0800 040 7526
Sweden has become the first Western nation to reject the current status quo recommending a low fat and high grain carbohydrate based diet. The change followed the publication of a two year study by the independent Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. The body looked at 16,000 studies published over the past 30 years.
Personal trainers and bodybuilders have known for years that fat does not make you fat..finally some governments may start to see sense. The current advice from western governments is to consume 60% of our foods in the form of grains and carbohydrates. Yet this neglects the impact that blood sugar levels, insulin and hormones have on fat storage and long-term health.
Highlights of the study are as follows:
“Health markers will improve on a low-carbohydrate diet:
…a greater increase in HDL cholesterol (“the good cholesterol”) without having any adverse affects on LDL cholesterol (“the bad cholesterol”). This applies to both the moderate low-carbohydrate intake of less than 40 percent of the total energy intake, as well as to the stricter low-carbohydrate diet, where carbohydrate intake is less than 20 percent of the total energy intake. In addition, the stricter low-carbohydrate diet will lead to improved glucose levels for individuals with obesity and diabetes, and to marginally decreased levels of triglycerides.”
A local newspaper also summarised the findings:
Butter, olive oil, heavy cream, and bacon are not harmful foods. Quite the opposite. Fat is the best thing for those who want to lose weight. And there are no connections between a high fat intake and cardiovascular disease.
On Monday, SBU, the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment, dropped a bombshell. After a two-year long inquiry, reviewing 16,000 studies, the report “Dietary Treatment for Obesity” upends the conventional dietary guidelines for obese or diabetic people.
For a long time, the health care system has given the public advice to avoid fat, saturated fat in particular, and calories. A low-carb diet (LCHF – Low Carb High Fat, is actually a Swedish “invention”) has been dismissed as harmful, a humbug and as being a fad diet lacking any scientific basis.
Instead, the health care system has urged diabetics to eat a lot of fruit (=sugar) and low-fat products with considerable amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners, the latter a dangerous trigger for the sugar-addicted person.
This report turns the current concepts upside down and advocates a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, as the most effective weapon against obesity.
The expert committee consisted of ten physicians, and several of them were skeptics to low-carbohydrate diets at the beginning of the investigation.
Many of the doctors and scholars on the committee were previously sceptical towards low carbohydrate diets, but have subsequently has their minds changes by the weight of the evidence. Professor Fredrick Nystrom, part of the committee and a doubter as to the benefits of a low fat diet quoted:
“I’ve been working with this for so long. It feels great to have this scientific report, and that the skepticism towards low-carb diets among my colleagues has disappeared during the course of the work. When all recent scientific studies are lined up the result is indisputable: our deep-seated fear of fat is completely unfounded. You don’t get fat from fatty foods, just as you don’t get atherosclerosis from calcium or turn green from green vegetables.”
The professor has also advised (as have we here at DDW for a decade!) a greatly reduced intake of carbohydrate rich foods that are also high in sugar and starch so that there are healthy levels of insulin, blood lipids and good LDL cholesterol. This means reducing or eliminating potatoes, sugars, pasta, whire rice, flour and bread while encouraging the eating of plant oils, nuts, butter, whole food dairy, oily fish and meats. Nystrom also stated:
“If you eat potatoes you might as well eat candy. Potatoes contain glucose units in a chain, which is converted to sugar in the GI tract. Such a diet causes blood sugar, and then the hormone insulin, to skyrocket.”
Note that when insulin is present in the blood stream fat will be stored but existing far stores will not be metabolised.
See previous DDW posts on this topic.
Finally, he stated:
There are many mantras we have been taught to accept as truths:
“Calories are calories, no matter where they come from.”
“It’s all about the balance between calories in and calories out.”
“People are fat because they don’t move enough.”
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
“Of course these are not true. This kind of nonsense has people with weight problems feeling bad about themselves. As if it were all about their inferior character. For many people a greater intake of fat means that you’ll feel satiated, stay so longer, and have less of a need to eat every five minutes. On the other hand, you won’t feel satiated after drinking a Coke, or after eating almost fat free, low-fat fruit yogurt loaded with sugar.