For some reason, the powers-that-be are committed to defending the status quo, no matter how much logic they have to defy in the process. So I’ve come to terms with the fact that the news I consider to be super exciting isn’t always the news that’s going to get the most public attention.
In fact, a lot of those studies may not make mainstream headlines at all. Which is why I’m committed to sharing them with you here…
A head-to-head comparison
According to a new study, there’s no significant difference between low-carb and low-fat diets when it comes to death risk—at least, not compared to diets packed with unhealthy fats and refined carbs.
This study looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), collected between 1999 and 2014.
Researchers gathered enough dietary details to categorize subjects as low-fat or low-carb eaters. They were also able to distinguish between subjects whose dietary patterns were either healthy or unhealthy.
They assigned participants points based on their levels of fat, protein, and carbohydrate intake to create an overall score between 0 and 30. Researchers assigned additional scores based on the quality of carbs and fat consumed.
Unhealthy carbs included refined grains and foods with added sugar. Healthier sources, in this case, were whole grains, non-starchy veggies, and whole fruit. Among low-carb eaters, subjects who replaced saturated fat with unsaturated fat received healthier scores.
Now, you can probably guess my reaction to all of this. For the record, “whole grains” are neither an essential nor healthy part of anyone’s diet. And even fruit is a problem, if you’re eating too much of the wrong type.
As for fats, there’s nothing inherently unhealthy about saturated fat. And while monounsaturated fats will always be king in my book—and polyunsaturated fats like fish oil are fantastic—“unsaturated” vegetable oils aren’t doing anyone any favors.
Clearly, these researchers need some education on nutrition. But I’ll take what I can get. Because ultimately, the results make a very important point.
Don’t eat garbage
As any reasonable person would expect, this study found that mortality risk rose with unhealthy choices. And it dropped with healthy ones—regardless of carbohydrate or fat intake. So what does that tell you?
Well for one thing, it appears as though we’ve been right all along: The quality of your food really is an important factor for your health. Maybe even the most important one. (Shocking, I know!)
You’d think there would be more awareness on this front already, seeing as how it has such a profound impact on the public health. Poor diet is a leading cause of death and disability in this country.
It’s also one of the simplest to fix. The main rule? Don’t eat garbage.
As you know, I don’t agree with a lot of mainstream nutrition advice. (I’ve written multiple times about how saturated fat is good for you, for one.) But that’s not the point of today’s story.
The point is that researchers are finally starting to recognize the dangers of low-quality foods of any kind—especially sugar and refined carbs.
Hopefully results like this will influence the powers-that-be to reconsider their blind devotion to the low-fat, whole-grain dogma—and finally stop scaring the public away from perfectly nutritious low-carb plans like my A-List Diet.
But sadly, I’m not holding my breath. Though I’ll still count this as a small victory.
P.S. I’ve written quite a few books on diet over the years. And they all have a clear focus: to help people understand and commit to healthy dietary choices. Indeed, most popular diets are missing one key element…which I disclose in the March 2017 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“Why your low-carb, high-protein diet may not be working as well as it could…and the secret to getting better, faster results”). Subscribers have access to this and all of my past content. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today!
“Low-Fat, Low-Carb Diets Equally Beneficial if Healthy Foods Included.” Medscape Medical News, 01/21/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/923995)