Great article from Business Insider: “The 11 Most Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told” http://www.businessinsider.com/the-11-most-destructive-nutrition-lies-ever-told-2013-11
Some of my favorites: 2. Saturated Fat is Bad For You; 3. Everybody Should be Eating Grains; 5. Low-Fat Foods Are Good For You; 6. You Should Eat Many Small Meals Throughout The Day; 7. Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories. All of these are persistent lies that have made it into the mainstream conventional wisdom, and this article debunks them, giving links to actual scientific studies.
To be clear, I don’t think a “very low-carb” diet is appropriate for everyone, but I DO believe strongly that low-fat diets are universally terrible. I really think that low-fat diets are killing people, in the thousands each year. Telling someone with metabolic issues to go on a low-fat diet is like handing a gas can to someone whose clothes are on fire.
The language in the title of that post is awful. The word lies is loaded — it implies malicious intent. We’ve got hundreds of years of knowledge about diet and yeah, a bunch of our knowledge certainly appears to be misguided.
But this language does nobody any favors. It serves only to drive a wedge between people and actively works against the principles of science and knowledge. It speaks of fervor and zealotry, and “I’m right and the establishment is trying to kill you.” We get enough of that from our political system.
I would agree that “Lies” is a loaded word. But, I can’t think of another word that describes these harmful stories.
Until recently, actual facts weren’t available, or available enough to refute these stories. There were many folks in power who believed them strongly, and it was probably reckless to represent these stories as Science Fact without clear evidence, but they did so anyway. Repeated enough times, they became part of the firmament, even though their provenance was questionable at the start. The myth of the Lipid Hypothesis is such a persistent and well-published story that it has been accepted as fact.
Until now. Now there is actual science to show that these stories are not just wrong, they are dangerous to repeat. Now, finally, the science is clear. Those professionals, doctors and policy makers, who we trust with our care, should now have the tools ready at hand to get it right, and to set it right. If they don’t, and they keep repeating the tired old stories, they are either willfully negligent, or worse. If they choose to keep representing themselves as “experts” and taking our money, and literally killing our children with their advice and policy, they should be ashamed.
I am not talking about the rank and file of general practitioners. They will keep repeating what they learned from someone they trusted at the time. I am talking about leaders, who set the policy for how those doctors will be trained, or draw up our national My Plate to replace the old food pyramid, or whatever they claim to do in the name of good nutrition as a gateway to good health. It’s time for such leaders to embrace the newest research and start getting the correct message out. Anyone who claims to do nutrition advice as a full-time job, and doesn’t pay attention to studies like the ones cited here, are collecting blood money and should be shamed for it.
So I think we stand at the edge. Until now they haven’t been lies, just stories that we have come to accept and repeat unwittingly. But soon the sun will set on these stories, and anyone who still repeats the stories unwittingly should be corrected.
Does this make me a zealot? Perhaps. But I really do believe that the changes I’ve made have literally saved my life, so perhaps I will spend a while longer spreading the Good News, so to speak. :)