Monday, December 10, 2007

Bet the media hasn't told you this....

I'm currently in chapter 4 of Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. This has so far been an amazing book. Some of my suspicions have been confirmed, as well as some of my worst fears. Then there are other things I didn't dare dream could have taken place, yet they have. It's just wild how little evidence and REAL scientific research went into today's dietary recommendations. It seems to be founded more on politics and a couple of researchers who were determined to make a name for themselves regardless of the long term consequences.

As I was reading this morning, I found a particular point that I felt I should share here. If you aren't currently reading this book, then you'll see why it's causing such a ruckus.

In chapter 4 Mr. Taubes gives us a backstage pass into the consensus that the dietary fat controversy was over. Low-fat was declared the winner and no one dared challenge that thinking for fear of losing their research funding. To quote the book "It was no longer about the validity of the underlying science, which was no less ambiguous than ever, but about whether Americans should be eating low-fat diets or very low-fat diets."

Here's the part that many people may never find out without reading this book: Low-fat diets were being recommended for an entire nation and had only been tested twice. That's right, twice. Once in Hungary and once in Britain, which the subjects only consisted of a few hundred middle-aged men who had already suffered heart attacks. The results of both of these trials were contradictory. Other trials since have been exclusively cholesterol-lowering diets that replaced saturated fats with unsaturated fats.

Even more surprising is the fact that lowering cholesterol to extend your life is not as beneficial as the researchers would like us to think. A UCSF study, led by Warren Browner, was funded by the Surgeon General's office. " This study concluded that cutting fat consumption in America would delay forty-two thousand deaths each year, but the average life expectancy would increase by only three or four months. To be precise, a man who might otherwise die at sixty-five could expect to live an extra month if he avoided saturated fats for his entire adult life." Amazing isn't it? To eat a low-fat diet and only extend your life for a month?!? Doesn't sell the point very well, does it. If you want to reduce your saturated fats to 8 percent of all calories it would allow you an increase of four days to two months. Makes you wanna go right out and fill the fridge with fat-free foods! Yeah. Right.

I could also go into how lowering cholesterol provides little benefit, which they knew as well. But we'll stop here for today.

So there you have it. News about low-fat diets the media will not share with you. As always, and in all things, it pays to be your own investigator and advocate.

1 comment:

Cindy Moore said...

Some of the stuff in this book is downright disgusting!! Very interesting reading....but also very upsetting!