Mainstream Nutrition Has Failed… Miserably

Female Dietitian Holding an AppleDid you know that some of the biggest killers today were incredibly rare in the past?

Back in the day, we used to die from childbirth, infectious disease, accidents… that kind of stuff.

Today, most people are dying from the so-called “diseases of affluence.”

These include obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain forms of cancer and a few others.

Many non-industrial populations that eat a natural diet do NOT have most of these diseases.

These populations can’t even read, yet are somehow much healthier than Westerners (1, 2, 3).

It seems pretty clear that there is something in the environment that has changed, because these diseases are relatively new and genes take a much longer time to evolve.

Right now, everything is pointing towards the foods we eat being significant contributors to all those diseases.

When non-industrual populations adopt a Western diet, they get sick (4). When sick people on a Western diet adopt a non-industrial diet, they get healthier (5, 6).

However, most mainstream health organizations still recommend that we eat a modern, industrial diet that has repeatedly been proven to be ineffective.

Not only that, but they are also blaming these modern diseases on the traditional foods (like red meat) that have sustained humans for hundreds of thousands of years!

The Outdated War on Fat and The Horrifying Low-Fat Diet

Food Pyramid, Smaller

The “war” on fat was (and still is) the cornerstone of mainstream dietary recommendations.

Back in the 60s and 70s, heart disease was a massive problem in America.

A few highly influential scientists were convinced that saturated fat was a significant contributor, because it raised cholesterol.

Eventually, the first dietary guidelines for Americans were published in 1977, instructing people to cut down on fat and eat more fruits, vegetables and grains.

The problem is that there wasn’t a single clinical trial (real science) to support this idea. The entire U.S. population became participants in a gigantic, uncontrolled experiment.

Interestingly, the obesity epidemic started at almost the exact same time as the low-fat guidelines came out.

Low Fat Guidelines and Obesity Epidemic

Did the guidelines cause the obesity epidemic? We simply do not know, because correlation does not equal causation and many other things were changing at that time.

The original studies that the “war” on saturated fat was based on have been debunked by newer, better research. Saturated fat is harmless (7, 8, 9).

The low-fat diet has also been studied directly, in massive randomized controlled trials. The studies ALL point to the same conclusion… this diet does NOT work (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16).

It doesn’t prevent heart disease, it doesn’t help with weight loss (unless severely calorie restricted) and it doesn’t prevent cancer.

Still… the “experts” and the mainstream nutrition organizations still recommend that we eat the same diet, even though its scientific foundation has been removed and that there are multiple studies proving that it doesn’t work.

The low-fat diet was based on a hypothesis. This hypothesis was tested, it didn’t work. Period.

There Are Massive Conflicts of Interest Going on

Boy Eating a Sandwich

In a perfect world, the people who set the nutrition guidelines would be objective.

They would base their findings on the latest and highest quality scientific studies and they wouldn’t let bias or financial conflicts of interest affect their conclusions.

But unfortunately… we don’t live in a perfect world.

There are massive conflicts of interest going on between the major nutrition organizations and the giant food and drug companies.

These are the companies that profit from people being dependant on junk foods and drugs.

  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of nutrition professionals, is heavily sponsored by junk food companies like Coca Cola, Pepsico, Mars and Kellogg’s.
  • The American Diabetes Association tells diabetics to eat a high-carb diet that keeps them dependent on drugs. They are heavily sponsored by drug companies, by 15 million dollars in the year 2011 alone.

If you take some time to dig through the websites of the major health organizations, you will see that most of them are being sponsored by these companies.

I’m not being a conspiracy theorist or anything, this information is freely available on their official websites.

It seems kind of obvious that the people who tell us how to be healthy shouldn’t be taking money from corporations that profit from us being sick.

Many dietitians and scientists are seriously concerned about these conflicts of interest and are actively fighting against them.

The “Experts” and The Organizations Refuse to Accept Scientific Progress

Doctor Thumbs Down

The original dietary guidelines told us to eat less saturated fat and cholesterol, less salt and more vegetable oils, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Does that sound familiar to you?

It must be… because today’s guidelines are pretty much exactly the same. They haven’t changed.

Back in the year 1977, nutrition was a relatively new branch of science. We didn’t know much about how nutrients can affect the human body and its diseases.

However, nutrition is huge today. It is taught at pretty much every university and there have been tons of high quality studies. We know a LOT more today than we did 36 years ago.

Yet, the official guidelines really haven’t changed to account for all this wonderful scientific progress (17).

For example, we now know that saturated fat is harmless, that restricting sodium doesn’t work, that vegetable oils can cause downright harm and that many diseases can be easily improved by carb restriction.

I’ve often wondered why the “experts” and the “respectable” organizations do not acknowledge basic advancements in science.

I’m starting to think it may have something to do with the most influential scientists in the field having invested their careers in the old theories. They can’t suddenly change their minds without embarrassing themselves.

A friend of mine sent me this quote in an e-mail the other day and I think it is applicable here…

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”Max Planck