Added sugar is bad; added fat is worse

 I watched the first 4 parts of The Men Who Made Us Fat.  They cover some interesting stuff.  I have a major beef about their conclusion that the obesity epidemic is mainly caused by added sugars.  They take a Sugar vs. Fat approach.  Some “experts” that are interviewed seem to have exonerated dietary fat as a major cause of chronic disease.   One guy states that the recommendation of limiting total and saturated fats, and cholesterol is wrong.  He states the focus should have been on “added sugar”.   I agree that a recommendation to greatly limit added sugar should be included in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  However, it was insinuated that after the first Guidelines came out in 1977, Americans began eating a low-fat diet.  This ABSOLUTELY is not the case!  From 1989 – 1996,  the percentage of fat kcal for the typical American declined from 37% to 33%. 33% of total kcal from fat is even above the USDA’s very lenient guidelines.  A truly low-fat diet is ~ 10% of total calories.  The great results seen by the clients/patients of  Nathan Pritikin, Dr. John McDougall and Dr, Caldwell Esselstyn, among others,  came from eating truly low-fat Whole Food Plant Based Diets.  

 We have to get away from pitting one nutrient against another, whether they are macro or micro nutrients.  We need to pit foods against each other.

 Dietitians (RDs) should be pitting Whole and Minimally Processed Plant Foods vs. Animal Foods and Highly Processed Plant Foods.  The Science of  human nutrition deals with foods and how the combination of nutrients within foods affect the human organism.  It’s not about the study of specific nutrients taken out of context. (T. Colin Campbell calls this “Reductionism”)   The approach of comparing foods is also a simple educational approach that most people can understand.  An important part of an RD’s job is to help people distinguish between health promoting foods and disease promoting foods.  Yes, there are bad foods. The worst are high in fat.  The worst of the worst are high in saturated and/or trans fats.  The next time I hear an RD say that there are no bad foods, I may go postal!


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