In 1977 – the year Elvis died – the best-selling songs were Queen’s “We are the champions” and “Don’t cry for me Argentina” by Madonna. In the UK, it was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, marking 25 years of her reign.
I’m sure there were many other notable events, but the one that stands out for me, above all the rest, was extraordinary.
The US Government decided to take over from grannies and mothers everywhere and dictate what Americans should and shouldn’t eat. They condemned fat as the cause of heart disease, and promoted carbohydrates as the main macronutrient that was supposed to arrest the increasing rate of heart disease.
As it turns out, there was no scientifically valid evidence to support the concept that fat was bad for us, and no evidence whatsoever that supported increasing carbohydrate in our diet. Was it all a huge human experiment?
Most countries in the world imported, adopted and copied this initiative from the USA. The processed food industry jumped on board and lowered fat in the foods that they could, replacing them with various carbohydrate fillers such as wheat flour, corn flour, soy products, high fructose and other types of sugars. Margarines replaced butter. Cholesterol laden foods were criticised.
The result? There are now over 60000 different processed foods available to consumers. Incidentally, there are 10 major corporations owning almost all of these.
Have you noticed that there has been a massive increase in the numbers of overweight and obese people in our country? Australian statistics suggest that over 60% of the adult population and 25% of children under 18 are overweight. Governments all over the world are concerned at the rapidly rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancers and dementia that are affecting their citizens and resulting in out-of-control health dollar spending.
We are advised to eat less and move more. We are criticised for gorging ourselves and becoming too sedentary.
However, it is now recognised that these chronic diseases are related to that errant instruction from the US government way back in 1977. There has been a groundswell of books, documentaries, movies, blogs, social media movements and rigorous science relating today’s chronic diseases to that ill-fated advice.
Now, in 2018, in acts of self-correction and concession, the Australian and American Diabetes Associations have, at last, publicly recognised that low carbohydrate and healthy high fat protocols are proving to be highly acceptable and effective alternatives to their previously promoted advice.
Cutting down our ingestion of sugars, soft drinks, refined foods such as grains, cereals, breads, pasta and rice, and processed foods, as well as minimising the starch products such as potatoes, will reduce the glucose and insulin spikes that eventually lead to pathology.
‘Low-carb, high-fat’ (LCHF), ‘Keto’, ‘Intermittent Fasting’, and ‘Time-Restricted- Eating’ protocols are all variations of lower carbohydrate eating. One can still eat all the beautiful non-starch vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, brocollini, spinach, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts and so on. All animal and fish foods, all fats except processed vegetable and seed oils, are part of healthy eating. As are those the five fat friends – butter, cream, cheese, olive oil and home- made mayonnaise.
Yes, we can eat fat again!
To hear more from Dr Tim O’Dowd, head to www.timodowd.com.