Another "study" tries to push the questionable Mediterranean diet
Once again, wrong-headed nutrition nuts are using "studies" to promote the Mediterranean Diet as the True Path to a healthy heart.
This latest study was done by researchers at Canada's McMasters University. They claim that they've "clarified" the foods and eating habits that are best for battling the onset of heart disease. The heroes of this research are monosaturated fats, nuts, and vegetables - many of staples of the Mediterranean Diet.
According to the author of this research, Dr. Sonia Anand of the McMasters University Heart and Stroke Foundation, "Concluding there is strong evidence that certain dietary patters or food groups which are clearly beneficial or harmful, is an easy message for health professionals to send to the general public."
The Mediterranean diet recommends lots of bread, beans, and seeds (great fare for your birds). But it severely restricts fat, instructing followers to eat less than 25 percent fat, avoid saturated fat and animal fat, and, instead, eat low-fat this and low-fat that. As I've told you for years, this approach is completely off base.
Once again, the research methods scientists rely on these days are so half-baked you shouldn't even bother giving them a second glance. According to study co-author Andrew Mente, Ph.D., also of McMasters University, the researchers ranked 189 prior studies published between 1950 and 2007. When a certain food or diet that was examined exhibited a link with heart health - and showed up in several studies - the researchers put it on a "good" list. The diets linked to heart disease were of course "bad."
But you've got to question the logic of reviewing studies conducted almost half a century ag how relevant could any of these health studies truly be to today's diet habits? Thankfully, Anand's study does not simply join the pro-Mediterranean Diet parade, but actually points out the potential flaws of this diet. Anand acknowledges that there's no widespread medical consensus that simply consuming more produce along with increasing whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fats will automatically improve anyone's health.
"Without large prospective studies in which multiple health outcomes are evaluated, recommendations to modify a dietary component may decrease the likelihood of one chronic disease [congenital heart disease] at the cost of increasing another [cancer]," Anand says.
"Even though one study may be positive, there may be three others that are negative or conflicting," Anand says. "We really need to look at the totality of the evidence in the field before promoting something to the public at large."
Well, that's at least one conclusion by Anand that I can support.