I got an email from Pamela Schoenfeld, R.D. the other day. She wanted to make me aware of a paper she and her colleagues (Hite, et al)published on Friday in the journal Nutrition. It’s a critique of the Report of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee (DGAC) that recommended that we all go on eating the same low-fat, high-carb diet that has contributed to the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease (among others).
The paper is open-access, which means you can read the full text for free (PDF). Here’s the gist: the new dietary guidelines proposed by the DGAC aren’t based on scientific evidence. The authors criticize the DGAC for excluding recent research that contradicts their low-fat propaganda, and for conveniently ignoring the fact that disease rates have skyrocketed over the past 30 years in spite of Americans eating less fat and more carbs.
The DGAC report essentially said, “Hey Americans! You’re fat and sick because you haven’t done a good enough job following our advice. What you need to do is eat even less fat (and by extension more carbs), and then you’ll finally lose weight and maybe not die of a heart attack.
Obviously the DGAC has never heard Einstein’s definition of insanity, which is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.
Hite et al start the paper off with this gem of a quote:
What is required is less advice and more information. – Gerald M. Reaven
Amen to that! There’s no doubt we’re in the midst of a serious nutritional crisis, but the DGAC is dead wrong about what’s causing it. Hite et al continue:
Nutritional health covers a wide range of concerns but first and foremost in the mind of the public are whether the standing recommendations for lowering fat intake and increasing carbohydrate intake were ever appropriate for the prevention of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease;
You took the words right out of my mouth!
The authors go on to dismantle the DGAC dietary recommendations by reviewing all of the available evidence (imagine that!), rather than just focusing on the studies that support their viewpoint. Real science! What a breath of fresh air.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we’ve been collectively duped into the idea that fat is bad and carbs are good, read the paper. It’s not highly technical and is intended, to some degree I think, for a lay audience. But for those of you who don’t have time to read it, I’m going to list a few of the section headings to give you the idea:
“Strong recommendations, weak evidence”
“Macronutrients: Research questions are formulated in a way that prevents a thorough investigation of the literature” (Translation: we only see what we want to see.)
“Macronutrients and weight loss: Science is inaccurately summarized”
“Low carbohydrate diets: Science is inaccurately represented”
“Low carbohydrate diets: Conclusions do not reflect quantity and/or quality of relevant science”
“Effects of saturated fat: Answers based on an incomplete body of relevant science”
“Diabetes and fat: Science is inaccurately represented or summarized”
“Dietary fiber and whole grains: Conclusions do not reflect the quantity and/or quality of science”
“Animal versus plant protein: Recommendations do not reflect limitations and uncertainties of the science”
This is an important paper. It’s one of the most comprehensive critiques of the mainstream dietary recommendations I’ve seen, and it’s all in one place. So please, share this with as many people as you can. Post it to Facebook. Tweet it. Print it and take it to your doctor. Send it to your Mom & Dad, who might still think butter is bad for them. Tape it on your refrigerator. Get the word out!