Sometimes all the findings from a study are not publicized. One example is the Lyon Diet Heart Study which was done by French researchers. They structured the study into two groups. One group consumed a Mediterranean-style diet which included lots of fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, beans, nuts and seeds. Sounds good! It also included olive oil, dairy products, fish and poultry (very little red meat), eggs and wine in moderate amounts. Hmmm… this will be interesting.
The other group was to eat a typical American diet. The group consuming the Mediterranean type diet was 50% – 70% less likely to experience cardiovascular events and death than those consuming the American diet. This is impressive and we should not ignore this information. However, the media promoted the Mediterranean diet and emphasized red wine and olive oil. Why would they do that? Could it be that they like red wine and olive oil and figure others do too?
Unfortunately, all the findings were not well publicized. Here’s something interesting: by the end of the study 25% of the participants consuming the Mediterranean type diet had experienced a cardiovascular event or had died. Wait a minute… this would have been a good piece of information to tell the public. And now, based on the results of the China Study (Dr. Colin Campbell’s work) and the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn we know that the rates of heart disease can be lowered considerably more by consuming a low-fat, plant based diet. But because we were given only part of the results of the Lyon study (the part about foods we like) we weren’t able to make good choices based on the information.
There are a lot of great foods that we can eat and thoroughly enjoy that will give us better results that either of these two bad diets. A study that compares two diets that are not health promoting is not useful to us. Why do you want to know which of two bad things are better? The results would have been very interesting if compared to Dr. Esselstyn’s recommendations. There would be no contest… the low-fat, plant based diet would emerge as the winner.