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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Dietetics Organization Joins the 21st Century (Kind Of...)

If you’ve been living nether a stone for the past times few weeks, or, dissimilar me, you lot receive got an actual life, which precludes you lot from reading every bit many nutrition articles, blogs, together with papers every bit I do, you lot mightiness receive got missed the comments from the Academy of Nutrition together with Dietetics (AND) inwards response to the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. (The AND was formerly the ADA—the American Dietetic Association—the trunk that oversees the registered dietitian credential [RD].)

This affair has been making the rounds inwards the low-carb, Paleo, Primal together with existent nutrient circles, by together with large because it is a refreshing—and nosotros mightiness fifty-fifty say downright shocking—reversal of course of study past times this supremely mainstream organisation regarding some of the nutrients that receive got been world outlaws for the past times few decades. While the AND has surely non come upwards out together with straight endorsed higher-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, hither a few full general points they made almost the recommendations past times the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), some of which handgrip alongside the committee’s findings, together with some of which don’t: 
  • Very depression sodium diets are non appropriate for everyone, together with may, inwards fact, hold upwards harmful for some populations. 
  • There is no correlation betwixt dietary cholesterol intake together with serum cholesterol levels.
  • Since the studies on saturated fat, cholesterol, together with ticker illness over the years receive got been so terribly conducted together with interpreted, “the Academy suggests that HHS together with USDA back upwards a similar revision [for that of cholesterol] deemphasizing saturated fatty every bit a nutrient of concern.”
  • Carbohydrate intake is a much stronger predictor for cardiovascular illness jeopardy than is saturated fat, together with it mightiness non hold upwards such a bad thought to supersede some amount of dietary refined saccharify alongside fat. 

As you lot tin toilet see, these points grade a huge pace forrad for this organization, which inwards the past, has been tepid, conventional, together with by-the-book all the way. It’s a gutsy move, together with I’m thrilled to reckon it happen. I applaud the AND for joining the repose of us inwards the 21st Century alongside regard to basic scientific discipline almost nutrient together with human health. Since I receive got ragged pretty difficult on the AND inwards the past, I’m happy to hold upwards able to give credit where credit is due.

That existence said, this wouldn’t hold upwards all that interesting a post service if all I did was sing the praises of this document. Naturally, at that spot are a few points of contention. So let’s human face at things footling to a greater extent than closely, celebrate the skillful stuff, together with convey to lite the not-so-good stuff. We’ll kickoff alongside the not-so-good stuff together with so displace to the skillful stuff, so that nosotros halt on a positive note.

Lifestyle habits, nutrient landscape & socio-cultural aspects of diet

I don’t select number alongside much the AND says on these issues. In fact, regarding bringing attending to the harsh realities of “food deserts,” making nutritious foods available to disadvantaged people, together with spearheading overall world wellness measures, the AND has a amend runway tape than it does inwards improving the wellness together with wellness of individuals. So I receive got no declaration regarding their recommendations almost making nutrient labels together with educational materials to a greater extent than accessible to those whose primary linguistic communication is non English, together with making things clearer fifty-fifty for those who are native speakers. People can’t brand skillful choices if they don’t fifty-fifty sympathise what the labels say, or what whatever of it genuinely means. Got it. No job there.

I produce receive got a problem, however, when nosotros kickoff blaming weight gain on sedentary behavior, but unmarried out specific sedentary behaviors every bit existence worse than others. For example, every bit the AND points out: 

“High levels of covert fourth dimension tin toilet also contribute to overweight or obesity past times replacing to a greater extent than physically demanding activities. In 2009, American children spent an average of 7.4 hours per solar daytime watching media (television, computers, video games, movies, etc.), a figure fifty-fifty higher for minority children. The explosion of social media has led to excessive work past times some to the bespeak of becoming "problematic." Although at that spot receive got been some variations past times historic catamenia together with sex, numerous studies receive got linked sedentary or covert fourth dimension together with number of media resources inwards the household to overweight or obesity together with detrimental impacts on physical fitness amid children together with youth.”

Now, I am non almost to fighting that several hours a solar daytime of watching TV or playing video games is not probable to contribute to obesity—in children or adults. Obviously, moving around outdoors mightiness hold upwards amend for one’s metabolic health. The number I receive got is this: Why are video games together with television set ever singled out every bit existence causative inwards obesity? Why doesn’t anyone ever say that getting a PhD mightiness crusade obesity? There are a lot of subjects you lot could larn a PhD inwards that would require a lot of fourth dimension sitting on your raise halt alongside your human face upwards buried inwards books together with scientific journals. Or how almost just lots of homework together with studying? How come upwards nosotros never take away heed anyone say that getting a 4.0 GPA at Harvard could Pb to obesity? I’m guessing that unless you lot receive got a really wealthy granddaddy making generous donations to the endowment, achieving those kinds of grades at a identify similar that belike requires a lot of butt-in-chair time. And how almost kids together with adults who play musical instruments? Some of them pass hours a solar daytime practicing. Granted, at that spot is definitely a physical aspect to playing most musical instruments, together with every bit an amateur musician, myself (saxophone together with clarinet, btw), I know that you lot tin toilet hold upwards pretty wiped out afterward a long rehearsal. Even so, let’s human face upwards it: it’s non precisely doing a triathlon.

But nosotros never take away heed “Them” (capital T) proverb kids shouldn’t read, or study, or that it’s “unhealthy” to hold upwards a violin virtuoso. The argue they alone rag on TV together with video games is because those activities are seen every bit low-class. It’s a holier-than-thou, judgmental way to blame people for becoming obese past times way of existence lazy together with lowbrow. And, frankly, it’s pretty damn insulting, considering I knew kids dorsum inwards junior high who played hours of video games every day, coupled alongside Cheetos together with Mountain Dew, but didn’t move overweight. But my sorry self, which ran 3-5 miles a solar daytime inwards high schoolhouse together with ate depression fatty foods, was chubby. (Must’ve been all the after-school band rehearsals!) So if we’re going to condemn the work of electronics every bit a crusade of obesity, let’s non give the “high culture” stuff a costless pass, ‘kay? (Also: every bit an alum of one of the top applied scientific discipline universities inwards the U.S. [if non the world], I tin toilet tell you lot that most of the guys toiling away solar daytime together with nighttime inwards the estimator applied scientific discipline labs were non precisely inwards peak physical condition, but I’ve never 1 time heard anyone—not anyone—say that earning a aeroplane from a prestigious academy is associated alongside increased jeopardy for obesity.)

Maybe someday someone volition conduct a study looking at the outcome of video games together with TV viewing inwards people who eat lower-carb Paleo diets together with produce intermittent fasting. Is at that spot something inherently obesigenic almost watching TV together with playing video games, or is it the crap foods people tend to eat (and the ads for which they are exposed to) patch they engage inwards these activities? Methinks nosotros already know the answer.

Red meat & other fauna protein

While the DGAC recommends that “The U.S. population should hold upwards encouraged together with guided to swallow dietary patterns that are rich inwards vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, legumes, together with nuts; moderate inwards low- together with non-fat dairy products together with alcohol (among adults); lower inwards ruddy together with processed meat; together with depression inwards sugar-sweetened foods together with beverages together with refined grains,” the Academy did non translate that recommendation every bit impugning the healthfulness of ruddy meat or its identify inwards recommended repast patterns every bit a poly peptide together with a rootage of of import shortfall nutrients, such every bit iron.”

“When but looking at the wide category of protein, intakes ‘(as grams/day) are adequate across the population together with poly peptide is non a shortfall nutrient.’ However, when looking specifically at diverse sources of proteins, at that spot is a departure inwards adequate intake, because animal proteins comprise a larger-than-recommended percentage of the overall nutrient consumed.

“Approximately lxxx pct of Americans come across the intake recommendations for fauna proteins (meat, poultry together with eggs), but alone lx pct come across the recommendations for the larger Definition of ‘meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, soy, nuts, together with seeds.’ Indeed, a comparing of NHANES information for the consumption of ruddy meat lone to the USDA’s Food Patterns recommendations advise that American adults on average eat almost every bit much ruddy meat per calendar week (20 oz) every bit the USDA recommends for meat, poultry, together with eggs combined (26 oz). Put differently, the DGAC recommendation is consistent alongside existing USDA Food Patterns suggesting (a) that ruddy meat consumption exceeds recommendations for most subgroups together with (b) that a greater percentage of recommended poly peptide consumption should hold upwards met past times seafood, legumes, together with nuts.”

Booooo! See what they’ve said here? Around 80% of Americans come across the fauna poly peptide intake recommendations, but we’re getting also much of that fauna poly peptide from ruddy meat. They desire us to eat to a greater extent than seafood, poultry, together with eggs. And, of course, for total poly peptide (not just animal protein), they desire us eating to a greater extent than beans together with nuts.

First, tin toilet I just say, what almost the 20% of Americans who don’t come across “the intake recommendations for fauna proteins?” I’m guessing we’re talking vegetarians together with vegans? Does the AND desire to address that tin toilet of imitation, plant-based worms?

Second, are they proverb the USDA recommends 26oz of combined ruddy meat, eggs, together with poultry per week? What? No wonder so many of my woman someone clients are starved for protein! THAT IS NOT ENOUGH! (Especially non for people who operate out a lot!) And permit me tell you, most people produce not demand to a greater extent than freaking turkey burgers or boneless, skinless chicken. Red meat is far to a greater extent than nutrient-dense than poultry together with lima beans. Poultry has its place, sure, but come on.

And alone 60% of the population meets the recommendations for intake of poly peptide from the larger category of protein, which includes seafood together with soy. I guess they’re completely disregarding the ever-growing number of people who are allergic to seafood or soy. Listen up, USDA together with AND: We are never going to receive got 100% of the population getting whatever you lot deem is the “appropriate” amount of poly peptide from soy or seafood, because NOT EVERYONE CAN EAT SOY OR SEAFOOD, CAPICE? And we’re belike non going to receive got 100% of the population coming together your “appropriate” or “adequate” intake of fauna poly peptide because you receive got been encouraging people to eat fewer fauna foods!!

*Breathe, breathe.*

Okay, that was the bad. And, all things considered, it wasn’t that bad. Now, on to the good!


I receive got a multi-post deep-dive on sodium inwards the works for afterward I’m done alongside the cancer serial I’ve been writing. I don’t desire to spoil all the fun, so rather than getting into the weeds here, let’s just human face at what the AND had to say. The principal argue we—all of us, across the board—have been advised to bound sodium intake is that it was believed that sodium had a dose-dependent outcome on blood pressure. That is, the to a greater extent than sodium 1 consumed, the higher their blood pressure level would be, or, at the really least, the greater their risk for hypertension. And patch this is truthful inwards a really little subset of the American population, the vast bulk of people are not what is known every bit “sodium-sensitive hypertensives.” Meaning, if they eat to a greater extent than sodium, their bodies regulate fluid together with electrolyte residual just fine, so that at that spot is no unsafe elevation of blood pressure. (In fact, insulin has a much bigger influence on BP than sodium does, but I’ll relieve the details for the sodium series.) 

Recommending a low-sodium diet for everyone because it is protective against hypertension inwards a little subset of people is every bit misguided together with potentially unsafe every bit recommending a 4:1-style medical intervention-type ketogenic diet for everyone because it is helpful inwards some cases of epilepsy. Different people, different goals, different tool.

The AND position it this way: There is “a growing trunk of inquiry suggesting that the depression sodium intake levels recommended past times the DGAC are genuinely associated alongside increased mortality for good for you lot individuals. … There are instances inwards which it is reasonable to brand recommendations that are expected to produce goodness alone a subset of a population if the benefits far outweigh the risks, but every bit noted above, dietary sodium restriction is non 1 of them.”

Nice! The AND is all upwards inwards the DGAC’s human face upwards here, together with skillful for them! Somebody’s got to stand upwards up to these folks, or we’re going to halt upwards alongside the same old disastrous guidelines we’ve been living alongside since the early on 1990s.

Saturated fatty & cholesterol

I can’t believe I’m almost to say this, but, similar I mentioned earlier, I desire to give credit where credit is due. So: the AND knocked it out of the commons on cholesterol! BUT, at that spot are some problems here, too.

“The Academy supports the determination past times the 2015 DGAC non to send forrad previous recommendations that cholesterol intake hold upwards express to no to a greater extent than than 300 mg/day, every bit ‘available evidence shows no appreciable human relationship betwixt consumption of dietary cholesterol together with serum cholesterol.’ Despite some criticism suggesting that this changed recommendation illustrates exchange questions almost the validity of the nutrition scientific discipline upon which the Dietary Guidelines are based, the modify is both consistent alongside electrical flow scientific discipline together with the DGAC’s statutory mandate.”

Didja select handgrip of the sleight-of-hand there?

The all-of-a-sudden acknowledgement that dietary cholesterol isn’t “a ticker assault on a plate” “illustrates exchange questions almost the validity of the nutrition scientific discipline upon which the Dietary Guidelines are based?” Um, yes. Yes, it surely does.

“The DGAC is authorized nether 42 U.S.C. 217a, Section 222 of the Public Health Service Act, every bit amended, alongside subsection (a)(2) specifying the footing for the guidelines, specifically that, ‘The information together with guidelines contained inwards each study required nether paragraph (1) shall hold upwards based on the preponderance of the scientific together with medical noesis which is electrical flow at the fourth dimension the study is prepared.’ (Emphasis added.) The DGAC is statutorily required to brand recommendations together with they must produce so alongside the best available scientific discipline at the time."

But here’s the thing:  Just because the scientific discipline was “current” at that time, together with it was the “best available” (which is extremely debatable) doesn’t hateful it was correct. And it wasn’t. Not fifty-fifty close. Acknowledgment together with admission of that is what is missing here. (“Sorry, diabetics! Sorry nosotros were so scared of fatty together with cholesterol that nosotros recommended a diet inwards which the vast bulk of calories come upwards from carbohydrate, which is the macronutrient that is most problematic for your bodies! Our bad!”) That is what I move on to hold off for.

Sure, guidelines were based on the scientific consensus at the time, but again, the consensus was wrong. Am I light-headed for wanting someone to come upwards right out together with acknowledge that? I’m non squall for for anyone to receive got personal responsibility. That would hold upwards squall for also much, I think. But couldn’t 1 of the heads of these organizations—as a representative of the whole group, past times together with present—take the rut together with number the massive, massive “mea culpa” the American people deserve?

Don’t larn me wrong. This is movement inwards the right direction. It’s progress. Big time. But at that spot seems to hold upwards absolutely no 1 inwards the upper echelons of these organizations who is willing to genuinely say, “We. Were. Wrong. And non alone that, but every bit a resultant of our existence wrong, the guidelines that receive got been institutionalized for the past times few decades mightiness receive got made your wellness much worse, inadvertent though that outcome was.”

“It has been said that the unit of measurement of measuring for scientific progress is scientific error. Every novel uncovering proves old conclusions wrong, together with every wrong conclusion of the past times marks novel noesis that has taken its place. The Committee's willingness to update positions based on novel evidence is laudable. And, to the credit of the preceding DGACs, a review of the entirety of DGAC recommendations over fourth dimension shows a remarkable consistency inwards most recommendations. In short, Americans rightfully receive got confidence inwards the reliability of the DGAC’s procedure together with resulting recommendations.”

Yeah, um, I’m non so sure almost that in conclusion part.

But let’s larn dorsum on track. I was doing what I produce best—go off on rants. Let’s larn dorsum to cholesterol.

At to the lowest degree they’ve acknowledged that dietary cholesterol has footling to no outcome on serum cholesterol. Now nosotros just demand the MDs to larn their heads out of their tushes the sand together with acknowledge that “high cholesterol” is non the primary driver of ticker disease. And, inwards fact, the egregiously misguided condemnation of cholesterol both on the plate and inwards the bloodstream may receive got played—and continues to play—a causal role inwards the booming epidemics of Alzheimer’s illness together with other neurodegenerative conditions. (And also contributes to the jeopardy for diabetes.)

Look at the AND, telling it similar it is:

“While the trunk of inquiry linking saturated fatty intake to the modulation of LDL together with other circulating lipoprotein concentrations is significant, this evidence is essentially irrelevant to the query of the human relationship betwixt diet together with jeopardy for cardiovascular disease.

NICE! They’re proverb what those of us inwards the LC/Paleo worlds receive got known for a patch now: fifty-fifty if saturated fatty consumption increases LDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol is alone a marker. It is a surrogate endpoint. We are far to a greater extent than interested inwards hard halt points, such every bit ticker illness or myocardial infarction (MI, ticker attack). And because people who sense morbidity or mortality from ticker illness or MI run the gamut from depression to high cholesterol together with just almost every value inwards between, fifty-fifty if eating saturated fatty does heighten your LDL-C, that says nada almost your jeopardy for cardiovascular disease.

“The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study on the work of biomarkers every bit surrogates for illness outcomes examined LDL together with HDL every bit instance studies together with concluded unequivocally that they were not suitable for work every bit surrogates for the conduct on of diet on ticker disease.”

“The evidence is clear that changes inwards LDL together with HDL induced past times diet cannot hold upwards assumed to correspond to the expected changes inwards actual cardiovascular illness risk, together with hence this trunk of evidence that uses lipoproteins every bit surrogate endpoints for cardiovascular illness must hold upwards excluded from considerations of the conduct on of diet on cardiovascular health.”


“We commend the DGAC on a thorough together with accurate review of the electrical flow best evidence alongside regard to the trunk of evidence relating dietary fats to cardiovascular illness outcomes. However, we are concerned that the evidence does non Pb to the conclusion that saturated fats should hold upwards replaced alongside polyunsaturated fats for the greatest wellness benefit.”

And again! Man, somebody at the AND WOKE UP this year!

“…carbohydrate intake conveys a greater amount of cardiovascular illness jeopardy than does saturated fat. Combined alongside the evidence from multiple studies that receive got estimated the conduct on of saturated fatty to hold upwards nigh zero, it is probable that the conduct on of refined saccharify on cardiovascular illness jeopardy is positive.”

This is huge. For the AND to say this is quite a bounding main change. And a really welcome one, at that.

“…the commutation of polyunsaturated fatty for refined saccharify volition resultant inwards a lesser cyberspace jeopardy for cardiovascular illness than if polyunsaturated fatty were substituted for saturated fat. This is truthful because carbohydrate contributes a greater amount to the jeopardy for cardiovascular illness than saturated fat, so the replacement of refined saccharify volition necessarily resultant inwards a greater improvement inwards risk. Therefore, it appears that the evidence summarized past times the DGAC suggests that the most effective recommendation for the reduction inwards cardiovascular illness would hold upwards a reduction inwards refined saccharify intake alongside replacement past times polyunsaturated fat.”

There’s a lot of roundabout verbiage there, so permit me rephrase it inwards obviously English: since carbohydrate, rather than saturated fat, is the primary driver of ticker illness risk, replacing refined saccharify alongside fatty should Pb to greater reductions inwards jeopardy than replacing saturated fatty alongside polyunsaturated. (Note, however, that the AND is recommending replacing carbohydrates alongside polyunsaturated fat, rather than saturated. I could nitpick almost this, but I’m non going to. The truth is, people belike could stand upwards to increment their poly [and mono!] intake, if it comes from nuts, seeds, together with seafood, together with perhaps non from lots of corn, soybean, canola, together with cottonseed oils via processed foods or foods deep-fried inwards restaurants. So, perhaps non so much increasing unsaturated fatty every bit just changing the sources.)

WOW! How’s that for a refreshing modify from the organisation that oversees what amounts to the only credential that is acceptable for providing nutrition counseling inwards hospitals, schools, together with other institutions?

Looking ahead

It remains to hold upwards seen what conduct on the AND’s modify of ticker volition receive got on the organization’s ain approach to nutrition counseling together with world wellness didactics initiatives. Are they going to receive got a bonfire for all their old pamphlets railing against salt? What almost anything that hinted of the USDA’s infamous nutrient pyramid, which recommended that nosotros all—all of us—base our diets on the macronutrient which, past times the AND’s ain admission, is the primary driver of ticker disease? Will they finally lighten upwards on pushing whole grains—particularly for diabetics? Will they move a footling easier on ruddy meat, fifty-fifty if they move on to force for soy every bit a poly peptide source? Will they cutting it out alongside the low-fat dairy, at 1 time that fifty-fifty they receive got admitted saturated fatty isn’t the killer they 1 time thought it was?

Apparently not.

The comments included suggested changes regarding some of the DGAC’s findings almost the “Mediterranean diet” together with the DASH diet. (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.) They said:

“The mutual elements of these patterns are higher consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, together with seafood, together with lower consumption of ruddy together with processed meat, together with lower intakes of refined grains, together with sugar-sweetened foods together with beverages relative to less healthy patterns; regular consumption of nuts together with legumes; moderate consumption of alcohol; lower inwards saturated fat, cholesterol, together with sodium together with richer inwards fiber, potassium, together with unsaturated fats.”

If they’re agreeing that the Mediterranean together with DASH diets are healthy, how produce they reconcile some of this alongside everything nosotros just looked at? Low-fat dairy? Lower inwards saturated fat? Lower inwards sodium? No wonder the world is so confused—the professionals can’t fifty-fifty figure this out! As for whole grains, I wishing someone would say that they hateful something to a greater extent than similar a wheatberry salad, made from whole, intact wheatberries, together with are not talking almost granola, bread alongside a zillion crazy ingredients, or breakfast cereal made from “whole grains,” but which are so ridiculously processed together with sugar-laden they mightiness every bit good hold upwards candy.

It also remains to hold upwards seen whether the AND volition contrary its seat stating that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate...”

Nevertheless, all things considered, these comments from the AND are a pretty large deal. (And worthy of a really long spider web log post.) I’m soundless waiting for that mea culpa, but I’m non asset my breath.

For a human face at what other people are proverb almost the AND response to the DGAC report, banking concern check out the following, who write way more succinctly than I do: 

Remember: Amy Berger, M.S., NTP, is non a physician together with , LLC, is non a medical practice. The information contained on this site is non intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or foreclose whatever medical condition


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