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High Protein Diets
Old 03-28-2015, 10:43 AM   #1
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High Protein Diets

Here is an Op-Ed entitled "The Myth of High-Protein Diets" from the New York Times on the new dietary guidelines and high protein diets (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/23/op...iets.html?_r=0).

Some excerpts from the Op-Ed:

"Research shows that animal protein may significantly increase the risk of premature mortality from all causes, among them cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. Heavy consumption of saturated fat and trans fats may double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease."

"A study published last March found a 75 percent increase in premature deaths from all causes, and a 400 percent increase in deaths from cancer and Type 2 diabetes, among heavy consumers of animal protein under the age of 65 — those who got 20 percent or more of their calories from animal protein."
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:54 AM   #2
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And here's one to counter it:
Dr. Dean Ornish blasts high-protein diets in the NY Times.

Quote:
As seems to be typical, Dr. Ornish’s stance is argued using half truths, obfuscations and all the other slippery tricks in his playbook of deceit.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:16 AM   #3
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Mr Ornish ("Doctor" is a misrepresentation) has demonstrated himself over the years to have observable mental problems. I don't know what his parents did to him but he appears to be unable to think or cope at any level. A mental corpse with a complex that if he were not "credentialed" as a physician would land him in jail or toothless on a barroom floor.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:02 PM   #4
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Unless you are over 65. Then the meat extends your life span. Go figure.


4
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:03 PM   #5
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It's important to realize that low-carb does not necessarily equal high-protein. Usually carbs are replaced with fat instead.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
It's important to realize that low-carb does not necessarily equal high-protein. Usually carbs are replaced with fat instead.

+1. Very true.

Also, Dr. Ornish has combined things like naturally occurring saturated fats with trans fat,s and then blended the results together. Not so good, IMHO. The highly processed carbs I used to eat have been replaced with naturally occurring fat and less processed carbs. Not trans fats or so called 'fat bombs' or manufactured low-carb digestible products.

The trick is to find what way of eating works for you. We are all different. My 2 ˘.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:48 PM   #7
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I'm new here and this is my first post.

One thing I liked about Dr. Ornish's column was that he stressed the importance of short-term vs long-term effects. In addition, he provided links to peer-reviewed scientific articles. I think that these should be the criteria for evaluating what constitutes a healthy diet.

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Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
Mr Ornish ("Doctor" is a misrepresentation) has demonstrated himself over the years to have observable mental problems. I don't know what his parents did to him but he appears to be unable to think or cope at any level. A mental corpse with a complex that if he were not "credentialed" as a physician would land him in jail or toothless on a barroom floor.
This seems to me to be a personal attack. Are there some objective reasons why one should not take Dr. Ornish seriously?
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Faster View Post

One thing I liked about Dr. Ornish's column was that he stressed the importance of short-term vs long-term effects. In addition, he provided links to peer-reviewed scientific articles. I think that these should be the criteria for evaluating what constitutes a healthy diet.


This seems to me to be a personal attack. Are there some objective reasons why one should not take Dr. Ornish seriously?
Did you read the rebuttal to Ornish by Dr. Michael Eades that Braumeister linked to above? And that is just one rebuttal I read, there are many more. Ornish has a long history of bending the results of peer-reviewed studies to fit his preconceived notion of what a healthy diet is, as Eades points out. If you read many of the articles cited by Ornish, they most certainly do NOT support the points he is trying to make. Ornish is no longer taken seriously by most diet/nutrition researchers, as he does this kind of thing all the time. Also, as Audrey points out, the paleo diet (if that is what Ornish is trying to attack(?)), is not a high-protein diet, as the reduced carbs are mostly replaced by healthy fats, and not more protein.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:06 PM   #9
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I did read the article by Dr. Eades. I found it to be grossly misleading about the diet advocated by Dr. Ornish.

These two physicians promote very different diets. Dr. Eades favors a high protein diet while Dr. Ornish favors a whole-foods plant-based diet (which by default is low protein and low fat). Both have written books advocating these different approaches to diet. It is a legitimate question to ask who should one believe?

Common sense argues that peer-reviewed science should be the guide for determining the best diet. Dr. Ornish has published peer-reviewed scientific articles demonstrating that a whole-foods plant-based diet can halt and reverse heart disease as well as prostrate cancer. His work has been reproduced by other clinical investigators. There is solid research results supporting Dr. Ornish.

I did a search of the PubMed database to look for any scientific articles published by Dr. Eades which demonstrated any health benefit from a high protein diet. I could not find a single article. In fact, current scientific evidence indicates that high protein diets are in general unhealthy and specifically promote cancer (see The China Study by T. Colin Campbell). The peer-reviewed scientific literature does not support Dr. Eades.

Perhaps the best way to resolve this difference in opinions over diet is to let an independent arbiter make a decision. Would you be willing to believe the guidelines from the American Cancer Society? The ACS guidelines push for plant-based diets that are high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains while at the same time being low in red and processed meats, refined grains, and sugars. This is the same as Dr. Ornish’s diet.

We are all free to make our own choices. Choose wisely.


ACS guidelines: ( American Cancer Society guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention - Kushi - 2012 - CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians - Wiley Online Library )
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:52 AM   #10
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I do believe that eating mostly plants is a good thing. I personally haven't eaten beef in 14 years, although I do eat fish, poultry, and eggs.

I don't entirely disagree with Ornish. I agree with him on trans fats and on processed meats. I tend to think red meat is less healthy than fish or poultry (in general).

I also agree with him about some of the problems with livestock production.

But...I also think he is stuck somewhere in the 1990s when egg yolks were all but forbidden, fat was the only enemy and animal protein was heavily discouraged.

The thing is there has been a lot of research then and most of mainstream nutrition has moved on. I'm not even talking about the people who have their own axe to grind (and I do put Eades in that category).

I went and took a look at Ornish's food program where he classifies foods from Group 1 (good) to Group 5 (bad).

http://ornishspectrum.com/proven-program/nutrition/

I do think that most of the foods he has in Group 1 are foods that are good for most people. That said, I know my body doesn't handle certain carbs very well. I would like to be able to eat a lot of whole grains, but I find that I can tolerate only a small amount or my blood sugar goes up higher than I would like (and there are many people like that).

The biggest issue I have, though, with his plan is that he is so anti-animal protein that he puts sugar and refined grains in Group 3 right there with fish. I can't think of any world in which sugar, including high fructose corn syrup, and white bread are remotely equally healthy to fish. Further, he has sugar and refined grains as being better for you than poultry (group 4).

I don't think that is mainstream advice at all.

Again, I am not hostile at all to the idea of eating mostly plants. In fact, I was even a lacto-ovo vegetarian for a couple of years. I have no issue with a vegetarian diet.

But, even when I was a vegetarian I didn't think that sugar and white bread was better for me than chicken and equal to fish.

Faster - With regard to the ACS guidelines. I do not think they are the same as Ornish's guidelines at all. They do not place refined carbs at the same level of healthfulness as fish and better than poultry. Also, I would point out that these guidelines are those which reflect what is good/bad for preventing cancer. There are foods that may be healthy for other purposes but which have nothing to do with preventing cancer.

Finally the article states the following regarding vegetarian diets:
Quote:
Whether vegetarian diets confer any special benefits over diets that include smaller amounts of animal products than are typically consumed in Western diets is less clear; indeed, in one of the British studies of vegetarians, people who ate fish but not other meats appeared to have a lower overall cancer risk than vegetarians
Edit:

Here is a thoughtful response to the Ornish column:

http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/...hg3LNU.twitter
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:46 AM   #11
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I don't get in discussions about this any more because it seems to be like arguing religion.

However, I do object to the "high protein diet" phrase, which is entirely misleading. There is no question that a high protein diet wouldn't be wise for anyone. IMHO, that's why Ornish tends to use the phrase.

The actual approach advocated is low carbohydrate, high fat, moderate protein. Usually, this is shortened to LCHF.

As always, everyone should do their own research and come to their own conclusions about what to eat.
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:55 AM   #12
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diet...diet...diet....eat whatever, whenever...BUT exercise!

that being said, i am always on a low carb diet, except when i'm not

but I always exercise--no more marathons and 5 milers after work, but I always get my 40 minute walk in.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:17 AM   #13
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The take-away message I got from all the links cited in this thread so far:

"An optimal diet for preventing disease is a whole-foods, plant-based diet that is naturally low in animal protein, harmful fats and refined carbohydrates."



I didn't see any of the articles advocate a high refined carbohydrates, high harmful fats, and high animal protein diet.

Also, removing the adjectives changes the meaning of the sentence. That is, the sentence is not
"An optimal diet for preventing disease is a whole-foods, plant-based diet that is naturally low in protein, fats and carbohydrates."
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I don't get in discussions about this any more because it seems to be like arguing religion.

However, I do object to the "high protein diet" phrase, which is entirely misleading. There is no question that a high protein diet wouldn't be wise for anyone. IMHO, that's why Ornish tends to use the phrase.

The actual approach advocated is low carbohydrate, high fat, moderate protein. Usually, this is shortened to LCHF.

As always, everyone should do their own research and come to their own conclusions about what to eat.
+1

I used a LCHF approach (not HP) to lose weight and a more balanced approach (still lowish carb) to maintain the loss for the last three years. I read everything I could and concluded that most of the advice we get is pretty weak - particularly the latest observational studies that the media tend to overhype. Over the years I have found Stephen Guyenet to be one of the more rational and balanced observers I have read. He has a whole series discussing the issue of whether meat is good, bad, or mixed (spoiler alert - mixed). Read his summary article to get the gist of the research or read the whole series if you want to get into the weeds.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:15 AM   #15
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Seems to me weird to argue for or against a very small part of what is diet. Such as high protein. To me diet is whatever, anotherwords everything that I eat.

Maybe there should be an advocate for an "all beef diet".

That would include eating everything, all soft tissues and bones... A beef is beef from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail, hooves and skin included.

Head cheese anyone?
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:36 AM   #16
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Seems to me weird to argue for or against a very small part of what is diet. Such as high protein. To me diet is whatever, anotherwords everything that I eat.

Maybe there should be an advocate for an "all beef diet".

That would include eating everything, all soft tissues and bones... A beef is beef from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail, hooves and skin included.

Head cheese anyone?
I have never seen head cheese made from anything other than pork. No matter what parts of a beef you eat, I still isn't pork!

Ha
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:05 AM   #17
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Right you are Ha.

It is fun to throw a ringer into a post.

How about an all pork diet?

We used to raise and fatten our own pig in a pen, had it slaughtered and burned the hair off of it with straw in the front yard then was processed in the kitchen of our three room house. Learned to to suff intestines with ground meat and other goodies as a six year old. Yes we did make head cheese.

Half of the pig went to the butcher as payment the other was food for my mother and I for the winter and well into spring.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:15 AM   #18
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I agree that arguing diet and eating is like arguing religion. Also, there is a strong tendency towards confirmation bias.

Still, there is some good thinking on the subject by people who, while not perfect, are still very knowledgeable. Below is one set of articles that one might read if you have the time and desire:

Whole Health Source: Is Meat Unhealthy? Consolidated links

If you don't want to read the whole thing, just read part IX.

Edit: OOPS! Donheff beat me to it in the previous post. Great minds think alike.
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I did read the article by Dr. Eades. I found it to be grossly misleading about the diet advocated by Dr. Ornish.

These two physicians promote very different diets. Dr. Eades favors a high protein diet while Dr. Ornish favors a whole-foods plant-based diet (which by default is low protein and low fat). Both have written books advocating these different approaches to diet. It is a legitimate question to ask who should one believe?

Common sense argues that peer-reviewed science should be the guide for determining the best diet. Dr. Ornish has published peer-reviewed scientific articles demonstrating that a whole-foods plant-based diet can halt and reverse heart disease as well as prostrate cancer. His work has been reproduced by other clinical investigators. There is solid research results supporting Dr. Ornish.

I did a search of the PubMed database to look for any scientific articles published by Dr. Eades which demonstrated any health benefit from a high protein diet. I could not find a single article. In fact, current scientific evidence indicates that high protein diets are in general unhealthy and specifically promote cancer (see The China Study by T. Colin Campbell). The peer-reviewed scientific literature does not support Dr. Eades.

Perhaps the best way to resolve this difference in opinions over diet is to let an independent arbiter make a decision. Would you be willing to believe the guidelines from the American Cancer Society? The ACS guidelines push for plant-based diets that are high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains while at the same time being low in red and processed meats, refined grains, and sugars. This is the same as Dr. Ornish’s diet.

We are all free to make our own choices. Choose wisely.


ACS guidelines: ( American Cancer Society guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention - Kushi - 2012 - CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians - Wiley Online Library )
Excellent post, Faster. Welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:13 PM   #20
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In fact, current scientific evidence indicates that high protein diets are in general unhealthy and specifically promote cancer (see The China Study by T. Colin Campbell).

The China Study is a deeply flawed study that has been widely discredited. You might want to dig into the details of that study to see how flawed it really is, as many others have:

The China Study: Fact or Fallacy? | Raw Food SOS

The Curious Case of Campbell’s Rats — Does Protein Deficiency Prevent Cancer? | Weston A Price

As someone else said, one of Ornish's big problems is that he never really defines what a "high-protein diet" is, although he bashes them all the time. Also, he makes statements about red meat being extremely unhealthy, when that is most certainly not supported by most research over the last decade or so. If you don't believe me, do your own search. Here is one series of articles to start with, by Chris Kresser:

http://chriskresser.com/the-truth-about-red-meat

As you said, everyone is free to choose what they want to eat, and what they want to believe. But please don't try to claim that Ornish's conclusions and references are superior to many other researchers, as that is not correct.
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