularly trans fats.

"The researchers found only a marginally positive association between intake of saturated fat — the animal fat found in meat and dairy products — and total ischemic stroke, said Ms. Yaemsiri.

Hmm, guess we don't have a lot of Atkins or Bernstein low carb dieters in this cohort.  If you read the foods that the study authors cite as problematic, baked goods, cookies, crackers, margarine, etc., what you see is hydrogenated oils mainly.  The article goes on to state that many of these hydrogenated products are hidden, and even zero trans fat products can contain trans fats, you have to check the ingredients listing.

This study used data from the very large, multi year Women's Health Initiative, which attempted to show that intensive nutritional counseling for a low fat diet, coupled with increased daily intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, would show improved health outcomes against a control group that would maintain their dietary patterns.  They analyzed a wider variety of disease states and markers than just ischemic strokes.  Depending upon your viewpoint, the study was a dud, or a great success, as the low fat diet did not prove to be beneficial.  But don't worry, the 'expert's' will continue to plug it as a responsible healthy way of living.

For diabetics, the issue is critical.  As many of us have demonstrated, low carb diets can treat type II diabetes without the aid of pharmaceutical agents.  With time, this approach seems to be gaining more support in the medical community, though the progress is slow.  The mainstream approach seems to be that it's better to eat a higher carbohydrate diet, and use drugs to control the resulting hyperglycemia.  This makes no sense to me, but I'm not a physician.  I'm grateful that I'm a maverick, and after 27 years with diabetes, I am as normal as anyone, diabetes does not impair my life in any way, and I don't expect it to ever be a problem.  It is no longer a deprivation, that I eschew bread, pasta, ice cream, baked goods, cookies, crackers, grains, pizza, and the like, save for an occasional treat of a modest portion.  If I want a treat, I can always eat a small portion of berries, and they now taste as great as any dessert imaginable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ron AKA replied on Tue, Mar 2 2010 12:07 PM

Canada at least is well on its way to ban trans fats. I guess all heart attacks and strokes will end at that point...

I suspect not, because the study found total fats more indicative of risk than just trans fats. One needs to see the detailed original report to make more sense of it.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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"There were 288 strokes in the group of women who consumed the most fat each day (95 grams) versus 249 strokes in the group eating the least fat (25 gram "

 

Wait a minute, that's only a 15% greater risk.  Hmm, it seems the 40% greater risk is after adjusting for a number of variables, such as exercise, alcohol use, aspirin, etc.  Wonder how few the remaining stroke incidences for the 87,000 women were actually  used for this statistical manipulation.

The wonder of it all is that this data was extracted from the large, multi-year Women's Health Initiative, which failed to find any advantage (from intensive dietary instruction and guidance to a low fat diet, with increased daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables along with whole grains, versus a control group that maintained their higher fat diets.

"

The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed no benefits for a low-fat diet. Women assigned to this eating strategy did not appear to gain protection against breast cancer,(1) colorectal cancer,(2) or cardiovascular disease.(3) And after eight years, their weights were generally the same as those of women following their usual diets.(4) "

For 40 years, the authorities have insisted that we should follow low fat diets.  During this time, obesity, diabetes and heart disease have become epidemics.  It's not a coincidence.  It's time for the experts to step down, and enjoy their retirements, with all the cash garnered from pharmaceutical companies, food manufacturers, and agri-businesses.  It's time for  a younger generation to restore some sanity to the public health and academic research centers.

I would not deign to make negative remarks about someone else's country, I don't know why others feel obliged to make disparaging remarks about the U.S.  For my part, I'm happy to live here, and wouldn't live anywhere else.

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