By Jane, Sep 16 2016 04:49PM
When you consider the way that dietary fat has been portrayed for decades as a principle cause of heart disease it might surprise you to learn that there is actually no good scientific data to support this theory. It has become received wisdom; repeated to many times by so many people that up until recently no one would have dared to challenge it. Top scientists insist that it is true, so surely it must be true!
We all ‘know’ that fat clogs up your arteries and causes heart attacks, don’t we?
Well as you know a good number of people including myself have been challenging this belief recently and a friend and colleague of mine on the Public Health Collaboration team Zoe Harcombe and some colleagues have recently completed a meta-analysis of all the available data from randomized control trials on the subject over the last 40 years, and the findings of the study are conclusive – there is no proven relationship between dietary fat and heart disease!
There was no evidence to support the dietary guidelines first made back in 1983 and there has been no study since to support the fact that these guidelines have remained largely unchanged ever since.
Here is Zoe's report, published recently in the British Medical Journal.
Just think how many people have been advised by their doctor to eat less fat in order to lower the risk of heart disease. You would think that there must be some scientific data behind such a far-reaching policy. But there is not.
What does this mean to you and me?
• It means that the NHS advice on healthy eating is wrong.
• It means that there is no reason to worry about your cholesterol levels, dispite what the makers
of statins might tell you high cholesterol has no impact on heart disease.
• It means that food marketed as “low-fat” should not be at the heart of your diet. It is mostly
made palatable only by the addition of sugar! How crazy is that?
• It means that food containing healthy fats can be added to your diet in place of the un-healthy
refined carbohydrates that are so common in processed foods.
• It means that we need to lose our fear of fat and think in a more knowledgeable way about
what should be on our plates.
I am not saying that you can eat as much fat as you like or stuff your face with donuts! This so often tends to be the inferrence when the low-carb high-fat diet is discussed in the media; usually with a headline image of a burger or a pile of pastries.
What we find with our clients at Aspire is that when we switch to a diet based on energy from natural fats instead of carbohydrates then we feel hungry less often, and as a result we eat less food; we also feel more energized and more healthy.
If you are overweight or following a diet based on low-fat food then discuss this report with your doctor. Then ask them why the NHS recommends getting your energy from carbohydrates, which are mostly empty of nutrients and can lead to insulin insensitivity, ill health and weight gain and not from natural fats which are nutritious and healthy.
If you would like to read more about the relationship between fats and dietary health then please read more from this blog.