Some of The History Behind The “Low Fat Diet”

I’ll start with a quick overview:

Unsaturated fats:

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids have one double bond and polyunsaturated fatty acids have two or more double bonds.
  • Foods like vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fats.
  • Unsaturated fats will be liquid at room temperature because of the double bonds in the carbon chain.

Saturated fats:

  • Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds in their molecular structure.
  • Food like animal fats are high in saturated fats.
  • Saturated fats will be solid at room temperature because there are more hydrogens in the carbon chains.

The medical community is switching over on their view of saturated fats. Right now they seem to be slowly being viewed as healthy. That’s great! It’s slow though, and most medical institutions still tell you saturated fats cause heart disease.

How did the view that a low-fat diet prevented heart disease begin? 

One guy who didn’t do his studies properly. Story of modern medicine. Ancel Benjamin Keys was an American physiologist in the 1950’s. He was the one who postulated that saturated fat caused high cholesterol and that high cholesterol caused heart disease. He did a study (The Seven Countries Study) that looked at a number of different countries, and then chose the countries where there was an increased risk of heart disease and a diet high in saturated fats. Then he wrote a paper and told everyone that it was the saturated fats causing the heart disease, ignoring the countries where the information didn’t work. Chile had high rates of heart disease and diets low in saturated fat. And Holland and Norway had low rates of heart disease and diets high in saturated fat. Those countries were left out. This led to the conclusion that unsaturated fats were healthier than saturated fats and that’s when everyone started eating margarine over butter, and the war on meat really began.

Here’s a YouTube video that probably does a better job than I did explaining it.

Here’s a good article also explaining it better than I. And here’s some more information.

My “beef, salt, and water” diet is incredibly high in saturated fats (animal meat will also have some mono and polyunsaturated fats, but not nearly the majority). I’m getting about 80 percent of my calories from mostly saturated fat. Don’t be afraid of saturated fats!!! It’s outdated, and the original information was based on lies.

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87 thoughts on “Some of The History Behind The “Low Fat Diet”

    • Terri/teedee126 says:

      Ornish is biased for personal reasons and is therefore not a reliable source of any information regarding human health and nutrition.

  1. Herb says:

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