Saturday, May 7, 2016

Low-Fat Mess: The Folly of Mixing Politics and Food Policy

I was probably the only four year old in my town who could name all of my elected officials, one of the dubious benefits of my father being a politician.

Which may partly explain why I become fascinated by the people and politics behind any topic in which I develop an interest.

For the past few years, my research obsession has revolved around diet and health, specifically the factors causing the global obesity epidemic and soaring rates of metabolic diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes.

I learned by reading many books, scientific studies and articles that the U.S. Dietary Guidelines have been misleading Americans and most of the first world for the past 35 years.

With their fancy Food Pyramids and My Plates, the "experts" who designed these dietary recommendations have made it appear we should eat half our calories in carbohydrates and minimize consumption of foods that contain saturated fat.

When just the opposite seems to be true.

From first-hand experience I have become fairly convinced that for at least half the population, restricting carbohydrates and obtaining most of one's calories from healthy fats like butter and bacon is a better way to achieve good health than following official government guidelines or advice from experts, including most registered dietitians and medical doctors.

The conventional wisdom about eating all foods in moderation and balancing calories with energy expenditure has been an abysmal failure.

But instead of blaming themselves, the healthcare opinion leaders who push these theories blame people who become fat and sick for not following their advice.

After connecting the dots for the past few years, I have learned the two biggest reasons people cling to old nutrition paradigms are ego and money. It is difficult enough to admit you're wrong, but almost impossible when companies like Kellogg's and Coca Cola offer to fund your nutrition research or pay you hefty fees to say nice things about their products. 

Since the late 1950s, when the Diet Heart Hypothesis was advanced by a charismatic scientist named Ancel Keys, nutrition policy has been a hotbed of politics. This Donald Trump of the dietary world bullied his opponents and silenced their views so that an unproven hypothesis became the dietary law of the land.

More than 50 years later, the politics behind nutritional guidance is as heated as ever, with new bullies striving to silence the likes of author Nina Teicholz, Prof. Tim Noakes, M.D.,  and other leaders in the low-carb community by barring them from policy panels and striving to strip them of their professional licenses.

The aim of this new blog is to to share some of these stories and show how outside influences from food, beverage and pharmaceutical companies have exerted undue influence on determining what Americans and the rest of the world should eat.

My hope is that more lay people question and reject the popular low-fat high-carbohydrate propaganda machine and take their health back into their own hands.

Low-carb book recommendations:

Low Carb, High Fat Food Revolution: Advice and Recipes to Improve Your Health and Reduce Your Weight

The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
What the Fat?: Fat's IN: Sugar's OUT Practical guide and recipes

The Real Meal Revolution: The Radical, Sustainable Approach to Healthy Eating (Age of Legends)

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers

The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it?

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss

Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet

Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars

Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health

New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great

The Harcombe Diet: Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight

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