The Skinny on Low Fat Diets for Health Improvement

The U.S. government announced in 1977 that it would be backing and promoting a framework for the new healthy American diet. It recommended a low fat, low limit saturated fat (10%) diet, together with multiple meals and snacks per day to promote better health for all Americans.

This recommendation was made to target the prevention and stop the advancement of heart disease, the number one cause of death then, and still today.

There are however a number of problems with this framework, and time has shown that not only is it ineffective, but it could also potentially be dangerous to your health.

  • Diets with high fat, high saturated fat, and high cholesterol in 1977,

    and even up to today, have never been shown to be associated with disease strongly enough to determine the causation of heart disease. When the hazard ratio in scientific studies drops to less than 2.0, this means that the causation link is not even mild. The studies that were originally used to link fat to heart disease came in at a hazard ratio of only 1.3. This is statistically insignificant and indicates no causation whatsoever and a very weak association. The study and subsequent recommendations should have ended and died right there.

  • Research on the dietary intake of low fat,

    low saturated fat, and cholesterol never demonstrated that its reduction would lead to reduced heart disease or prevent it from starting in the first place.

  • Large individual and meta-analysis studies

     show that diets with decreased fat and increased carbohydrates (mostly “healthy” grains) increase heart disease.

  • Studies also show that people that eat more fat,

    saturated fat, and cholesterol, while at the same time decreasing their carbohydrate intake, experience protective benefits against heart disease.

Huge, well-established medical studies with decades of data and using tens of thousands of individuals across multiple countries have reached the conclusions mentioned above.

Summary

When the recommendations were made, there was no evidence that low fat, low saturated fat, low cholesterol diets would prevent or stop the advancement of heart disease. Over the next few decades, this idea has been researched and tested over and over again, not only to be disproved but also to show that it increases the risk of heart disease in big populations.

It is also ironic that the exact opposite diet of increased fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, and low carbohydrates has been proven repeatedly to be effective in improving and preventing heart disease.

Continuing to promote this low fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol diet in policy or professionally, while at the same time promoting the idea of having 5 to 11 servings of whole grains per day is simply not evidence-based. It has in fact been shown not only to be ineffective but can also potentially be dangerous to your health.

Our medical system is basically behind the times and if you decide to blindly follow it, you will ultimately pay for it with your health and quality of life.

Be careful who you listen to out there and always arm yourself with as much relevant and accurate information as possible.

Stay current my friends!

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