Problems with our dietary guidelines

Let's look at the key nutritional recommendations from the health organisations 2015-2020

They say we should follow a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level. Sounds good.

This is then the  healthy eating pattern :

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Oils

A healthy eating pattern limits:

  • Saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

Then limitations on quantities are as follows

  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars[3]
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats[4]
  • Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium[5]
  • If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.

On the surface this sounds like good advice, but let us delve deeper into these recommendations and see how this works in in real life. Let us start with the Fat first. Why are they still promoting low fat when new studies have shown that saturated fat is not the enemy:

  1. Hooper L, et al. Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular diseaseTrusted Source. Cochrane Database Systematic Review, 2015.
  2. De Souza RJ, et al. Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.Trusted Source BMJ, 2015.
  3. Siri-Tarino PW, et al. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease.Trusted Source American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010.
  4. Chowdhury R, et al. Association of dietary, circulating, and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis.Trusted Source Annals of Internal Medicine Journal, 2014.
  5. Schwab U, et al. Effect of the amount and type of dietary fat on risk factors for cardiometabolic risk factors, and risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer: A systematic review.Trusted Source Food and Nutrition Research, 2014.

Conclusions of these studies:

  • Saturated fat intake wasn’t linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, or strokes, type 2 diabetes or death from any cause, even among those with the highest intake.
  • Replacing saturated fat with refined carbs seems to increase your risk of heart disease.

Here is the question, if we have studies the prove saturated fat is healthy and not bad for our health, why is there still this health recommendation from the health organisations. The WHO says we must replace butter, lard and ghee with oils rich in polyunsaturated fats, such as soybean, canola (rapeseed), corn, safflower and sunflower oils. Please note that we are told to replace natural fats that we can make ourselves with man made fats which we cannot. How is laboratory produced food ever healthier than natural food?

Have a look at this very interesting video:

Sugar in the diet

Now I want to look at the idea of sugar. on the WHO website we read the following statement:

" Excess calories from foods and drinks high in free sugars also contribute to unhealthy weight gain, which can lead to overweight and obesity. Recent evidence also shows that free sugars influence blood pressure and serum lipids, and suggests that a reduction in free sugars intake reduces risk factors for cardiovascular diseases "

The study they cited for this statement you can read here: Te Morenga LA, Howatson A, Jones RM, Mann J. Dietary sugars and cardiometabolic risk: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of the effects on blood pressure and lipids. AJCN. 2014; 100(1): 65–79.

Now this study showed a correlation between higher sugar intake and cardiovascular disease. What is astounding is the food that does not show to cause heart disease and has definite health benefits is vilified and we should minimize saturated fat intake, yet the food that is shown to cause cardiovascular conditions is allowed and put in the diet.

Could this be that every low fat food is spiked with sugar. Look at the sugar value in high fat yogurt (about 8g) vs low fat yogurt(about 15g). Most of the time the difference between the sugar content is double. Apart from that, foods that are produced by industry usually are loaded with sugar which means everything we buy in the shop has sugar added to it. Sugar is everywhere, and it has taken over our diets since fat was removed. To get the full scoop on sugar read my article: Why is sugar so bad for our health

Grains for our diets

Refined grains was not a major part of the human diet throughout history. We used to consume whole grain foods with the whole plant. However, as far as the history of human diet, grains are only a young food source that came with the advent of farming practices. I don't believe that grains were ans should be a part of our daily life. It can be enjoyed as a treat, but definitely not as a staple in our diets.

Soy in our diets

All I can say here is why? Why have soy and soy products now been added as part of our daily diets?

Of course you will find many videos touting the greatness of soy, but I will caution against those because vegetarians need soy to be healthy as it is a big part of their diet. My question is just this, why has the recommendations included a product that was never part of our diet as a regular part of our diet?

Oils for our diets

Man there is so much we can say about oils. If you've listened to "The big fat surprise" video above you would already know the truth about oil. Here is another video from another point of view.

IDo not know why the recommendations are so off point, it could be money, industry, jobs or a combination of things. The hard truth is that the recommendations are not set up for our health. There is enough evidence to show that the recommendations are wrong and it is sad that it takes sooo long for the government agencies to change their thoughts.

In the mean time we have to be astute about our health and return to a natural diet.


Posted in Health, Nutrition.

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