Ancel Keys and a whole lot of lies.

As I’ve mentioned, if you want to be a healthier version of you and perhaps even weight loss is on your agenda then having the right information will make your journey easier.
 
There is way too much misinformation out there in the public arena, which leaves many confused and often does more harm than good. In fact I think I’ll stick my neck out and say (I’m not alone here!) it was misinformation and the use of selective scientific data over forty years ago that was the beginning of the health crisis – think skyrocketing obesity, diabetes, auto-immune disease – we have today.
 
 I won’t go into great detail (Dr. Google can fill you in if you’re keen to know more), but for the sake of a quick and simplistic overview… 
 
It all began in 1958 when an American scientist, Ancel Keys published his Seven Countries Study. He concluded the high rates of heart disease in these 7 countries were a result of their high fat diets.  A very important note:  Mr. Keys decided to cherry pick his findings – he selectively left out of the published paper the remaining 15 countries that did not support his conclusion.
 
For example, he left out the countries who had high fat diets and low rates of heart disease and he also left out countries with the opposite, low fat /high heart disease.
 
There was criticism then that his Seven Countries study was full of flaws, and there is a lot of criticism now, but alas the damage was done. Ancel Keys found himself on the front page of Time Magazine (1961), and the U.S. changed it’s nutritional guidelines to recommend a low fat diet – animal fats were especially demonised.
 
Then to add insult to injury in 1977 a U.S. Senate committee led by George McGovern, published the first set of dietary goals for the U.S.,  again to reduce heart disease.
 
They promoted a low fat /high carbohydrate diet for everyone:- 

  • Low in fat
  • Low in cholesterol
  • Less processed foods
  • Less sugar
  • High grain intake
  • High fruit intake
  • High vegetable intake 

The rest is history  – fat was the bad boy and removed from hundreds of products on our supermarket shelves, and replaced predominantly by sugar and in it’s many guises. Everything became skim, low fat, 2% or no fat. Even quality real ‘one ingredients foods’ that I love so much like avocados, nuts, seeds, coconuts etc.  because of their high fat content, were all living a life incognito so as not to be wiped out forever!!
 
And the winner was the USDA – U.S. Dept. of Agriculture – hello grains, cereals and more grains!  Our supermarket shelves exploded with food (made to look like food) in cardboard boxes. 
 
And the loser, our health, or lack there of…and the cost… heartache, ill health and billions spent on health worldwide.
 
Fortunately, for our health and the health of our kids, fat is making a comeback.  And believe it or not, healthy fat (yes even saturated fat!) wont make you fat!! But more on that next week!
 
So it’s with this little glimpse into our scientifically cherry picked and very shaky nutritional past that I ask you to ponder.
 
…Do we remain stuck in this nutritional paradigm that results in such ill health?
 
Or is there a better way to nourish and fuel our bodies so that we all have vibrant health?
 

NOTE: I too am guilty of  cherry picking –  there are so many players involved in this story but for the sake of brevity… 

 Be Healthy & Happy!

Caroline