For nearly all my adult years (>50),  I've been told to eat what was recommended to be the most healthy foods and avoid the "bad guys". No to whole milk. No butter. No red meats. No eggs. White poultry meat only. Eat lots of grains and carbohydrates.

We've been duped into believing that eating fat makes you fat, and that a high fat diet increases cholesterol numbers which in turn leads to heart diseases. No proof, just common sense. For 50 years the American Academy of Pediatrics has insisted that "A low fat diet should be asumed right until proven wrong." (And that includes infants!)  Ever since the USDA first recommended a low-fat diet in 1980, the rates of obesity (U.S.) has increased steadily. They still repeat the mantra, "healthy diets are higher in carbohydrates".

Most of the "evidence" has been make-believe. There has been a "selection bias" in trying to show a relationship between high fat--bad health. There has been no clinical (i.e., scientific) trials to prove such relationship. What has been shown is the lower ones cholesterol is, there's a greater chance of getting gallstones, colon cancer, strokes (2-3 times), and being depressed (with increased suicides).

My eyes have been opened by reading The Big Fat Surprise, by Nina Teicholz. She has methodically reviewed all the studies, books, and articles, analyzing the information and results leading to where we are today. Here's her concluding summary: 

   "If, in recommending that Americans avoid meat, cheese, milk, cream, butter, eggs, and the rest, it turns out that nutrition experts made a mistake, it will have been a monumental one. Measured just by death and disease, and not including the millions of lives derailed by excess weight and obesity, it's very possible that the course of nutrition advice over the past sixty years has taken an unparalleled toll on human history. It now appears that since 1961, the entire American population has, indeed, been subjected to a mass experiment, and the results have clearly been a failure. Every reliable indicator of good health is worsened by a low-fat diet (my stress). Whereas diets high in fat have been shown, again and again, in a large body of clinical trials, to lead to improved measures for heart disease, blood pressure, and diabetes, and are better for weight loss. Moreover, it's clear that the original case against saturated fats was based on faulty evidence and has, over the last decade, fallen apart. Despite more than two billion dollars in public money spent trying to prove that lowering saturated fat will prevent heart attacks, the diet-heart hypothesis has not held up."

In my own personal family history, my mother faithfully followed the low-fat guidelines. She died of peritoneal cancer at age 83. My sister has been diabetic all her adult life, survived breast cancer, and has been a vegan (no animal products) forever. Hmmm. My father, on the other hand, has pooh-poohed all the recommendations and is still healthy and alert at nearly age 97.  Excuse me while I go grocery shopping!

PS: Big business food industry has for years persuaded us to use American grown vegetable oils. They've lobbied hard to have us abstain from olive, palm, and coconut oils which are so much better for us. The book discusses that issue in detail. Read it!

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Comment by Randall Smith on January 28, 2015 at 7:54am

Future 20, "t'was ever thus". That is, the author's major point was that there's always been rebuttals from "the other side", especially those promoting their products. Many have fought tooth and nail against Atkins, etc., exactly for the reason you gave--"common sense" says it can't work. I won't read the reviews. However, I do know better than to go overboard with too much fat.

Comment by Michael Penn on January 28, 2015 at 6:06am

I agree with your father. Always did, and I knew the authorities couldn't make up their minds on things. Recently in a discussion of my LDL and other things, the nurse said they didn't fully understand my readings. I explained to her that I take their medicine but I'm going to eat whatever in the hell I want to.

Comment by kathy: ky on January 27, 2015 at 3:16pm
Isn't the atkins diet much closer to the way our ancestors ate when we were hunter /gatherers? And much thinner to boot.
Although thin doesn't always equal healthy.
Comment by Future on January 27, 2015 at 10:58am
I read the book, and I was energized by the notion that all this delicious stuff that we've been told to avoid is actually good for you. Then I read some reviews of the book, and quickly realized that it's not all it's cracked up to be. I mean, who doesn't love to hear what they want to hear, right? Bottom line, don't let your desire to believe something is true override your common sense. Read some of the negative reviews of this book for some perspective - there are plenty on one star reviews on Amazon, from people who know something about what they are talking about.

My advice - eat everything in moderation, but avoid all fast food, all processed food, and never drink soda, even if it's sugar free. Lastly, get exercise, even if it's just taking walks. That's my biggest problem.
Comment by Joan Denoo on January 27, 2015 at 10:26am

I was advised to go on the Adkins diet by a nutritionist I picked out of the phone book when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. I became very ill, no energy, my body just didn't perform normally. I went to my physician and she immediately took me off Adkins, and sent me to her nutritionist. She stated very clearly that Adkins Diet is not for everyone. 

I was raised on a high protein diet, farm people often eat a lot of meat, butter, whole milk and eggs. So it wasn't the high protein of Adkins, it was the lack of balance of the diet, I suppose. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on January 27, 2015 at 9:44am

I also noticed that fruits and vegetables were not addictive, and did not reduce my weight loss.

Comment by Idaho Spud on January 27, 2015 at 9:41am

I went on the Atkins diet twice.  Lost quite a bit of weight both times, my blood tests looked better, and body functions were much better.  

As Loren said, staying on the diet was the problem.  Once carbohydrates were put back in the diet, it seems like they were addictive, and I couldn't stop eating more and more.

Comment by Loren Miller on January 27, 2015 at 9:10am

Hell, anyone who's ever been on the Atkins diet knows this!  Only problem is STAYING on the Atkins diet!

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