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Sugar and Heart Disease: A Better Correlation Than Dietary Fat

Heart Disease and Affluence

Would you believe that sugar and fat did not give the best statistical correlation with heart disease? The best correlation was the number of television and radio sets per 1,000,000 population per 100,000 deaths in the United Kingdom.

Does that mean if you didnít want to be a victim of heart disease you shouldnít have a television or radio set? That is nonsense.

This statistical relationship obviously does not mean cause and effect. But suppose statistical relationships can also be shown for increased dietary fat and sugar, obesity, cigarette smoking and incidents of coronary disease. All of these relationships have been pointed out by John Yudkin MD, Ph.D., the author of Sweet and Dangerous.

What can be made of these statistical correlations? It might mean that heart disease is associated with affluence. Affluence can mean greater use of cigarettes, a sedentary lifestyle, and diets containing more fat and sugar.

It has been shown that these are some elements of a more affluent lifestyle, and some of these do contribute to increased risk of coronary disease.

Dietary Information and Cause and Effect

In an attempt to show cause and effect, dietary information must be obtained from those who had coronary disease, and from those who didnít. The method of obtaining dietary information must be done in a way that will not prejudice the data.

Control patients for those who have coronary disease must include those from the same socioeconomic background as those who have the disease. They may have physical problems, but, of course, they must have a problem unrelated to heart disease such as a broken leg.

Diet and Heart Disease

When these details were all worked out Yudkin and associates found the median sugar intake in coronary patients was 147 grams per day versus 67 and 74 grams of sugar consumption per day by individuals of the two control groups.

Researchers from other countries have also reported a correlation of increased sugar consumption by those who have suffered coronary disease compared to those who did not have coronary disease.

This data does show that high sugar consumption can be one of the causes of heart disease.

No one has ever shown a difference in fat consumption between those who had coronary disease and those who didnít.

This has not deterred Dr.Ancel Keys, and his supporters from insisting that fat and cholesterol consumption is the cause of heart disease.

No difference in fat consumption by those who had heart disease and those who didn't have heart disease argue strongly that fat consumption is not the cause of heart disease.

John Yudkin and associates had access to the same information that Ancel Keys did. They were contemporaries.

There was information from over 20 countries about the average amounts of fat and sugar consumed, and incidence of coronary disease in the countries populations.

The excessive use of sugars and starches lead to diabetes and heart disease.

To review information about Dr Ancel Keys click here.

The Home Page where Nutritional Diseases are defined.

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