Health experts cling to busted “low-fat” myth

The word is out. The U.S. government’s long-standing advice to avoid dietary fat is complete bunk. Dietary fat isn’t the culprit behind heart disease. And we’ve had this clear evidence for a very long time.

In fact, according to a new meta-analysis, not a single clinical trial backed the government’s advice to cut fats, and especially saturated fats, at the time they made this ridiculous advice in 1977. Yet the government went ahead with the sweeping pronouncement to cut fats anyway.

Sadly, when men and women tried to implement this poor advice to avoid fat, eggs, and meat, they increased their consumption of unsaturated fats (particularly the omega-6 fats found in vegetable oils) and carbs. Of course, this approach ended up doing far more harm than good.

I, for one, have known (and warned anyone who would listen) since the 1970s that the government’s war on fat, saturated fats and cholesterol was totally misguided.

The government’s go-to health experts were so wrong for so long, yet so sure of themselves, you really owe it to yourself to ask whether you can ever believe anything that comes out of their mouths. Actually, it reminds me of the old adage, “Often wrong, but never in doubt.”

This flawed dietary advice dwarfs just about anything else on which the government wasted decades and billions of dollars.

So what do the government experts and their co-dependents now have to say about this gross and persistent mistake?

In a recent editorial published in a prestigious heart health journal, the authors admitted the recent negative results on cutting fats aren’t surprising since numerous other reviews and long-term cohort studies over the years demonstrated the same thing. But the editorial authors still clung to some “theoretical reasons” to continue speculating about a connection between dietary fat and cardiovascular disease.

I could only shake my head when I read that sorry remark. Of what practical use can they be at this point? Only to salvage their own reputations.

After all these years, no real evidence shows limiting dietary fat has a positive effect on health. In fact, all the real evidence suggests limiting fat increases a person’s chronic disease risk.

In the editorial, the authors also claimed we must study these low-fat diets for longer periods to see an effect.

Again, I had to shake my head.

Apparently, we need to study low-fat diets longer than any study ever…including the long-term, multi-decade cohort studies.

Perhaps the authors of the editorial would like to study a modern-day Methuselah, the man from the bible who lived more than 400 years. Studying him would certainly guarantee the fat myth wouldn’t go away in our lifetimes.

It seems some experts will continue to argue anything, theoretically speaking that is, to avoid having egg on their faces–since they can no longer argue against having eggs on our plates.

Really, how long is enough to finally put this nutritional myth completely to rest?
Clearly, those who staked their entire misdirected careers on this medical myth don’t want to give it up.

If the medical experts really knew or understood anything about human biology, dietary history, or nutrition, they would have long ago understood this half-cocked theory never made any sense.

As I said last month, these experts “don’t know much about history, don’t know much biology.” But somehow, they still get research grants to keep doing research that never really proves anything.

We have good, solid data that completely contradict the government’s recommendations over the last 40 years. Including the Oslo Diet Heart Study, the Sydney (Australia) Diet Heart Study, and the Los Angeles Veterans Study, six prevention trials, as well as three other long-term cohort studies. But, apparently, some heart experts still hold out hope that eventually there will be some positive data about cutting fat.

So–what does the American Heart Association (AHA) have to say about the government’s recent admission about fat and cholesterol?

(Remember this group still wants us all to cut salt intake to potentially dangerously low levels. Again, despite having no real data to support this recommendation, and lots of evidence to the contrary.)

The AHA still recommends individuals limit saturated fat to only 5 to 6 percent of daily calories.

The authors of the meta-analysis asked, “What’s going on here? They’re arbitrarily selecting these numbers. There’s no good evidence supporting 10 percent, and there’s clearly no evidence to recommend 5 or 6 percent.”

What’s going on here indeed? Is the AHA trying to prevent heart disease or cause it?

If we didn’t have so much heart disease, we wouldn’t need the AHA and their cardiologist co-dependents. Hmm…maybe we’ve got something there?


1. “The evidence base for fat guidelines: a balanced diet,” Open Heart 2014

2. “Evidence from randomised controlled trials did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” Open Heart 2015;2