The low-fat diet for heart disease, weight loss and much else besides is a zombie myth. Those who keep it alive remain devoted to the diet-heart hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease.
No one has yet proved the hypothesis. Thus, it is currently unscientific.
You wouldn’t know it from the reaction of many doctors and dietitians to the PURE study. Although associational, PURE is yet another nail in the low-fat coffin. Yet many ‘experts’ have a vested interest in keeping the low-fat myth alive. Here, Australian GP Dr Joe Kosterich speculates on why. And shows why it’s time to give it a decent burial. – Marika Sboros
By Joe Kosterich
There was a time when we believed the earth was the centre of the universe. To be honest, it was not unreasonable for people in the dark ages to accept this. The technology of the time was limited.
When Galileo Galilei proposed that the earth revolved around the sun (heliocentrism), the Roman Inquisition investigated him.
The Inquisition concluded that heliocentrism was “foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it contradicted in many places the sense of Holy Scripture”.
They tried Galileo, found him guilty of “vehemently suspect of heresy”, forced him to recant and spend the rest of his life under house arrest. Of course, he was right and centuries later, the church pardoned him.
Fast-forward to today’s more secular world where, of course, reason and evidence trump ideology. This would mean that when people consider new findings which challenge the current worldview and the evidence shows to be correct, they act on them.
Surely they would not treat those who discover truth as heretics? Surely those in medicine are followers of science and thus ever questioning of their current beliefs?
Click here to read: ‘PURE’ proof fats don’t kill?
Sadly, this is not necessarily the case. While we no longer burn heretics at the stake or try them for heresy, vested interests use government tribunals for the same reason – to silence dissent.
We’ve known for well over a decade that the experts based advice to eat a low-fat diet on dodgy science. Yet they still dismiss evidence that since the introduction of low-fat diets, obesity and type two diabetes have increased. They also ignore the fact that review papers found no evidence to introduce low-fat dietary guidelines.
Each year, the proof that the “fat-is-bad’ manta is wrong has gotten stronger. Along the way, people in positions of power have treated proponents such as Dr Gary Fettke, Dr Maryanne Demasi and Pete Evans like modern-day heretics.
(Editor’s note: the same applies to Prof Tim Noakes in South Africa. Medical and dietetic establishments have treated him as if he’s guilty of heresy and attempted to silence him for his dietary views.)
With the release of the PURE study, it is now case closed. This massive prospective trial of over 135,000 people in 18 countries shows that there is no association between fats in the diet and any adverse health outcome. On the contrary, It found an association between a low-fat (high-carb) diet with higher rates of illness and mortality.
The proverbial cherry on the cake is that there is no basis for current fruit and vegetable intake recommendations (think five and two) either.
Here is the conclusion in The Lancet: “High carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality. Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease mortality, whereas saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke.
Click here to read: You need 5-a-day fruit, veg? No you don’t!
“Global dietary guidelines should be reconsidered in light of these findings”.
PURE is saying that current dietary advice is wrong and calling for changes. The response from assorted health groups worldwide has varied from silence to attempts to dismiss the findings.
In a textbook example of the pot calling the kettle black, dieticians and others complained that the study was observational. It was. That makes it the same as every other nutritional study. That includes Ancel Keyes’ Seven Countries study, which set us down the cholesterol- and saturated fat-phobia path.
We can speculate on why public health, (most) dieticians and health departments will not accept they are wrong. It could be egos. It might be reputation. Some suggest that dollars are a factor. You can form your own view.
Here is the bottom line: A low-fat diet (high in refined carbohydrates, such as grains) is NOT a healthy diet. Fats in the diet are NOT a problem.
The simplest eating guide is to eat like our ancestors did. They ate foods which, till recently, had been growing or moving. They ate foods which, if not frozen, would go off in a short time and they did not eat food with lots of numbers on the labels.
In fact, they did not eat foods with labels. They drank mainly water.
This is not difficult. It is not new. Until self-appointed experts pushed us down the wrong path, we were doing fine. The low-fat diet will come to be seen as the worst fad diet in human history. For now, the vested interests continue to resist and seek to strike at heretics. But truth will always win out.
The Inquisition convicted Galileo in 1633 and the church only officially pardoned him over 350 years later. How long will it take for apologies to those who the “experts” persecuted for being right about fats in the diet? My prediction is less than a decade.
Continue to watch this space. The low-fat empire is crumbling.