In a mental exercise I posted yesterday, I asked readers to speculate as to the order of most likely cause of heart disease and death from myocardial infarction.
The facts are that death by MI was unheard of in 1910 (about 100 years ago), had risen to 3,000 deaths per year by 1930, and to 500,000 by 1960. Then I provided eight food group categories, A – H, and indicated how much each had changed over the last 100 years, but without telling you which group was which. So here we go:
- A; sugar and sweeteners: 100% increase
- B; eggs, fruit (excl. citrus), vegetables, whole grain: Moderate decrease
- C; lowfat milk: 100% increase
- D; whole (full fat) milk: 50% decrease
- E; butter, lard, tallow: 70% decrease (30 lbs. per person per year to under 10)
- F; vegetable oils (incl. hydrogenated): 437% increase (11 lbs. pppy to 59)
- G; poultry: 280% increase (18 lbs. pppy to 70)
- H; beef; 46% increase (54 lbs. pppy to 79)
So, if one were to simply line it up by the numbers, the order would be like this:
- Massive increase in vegetable oil consumption.
- Huge increase in poultry consumption.
- Large increase in sugar and sweeteners.
- Large increase in low fat milk consumption.
- Large decrease in animal fat consumption (butter, lard, tallow).
- Moderate decrease in whole, full fat milk consumption.
- Moderate increase in beef consumption.
- Moderate decrease in eggs, fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
Of course, this is missing junk and highly processed foods.
Now, I agree with the commenter on the previous post. This does not establish causality. And yet, how many decades has it been now that the "health" establishment has been telling you, as though it was certain, that meat and saturated fat are the causes of heart disease? If they even mention junk food, pastries, and all manner of stuff loaded with flour and sugar, it's not those: It's the fat.
So here's the article with associated references from whence I culled this little exercise. That's Sally Fallon and Mary Enig: It's the Beef. This is an excellent source for all manner of mythbusting with regard to meat and other animal products. Here's another good one.
There was another question posed on my original post speculating that perhaps there weren't heart attacks in 1910 because people didn't live long enough to have them. Average longevity was way lower. The firs thing to note about that is infant and child mortality is what brings the averages way down. There are still people living to 80, 90, 100 and beyond — plenty of them — and they weren't dying of heart attacks. Stephan had a good post last July concerning this exact issue, vis-a-vis the Inuit.