Sweden Becomes First Western Nation to Reject Low-fat Diet Dogma in Favor of Low-carb High-fat
Joyce Park stashed this in Fitness
Bust out the meatballs, Sweden has given up telling obese people to eat low-fat sugary foods!
So stay away from Swedish pancakes and lingonberries and instead crack out the lutefisk and herring?
Part of the challenge is the word FAT itself has been so demonized.
It's hard to change the language in the conversation to say Fat Is Good.
I simply say to one and all, "Fat is where it's at!"
Swedish doctor, Andreas Eenfeldt, who runs the most popular health blog in Scandinavia (DietDoctor.com) published some of the highlights of this study in English:
Health markers will improve on a low-carbohydrate diet:
…a greater increase in HDL cholesterol (“the good cholesterol”) without having any adverse affects on LDL cholesterol (“the bad cholesterol”). This applies to both the moderate low-carbohydrate intake of less than 40 percent of the total energy intake, as well as to the stricter low-carbohydrate diet, where carbohydrate intake is less than 20 percent of the total energy intake. In addition, the stricter low-carbohydrate diet will lead to improved glucose levels for individuals with obesity and diabetes, and to marginally decreased levels of triglycerides.” (Source.)
Dr. Eenfeldt also translated an article from a local Swedish newspaper covering the committee’s findings:
Butter, olive oil, heavy cream, and bacon are not harmful foods. Quite the opposite. Fat is the best thing for those who want to lose weight. And there are no connections between a high fat intake and cardiovascular disease.
On Monday, SBU, the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment, dropped a bombshell. After a two-year long inquiry, reviewing 16,000 studies, the report “Dietary Treatment for Obesity” upends the conventional dietary guidelines for obese or diabetic people.
For a long time, the health care system has given the public advice to avoid fat, saturated fat in particular, and calories. A low-carb diet (LCHF – Low Carb High Fat, is actually a Swedish “invention”) has been dismissed as harmful, a humbug and as being a fad diet lacking any scientific basis.
Instead, the health care system has urged diabetics to eat a lot of fruit (=sugar) and low-fat products with considerable amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners, the latter a dangerous trigger for the sugar-addicted person.
This report turns the current concepts upside down and advocates a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, as the most effective weapon against obesity.
The expert committee consisted of ten physicians, and several of them were skeptics to low-carbohydrate diets at the beginning of the investigation. (Source.)
There are many mantras we have been taught to accept as truths:
“Calories are calories, no matter where they come from.”
“It’s all about the balance between calories in and calories out.”
“People are fat because they don’t move enough.”
“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.)
This dietary advice of a low-carb high-fat diet has been around since the 1920s, when the ketogenic diet was developed at John Hopkins Hospital to cure epilepsy in children who did not respond to drugs. With the advent of the USDA diet guidelines, starting with the McGovern Report in the 1970s, fat was condemned and the low-fat diet advice was promoted through the healthcare system. You can see original TV coverage of this report from 1977 in this YouTube clip from The Fat Head movie:
In 2002, science journalist Gary Taubes began writing on the dangers of the high-carbohydrate diet and benefits of a high-fat diet, and his work was published in both the N.Y. Times and Time Magazine. His article title was “What If It Were All a Big Fat Lie!”
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.
So, while Sweden has taken a huge step forward in following a commission who looked at over 16,000 studies and confirmed science that has been around for many years, don’t expect the U.S. government to do anything similar anytime soon. It is up to you to do your own research to understand the REAL facts about a healthy diet.
Well, I hope consumer demand doesn't change too quickly until people realize they can eat less and be even more healthy: I'm already paying a premium for the fattiest cuts of meat at the butcher counter, nuts, avocados and cold water fishes...
The cost of vindication! Yesh! :)
If there's greater demand for those foods, won't suppliers increase their production?
Greater beef production is not good for the environment.
Well, kinda true... but not really.
It's as true that ALL modern industrial food production practices are not good for the environment, including monocrop vegetables, fishing and any scale animal husbandry e.g. chickens.
Specific to beef production, it's actually the greater prevalence of cattle and ruminants that we want to engender as a way to RESTORE the grasslands and rapidly eroding environments falling into desertification in North America and Africa.
Kinda the opposite of what popular media have come to project and the rest of us have been ideologically told...
I wonder why conventional wisdom gets this so wrong.
Perhaps because there's a lot of vested interests and money to be made by the continuance of things remaining so wrong...