I could point out to you one hundred health or food articles from last month that make sure to mention, at least once, the conventional wisdom that you should make efforts to lower the dietary fat in your foods. I would be hard pressed to find five that make sure to point out that the old cautions against dietary saturated fats were wrong. I guess it’s a good thing that there is at least the hint of debate in the media on the issue, but still I feel like it’s an uphill struggle right now to put out the word.
“The Word” is that you will never lose the weight you are struggling against, and at the same time limiting your saturated fat intake. People get fat when they eat carbohydrates. Trying to lose weight by cutting calories may work while you are starving, but as soon as you put those missing carbs back in your diet you will regain the weight. The carbs put it on to begin with, and if you eat them, they will put it on again.
The science that backs this up is not complex, nor is this science in dispute. It just has a hard time rising above the static of low-fat, low-calorie advice.
A friend asked me how many studies have there been that showed that eating saturated fats ’causes’ high cholesterol or weight gain. As hard to believe as this is, the answer to that question is “NONE”. Way back in the fifties, a ‘scientist’ looked at reports of people from around the world that showed men not dying of heart disease very often. He went to those places and asked people if they ate saturated fats and lots of them said no. There you are, that is the scientific basis of the recommendation to lower our saturated fat intake. I am not exaggerating the quality of that study. Obviously it does not show the ’cause’ of heart disease–at most it shows a correlation between heart disease and diet. Actual clinical trials, as hard as they are to conduct on something that takes years to develop like heart disease, have never been able to show a causal link. NEVER. It’s even worse when you throw women and children into the studies. I would think that even if middle aged men should cut their saturated fats (and they don’t need to) that it would be the height of malfeasance to give the same advice from infants and new mothers all the way to geriatrics–men and women both. At least you would never give that advice without solid scientific proof.
But they did. Now we are living in a world awash with carbs, to replace lost dietary fats, the very thing that actually does lead to dietary diseases. Carbs are scientifically linked in study after study to these diseases–obesity, high blood pressure, adult-onset diabetes (even when grade schoolers contract it), liver disease, fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s…cancer…depression. Some of the diseases are due to eating low fats, but it is related to low fats that we are eating so many carbs. To us it makes no difference, if you take the long-time official advice and eat low fat foods, you must necessarily eat a higher proportion of carbohydrate than is safe. That advice is so easy to find that it is now conventional wisdom. The fact that it is exactly the opposite of what you should be eating is just as easy to show.
I recall when I was a kid in the 1960s that we would scoff at the advice to eat low fat foods. The advice was new to the world, and we would laugh and say ‘our grandparents are old and healthy and they ate lard’. We knew and joked that the advice was stupid. Now, six decades later the humor is gone. The evidence is in. Far from making America the pinnacle of health, we are fat, sick and getting sicker. And yet still the advice is there–eat low fat, eat carbs.
Here is what I am doing. I am eating foods my grandma would have recognized. I am not drinking sweetened drinks. I am spreading the word. Help.
Read the book “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes. Read the book “The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz. Give the books to a loved one when you are done, with instructions that if they read it spread it on, and if they don’t read it, spread it on. It is vital to my health that I do these things. It would be immoral for me to not share.