About 50 years ago a couple of Harvard scientists were offered a little pocket change by the sugar industry – about $50,000 in today’s dollars – to downplay the role of sugar in coronary heart disease and point a finger at “fat” as the culprit.
Their compliance, and likely that of many others along the way, sheds light on the insidious influence food producers have had in shaping our dietary guidelines.
In this case, one of the scientists went on to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was involved in drafting our dietary guidelines. Which may be the reason our USDA food pyramid, in effect until 2010, was built on a base of sugar, recommending 6 to 11 servings of bread, pasta, and cereals a day.
“The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.” NY Times, Sept 12, 2016
Low-Fat Mania has made us fatter!
Today we’re still awash in everything “low fat”, from butters and margarine to cakes cookies, pastries, chips, puddings, crackers, dressings and even candy? We’ve been brainwashed to believe that low fat will show up on our bodies as lean. And it’s all wrong.
Numerous studies have been done on this controversial subject: One meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition included close to 350,000 people. Another followed 58,000 Japanese men for 14 years.
Both studies arrived at the same conclusion and showed no significant evidence to link saturated fat to increases in cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, the Japanese study found that those who ate more saturated fat had a lower risk of stroke.
Many cultures (Inuit’s, Maasai) derive the bulk of their calories from fat (from 60-90%) and are almost entirely free of obesity and disease. The French as well, known for having the highest intake of saturated fat, have the lowest rate of heart disease of any industrialized county. Bring on the croissants and foie gras!
Does Lean and Cut Mean Low Fat?
I know we all want lean, cut bodies, but that doesn’t mean eliminating dietary fat. In fact, fat plays a leading role in our health.
Without fat our bodies (and particularly our brains) would shrivel. Fat comprises about 60% of our brain matter. It lines every cell in our body – all 37 trillion of them, helps our nervous system function, gives us energy, helps maintain our body temperature, keeps our skin supple, is necessary for the absorption of vitamins, and essential in the production of vitamin D and our hormones. It is even believed that healthy fats help nourish and protect the brain and can even improve memory and brain function.
(Researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center indicated that the low fat recommendations for diabetics promoted by the American Diabetic Association have in fact been harmful, bad advice making diabetes worse! Mark Hyman, M.D.)
So, let’s be done with the belief that fat makes you fat and concentrate on adding the right fats to your diet; healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, unrefined red palm oil, ghee and butter free of antibiotics and hormones. Avoid ALL processed and hydrogenated oils.
To learn more about good fats and other foods that will keep your body at its prime, download a free copy of my e-book, “What Should I Eat?” and send me your thoughts, your questions, what you want to learn, what you want to know. Or book a free coaching session with me and let’s get to know each other better.
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