Somewhere around 1950, an American physician posited that because physicians were seeing so many arteries clogged with cholesterol, it must be true that dietary fat causes heart disease, obesity and all that goes with it. Â The medical establishment spent the next few decades trying to prove it – and that cranks, quacks and outliers like Dr. Robert Atkins who insisted that it was the carbs making us fat, not the dietary fat (like the people of previous centuries knew) were just, well, wrong.
After a year-long study was concluded and the results published in September – of research that was supposed to prove once and for all that low-fat diets were the way to go and fat was the medical equivalent of Satan – members of the medical establishment, the sorts who have set themselves up as experts, are beginning to admit that natural dietary fat just isn’t the health evil they made it out to be.
The medical establishment got it wrong,” says cardiologist Dennis Goodman, director ofÂ Integrative Medicine at New York Medical Associates. “The belief system didn’t pan out….Â The idea that fat kills got so ingrained, it became folklore. Your mother told you, your grandmother told you. It’s going to take years to get people to believe that was wrong,” he says. “We’re in a transition, and on the cutting edge. It may take a while, but you’ll see new guidelines.”
It seems that this latest study piles on the evidence that has been building for over a decade – clinical trials are proving that low-carb diets greatly improve Framingham Risk Calculator scores that indicate the risk for heart related trouble down the road. Â Blood pressure drops, the small particle cholesterol (bad cholesterol) lowers, good cholesterol is raised, and fat is burned off rather than lean muscle mass. Â All are good things.
While the evidence seems to be overwhelming, since there are no precise percentages as to what the “ideal” diet ratio of fat vs. carbs as yet in the medical literature, it seems that doctors are slow to actually change their recommendations to patients.
“We no longer think low-fat diets are the answer,” says Dr. Linda Van Horn of the AHA Nutrition Committee. But, she says, the AHA still recommends keeping saturated fat below 6 percent of total daily calories, or half what the low-carb dieters consumed in the NIH study. “There just haven’t been any controlled clinical trials yet showing us how much saturated fat is safe,” Van Horn says.
There also haven’t been low-carb clinical trials running long enough to reach “hard end points” â€” heart attack, stroke, or death. That means no one can say with certainty that a high-fat diet will make you live longer. That might be why so few doctors recommend them.
Isn’t there this thing in the Hippocratic Oath about doing no harm? Â Living longer is one thing. Â Enjoying that life by eating tasty food that’s full of natural fats is even better. Â In the meantime, one study after another is vindicating Dr. Robert Atkins, Gary Taubes and the others who all insist that avoiding dietary fat is a big, fat lie.
Source article from Men’s Heath via Business Insider