Oregon Health & Science University just released a shockingly bad study purporting to claim that a high-fat diet during pregnancy increases the risk of stillbirth.
The study did not differentiate between the various kinds of fats, treating margarine, hydrogenated soybean oil, flax seed, butter, coconut oil, chicken fat, and even candle wax as identical substances, and assuming they all have identical biological effects.
This is junk science at its finest. Any proper biochemist (as opposed to most physicians) can tell you loads about the biological effects of fats in the body, and how each plays a different role.
Our research in the Better Baby Book led us to carefully select the types of fats we ate to lower pregnancy risks and increase the health and intelligence of our kids.
If we’d been swayed by this comic-book “science” report, we’d have probably eaten a low fat diet, which results in a less healthy, more stressed, lower birth weight baby, along with a mother who has a better chance of running into health problems during pregnancy.
Our advice, after combing through about 10,000 references and choosing 1300 to use in our book, is that you should generally ignore any purported “science” that globs nutrients into very large buckets like “fat” or “protein” or “carbohydrates.”
Soy protein and egg protein have radically different effects on the body. Black widow spider venom is also a protein with even a different effect. Treating them all the same is not logical or safe.
High fructose corn syrup is not the same as broccoli, even though both are made of carbs. If someone says “eat carbs” the only logical response is, “Which ones?”
We could go on and on, but the damage is done: newspapers and well-meaning but misinformed physicians will read the headlines of this farce, and continue to recommend a harmful low-fat diet to their most vulnerable patients.
So pass the butter and coconut oil, and the jokers in white lab coats who wrote this can have all the margarine. After all, they think it’s all the same.
Shame, shame, shame.