Last week a major report released by the UK based Public Health Collaboration made the front page of British papers. It stated something, which lone voices (including mine) have been saying for many years. That is that, eating a low fat diet is not healthy. In fact a low fat diet is unhealthy. A diet higher in fats is actually more likely to lead to weight loss and lower rates of type two diabetes.
Naturally this was met with calls of “irresponsible” by authorities in public health and government departments who are invested in the status quo. There was no attempt to debate the facts – just the usual effort to silence and dismiss those who dare question conventional thinking.
In human history it is only the last four decades when we have been told to eat low fat. This was based on the thinking of Ancel Keyes whose work linked cholesterol to heart disease. The original paper was flawed to the extent hat he left out data that did not support his theory. The next step was to link LDL cholesterol to heart disease. In turn saturated fats became the “problem” as it was felt that eating them raised LDL levels.
There is nothing wrong with theories. That is the nature of science. However major public health initiatives, which can impact the health of millions, need to be based on more than a theory. But even if you allow for people meaning well and basing it on their best knowledge at the time, this does not excuse clinging to the same beliefs when they are proven wrong.
Data from the real world has consistently failed to find any association with eating saturated fats and any ill health. This is not theory. This is observation in the real world over 40 years.
The rise of the low fact fad has seen markets grow for low fat foods. These replace fat with sugar! Whilst promoted as healthy and getting ticks or stars from health authorities and governments they are not.
Indeed the consumption of excess refined carbohydrates (sugars) is what has led to the increase in rates of obesity and type two diabetes. This occurs because of the role of insulin within the body. Insulin is released in response to sugar entering the blood stream and promotes fat storage whilst inhibiting fat burning. Eat enough sugar for long enough and the body becomes insulin resistant which is the first step to type two diabetes.
A basic understanding of human physiology coupled with an acceptance of overwhelming real world data shows we have been on the wrong path. The situation we find ourselves in shows this. Yet those on high claiming to be scientific will not budge.
Meanwhile Emma Morano who lives near the Swiss border in Italy has made the Guinness book of records. At 116 years old she is the oldest person in the world and the only living person to have been born in the 19th Century (November 29, 1899). This means that through her life time the car, television and Internet all came into existence. She has survived two world wars and seen travel go from horse and cart to space rockets.
There are many factors, which contribute to longevity. Ms. Morano told the Washington Post that she eats eggs, meat and pasta daily. She worked till age 75 and still lives in her own home, albeit with some carer support. Her diet is not low fat!
For most of human history we have eaten real food, which, before it became food, grew in the ground or was moving around. We did not eat low fat diets. Whilst our ancestors did not live as long as us, it was not because of diet related illnesses. The main food related problem was a lack of it!
Let me be crystal clear. The rise in obesity levels and type two diabetes is due to the increased consumption of processed carbohydrates. Fats in the diet, including saturated fats, are not and never have been the problem.
I am genuinely excited. The truth is making the front page. The last battle is soon to be won.
Dr Joe Kosterich M.B.B.S is an author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, who wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life. Dr Joe also gives practical, motivational health talks for the general public and organisations where he is known as “An independent doctor who talks about health”.
His latest book “60 minutes to Better Health” is available on Amazon.