Updated on November 12, 2015
The 30 year “Less Fat” Experiment
In 1958, Ancel Keys started a study called the Seven Countries Study, which concluded high cholesterol levels led to higher risk of heart disease. It turns out that he cherry picked the results to show the conclusions he wanted. Not an example of good science…The study was published in 1970.
In 1977, the McGovern Committee published the dietary goals for the US, using the Seven Countries study as a reference, with the intent to reduce the high levels of heart disease. The dietary goals (what we all know now as the “Food Pyramid”) subscribed less fat and cholesterol in the diet, further perpetuating the low fat myth.
The food industry promptly started creating processed food with less fat to meet the demands of the public. Because food with less fat tastes terrible, the food industry added more sugar. What we know now through research and the US’s 30-year food pyramid experiment, is that the high amounts of sugar and carbohydrates in our modern diet, not fat, is the main culprit of increased heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Sugar is in everything processed these days; even in items you don’t think should have sugar in them like bacon! This increase in sugar in our diets has led our bodies to convert the excess sugar (glucose) into fat in the form of triglycerides, which is stored in our adipose tissue. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 35% of the US population is obese.
The 30 year “less fat” experiment hasn’t worked. Here’s some statistics on heart disease in the US according to the CDC as of Aug. 10, 2015.
- 1 in every 4 deaths in the US is due to heart disease.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.
- Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually.
- Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.
If you want to read more on the Ancel Keys study click on this link.