Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Batch of links - Fat

There has been a lot of talk in the past several years about the fact that fat probably isn’t as bad for us as we think. And yet we’ve heard it for so long that I think it’s going to take a long time to rectify our diets. It’s not just that changing our habits or our point of view is hard (though it is); some are making the case that the reason the American Heart Association is sticking to its low-fat recommendations is money. Interestingly enough, lobby money is also why saturated fats were blamed for heart disease instead of sugar in the first place.

In the face of evidence, though, some things are beginning to change. (See this article titled We got cholesterol all wrong.) The section on dietary cholesterol of the current Dietary Guidelines published by the U.S. government is on page 51 of the .pdf document at the link. Essentially, there is no longer a restriction to 300 mg of cholesterol daily, but since trans fats and saturated fats should be mostly avoided, and since food sources high in those types of fat also contain cholesterol, the latter is de facto reduced in the recommended diet anyway.

This comes after many studies and research articles showing that the link between saturated fats and heart disease is questionable. I believe the article with the highest profile was The Truth About Fat, published in TIME on June 12th, 2014 (and there’s a quiz here to test your knowledge). The gist of it is that not only is fat not that harmful, but carbohydrates are probably the bigger culprits (at least in Western diets). The latter article is great, but if you have access to it, the former is particularly informative and explains that faulty and incomplete data could be blamed for the erroneous conclusion that all Americans over the age of 2 should limit their fat intake.

That being said, eating a diet very rich in fat for only five days can alter your metabolism. Obviously, there is such a thing as too much fat, but it really looks like it’s not the big culprit we used to think.

Also, a clinical trial found no difference in weight loss over 12 months with a low-fat diet versus a low-carb diet.

Food for thought.

No comments: