Low fat diets “probably not a good idea”

I came across a wonderful WSJ op-ed article today by Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise.  Here’s a tweet she sent about it with a link to the piece:

It reminded me that I had watched the very same DGAC meeting she mentions in the above article, where the vice-chair, Alice Lichtenstein, makes some remarkable comments about whether low fat diets are good and still recommended by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

The meeting in question was the 2015 DGAC Meeting #5, day 1, on 16 September 2014, http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-binder/meeting5/index.aspx

In this clip, vice-chair Alice Lichtenstein says “low fat diets are probably not a good idea” and that “they induce dyslipidemia” and that they switched their message way back in 2000. Who knew?

The full meeting video is available online (this clip starts at 04:35:15):  http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?File=18613&bhcp=1

And if that wasn’t enough to blow you off your chair, Frank Hu, also on the 2015 DGAC, followed a few minutes later, saying “People keep on saying that we are still recommending low fat diets which is not the case” (clip starts at 04:37:39):

It’s all part of the Subcommittee 2 Dietary Patterns, Foods and Nutrients, and Health Outcomes presentation on Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease, given by Frank Hu. This presentation starts at 04:14:00. The fascinating discussion on whether low fat diets are still recommended or not was started by Miriam Nelson (in the Q&A) at 04:33:10.

The takeaway?  Low fat diets are over, so last century, but apparently the message hasn’t really gotten out to all of us.

But they still say we should reduce our saturated fat intake, although their own draft conclusion statement says that higher saturated fat intake as compared to carbohydrates is not associated with CVD risk. I don’t get it.

Here are the draft conclusion and implication statements, so you can read them yourself:

sfa.and.cvd.6 sfa.and.cvd.7 sfa.and.cvd.8 sfa.and.cvd.9

It’s ugly watching the sausage get made.


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