I know. You’re sceptical.
You have read some of the blog on diet, but are still not really using the tips.
Maybe you have heard too often that carbs are good for you and fat is bad.
Still, you can’t help but wonder…what the truth really is.
Even if you read through tons of articles online, what should you believe?
The information is so contradicting and difficult to comprehend that you got lost somewhere along the way.
So you are probably still believing number 1 dietary myth.
Well, here is how you have been mislead…
The Hunters And The Gatherers Diet
Before super markets and before industrialization there were the hunters and the gatherers.
The hunters ate fat and protein, primarily living of fresh kills and nuts and seeds which they got after long stretches between kills.
Examples can still be found in different cultures around the world.
Such as the Maasai and Samburu tribes in north-central Kenya (Who eat, meat, milk and animal blood) and the Inuit of
the Arctic (Who eat fish, meat, and whale fat).
In the beginning of the 1900s, the Artcis explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived among the Inuit for multiple years and consequently integrated their diet into his live.
He found out that the Inuite, where extremely healthy on a low carb diet, contrary to popular believe.
In his own experiment he went on a meat only diet for one year and was documented to have no negative effects from his dietary choices.
In 1960 he wrote a book about his findings and observations named Cancer: Disease of Civilization?
In 1970s, based upon these findings by Stefansson, Dr. Robert Atkins named the orginal hunter diet the Atkins diet.
Which is based upon low-carb and high fat.
So far so good, but then we made a wrong turn…
What Went Wrong? How The Myth Became The Truth
As heart diseases rose slowly during the twentieth century, Eisenhower’s cardiologist wrote his classic paper Heart Disease.
In the 1960s this led to some serious dietary interventions world-wide, with the goal to alter our diet for the better.
In the 60s Ancel Keys, a Minnesota epidemiologist -who had considerable respect in the public eye- saw enormous increases in heart disease as a result of the diet at that time.
He returned to the United States on a mission to prove that dietary fat was the major cause of heart disease.
Between 1960 and the ’70s he published a large amount of studies which ‘supported his findings’.
Showing that increased dietary fat was the major cause of overweight.
Here is where the myth starts, because Ancel Keys did 3 things to influenced his results:
1. He selectively used information to prove his truth
The study was carried out in 22 countries and while in 7 of those the results seemed significant, when all 22 were taken into account something else happened.
The results were less than convincing.
In addition, he did not make use of tribes such as the Maasai and the Inuit, who ate animal fat as a primary substance in their diet and were among the lowest in terms of heart disease and overweight.
2. He did not look at dietary fat and carb intake in healthy countries
At the end of his graph, the healthiest countries were Japan and Italy, because they had the lowest amount of fats in their diet.
As a result he states that due to lower fat intake these countries have a significantly healthier population.
However he forgets to account for the fact that these countries also scored the lowest on carb intake.
So was he measuring the results of a lower fat diet or a lower carb diet?
3. He acknowledged, but disregarded the effect of sugar
In one of his most important papers he even notes that heart disease was significantly correlated with an increase in sucrose.
Strange enough he kept his eye on fat, so was it the fat or was it the sugar?
Despite these gaps in Ancel’s line of reasoning, the public opinion became that dietary fat was the ultimate cause of all the obesity issues.
Somehow the numbers seem to prove otherwise.
How Decreasing Fat In Products Made The Obesity Issue Worse
Companies in the food industry started to develop and market low-fat products to meet the new dietary guidelines.
But when you take the fat out of products, they taste like crap.
So the food industry had to find a way to keep products tasteful, while at the same time cutting the fats.
They did so in an ingenious way!
What did they do?
They increased the cabohydrate content, in reality fat was being replaced by sugars.
As a result in the 1990s the amount of consumed carbs went through the roof and so went the % of people suffering from obesity and diabetis.
And thus, the tragical misunderstanding of our biochemistry gave birth to what we now know as ‘the obesity pandemic’.
Nowadays there are almost as much low-fat products as there are normal products.
So why are people still getting fatter?
Carbs, carbs, carbs…
As we slowly started to realize that somehow things weren’t going in the right direction, more research was done in the early 2000s.
The low-carb diet was put to the test against the low-fat diet, the results were unexpected.
Well from a hunter gatherer point of view they weren’t…
A decrease in carbs improved:
- The control of blood sugar, which is the primary cause of diabetis.
- Was at least as effective in weight loss as a low fat diet.
- Showed a decrease in the risk of heart disease.
- Improved the metabolism.
So ask yourself the question: If people are on a low fat diet and we are surrounded by low fat products, why are people getting fatter?
Something is going horribly wrong and we are being fooled by the number 1 myth day in day out.
Diet Tips 101: What You Can Do Right Now To Get Your Facts And Fats Right
1. Start focusing on carbs instead of fat, if you want to lose fat, lose the carbs.
2. Gather some information on the Paleolithic diet, there are free sources everywhere. You can get a good guide with recipes and explanation here. This honestly changed my life.
4. Be critical, but make sure you test before you give an outspoken opinion.
Feast mode ON!