What’s New in the Dietary Guidelines – The New York Times

“With saturated fat widely considered the primary culprit in raising blood serum levels of cholesterol, most experts are far less worried about cholesterol intake from low-fat foods like eggs, shrimp and other shellfish. Although a small fraction of the population may be sensitive to dietary cholesterol, for most people on an otherwise wholesome diet, cholesterol naturally produced by the liver is the main reason for rising serum cholesterol that prompts people like me to control it with a daily statin.”

It amazes me how wrong dietary guidelines have been for decades. That researchers couldn’t have figured out that dietary cholesterol wasn’t the problem. All these decades where people were afraid to eat eggs, and actually ate one of the most insipid foods every imagined, the “egg-white omelet.”

And what else is wrong in the current dietary guidelines? How much have the low fat and high carbs recommendations of the past contributed to the obesity epidemic?

Indeed, it is now widely believed that the fear of fat promulgated decades ago inadvertently led to the current obesity crisis when people seeking low-fat foods turned instead to ones overloaded with carbohydrates…

How can we trust any such guidelines any more? It’s clear that they’re not based on sound research, but either hunches (the cholesterol and fat recommendations), or lobbying (the lack of clear limits on certain things, such as soda).

Source: What’s New in the Dietary Guidelines – The New York Times

4 thoughts on “What’s New in the Dietary Guidelines – The New York Times

  1. Lobbying has historically been a big deal, no doubt. But a huge part of all this is that it’s REALLY complicated. Official Science™ works by making semi-random guesses, and keeping the ones that aren’t wrong. And diet is still pretty early Official Science™ right now because it’s so complicated.

    But despite all that, there is good info out there amidst all the dross, and has been for a long while.

    I mean, way back in the mid-’80’s, I managed to figure out that whole grains, veggies, beans, certain nuts, fruits, and lots of olive oil were the foundation of a great diet. Garlic and spices could make it yummy. Added sugar was the plague. Plus, if you were going to eat animal products, fish and dairy were the main way to go. And all that pretty much holds 30 years later.

    Way back in the mid-’70’s, my health conscious mother managed to figure out that trans-fats were horrendous. And that *really* holds 40 years later.

    So until Official Science™ catches up, you can still make decent decisions if you inform yourself, and don’t get caught up in the hype of “Latest Discovery” which gets quietly discarded a few years later. That famous Michael Pollan almost-haiku is a fine place to start.

    • Yes, and, for example, health guidelines tend to be based on things that can be tested. It turns out that cholesterol is probably not a problem, but that it’s something that accumulates when inflammation is present.

      But, yes, Pollan does have the right idea.

  2. Lobbying has historically been a big deal, no doubt. But a huge part of all this is that it’s REALLY complicated. Official Science™ works by making semi-random guesses, and keeping the ones that aren’t wrong. And diet is still pretty early Official Science™ right now because it’s so complicated.

    But despite all that, there is good info out there amidst all the dross, and has been for a long while.

    I mean, way back in the mid-’80’s, I managed to figure out that whole grains, veggies, beans, certain nuts, fruits, and lots of olive oil were the foundation of a great diet. Garlic and spices could make it yummy. Added sugar was the plague. Plus, if you were going to eat animal products, fish and dairy were the main way to go. And all that pretty much holds 30 years later.

    Way back in the mid-’70’s, my health conscious mother managed to figure out that trans-fats were horrendous. And that *really* holds 40 years later.

    So until Official Science™ catches up, you can still make decent decisions if you inform yourself, and don’t get caught up in the hype of “Latest Discovery” which gets quietly discarded a few years later. That famous Michael Pollan almost-haiku is a fine place to start.

    • Yes, and, for example, health guidelines tend to be based on things that can be tested. It turns out that cholesterol is probably not a problem, but that it’s something that accumulates when inflammation is present.

      But, yes, Pollan does have the right idea.

Leave a Reply to Kirk McElhearn Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.