Like a breath of fresh air. That’s how it felt when I ran across a recent editorial on the low fat diet craze, published in the BMJ journal Open Heart.
Dr. James DiNicolantonio, a well-respected and leading cardiovascular scientist, did the unthinkable. He openly admitted that a diet low in saturated fat… the very low fat diet crammed down our throats by the entire medical establishment for more than 50 years… will NOT prevent heart disease or prolong life.
Now as a Guide to Good Health reader his announcement might not seem all that revolutionary. After all, I’ve been telling you about the pitfalls of the saturated-fat-myth for many years now. But make no mistake about it, for someone in the mainstream this was a very brave act.
And that sound you’re hearing?
No doubt it’s doors slamming as Dr. DiNicolantonio’s (ex) buddies in the mainstream turn their backs on him for daring to tell the truth about the low fat diet. No worries, Dr. D., we’ve got plenty of room for you over here on our (SANE) side of the fence.
Saturated fat is not the problem!
To understand where this ridiculous idea that a diet high in saturated fat will somehow harm your heart came from, we need to rewind all the way back to the 1950’s. It was then that another researcher lit the fuse, when he claimed to have found an association between fat calories as a percentage of overall calories and death from heart disease.
For whatever reason this notion caught on like wildfire, and for over three decades now we’ve been told that if we don’t drastically limit the amount of saturated fat in our diets, we’re dooming ourselves to high cholesterol, heart disease, and an early death.
The only problem?
As Dr. DiNicolantonio pointed out in his editorial, the research on the low fat diet from the 1950’s study was flawed. I’ve warned you before about the dangers of cherry-picked data in studies, and that’s exactly what happened in the case of this fatally flawed fat study.
Either deliberately, or through pure incompetence (take your pick), the researcher chose to use data from only six countries that happened to match his hypothesis. The data from sixteen other countries that didn’t that match were rejected, and never made it into the study.
What followed was an overhauling of diet recommendations. Soon docs everywhere were preaching the evils of saturated fats—and suddenly refined carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fats were being pushed in their place.
LOW-FAT diet leads to heart disease
Fast forward, and over 50 years later we’re now being told to limit our saturated fats to less than 7 percent of our total daily caloric intake. Yet we’re fatter, sicker, and plagued with more heart disease than we ever have been before in history.
And the evidence that cutting saturated fat will help reduce your heart risks? Oh, that doesn’t exist.
But, according to Dr. D., what does exist in its place is research linking all those refined carbs and polyunsaturated fats you’ve being encouraged to gulp down to multiple health problems.
You see, it’s no coincidence that heart disease, obesity, and diabetes have all reached epidemic levels in the last few decades. We’re eating ourselves right into the grave with mainstream medicine’s so-called “heart-healthy” low-fat diet.
And research, like the large-scale 2006 trial that found that low-fat diets don’t improve health outcomes or lead to fewer strokes or heart attacks –or the Spanish study that concluded we have to eat MORE fat to lower our heart attack risk—clearly shows that the mainstream approach has failed miserably.
Dr. DiNicolantonio’s recommendations to turn this tide sound eerily familiar. In fact, as a Guide to Good Health reader you’ve heard them all before.
I’d like to think this brave editorial signals a true sea change, but I sure won’t be holding my breath.