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June 16, 2020 53 min
The Seven Countries Study was a fairly impressive, long-term study on the effects of fat in our diet, among other things. But it was very flawed and launched the misguided "War on fat." Learn all about today, then make up your own mind. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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Everybody it's Josh and Chuck Your Friends, and we are here to tell you about our upcoming book. THAT'S COMING OUT! This follow the first ever STEFP. You should know book Chuck, THAT'S RIGHT! What's the cool super cool title we came up with it's stuff. You should know Colin an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things. That's right and it's coming along.

So great we're super excited you guys. The illustrations are amazing and there's the look at the book. It's all just it's exactly what we hoped it would be, and we cannot wait for you to get your hands on it. Yes, we can't, and you don't have to wait actually well. You do have to wait, but you don't have to wait to order.

You can go preorder the book right now everywhere you get books and you will eventually get a special gift for Preorderg which we're working on right now.

That's right so check it out soon coming this fall welcome to Stuff You Should Know a production of BI heart radios, Hawe, stuff works, Heyou'm, welcome to the PODCAST, I'm Josh Clark and there's Charles W Chuck Bryant over there and Jerry's. Here somewhere - and this makes it stuff - you should know the hearthealthy edition - that I've been wanting to do for a very long time, Chuck Yeah, and this was one that was put together by our buddy dave ruse, but back in February, and I lost it and thankfully you said hey by the way you know we got that seven countries thing just sitting: there gather ing Dust Yep, I said chuck, don't lose it here. I lost it and then I found it I was lost, but now I'm found right and fat is good for your body.

The end I know, but that's a that's such like a revolutionary statement. These days, radical, even basically to say fat is good for your body, the end, especially our a well, not even our age, but anyone in America in the S and s someony in our cohort, you mean yeah.

I love that word.

I do too so the reason why it's kind of radical to say that fats, good fores, because yeah everybody or age chuck knows that fat is horrible for you and even if you kind of know that fat's not as bad as we used to think you probably still don't realize how much better it is for you than it actually is there' still some part of you that demonizes it and during like the Aly and the s you couldn't get fat.

If you shook it out of a pig like it was nowhere to be found in the United States, we had low fat everything remember we had like potato chips where they took out the fat and replaced it with a do like a diarrhoea, creating agent yeah right. What were those called the O Olen Olenyeah? We did those, but I think they were like.

Like laze Olay weren't, they called Olay chips. They should have been called oives, so yeah like we're doing all sorts of things and one of the worst things we did too even worse than adding Olen or replacing fat with Oleen was a takeout fat and replace it with high fruittos cornserup beause. One of the things that fat does is give food flavor. If we take fat out of food, you still wantid to have flavor and if you're a food processor one cheap, easy way to put flavor back into it, is to put high fruit, tost corns or up into it, and so they think that, like all of this war on fat that took place in the is actually at least partially, if not fully responsible for the outbreak of chronic diseases that we're seeing now, including obesity and diabetes, that is just epidemic right now in the United States yeah, it was so ingrained in us that, even after doing this podcast episode and knowing what we now know, it's still like you say things like you know boy that steak. You just feel it like. clogging up your arteries, as you know that fat just gets wedged in there. You just get these mental images of fat just like breaking off of food and sticking to your blood vessels right yeah like this is really unhealthyor. This is super indulgent or something like that, and that just may not necessarily be the case, but yeah.

We had a number done on US basically and we're still crawling out from under it and what's the most magnificently amazing thing is that basically, all of this, the war on fat, the low fat trend, the possibly the diabetes and the obesity that resulted from taking out fast, eplacing it with sugar.

All of this stuff came from one study that was conducted back starting back in the s that some people are like. The study is 't, even legitimate, methodologically yeah, so that is the seven country study and the creator of the seven country study was someone named Dr Ansel Keys, who was married and published, and this is I'm not GOINGNA.

Just let this speak for itself.

They published a number of high volume selling books about the Mediterranean, Diet that these cookbooks and sometimes like the very first one, was only what, like two years after they started doing this study, so they've been accused of Cherry picking their data and promoting correlation as causation, and as a result of all this, the United States very famously came out with the Food Pyramid that we was drilled into our heads in school and said: fat is cholesterol, and that is heart disease and eating fatty things will kill. You yes, like ypsofacto. The problem is, is that it was all based of those recommendations that food pyramid was all based on this study and not any kind of like clinical data. It was just basically a study that was set up and design to support a hypothis, not really test a hypothesis so much as support yeah. This hypothesis by Dr Antel keys that satarated fats rose cholesterol levels in your blood and that increase cholesterol levels in your blood would kill you through heart disease, and so Dr Kesus been very much demonized over the years as people have figured out. Like no fats aren't bad for you, and actually you need them, but there's also been like an effort to reform him too and in his defense he wasn't just some some psychonarcissus doctor sure from what I could tell he is.

He invented K. Rations Ek. Russians are called that after him keys. Oh no M yeah that that, like kept a lot of GIS alive World War, two he was a major part of the Minnesota starvation experiment where volunteers, councries, Jos, subjectors and world war, two volunteered to be starved, so that the scientist could figure out how to refeed people without killing them, which became very useful when we liberated the POW cant in Germany in some of the occupied areas. So he was like a good.

I don't! Okay, I don't know enough about him to say he was a good person, but I don't think he was like an evil person by any stretch, O the imagination and also the reason that he started conducting. The study in the first place was because there was an epidemic of middle aged men, in particular in America who ware just dying, left and rigoht of heart disease, and he wanted to figure out what the problem was.

He also started the caphop phenomenon Hei, so catchy and great, I don't know any Cape Up. I know the kids love it though they do their nuts for it that one b fifty two band or something like that. I can't I can't remember their name no idea, but if they're called the beef, if c Tos, then they should be sued because that's been taken, that's right.

So Dr Ansell keys is an American from Minnesota, a physiologist and in the s when you know the don drapers, although that was little later, but the DON drapers of the world were falling over dead from smoking, cigarettes all the time and eating steak for lunch and Martines for lunch.

He said you know what I'm gonna figure this out and see. What's going on and I'm going to identify some risk factors why men in this country are developing heart disease and men around the world is what it ended up being, but it started in Minnesota where he did a little pilot study and while he was doing that, he got an a message from a colleague in Italy who said in southern Italy. We got to no heart to disease, everybody's a healthy and he said really n, and he also said southern Italys really nice. You should come visit, and so he went there in th s and a bit I mean southern Italy is still great, but a be t h, rae its. It was just a Dilik yeah and he went down there and he started these informal studies.

Comparing business business executives with the working class men of southern Italy measuring cerum cholesteral levels, talking about what you're eating getting the data on heart disease and heart attacks there from the hospitals, and he started to form this hypothesis that you know what dudes middleaged dudes, that have higher serum cholesterol levels are more likely to die, or at least suffer from a heart attack.

Yes, yes, and that was like the beginning, that was hi yeah and that was his hypothesism. It's pretty sound hypoesis, especially based on some of the data that he'd seen because he around this time after his, he was intrigued by his friend in southern Italy and his trip to southern Italy, which, by the way he fell in love with southern Italy, so much he shure shop. There yeah and, I believe, lived out his life till age undre an one wow yeah, and that proves it.

It basically does because I believe he did idhere pretty strictly to the Mediterranian Diet. He espoused. He was no hypocrite, but he he started poking around and getting his hands on whatever data he could for things like fat and take in the Diet and incidences of heart disease and heart attacks, wherever he could get it in the world and he compiled data from twenty two different countries and he said wow. This is really kind of all over e place. I'll just select six of these countries. That really prove my point and he created Bu, it's known as the six country graph, which a lot of people confuse with the seven country study, but it pre ipredated the seven country study. But it was this thing that was kind of like the transition period between first forming this hypothesis. In beginning the seven country study, thes, six country, grafh, was kind of like the the connective tissue between the two in had also told him where to look to really find the biggest disparities that might support or undermine his hypothesis. And so we got to work looking around and contacting people around the world and said Hey.

I have zero funding to offer you.

I know that Word War Two descended and everybody is basically trying to rebuild their economy and their nation, and Europe is kind of war torn and shattered N.

Japan has had bombs dropped on it, but do you want to start studying whether eating steak is bad for you and going to kill you and actually astoundingly? Some country said yes yeah, so the countries ended up being Italy, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Finland, the US - and I guess was it: Greece was the last one. Did that count? Okay, greace yocrase counts. Well I mean I knew yeah. I know Greece counts.

GREACE is the word.

So it was time in the in the ID s. He had the interested countries and the interested parties o one thousand nine hundred and fifty eight he developed these select populations and you kind of teasid earlier calling us cohorts these populations of men. They refer to as cohorts in the study. So when you hear say Cohord, it's not like one guy, it's a population of guys right, so the seven countries they would monitor for twenty five years and ideally lead to what risk factors would lead to heart disease, and that was his goal. Was I'm going to find out what these risk factors are, provide some evidence and then say: here's what you should be eating? Basically, yes, so that I mean that's, that's exactly what he did like. You said within two years of starting this study, which was supposed to last twenty five and actually did last twenty five and some of the people who were the original participants were studied for more than forty forty years, but within two years he he turned around and published that cookbook. That's how certain he was of his hypothesis being correct.

Yeah, and I don't you know we don't want to poopwit the Medeterranean Diet.

No, I think the idea, I'm sure the Mediterrane Diet is it can be quite healthy.

The idea, though, is you shouldn't just be like I'm going to eat low fat, because that's what happened in America?

Yas, everyone didn't say: Hey we'll just eat Mediterranean, they said we'll just eat junk food full of sugar and Hifirk does cornserup, but doesn't have fad in it, and that was the other thing too is he is very frequently unfairly accused of demonizing fat. He didn't do that. He said you need to be eating olive oil by the gallon fold, just inject it daily. Basically, he didn't say that it's kind of parphrasing sure fut.

He he didn't leave out things like.

You know, fats from Fish Ur from allof. Well, it was saturated fat and Particulat that he was convinced was the culprit for heart disease and deaths from heart, disease right and eat. A lot of grains eat lot of pasta, eat a lot of fruit eat a lot of bread, a lot of vegetables.

Sure vegetables are good for you, yeah, that's true right, yeah ind! Also, I think one of the other things I was so radical about the Mediterranean diet like even now you're, like oh t at sounds kind of exotic. This is the s that this guy first ofes, the Metatranean Diet, but one of the other things that was radical about it, and I should say I didn't. I didn't give credit to his wife Margaret who cowrote the first book with them at least the first one, if not more yeah, they wrote it together, but the the the thing that was radical about it was that he said: Hey those fruits and vegetables and all that make those the main like make the meat. Your side dish like flip it over and you're, going to like live a lot longer than you are just by eating a big steak and some cream spinach on the side M.

Hey. I got no problem with the man. There is definitely a case to be made about eating what you like and living shorter, it's tough to argue with, in some cases hey what do we do when we occasionally on the road we'll go to a stakhouse together, we split as cream spinach. Every time sure I mean, how can you go to a steakhouse and not creams finish it's the best. It makes you strong right yeah, my forearm is just a freakishly buljen. Should we take a break? Yes, all right go work out those four arms and we'll talk about the cohorts right after this.

If you want to Knowan your, I luck, just Listentoou Sookay, so we're going to say it again cohorts cohorts.

It's a study population that bear some sort of similarity to one another sort of there were sixteen in the seven country study and all sixteen cohords totaled, twelve thousand seven hundred and sixty three participants. So it's a pretty good study. Sixteen different groups of people more than twelve thousand total in seven different countries, this fairly impressive and ambitious study for the time for sure it was - and I think there were at least two in every country except for the US which had one cohort and he never said we have to be fair. He never said you know what this represents: All men in these countries and sort of all men around the world they never pretended like. That was the case, but they had to start somewhere and and we're not pooping. The whole study, like the IT, was very robust, and if you carry out a study in seven countries with all of these men over twenty five years, it's you know they weren't slouches or anything like that.

No, but the very fact that he went around and said: Oh these people eat a Mediterranean diet, I'm going to include them.

These people eat what I consider the opposite of Meditrini ditem right include them yeah, rather than saying like we'll just pick these countries at random and start studying them and see if the their cholesterol and take is low and then, if so, if that correlates with the lower heart disease, he didn't do that, and that is definitely worth criticizing for sure.

So, let's I guess talk about some of these cohorts and what they who they were.

Former Yugoslavia. He studied a couple of small towns, one that had the western European Diet and one that was on the Mediterranean Diet. Largely Finland was really interesting. I think out of all these, because he compared two villages in eastern and western Finland, because East Finlanders were recording a lot more heart attacks, in fact, supposedly like the highest record on planet Earth at the time.

Yes, and for good reason too, you would think because they would eat things like so great.

This makes me ungry yeah, it kind of does actually they would eat a fish soup that was just loaded with butter for breakfast yeah.

The Wu de was called the loggers lunch, which was described by one of the researchers as you ready, yeah large hunks of meat suspended in congealed fat, enveloped in a dark bread, loaf, fully permeated by fat.

I'm so sorry to our begin, a vegetarian listeners because you're probably turning it off right about now yeah.

We should have spoiled our trigger warning this one yeah too late, which, by the way, I have to say I have been really doing my best to eat far less meat, not for health purposes, for ethical reasons really were. But I got to say that does sound kind of good to me as like.

If you put this in front of me and say, here's your chance to eat a eastern Finland loggers lunch.

I would I would take you up on it. I think yeah, I'm I cut down on me too. Yeah Yeah Ate! So don't a lot O red meat don't eat a ton of bork anymore kind of yeah epecially little foul, especially pork. For me, I don't always eat meat, but when I do I try not to so then so. You've got your high fat diets in Fenland and then he said all right. I need to like you kin of mention earlier. I need to choose some some opposite, in my view, opposite countries of what they eat.

So where do you go?

You go to Japan, of course, where they ate a lot of fish and he went to a even a tiny little fishing village, where they all ate almost all fish and then again in Greece, in the Greek islands and in southern Italy, also where they were obviously eating the Mediterranean Diet Right.

So he takes all these different cohords takes all of their different diets and starts just kind of looking at all sorts of factors. That was one of the other reasons. You said it was a very robust study, one of the other reasons that it was robustes because they looked at all sorts of stuff. It wasn't just their diet, they looked at things like what they drank and what they smoked and how much they smoked and all this kind of stuff. It was a big long study and again they followed these guys for at least twenty five years and some of the stuff that they found were basically this, and this is this is the two points that the seven country study told the world and they just so happened to be the two points that Ansel keys fully expected the seven countries to tell th studies to tell the world, and it was that if you have a high serum cholesterol like a high concentration of cholesterol, ind your blood, then there youre there's a greater chance that you are going to die from cardiovascular disease right and eastern Finland, where those loggers were eaten fat breads, that's a great name for a restaurant, batbread sure, Oh yeah iwow.

If restaurants are still around in a few months a we should open one called fat breads, so those fat bread eating loggers.

They had average cerm colesteral levels of more than two sixty and there were more than four heart attacks for heart attack deaths for every one hundred middleaged men, five years after the study started right. Okay, so Chucki looked it up. They had an average of twand sixty the window of normal or acceptable, or you R you're, you don't have like viscus blood is hundred and twenty five to two hundred these guys were averaging two ad sixty hm.

That's a lot.

It is a lot, so the opposite of that was the the former Yugoslabian place, Dalmatia, where they had the Mediterranean Diet, and there men had an average serum ceolesterol level of hunded and Eihty five and had one death per one hundred men over that same period and Dummatias, where the Dalmatian dog they think is from.

I kind of assume that, but you never know did you. It was worth saying anyway. Sorce is a show about facts and TRIV. That's right did you have you ever been to Kroasia?

No, it is spectacular, an sure it's on the Adriatic and it is incredibly gorgeous you meaand. I went on a cruise once that went through there and it is I've just wanted to go back ever since. Was it one of those river cruises?

No, it was again it was on the ADRC. It was a cruise all the way around Italy, fo. Okay, one side to the down passe the boot and then up the other, a that was quite lovely, yeah, we're not like cruise people or anything like that, but we went with Shandon. The champagnemaker had a cruise that weere like well, okay. This is the one we're going to take and it turned out to be really great because we're not like Italy fans, you W, have nothing its itily but Wewere, never like we got to go to Italy, right, wowere, never cruise fans and then after we got off of those were like. I want to go on another cruise and I want to go back to Italy, and would it kill you to give me some more chant on?

Did you just drink tons of champagne? Yes, that's wonderful!

So the other thing that it said was the other conclusion was diets higher and saturated fats will correlate to more heart attacks and the data did show a big correlation between saturated fat in the regular traditional Diet and the heart attacks, and I think Crete, where saturated fats, equal between eight and nine percent of daily calories.

The average number of heart attack desper one hundred - was basically zero over thet five years and in the US, where we only had the one cohort any think we said they were railroad workers right yeah in Minnesota, Minnesota railroad workers, they had seventeen percent saturated fats in their diet and they had more than three despere one hundred during that five year period. Right. So all this stuff just totally backs up what what Antel keys was saying right and later studies that basically took the seven countrie studie cohort and drilled down into him a little more.

There were two particular ones: The zootfin study from the Netherlands and the hail project, both of them looked at just continued following people beyond the twenty five years so like the hail study, was dedicated to looking at healthy aging. That kind of thing, and they turned up some other stuff that you now basically take his gospel as well like. If you follow a Mediterranean diet, your risk of heart attack drops precipitously.

I think thirty, nine percent lower risk.

If you eat fish, it lowers your risk of dying from a heart attack like even just eating fish once or twice a week can drop your risk of a fatal heart attack by fifty percent, like these were things that came along, not not from the seven country study, but from that thing being continued on by supplementary studies, yeah and two of the big ones that people like myself and my wife like to spout is it you drink the two glasses of wine a day, you're actually healthier than not drinking at all, and if you eat that one square of dark chocolate, Ata you're actually healthier as well.

If you eat more than that drink more than that, then it goes the opposite way yeah, but that two glasses of wine and one square of chocolate. Is People really like to telt that one who like to drink wine and eat chocolate? That's what they call a sweet spot yeah.

So like seriously think about it, though, if you drink less than two, I two glasses of wine, a dat you're you're likelier, to die of heart disease than if you drink. To that I mean that's what they're saying in the study at least right - and I mean like I haven't seen anything that says: NOPE. That's not true, that's BS, but they everybody makes that case that you said to Er. That makes that point that, like once you go beyond to not only does it have the opposite effect, it gets really bad, really really fast yeah and what you can't do also is be like well, I haven't had any drinks for three nights, so I'll have five glasses of wine tonight and that averages out to super healthy, yeah yeah, they say Ben Drinking is way worse for you, but then they also say that Bai been shrinking is way better for you. We have no handle on what drinking does to you.

I just know that drinking makes me feel like a SS the next day.

Yeah I mean the older you get. You definitely have to pick and choose dude like two beers. Can I don't want to say wreck me the next day, but I am not Lov ing life the next day, necessarily two beers dude yeah.

My whole deal is sleep. Like I haven't had anything to drink for four nights, and that was after a pretty big couple of nights in a row for various reasons, and I just I sleep so much better, I wake up feeling so much better.

I mean it's irrefutable, you know what I do try to do now, though, in my old ages is really drink, a ton of water while I'm drinking - Oh, that's, smart and I use now take these.

I don't know if I should buzs market the brand, but I take a little supplement Adville. That is that, is you know it's basically like a super vitamin that supposedly will help curba hangover and like have you noticed that it actually has an effect and if it does happen affect o, you think is just power. Suggestion or doesnit really work. No, I think so, but it's not gobblly Gook. I mean it's B, twelve and like things that we know can probably help with a hangover yeah yeah have you ever Gotn a bee twelve shot.

I haven't Oh man a lot of times they miss or it doesn't work or it's water down or something like that. It's really hard to get a good B, twelve shop real when it works brother, you can tell a difference and you feel like a million bucks, really you're, not high, but you're like high on life kind. Oft You're, not not high.

I GUESS! Actually it's a really fair way to put it to tell you c. How long does that last, like basically all day, you just feel great. You want to talk to strangers. You you're, like totally large and in charge of getting stuff done, youver feel overwhelmed like you're like having you have a sense of humor. It's just it just takes like all the best parts of your personality and like Bulkom up not any kind of speedy shortmanic way, but just you just feel like you're running on all cylinders, and you just wish to God that, like you were always like that, but and that's what you got a to so that's. Why you're? Not that's! Why you or that's what you get it one of those hangover next day places right like an ivy in a betwell shot, yeah yeah! You could go to like a medical clinic or you know, a med spar or something like that, and they usually have it. Some chairopractors have o have to do that.

Yeah. I think you have to have some sort of medical degree to inject it or whatever, but I've always kind of been on the hunt to have b twelve prescribed to me, so I can inject it myself yeah sure, so I guess that there's any doctor listeners er so sh no out there het me up, because I need a prescription of B twelve, please!

Oh Man.

Where were we?

I think we're about to take a break yeah. Let's take a break and we'll talk a little bit about the criticisms right after this.

If you want to Knowan Youri luck, just listen, Toesa you Su okay, so I think we kind of made it clear that there are some people out there.

Communists, Pincos who hate the seven country study, can't stand it and they have a lot of very valid points.


I think one of the biggest criticisms is that it was a very correlative relationship right and not a causal relationship.

Yeah, I mean that's kind of the biggest one that in the fact that it's a study, it's a it's called, an ecological study, which is it's a study that at the time it was. You know who was this Dr Henry Blackburn, he was one of the original officer said it was stayte of the art for the time, but he's like an ecologic study and correlation is pretty weak.

If you're talking about trying to find a causal, I guess it cals all inference yeah, because the thing is is you're. Taking all of these people from all around the world and you're examining them to see you're trying to find out what's the underlying cause of their common affliction, rard attacks or what accounts for the absence of that affliction. AGAIN: Heart attacks.

But the problem is s there, as so many differences between somebody who is on a Medetrranean Diet and lives in Crete, and somebody who eats the loggers lunch in Finlan besides just what they eat, there's so many other factors. So many different things involved that even if you can find a correlation like you like, like ancel keys, did between saturated fats and heart attacks, it doesn't mean that there's actually not something else that play and that's the biggest the biggest criticism of the study that most people widely level against it yeah and it's also an epidemeological study which follows the population to something you know not so good for you over a lingth of time.

But if you want to do that right, you can't, like you said just they have to be the same age, the same sex. They have to do the same job, they have to be the same ethnicity, they have to be in the same place and the only difference can be what they're eating basically right and like, and I get what he was doing. He was trying to you know, compare this type of diet to that type of diet in different places around the world, but it was just that's! That's flawed! That's a flaw! That's an adventure! That's not a study right! Exactly, that's! That's a that's! A travel eating show basically sort of is, but it was almost like he was trying to cram a dozen studies into one rather than break it out and appropriately into each different study. Like I'm going to study these people and use this as the control, his study lacked a control group or control variable yeah right and that's that's another big thing. That's leveled against. It is a big flaw and makes you wonder you know.

Okay is: is that correlation between saturated fat and heart disease, even real yeah, I mean, even when they tried to kind of drill down to an apples to apples like in Finland.

That was one place where they had alright at least we're all in the same country.

So that's a good place to start.

Let's see here, the two finished cohorts I still love saying that they consumed relatively similar, similar levels of saturated fat, so in the West they had nineteen percent and the esay had twenty two percent, not a huge difference. That's so much, though, what three percent yeah the railroald workers in one Thousan, nine hnded a s Minnesota, were eating. Thirteen percent of their diet was that traded fat, oh so much FA, yeah twenty two percent was that finish: Co Yeah close to a quarter of your diet, was Cataa, it's crazy, but the average number of heart attack deths in the east was twice as high weird versus.

I think four desperate one hundred men versus two in the West Yeah so like that means there's something else going on yeah exactly because they're fat intake was similar, but that you know that shouldn't there's what would atcount for a double that the the increase. So who knows, and they just the answer. Is They don't know? We don't know, we don't know what would account for that and there's there's a lot of other people. Who've looked at this and said: okay, there's still like a lot to be said of this data. There's a lot you can extract from it and some people have come along the way and said: Hey. You know like you. Can you can run this stuff through statistical analysis? Apparently they did another that and they did when they originally looked at the data back in the S or Sixs, and they dated again for the twenty fifth anniversary of this study, and one of the things that turned up was that sugar actually seemed to correlate more strongly sugar in Takin. The Diet seemed to correlate more strongly with heart disease. They aven saturated fatced it.

It was almost roughly the same, but the thing is tha sugar bump. When you factoreid in saturated fat, the sugar bump disappeared, and so they said, oh well, it's just an anomly. It's really the saturated fats from what I could tell if you had a seturated fat bump and you factored in sugar.

That would disappear as well.

So some people have come to think like if it's not sugar.

Maybe it's a combination of sugar and saturated fats. That's actually the real problem, not saturated fats on its own, but that it's, I not even necessarily shuground its tone, but this combination of the two yeah and that's Lait, a lot of people, including one big critic of the seven country study to say, like it's processed food. That's what kills. People is process food, this combination of Badfats, an and sugar that is really proving to be deadly yeah and I think that's.

I think, that's just so clear now that real food is far and away better for you then process food right like you can't you just can't refute that.

No, you can't I mean, even if you just baseit - and you know, we always make fun of anecdotal data, but if you just base it on how your body feels yeah after you eat certain kinds of food and then after you eat processed food, the problem is, is we don't know how to feed seven billion people a has playng it without processing food? You know where's Norman Borlog, I yeah. I don't know he s dead dead in the COL ground. God doesn't care about anything now so ithas it been refuted, not necessarily, it hasn't been completely refuted to where they say just throw this thing in the trash, but I think the and it hopefully we've gotten this point across is the damage that it did in the United States was we went all in on it right and they said, if that is, is the killer and if you just avoid fat and eat these process, low fat foods you're going to be just fine.

Yes, so like that, and you can't really lay that at Antil keys feet, that was the Department of Health and human service O for sure yeah.

They just took these findings and ran with them.

They were like. Well, we don't have any clinical data and they're like. I can't hear you. I can't hear you I'm already at the printers getting these posters of the Food Pyramid Guide print ed up, and that was definitely a huge problem that that created this larger problem, because it led to this demisation of all fats that food pyramid that showed the little bit at the top was like fats and sweets and stuff like that.

Like Yiu, didn't say you know just this kind of fat or keep away from that kind of fact it was fat.

You Americans are too fat and dumb to understand that there's different kinds of fats so just stay away from fats al together and that that's really what led to this, because there are plenty of fats that are actually good for your heart, like things like fats found in fish, that's found in olive oil vacandos and then even even potentially, yeah avocadas are about as good as it gets and then potentially chuck the like the kinds of saturated fat that people tend to associate like with a stake as being bad for you, that's not necessarily true, either and again, it seems to be like we talked about in that the peanut butter episode, those chemically processed or industrially processed fats that change things that make peanut butter, shelf stable and way more delicious, like those are the fats that are actually really bad for you. Those are the ones that you should avoid or eat in moderation, and that that kind of nuance is needed to actually have a healthy diet, because we learned from this experiment that you can't just cut fats out altogether. We need a lot of those fats to survive and be healthy, yeah and the evidence as far as because you would think you know this started n th s in America.

So shortly we all got a lot healthier right because of the food pyramid and all the low fat food yeah we cut fat anyway, you can flice it. We cut fat over two decades, plus people still, you know, think fat as the demon in a lot of circles and America is as sick as we've ever been type two diabetes, his increase, Oh man. This is crazy, a hundred and sixty six percent frm onethousand, nine hundred and eighty to two thousand ad twelve.

I don't know about two thousand ad twelvth on now wel. I would guess more of the yeah doubt I fit reverse course.

We have beaten down heart disease some, but we've also stopped smoking a lot more and we've got better emergency room care and better drugs like statons and stuff like that right.

But it's still, you know: Cardio Vascular Disease Still Kills people more than anything else in the US yeah. Despite those advances in medical treatment, it's still killing people more than anything else and like even exercising hasn't, helped like we exercise, basically more than ever yeah, but still a third of the country is obes. TSE third of the United States is obese, and all of this, like think about this, all those things are happened while we cut fat essentially out of our diet, so that just goes to show you like that that didn't work, that's not going to help that we have to rethink this whole thing for sure, yeah and again we're not poopooing the Mediterranean diet, there's also the flipside of this stuff with Kito the atkinstiet Paleo stuff. Like that, you know, I think we've tried to you, know we're not going to tellnnyone how to eat and we're not dietitians. But we've tried to preach over the past couple of years.

You know: eat real foods, eat balance, diets, try, moderation, especitok moderation, and you know Calori reasonable calory restriction and exercise.

Yeah and - and I mean portion control to - is it sucks when you first do it it sucks to get used to, but once you get used to it, it's it's easy to maintain it Isso easy to go back on when you're like I'm going to eat this whole box of hamburger helper tonight I know, but how does that make you feel it makes you feel like garbage yeah, ultimately emotionally, and even if it's hitting a reward center and trust me theyre, so many reasons that people don't eat the right things and eat too much of the wrong things, sure emotional reasons and psychological reasons and we're not all that stuff is valid, but even if it's hitting that reward center, it will probably also make you feel awful, itmo emotionally and physically.

It's true and like, and also just to say, like we're, definitely on our high horses right now, but we're no better than anybody else like we know, I'm still sixty pounds overweight, I mean we had you meaand, I split a whole roll of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls like Ye yeah. I know tough to turn those down.

I can't even get that, but it's just the it's the well no chucking you're right having it in your house is problem, one not having it in your house actually is helpful. It's crazy! It's weird, but it actually works, especially during a quarantine when you can't just yeah pop up or you don't feel like you should pop up to the store and get that Ben and Jerry's right exactly like yeah yeah for sure, because then Yo you just your pace around your kitchen till it's time you go to bed, but you didn't need anything, get that you know W. I trie the other night, but a that peanut butter, an whip, green!

Oh, what D you think its delicious!

I'm sorry! I still haven't eaten a peanut butter and MEO Sandwichet.

No, it's really good Emily Mad. She makes good homemade whip cream and it was oh yeah.

It was delish yeah.

It's it's hard to turn down now. I want some, but you know have a little bit of that one night.

Then I won't have any for a little while yeah, and even I think what I was going to say earlier is walking around with this information is good and helpful and like you're, never going to always adhere to it and probably wouldn't be that fun of a life to always adhere to it, but they're, just knowing it and kind of using it as like a general compass or guide, it's o make you healthier and will make you feel better and maybe at some point along the line. If you already have this info you're going to get a a kick in the pant by something you're Goinna hit like a period of growth, and that might be part of it, you might like looseome white, you might get over a chronic disease, you might all sorts of things might happen because you know what to eat or how to start thinking about your food is is good to keep in your back pocket, at least it is, and in the end it whan doesn't matter anyway, because it all has to do with the health of your grandfather right, yeah, hey one. Other thing I want to say is that critic Zoi Dr Zoi Harcomb.

She pointed out that actually, the strongest correlation that the seven country study turned up was the were the latitude of where the person live, yeah, sunshine, right, yeah and which is really strange until she points out and I'm not sure how much he was pointing this out to basically undermine the SEVIC country. Stead artially that, but it does make sense in a way too, is she', saying: Well, we synthesize vitamin D in our skin from cholesterol. In the skin, when it's exposed to sunshine and Vitamin D has a lot of protective qualities for the immune system, so maybe that has to do with it yeah, I'm glad you pointed that out, yeah.

Well, that's it for nutrition. Well, probably never talk about it again.

That's not true at all and since I said that it's time for Listener Mail, all right, I'm going to call this Jack Hammers.

Why did you do that?

I don't know why not people asked me asked on twitter. They were like why why I thought you guys hated this and, I said Yeah. I think chucks got some weird selfloathing going on trolling and I just got caught up unfairly yeah, so we have often n long made fun of our Jack Hammers episode and I rereleased it as a stuff. You should have select just to be cheeky, and this is about that because Chris for Massachusetts really appreciated it, hey guys just finished listening to Stuff You Should Know select on Jack Camers, and I know you call it the most most boring worst one, but I actually enjoyed it.

I'm a mechanical engineer and in College, took a class on vibrations which led to conducting research on noise on the noise that a Jack Hamer makes.

This is we did that show for this guy, the noise or the ring that you hear when a Jack Hamera strikes is the resonant frequency of the Jack Hammer moil point after being struck by the inner pile driver.

I don't think we said any of that stuff.


I was working with my professor on developing an inner damper to reduce that noise produced fir the man, God blesse right for the same reasons that you named in your podcast.

Some of the concepts he developed were quite amazing. You could take one of the moils he design and drop it on a concrete floor and instead of a loud ringing, you expect to hear it would land with a soft thud.

Unfortunately, the concept never quite panned out, but your oing call them moyals righ exactly, but your podcast reminded me of the miny nights spent in the lab collecting piles of data and the painful ringing that you mentioned in the show, thanks for the countless amazing episodes, my girlfriend and I have gotten many hours of entertainment from your show and truly appreciate all the great content and laughs Chris Forma Massachusetts.

Chris, thank you for getting in touch and thank you for your attempted contribution to the world.

Had it paid off. That really would have been something, but thank you for even trying and if you want to be like Chris, and let us know that you're an unsung hero. We want to hear about that and if you know at Onsung hero, let us know about that person too. You can send it in an email, two stuff podcast at I heart, radiocom Stuff You Should Know - is production of iheart radios. HOUSSTUFF works for more podcast. For my heart radio ECAUSE IT Thai heat, radio, a apple podcast Ow, wherever you listen to your favorite, shows

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