How Did I Get Involved?
Good you ask. Last year, an email was sent my way from Harvard University to coax me into enrolling in one of their courses, offered to both professionals, such as nutritionists or doctors, as well as to the public. The course is titled Evidence-based Optimal Nutrition: The Quest for Proof. I looked up the course, and while all my better judgments told me to drop it, curiosity killed the cat… it didn’t kill the cat but it sure killed Harvard!
I enrolled–it was cheap, only $49 for either version of the course. As a PhD I qualified for the professional and I really wanted to see what they teach about nutrition to professionals! Wow!
Buckle your seat-belt! It is gonna be a bumpy ride!
First, let me introduce you to the facts: I completed the training.
The course (for professionals) is based on a grading system with quizzes now and then. The things I learned:
- Ancel Keys was terrific and whatever he did is the Gold Standard today
Note the numbers over the course. I am in lecture 1 of part 1 of 3 segments. The Qs represent quizzes for this one segment. The other segments were by others, the first segment was by the lead author of the Eat Lancet Commission: Walter Willett. You can find Walter Willett as one of the advisors of Oldways, a vegetarian (scroll down to W on the list).
- There ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 oils is not important
hmmmm who are we kidding?
- Eat more whole grains
he said in parallel with this slide:
- Low or high glycemic index (GI) foods don’t make a difference on the long run — saying this while showing the huge difference in blood glucose spikes
The slide shows the glycemic index of whatever foods; not specified. A GI index table that Harvard has on its website shows no difference between whole grains and refined grains. I took a screen capture of the GI table and encircled the food items promoted by the Eat Lancet Commission as well as what is considered to not be complex carbs, such as white bread and white rice. Can you see much difference? The Eat Lancet Commission’s program is also published in The Lancet though it needs access–behind pay wall. Here is a link in case you have access–I have access so know what it contains. If you have no access, there is a great write-up on it here and another here. The GI index measures the amount of blood glucose spike to the particular food item relative to the blood glucose spike to glucose, where the GI of glucose is 100:
Food items with GI higher than 50 are considered to be unhealthy. The highest is glucose with 100, the lowest GI is 0 (lard, for example). The lecture went on to say that we need not mind the GI of the food we eat and should stick with whole grains through fire and ice. Hmmm… really?
- Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are the healthiest fats (better than olive oil)
This was an interesting one since, obviously, if you are reading this article you know, that PUFAs are harmful. Of course, they do lower total cholesterol but look at how they lower total cholesterol–and look at what else is happening from complex carbs such as whole grains–conveniently ignored in the graph (not sure why they graft it if it is so ignored). The red arrows are part of the lecture slide and not added by me.
- PUFAs and complex carbs both reduce total cholesterol (we don’t know what else they ate).
- HDL cholesterol remains the same from PUFA but HDL reduces from complex carbs. HDL is the “good” cholesterol. reducing HDL or just merely maintaining it at the same level is not what we want. They even show the problem with red arrows… are they blind? or did they think we would not notice???
- Triglycerides (major factor in heart disease) slightly all over the place from PUFA and seriously increases from complex carbs, such as whole grains. Really not what we want.
In sum: the slide they use to prove that PUFAs and complex carbohydrates, like grains, are healthy, actually shows that they are unhealthy.
An extra tidbit from the lecture of Eric Rimm, a now slightly overweight (seeing only chest up) professor, talking somewhat arrogantly all through his lectures, had a slide and statement that is still ringing in my ears. He was discussing “diet fads,” in which the Paleo diet was one example. His introductory sentence was speedily murmured but I kept my transcript: “Now if you want to think about grasshoppers and cockroaches… consider the Paleo diet.” And you thought I meant arrogant jokingly, didn’t you?!
Back to the Eat-Lancet Commission: Who’ Done It?
My introduction to this was long, but it was essential so that you understand who is responsible for writing the Eat Lancet Commission plan. As unfortunate as it is, this plan is funded and publicized by a mega billionaire Gunhild Stordalen, a vegan with billions to spend on making the word vegan, while she is using her private jet (lots of pollution) to travel all over the world to make sure everyone turns vegan. Mind you, rumor has it that her wedding served sushi for 240 people where the dining lasted for 3 days, costing $4 million. She has a serious autoimmune disease and doesn’t have long to live–hence the spending of all her money on turning the world into mini Gunhild Stordalen, only without the billions of dollars.
I wonder if her autoimmune condition would go into remission or reverse if she turned to the ketogenic or the carnivore diet? So far there is not one autoimmune disease that is not responding to these… but that would require eating meat… it is against her principles.
So here we face a few vegans who want the world vegan, can afford to make the world vegan, who teach a bunch of nonsense under the shadow of Harvard University’s good name, and for some odd reason get away with it.
The least you should do is ignore it for your own diet and the most you should do is to tell everyone that this is a great lie and that it is all for money! Veganism is a religion, with roots explained very well here.
Comments are welcome, as always, and are monitored for appropriateness.