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I Knew It! Low-Carb Inuit Diet Protects Against Heart Disease, Cancer, Study Finds


Dr. Eric Dewailly says a high-protein, high-fat Inuit diet is “healthiest”

This Vancouver Sun column about an ongoing study presented last month at a Canadian research forum is going to turn conventional wisdom on its head yet again about what kind of diet is truly protective against heart disease and cancer. And guess what? It ain’t the failed low-fat diet either!

Lead researcher Dr. Eric Dewailly, professor of Social and Preventive Medicine at Laval University, and his colleagues observed the health of nearly 1,000 Inuit living in the northern section of Quebec where the diet consists primarily of wild game and very little carbohydrates. What the researchers found was truly remarkable in terms of comparing this decidedly low-carb way of eating to what most people consider a “healthy” diet.

Despite the fact that the Inuit people ate a rather high-protein, high-fat diet, Dr. Dewailly said this kind of nutritional approach actually PROTECTS against both heart disease and cancer. Did you hear that? Here is a scientific researcher extolling the virtues of consuming meat as a hunter-gatherer by stating the fact that it has been found to be an extremely healthy way to eat.

Not only have recent studies concluded there are no long-term heart health complications from eating a low-carb diet, but now this research confirms what most low-carbers already knew–there are plenty of BENEFITS to heart health when you are livin’ la vida low-carb!

“The traditional Inuit diet is fats and proteins, no sugar at all,” Dr. Dewailly explained. “It is probably one of the healthiest diets you can have. The human body is built for that.”

WHOA, did he just say that the low-carb lifestyle that consists of fat and protein with “no sugar at all” is the “healthiest” diet?! Yep, he sure did and that’s not just his opinion either. He’s backing it up with scientific proof that deserves to be front-page health news around the world. It coincides with studies like this one that clearly show a high-fat, low-carb diet is one of the best diets you could ever go on to protect against heart disease.

But there’s been scant mention of Dr. Dewailly’s study anywhere which is not surprising since most of the media and the so-called health “experts” don’t EVER want to acknowledge an increase in fat and protein combined with a low-carb diet is actually good for you. If they let that cat out of the bag, then their little agenda to suppress the truth about what constitutes living healthy would have to stop. They’ll keep putting off the inevitable for as long as they can get away with it.

But the evidence is piling up and this research doesn’t lie.

“The study shows that [high-protein, high-fat, low-carb diets] still have huge benefit and protection,” Dewailly added.

He explained that the Inuit people get selenium from eating whale skin which makes prostate cancer virtually nonexistant as well as most other cancers. But you can’t discount the fact that a sugar-free diet protects against pancreatic cancer while a low-carb diet has been found to prevent esophageal cancer. Again, where is the news coverage of these scientific studies?

Additionally, Dr. Dewailly argues that it’s the consumption of healthy portions of high-protein, high-fat meat that keeps the hearts of the Inuit people as healthy as a horse. This sorta makes events like the PETA-sponsored Meatout irrelevant, doesn’t it? I wonder what the radical vegans think about this, hmmm?

This research was presented at the annual scientific meeting of ArcticNet in mid-December 2006.

The Inuit diet has long been the evidence that proves livin’ la vida low-carb is indeed a sustainable way of eating over the long term since it promotes the consumption of wild game and fish while openly shunning such modern nutritional garbage as high-carb, sugary junk foods and snacks. Unfortunately, though, these new modern foods to the Inuit people are tempting younger generations of Inuits to consume them which is wreaking havoc on their health.

Here are some facts about the average Inuit teenager:

– Consumes 1 liter of sugary soda daily
– Eats three times as many trans fats as European teens

This has led to some rather disturbing health statistics:

– A 50 percent increase in obesity since 1992
– Over one-fourth of Inuit population is obese, primarily men
– Hypertension afflicts 14.5 percent, more than doubling since 1992

But these changes in health haven’t just taken a toll physically, but also on the mental health of the Inuit people. Over one-fifth of study participants admitted they attempted to commit suicide, including 6.7 percent in the previous 12 months before the study. Add to that the disturbing news that one-fourth of Inuit youth have used cocaine sometime in the previous year. The culture shock of modern life is what many experts blame on these startling findings.

There is hope for the Inuit population in Canada–return to native diet and normality will come back quickly. Eating the kind of low-carb, high-fat diet that they have traditionally consumed has actually been found to improve mental health as well as maintain normal weight and health indicators. The Inuit people should reject the cultural influences on their way of life from the South and forge their tried and true high-protein, high-fat diet back among their population.

We can only hope that the Inuit people will be able to start positively influencing our culture with the low-carb message soon to show Americans what we need to do to reduce obesity and disease rates. If not, then our nation’s rising healthcare costs and obesity-related expenses could very well bring us crumbling to the ground in just a matter of years. The saddest part is that this is all preventable if we just start heeding the lessons learned in other cultures, like the Inuit people.

You can e-mail Dr. Eric Dewailly about his study on the Inuit population in Canada at eric.dewailly@inspq.qc.ca.

  • Lowcarb_dave

    Awesome Post Jimmy!

    This is really exciting research!

    The more of this that comes out, the quicker society changes.

    Cheers
    Dave

  • Lady Atkins

    Thank you for presenting this! Shame on the media for ignoring it! I’ve already seen way to much anti-low-carb nonsense on blogs this year.

  • Jimmy Moore

    Yeah, I’ve seen all the misinformation out there as well which begs the question–why do they continue to rail against the Atkins/low-carb approach if they believe it is so unhealthy and dangerous?

    Wouldn’t they just leave good enough alone and promote their own way of eating rather than berating a diet that is irrelevant?

    Me thinks thou dost protest too much. Hmmmm? 😀

  • Jeff Hamlin

    The Inuit must not eat veggies. Sacrelige!

  • Science4u1959

    This is completely in line with the anthropological record as documented by the great dr. Weston Price and many others.

    It breaks my heart to see that even these people are succumbing now to the “civilized” (read: moronic) modern diet and paying dearly for it.

    It the South Pacific region early anthropologists found many peoples and tribes living nearly completely isolated from the “civilized” world. Their most remarkable finding was the fact that these people routinely lived very long lives – up to between 110 and 140 years of age, completely free of any of our modern deseases and illnesses. Their “secret”? High-fat, high-protein diets with high-vitamin and phytonutrient intake from veggies and some fruits.

  • Yes

    People are idiots. All the natural food on the earth is there to eat. Animals and everything that grows. Processed food is like eating cancer. Just go organic which means make everything at home instead of processed. If a ‘quick meal’ is enough to justify you and your families health being threathened by all means bite into that burger made of god-knows-what.

    AMEN!

    –Jimmy

  • I have been getting my weight loss clients to ditch the carbs especially refined ones(as much as is reasonably practicable) since reading a book by Gary Taubes called “The Diet Delusion”. It presents pretty much what is written here but also very disturbingly it highlights how food manufacturers became involved in food research and therefore a lot of health claims are pure fabrication. It also shows a study in stark contrast to the Inuit and that is the Pima Indians in America who were pushed out of their native areas and into areas where they had to rely on white mans aid primarily in the form of cornmeal. Despite being malnourished most became obese because they were living off pure carbohydrate.

    Complete contradiction to how we have been taught we should eat and I believe simply because food manufacturers get a higher profit margin by selling us processed grain in ever more inventive ways than selling it for cattle feed which is what it is.

    • This it the same book sold in the United States under the name Good Calories, Bad Calories.