Seminar Notes: Fats, Cholesterol and Weak Chins
(Following are the notes from Steven Fineberg who attended the LA event at the end of April that I posted about called Change Your Diet, Change Your Life. The seminar was hosted by the Real Cooking gals and featured speaker, Sally Fallon, of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) along with Dr. Raymond Silkman, a biologic/holistic dentist practicing in Brentwood. ~Carla)
By Steven Fineberg
The attendees represented a broad demographic: health practitioners, WAPF chapter members, young parents and people generally interested in nutrition. This was a good opportunity to bring together Southern California’s WAPFers and to see and hear Sally Fallon in person.
Los Angeles was Sally’s first stop prior to speaking engagements in New Zealand and Australia. The first segment of her two-part presentation was entitled, “The Oiling of America.” This is a history lesson on the vital role that saturated fats and cholesterol have played over the previous 100 years. Sally read from a Midwest auxiliary cookbook dated back to 1900 when traditional fats ruled the American dinner table. Extolled are the virtues of butter, cream, lard, organ meats, oysters cooked in fat and cream. One of my favorite quotes is “vegetables are a vehicle for good fat.”
Sally told us that the first recorded myocardial infarction or “heart attack” in the U.S. was in 1921; the numbers keep growing into the thousands. In 1930 there were 3000 U.S. deaths from heart attacks; 30 years later that number rose to 500,000. She believes the primary cause for these numbers is the shift from the use of traditional saturated fats and cholesterol towards the over-consumption of Omega-6 poly-unsaturated vegetable oils. Sally reviewed the Lipid Hypothesis (the theory that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease) and the three most-cited lipid studies within the medical community.
Study upon study shows that people engaged in a fat- and cholesterol-reduced dietary regime ultimately suffer from depression, infertility, aggressive behavior, learning disabilities and cancer. Doctors and the media have focused on the high fat, heart-disease paradigm to the exclusion of data that contradicts that paradigm. (Note from Carla: For more on this topic, see Dr. Mary Enig’s article, The Skinny on Fat)
The last part of Sally’s session ended with a discussion on cholesterol. To summarize, cholesterol is vital for the production of hormones; it repairs wounds, including tears in the arteries; it is essential for brain function and as a pre-cursor to Vitamin D. With this, we went off to our high-cholesterol lunch (!) of local sliced meats, raw cheese, chicken salad, red quinoa sprouted salad, bone broth based soups, berries with raw whipped cream and plenty of raw butter.
The second part of Sally’s presentation asked the question, “What constitutes a healthy diet? For the answer, she cited the pioneering work of Dr. Weston A. Price. Dr. Price studied the diet and lifestyle of native, traditional people vs. their industrialized counterparts. He noted, at length, the characteristics inherent in each of the populace he visited. He wrote about these in his classic book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. (Note from Carla: See LF post Who is Weston A. Price?)
In summary, all the traditional people he studied consumed animal products, either in the form of raw dairy from grass fed cows or the meat/organ meats of land and or seafood. The total fat content varied from 30 to 80% of calories. Seeds, grain and legumes were soaked or fermented. All traditional cultures used bones from the animals for broth and all diets contained some sea salt. Visit the Weston A. Price Foundation for more info.
Dr. Raymond Silkman, a holistic dentist, believes there is a strong connection between oral/cranial structures and the health of our entire bodies. He specializes in dental-cranial malformations. His presentation focused on real patient cases with distorted dental arches and improperly spaced teeth. He does not advocate the practice of removing crowded teeth, nor does he advocate for the use of forced manipulation in the form of head or neck gear. He uses instead the A.L.F (Advanced Lightwire Functional) device. This lightweight device is fitted to the dental arches and applies a continuous light force to the skull bones and teeth. One of the purposes is to correct the alignment to the upper and lower teeth to improve the bite. (Note from Carla: Do you think that children with long and narrow faces, overlapping teeth, and weak chins are "normal". Think again, says Dr. Silkman. Check out his article, Is it Mental or is it Dental? Cranial & Dental Impacts on Total Health)
Victoria and Hollie of Real Cooking gave practical suggestions to incorporate real food into our busy lives. They offered suggestions regarding cleaning out the unhealthy foods and replacing with nutritious items. They talked about the importance of shopping locally and supporting our farmers markets, scheduling a set time of the week to plan meals in advance, and utilizing non-work days to prepare pantry or refrigerated items such as bone broths and lacto-fermented dairy and vegetables. Victoria and Holly helped instill the unifying message of the day –- that each of us is responsible for our health and that change will only happen on the farm, in the market and within our own bodies by each one of us taking charge and demanding the right to choose clean food.