We Were Taught Fat is Bad. Were We Taught Wrong?
In a provocative cover story, Time magazine urges us to ditch the health advice and eat butter. That’s if you never stopped eating it anyway. The front page is one of several high-profile revivals of the once-feared dairy product in publications and scientific reviews worldwide.
Recently, Sweden has become the first Western nation to develop national dietary guidelines that reject the popular low-fat diet dogma in favor of low-carb/high-fat nutrition advice.
The switch in dietary advice followed the publication of a two-year study by the independent Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. The committee reviewed 16,000 studies published through May 31, 2013. One of the committee members was Prof. Fredrik Nyström, from Linköping, Sweden – a long-time critic of the low-fat diet and a proponent of the benefits of saturated fat, from sources such as butter, full fat cream, and bacon.
Why? The following quotations from Prof. Nyström (translated into English by Dr. Eenfeldt) explain.
There are many mantras we have been taught to accept as truths:ο Calories are calories, no matter where they come from. ο It’s all about the balance between calories in and calories out. ο People are fat because they don’t move enough. ο Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Of course, these are not true. This kind of nonsense has people with weight problems feeling bad about themselves. As if it were all about their inferior character. For many people a greater intake of fat means that you’ll feel satiated, stay so longer, and have less of a need to eat every five minutes. On the other hand, you won’t feel satiated after drinking a Coke, or after eating almost fat free, low-fat fruit yogurt loaded with sugar. Sure, exercise is great in many ways, but what really affects weight is diet. (Source.)
- Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables growing above ground and natural fats (like butter).
- Avoid: Sugar and starchy foods (like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes).
- Eat when you’re hungry until you are satisfied.
It’s that simple. You do not need to count calories or weigh your food. And just forget about industrially produced low fat products.There are solid scientific reasons why LCHF (low-carb/high-fat) works. When you avoid sugar and starches, your blood sugar stabilizes and the levels of insulin, the fat-storing hormone, drops. This increases your fat burning and makes you feel more satiated or full.
With mainstream media now covering the truth about the fallacies of the low-fat diet in the early 2000s, Dr. Atkins and his low-carb high-fat diet, which had been around for many years, gained a huge following. Various forms of the low-carb/high-fat diet exist today in the U.S., but they are still considered “fringe” and “extreme.” The low-carb/high-fat diet is routinely attacked by the government and medical system, even as pharmaceutical companies rush to make patented drugs that mimic the ketone effects of the diet, particularly in cancer treatment, the largest market share for pharmaceutical companies.
The best and most rigorous clinical trials of the past decade demonstrate that a high-carbohydrate diet has worse outcomes for health in terms of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes than a diet higher in fat. On a higher-fat diet, people lose weight, and heart disease and diabetes markers improved.
The low-carb diet is most beneficial for lowering triglycerides, the main fat-carrying particle in the bloodstream, and also delivered the biggest boost in protective HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol).
A 20-year prospective study of 82,802 women looked at the relationship between lower carbohydrate diets and heart disease; a subsequent study looked at lower carbohydrate diets and risk of diabetes. Women who ate low-carbohydrate diets that were high in vegetable sources of fat or protein had a 30 percent lower risk of heart disease (4) and about a 20 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, (34) compared to women who ate high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets.
More evidence of the heart benefits from a lower-carbohydrate approach comes from a randomized trial known as the Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial for Heart Health (OmniHeart). (35) A healthy diet that replaced some carbohydrate with protein or fat did a better job of lowering blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol than a healthy, higher-carbohydrate diet.
A LCHF diet means you eat less carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat. Most importantly, you minimize your intake of sugar and starches. You can eat other delicious foods until you are satisfied and still lose weight.
Eat all you like
- Meat: Any type, including beef, pork, game meat, chicken, etc. Feel free to eat the fat on the meat as well as the skin on the chicken. If possible, try to choose organic or grass fed meat.
- Fish and Shellfish: All kinds: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring are great. Avoid breading.
- Eggs: All kinds: Boiled, fried, omelettes, etc. Preferably, choose organic eggs.
- Natural Fat, High-Fat Sauces: Using butter and cream when you cook can make your food taste better and make you feel more satiated. Try a Béarnaise or Hollandaise sauce, check the ingredients or make it yourself. Coconut oil and olive oil are also good options.
- Vegetables that Grow Above Ground: All kinds of cabbage, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, lettuce, avocado, onions, peppers, tomatoes etc.
- Dairy products: Always select full-fat options like real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream, Greek/Turkish yogurt and high-fat cheeses. Be careful with regular milk and skim milk as they contain a lot of milk sugar. Avoid flavored, sugary and low-fat products.
- Nuts: Good to eat instead of candy in front of the television (preferably in moderation).
- Berries: Okay in moderation, if you are not super strict or sensitive. Good with whipped cream.
There are many online references and recipes to support a fun variety of foods, including…. Cheesecake! Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake! I recommend 1 serving a day. It’s a treat that will make you feel really good about your food choices.
After all, fat is the new skinny!
Sources:Harvard Nutritional Sources Sweden touts low-carb diet as key to weight loss Swedish Expert Committee: A Low-Carb Diet Most Effective for Weight Loss Fat Trims Your Waistline Sweden Becomes First Western Nation to Reject Low-fat Diet Dogma in Favor of Low-carb High-fat Nutrition