Low fat, low carb foods a disaster group contends: Here's why

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Low fat foods making us sick, group contends

What if everything we've been told about eating for weight loss and overall good health were wrong? According to a group of health care professionals in the UK, there is no need to avoid saturated fat or certain carbohydrates at all. The suggestion is avoiding natural foods is what is making millions of people sick and fat; contributing to type 2 diabetes and obesity.

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In a contentious report that is raising concerns among some public health entities, the Public Health Collaboration says recommendations to eat low-fat, low-cholesterol foods has had "disastrous consequences".

Instead of focusing on less fat. the group says government should recommend starting with The Real Food Lifestyle For Weight Loss.

The group contends there is no evidence that saturated fat leads to heart disease and that recommendations for eating put forth by NHS Choices actually raises the risk of cardiovascular disease.

They are asking that the UK remove recommendations to limit fat intake to 35 percent of total calorie intake. In fact, they recommend no calorie counting at all to avoid obesity. We should be eating food in it's natural form, regardless of how much fat the foods contain.

In addition to eating fat, the group suggests carbohydrates are good too - as long as they are "dense"; in the form of low glycemic index carbs that keep insulin resistance at bay and blood sugars level.

What's the evidence that government recommendations are making us fat?

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The Public Health Collaboration is under attack for their report. One of the reasons is that, despite evidence cited by the group, there is no peer or systematic review of contradictory evidence included in the report that eating dense carbohydrates and full fat natural food will keep us healthier and slimmer.

The group poignantly states: "Arguably, the advice to follow current healthy eating guidelines has resulted in 25% of
adults being obese, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes doubling in 20 years, 35% living with pre-diabetes and 20% living with the early-stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, " which experts argue cannot directly be translated as the result of healthy eating recommendations from the "Eatwell Guide".

Statistics from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey published in 2014 suggest the UK population is consuming just slightly more than the recommended amounts of sugar and just 1 percent over the limit of saturated fat per day and one less serving of the fruit, an observation used to support the notion that eating a low saturated, low carbohydrate diet might be 'misguided'.

Foods like cheese, milk and yogurt could actually lower our chances of obesity the report suggests.

The Public Health Collaboration medical team consists of a dietitian, cardiologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, diabetologist and several general practitioners.

“The most natural and nutritious foods available – meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, olive, avocados – all contain saturated fat. The continued demonisation of omnipresent natural fat drives people away from highly nourishing, wholesome and health-promoting foods."

Like many experts, and despite criticism, the group is recommending foods like eggs, bacon and tomato for breakfast versus the like of shredded wheat or wholemeal dose that raise blood sugar levels and are dense carbohydrates that promote insulin resistance, weight gain and diabetes. And indeed, there have been concerns about lack of nutrition from foods that are processed.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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