December 30th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
More than half a century since nutritionists began their anti-fat crusade, there is still no conclusive evidence that lowering consumption of saturated fats reduces the risk of hear disease, I write in The Australian today.
The story of a hypothesis that simply refuses to stand up is catalogued in The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.
The demonisation of fat has altered Western diets conspicuously in the past 50 years without any solid evidence that eating less animal fats actually makes you healthier.
There is little doubt that lowering consumption of saturated fat will reduce cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, but scientists have yet to demonstrate that you are less likely to die as a result. Unlike the link between cigarettes, cancer and coronaries, the case against saturated fat is unproven.
Worse still, claims Teicholz, the increased consumption of processed, carbohydrate-laden food that came with jumping aboard the cholesterol bandwagon has made us fatter, increased the likelihood of diabetes and raised our blood pressure.
Correlation is not causation, and the relationship between nutrition and health is complex. If nutritionists have made a mistake, however, Teicholz says it will have been a monumental one. “Measured just by death and disease, and not including the millions of lives derailed by excess weight and obesity, it’s very possible that the course of nutrition advice over the past 60 years has taken an unparalleled toll on human history,” Teicholz writes.
“It now appears that since 1961, the entire American population has, indeed, been subjected to a mass experiment, and the results have clearly been a failure. Every reliable indicator of good health isworsened by a low-fat diet.”