Tom Ballard, ND's blog


The Low-Fat Lie
November 24, 2010, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Commentary | Tags: , , ,

What have government programs, doctors and most nutritionists been telling us for the past 30 years? The message that has been drummed into us is: Eat less fat, more carbs. This message has been so broadcasted that it is now considered common knowledge. If you can just follow this simple advice you’ll save yourself from heart disease. Everyone knows that fat is bad, carbs are good. Right?

Now, take a look around you, especially if you’re over 40 years old. Do you see fewer people with heart disease than you did 30 years ago? No. Heart disease is at epidemic proportions.

What conclusion might you draw from this?

That people are not following the advice of experts? No. Low-fat products sales continue to grow. Beef sales are down while chicken is up. Even skinny people with low cholesterol avoid saturated fat as if it might cause an instant heart attack.

Or, you might conclude that the advice was wrong.

But, wasn’t it based on scientific evidence? No.

Avoiding fat was based on scientific theory, not facts. People of influence (this dates back to the McGovern Senate hearings in the ‘80s) believed that eating fat increased heart disease. They won the government seal of approval, despite their lack of evidence.

The evidence 30 years ago is the same as it is today: excess carbs, especially refined ones, contribute to heart disease.

The latest evidence that it’s not fats, but carbs that are to blame comes from a report in the March 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  They looked at the food intake of 350,000 people over five to 23 years (an unusually large and long study, much more than any drugs are scrutinized) and found NO ASSOCIATION between saturated fat consumption and risk of heart disease (the British Medical Journal reports similar findings).

Why doesn’t everyone know this? Why is the “fat is bad for your heart” myth still perpetuated? Government conspiracy? Sugar lobby more powerful than the beef lobby? Cholesterol-lowering drug manufacturers benefitting? Certainly the latter is true.

The medical-industrial complex thrives on misinformation. The more confused you are about diet, the more satisfied you are that drug studies are honest and vigorous, the better it is for them. Does your individual doctor participate willingly? No. He or she is just passing on information that they’ve been told is accurate. Few have the time to check into what the pharmaceutical companies claim.

What can you do?

Humans ate saturated fats (organic, of course) and NO REFINED SUGAR for millions of years. That suddenly changed over the past hundred years, during the same time that heart disease, diabetes, and obesity became epidemic.

Your answer to fads, such as the low-fat diet, is to try and eat as your ancestors ate. My book, Nutrition-1-2-3: Three proven diet wisdoms for losing weight, gaining energy, and reversing chronic disease, explains in detail how to avoid fads and regain your health.

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