The Low Fat Diet Myth really is a Myth.
How did the low fat diet myth get etched in our twenty first century culture?
It happened back in the 1970s. A study which by today’s standards is classed as poor science failed to find a link between cholesterol and death rates from heart disease. On the back of that they made assumptions that were made to sound convincing.
Our apparent diet knowledge stretches back to a thing called the diet heart hypothesis that has still never been proved. That states that eating fat increases cholesterol which causes heart attacks. It’s never been proved and yet we’ve been made to accept it as a fact. The low fat diet is a myth, it was never proved.
A recent study that reviewed the available evidence around that time concluded that the low fat dietary advice that was given to 200 million Americans and 56 million Brits should never have happened. The low fat diet myth was based on bad science.
So What Replaces The Low Fat Diet Myth
A meta analysis (a study of other studies) was published in 2014 based on half a million people that pointed out that people with diets higher in saturated fat have no more heart disease than those who don’t.
As for cholesterol, a study of 52,000 women showed that lower cholesterol was more linked to heart disease than higher cholesterol which is completely the opposite of the 70s dietary advice.
So if low fat is out and butter is OK then what are the rules now?
In truth nobody knows if there is a real set of rules, diet and food form such a complex interaction with the human body that there isn’t a simple answer. And that includes the NHS, they’re unsure too.
Logically we haven’t physically evolved as quickly as we think. To think that eating meat and fats would suddenly be the cause of illness is not logical.
If we think about the changes to our diet then the modern additions to the diet are more likely to be at fault. Things like processed foods, highly refined wheat products, hydrogenated fat (that’s not used much any more) and excessive use of sugar.
Something that is becoming apparent is that sugar is at the centre of the ills that have been blamed on fat.
The science is showing that cholesterol is necessary for a healthy life and suppressing it is not a good idea (E.G. Statins). It has a real purpose in the diet.
I’d love to tell you what to eat and how to prepare and eat it but I can’t. Just eat in moderation is one way. Don’t eat too much processed food is another. A third way is to eat as much fat as you want because you will feel full and eat less calories than if you try the same thing with carbs.
Personally I’ve opted for the new Atkins diet, I know others follow the Paleo diet and live healthily. Find something that works for you and isn’t making you fatter. Getting fatter as you get older isn’t actually natural. Once you accept the low fat diet myth is truly a myth you have to start making a real judgement for yourself.
If you watch this video you will see just how complicated the whole food thing is.
You can read more about the research and the low fat diet myth in these articles along with an attempt to say what to eat. But please bear in mind it’s all still guesswork, nobody actually knows the full tale. It is clear though that too much sugar really does cause problems, it’s now been proved that ketogenic diets (very low carb plus protein plus fat) have a valid place in the panorama of diets.