QUICKLINKS AND VIEW OPITONS
The Duty Of Smart People
Monday, August 21, 2017 5:58 pm Email this article
On NPR I saw that the American Heart Association recommended against drinking coconut milk. I assure you, reader, this was done on the basis of no evidence whatever. The thinking was that coconut milk is high in saturated fat, and saturated fat is used in the synthesis of cholesterol. All true, but (A) reducing saturated fat in the diet has never been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, and (B) reducing blood cholesterol has never been shown to reduce heart attacks or deaths. In my office are posted 23 articles in major journals, JAMA and Lancet, showing that the higher the blood cholesterol the longer people live. And there is nothing on the other side. If you think the august doctors of the American Heart Association would not make such a basic mistake, you are a dreamer. It’s as though when you get your MD degree, you get a license to say anything you want and it will be deemed true.
In the hospital recently, on my breakfast tray was the following “cardiac diet”, courtesy the AHA.
- Limit total fat to less than 35% with emphasis on monounstaurated fats such as olive oil etc. [No evidence]
- Limit sodium to 2-4 grams per day. [But read Stolarz et al, JAMA 2011;305:1777-1785]
- Certain high-fat items are omitted, such as bacon, sausage, ham, donuts and biscuits. [No evidence]
- No salt packet on tray. [Ironically they had just given me 3 liters of iv saline]
It is the duty of all smart people to go to bed each night with no beliefs. The great British philosopher W. K. Clifford wrote, “It is wrong always, and for anyone, to believe anything on insufficient evidence.” Yup. The trouble with the AHA, Donald Trump and the United States in general is that they cannot distinguish between knowledge and belief, evidence and opinion. This is a faith-based nation. Faith is worthless. It only kills.
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