Bulletin #63

MAR/APR 1973


Hypoglycemia Association, Inc.

18008 New Hampshire Ave, Box 165

Asbton, MD 20861 165

 (Founded in 1967)


          (202) 544-4044

    In Washington, D.C.


Our bulletin is not meant to be medical advice. It is written by lay people, dedicated to helping those with hypoglycemia. All cases are individual. If you need medica1 advice, see your physician.



Dorothy R. Schu1tz


LIFE IS A CHEMICAL PROCESS, and we are a chemical factory and all the foods--the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, water and vitamins--are also chemicals. These chemicals must first provide energy for us. When the body's need for energy is taken care of, then the chemicals build and maintain the cells and tissues, and regulate the body processes.

A LARGE PART OF THE BODY IS PROTEIN, and that makes the protein intake of first importance. The word protein comes from the Greek word proteios and means "of first importance." The protein of meat, fish, milk, and eggs, containing all the essential amino acids were found to be of higher biological value than those of cereals and legumes in animal growth studies. The use of plant proteins must be very carefully planned in order to provide all the essential amino acids. For more details see' Bulletin #59 on Proteins.


THE NEXT MAJOR COMPONENT OF FOOD IS FAT (lipids) from animal and vegetable pro­ducts. Those which are oily solids at ordinary room temperatures, and are combina­tions of glycerols (glycerin) and fatty acids are calied triglycerides. (Fatty acids are chemical compounds when added to glycerin form a fat. The simplest fatty acid is acetic acid which gives vinegar its sour taste. Then there is formic acid found in the bee's sting, and butyric acid in butter, and propionic acid which gives sweitzer cheese its flavor, and stearic  and oleic and linoleic.)


THE TRIGLYCERIDES ARE MOST FATS THAT WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH such as those in meat, poultry, milk, butter, cheese, vegetable and salad oils and shortenings. Among the lipids are the sterols, such as cho1esterol, and the essential fatty acids, linoleic and arachidonic. These are called essential because they "are needed and the body cannot produce them. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in relative­ly large amounts in the phospholipid portion of animal fats, in fish oils and in some vegetable oils. Phospholipids (a familiar one is lecithin) are a very important class of lipids found within the cells of animals, as for example, ,in the muscle cells. They are nutritionally important, among other reasons, because they are natu­ral emulsifying agents which made the other fats more assimilable. Of the sterols found in the diet, cholesterol is the most important. Sterols are used by the body to build the hormones, many of which are themselves particular kinds of sterols - the sterols of the adrenal cortex, the sex hormones, the bile acids and salts.

FATS PLAY A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN ANIMAL NUTRITION because they are a source of energy for work providing more than twice as much energy as do equal portions of either carbohydrates or proteins. They supply more than twice as much energy as do equal portions of either carbohydrates or proteins. They supply reserve energy in the fat stores of the body which can be used in times of sickness or dietary short­ages. They are the sources of the fat soluable vitamins, A, D, E, and K, and the essential fatty acids. Fat deposits serve as insulation and protective cushions for the organs. Infant eczema and other skin disorders and failure of growth are caused by a LOW FAT DIET, particularly when there is a dietary deficiency of the essential fatty acids.


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ONE HEARS A GOOD DEAL OF DISCUSSION ABOUT THE VALUE OF SATURATED FAT VERSUS UNSATURATED FATS.  One should remember that both animal and plants contain both kinds of fats, and that some solid fats are unsaturated (lard) and some liquid fats are saturated (coconut).  Some fats are almost evenly divided. Beef fat is 53.6% sat­urated, and 46.4% unsaturated. Butter contains 40% unsaturated fat. As a rule,

the fat that is liquid at room temperature is more likely to be unsaturated than

one which is solid at room temperature. An example, rendered chicken fat is more unsaturated and Crisco is more saturated. Margerine and shortenings are mixtures of both saturated and unsaturated fats. Regardless of advertising claims, a consi­derable portion of saturated fats are found in all.

  The food sources of fat are animal fat such as lard and butter, vegetable oils, shortenings, nuts, seeds, meats, poultry, fish, all cheeses (except cottage cheese), egg yolk, avocado and coconut. Every meal should contain some fat, but how much is an individual matter.


AS A RESULT OF THE WAR ON FATS IN RELATION TO HEART DISEASE, fears have arisen concerning animal fats and animal products in general. Those who avoid eggs, cream, and butter turn to sugar, sugar substitutes, corn syrup and cereals. The cereals become the substitute for eggs, and the sugars or corn syrup go into nondairy coffee whiteners (along with vegetable oils hydrogenated with BHA, thickeners, and artifi­cial colors and flavors). Recipes which contain sugar, oil and white flour are suggested to those who would protect their hearts. Our members report an improvement in any heart problems, which they may have previously had, after eliminating sugar from their diets.


Concern for the amounts of fat people eat prompted a suggestion (but not action) that the fat (and salt) be reduced in the diet of southern rural black populations who had very little heart disease, but who ate, principally, pork, fat, salt and greens. They were actually getting the unsaturated essential fatty acids from the pork muscle which contains substantial amounts of linoleic and arachidonic acids (which are found as well in other animal muscle tissue, and this includes fish). Salt, to add yet another controversial factor, is considered by some to be very im­portant to life, but more about that later.


THE CHOLESTEROL CONTROVERSY, a book by E. R. Pinckney, M.D. and Cathy Pinckney, is clearing the air.l  Dr. Pinckney does not present THE ANSWERS to heart disease, but he suggests a proper well balanced diet, physical fitness, and reduction of stress as the practical and sound beginning toward good health and a healthy heart. He pre­sents the following studies from various societies and universities which seriously question the WAR ON FATS. The American Cancer Society found fewer strokes and heart strokes and heart attacks in people who ate eggs daily (Caution--there are some who are extremely allergic to eggs and cannot eat them) and used saturated fats. A Vet­erans Adminstration hospital's study of heart disease patients indicated that lower­ing blood cholesterol apparently did not protect against a second heart attack. The Agricultural Research Service reported that corn oil raises the cholesterol more than does butter fat or beef. Another study demonstrated that corn oil heated for more than 15 minutes could increase diseases of the arteries in animals. They cite also, the example that was reported several years ago in newspapers, the case of the high Italian population of Roseto, Pennsylvania, who eat a high fat diet, including lots of pork fat, and have average cholesterol levels and a lower heart attack rate than nearby cities.


SINCE THE STEROIDS IN OUR BODIES ARE MANUFACTURED OUT OF CHOLESTEROL SUBSTANCES (which are found in all tissues), anticholesterol agents can decrease our own steroids and lead to more serious diseases. (Foods high in the essential amino aicds also contain cholesterol, and the body needs both.) They may decrease the body sex hor­mones. John W. Tintera, M.D., past medical director of the Adrenal Metabolic


Research Society in New York, considered fats to be a very important part of the diet, and should be roughly balanced between saturated and unsaturated. He put his alcoholic patients on a high fat diet, during which time there was a progress­ive clinical improvement along with disappearance of excess liver fat. He wrote in his collected papers, HYPOADRENOCORTICISM, on The Treatment of Alcoholism, and later others reported, that patients with a fatty liver can absorb and utilize large amounts of dietary fat and then return to normal values for liver function. He liked to cite the example of an Asian country (mainland China) where high fat was consumed and where there was very little alcoholism, and the contrast with an adjoining country (Korea) on very low fat but with a high rate of alcoholism. He would remind the patients to eat butter, and when eating a steak, to eat some of the fat as well. Eating fats provides a feeling of warmth and comfort for which some people turn to caffeine and alcohol. Those who think they cannot tolerate some fat should experiment with the different kinds and eat them in small amounts. They should, by all means, consult their physicians, who may suggest digestive aids if there is a problem with digesting fat.


THE FAT OF THE LAND, a book by Vilhjalmur Stefansson, an anthropologist, de­scribes the high fat diet he ate while living with the Mackenzie River Eskimos. After returning to civilization, his reports of excellent health while living on such a diet was challenged, and he agreed to undertake the "Bellevue experiment", where he and an explorer friend, Karsten Andersen, stayed for a year under observa­tion while eating only meat and fat. They underwent rigid examinations by a commi­tee of specialists both before and after the experiment, and proved by their excel­lent health that one could live on meat, fat and water exclusively. Stefansson is careful to point out that it was a high fat rather than a high protein diet, since in a medium or rare sirloin steak, the red meat is mostly water, while the white suet has very little water in it. The calories averaged per day for each man were about 2,100 consisting of fat, and 525 of protein. Eating only lean of the meat, he said, would make one ill in a few days but adding the fat would bring 'recovery. He added that there is no tendency to overeat of fat if you have fat every day (not necessarily every meal).

              Stefansson writes that it is the anthropologists, the students of pre-history  and of modern primitives, who seem aware that conditions of health then and now are influenced by the food then and now. This can be seen in the teeth of human skulls unearthed by archaeologists. Cavities are a sign of having lived under a fairly well developed agriculture. Man was first a gatherer, then a hunter, and then a farmer. For millions of years man was eating roots, tubors, shoots, leaves, fruits, nuts, eggs and small animals, and then was a hunter for one to three million years. This period was long enough to permit adaptation of digestion and assimilations of a car­niverous diet as far as can be known. The third, or agricultural stage marks a profound change from the two previous ones, being chiefly cereals. Among most of the ancestors of European and Americans, an agricultural diet (mostly grains and cereals) has prevailed about 2000 years. Mankind owes much of his present day health degeneration to cereals (wheat, corn, rye, barley, etc.). His digestive tract has simply not had time to adjust to such a change. As far as now can be known those who lived on the hunter's diet or the gatherer's diet or a combination of the two were in good health and should be today also. Unfortunately, the high cereal diet which makes it possible to feed the world's exploding population is not the healthiest, and makes nutritional supplements necessary.


TO CORRECT SOME ERRONEOUS THOUGHTS ABOUT FATS: It is commonly thought that weight gains are a result of eating fats (and they may be in some cases) but findings show that it is the increased sugar and starch consumption which puts on the pounds. It is thought that skin disorders will clear up if one avoids the fats. L. E. Holt. Jr. writes in Dietary Fat--Its Role in Nutrition and Human Requirement, (J.A.M.A.

164:1890, 1957) that for eczema, the use of a high fat, low carbohydrate diet has been effective. He also states that fat is preferred when calorie needs are high (for work, for sickness) since it is a concentrated source of energy, and is readi­ly dissipated. Studies with rats indicate that a higher fat diet improves work capacity and endurance. Both carbohydrates and fats serve as direct readily avail­able fuels during physical exercise.

A few voices crying in the wilderness keep saying that, in heart disease, we must take a look at cereals, starches or sucrose (sugar), or at all three. Dr. John Yudkin had to write a book Sweet and Dangerous (Peter H. Wyden, Pub.) for the public, in order to be noticed. It is very easily read, and is based on his numer­ous papers on the effects of sugar on health. One of his studies on groups of young adults showed that the consumption of sugar caused a stickiness of the blood platelets (part of the process of clogging the arteries). Dr. Yudkin, Prof of Nutrition, Univ. of London, and Dr. Richard Ahrens, Prof. of Nutrition, Univ. of Maryland spent a year together researching this subject, after which Dr. Ahrens spoke to HAI on the subject.



TWENTY ONE YEARS AFTER THIS BULLETIN WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED,theFAT WAR continues to escalate with no end in sight.  More and more food producers are advertising low fat and no fat products.  "Some people are protesting.  "The American public is forgetting sugar; it's so focused on [low] fat", said Judith Putnam, an agricultural economist with the U.S.D.A.  "Some don't care about how much sugar they eat."  (The Journal, 9/27/93)  She explained that ingredients on a label must be listed in order of their prominence, but the amount of sugar can be played down by dividing the sugars into subcategories.  Sugar may be listed 4 or 5 times in different forms.

THE SUGAR ASSOCIATION, INC. has published a small folder entitled, "It's Not Your Sweet Tooth, It's Your Fat Tooth."  They encourage the public to use low fat treats that use a little sugar at 16 calories per teaspoon to help, fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-fat dishes taste better.

DR. C. WAYNE CALLAWAY, associate clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University cautions, "Don't get hung up thinking zero fat is best.  A lot of people are eating no fat and gaining weight [because] some foods with no fat have up to 75% sugar.  (The Journal 9/21/94)


FAT REPLACERS had not yet been approved by the FDA (as of July, 1993) but, according to Dr. Mark Dreher at a conference of the Society for Nutrition Education, they have been approved for limited use under GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) in some salad dressings and confections.  Questioned for information on the absorption and metabolism of the fat substitutes in the elderly population who may try more of these products and get a bigger dose, Dr. Dreher said he was not familiar with studies of the elderly.  Asked about fat soluble vitamins, he believes you will see reduced plasma levels of Vitamins A and E presumably from a reduced availability in the diet.  Another requested information on the effect of children's nutrition.  It was said that it is not always easy to tell if a product contains fat replacers.  The three different types of fat replacers were discussed, how long they had been working on their production and the methods of producing them.  A casette tape is available from Available Education Plus, Inc., Advanced Technological Productions, 166B Herricks Rd., Mineola, N.Y. 11501.  (800)322-3666.  $9.95 + $2.00 S&H.

DOCTORS AND DENTISTS PROTESTING LOW FAT/HIGH SUGAR PRODUCTS: Robert C. Atkins M.D. said, in a talk in Northern Virginia, that a number of patients are coming to him who have run into problems with low fat diets.  He has published several books, a prolific newsletter, and has a radio program in N.Y. (212)758-2110.  William Campbell Douglass, M.D. has also taken up the cause of protesting low fat diets, "How to Live off the Fat of the Land and Feel Great" - (800)728-2288.  Beverly Mittleman, nutritional advisor to dental patients says, "Down With Low Fat High Carbohydrate Diets-Unfair to Dieters", on a cassette tape, The Once Daily, Inc. 263 West End Ave., #2A, NYC, NY 10023  $8.45.  George Meinig, DDS and Majid Ali, M.D. also feel that low fat diets are not good.  Dr. Meinig, CA and Dr. Ali in NJ.