The reports of the death of the lowfat diet are greatly exaggerated.
The lower fat diet was prescribed to prevent heart disease, breast and colon cancer. In fact, it appeared to work in breast cancer: 42 of 1000 developed the disease, instead of the control group’s 45 of 1000.
But as Dean Ornish astutely points out, most of the women studied in the JAMA lowfat diet analysis remained overweight; most in the control group ate more fruits and veggies; and neither group made a significant change.
All fats are not created equally. Among patients I see, people know the difference between good fats and bad fats. But both have 125 calories per tablespoon.
Liquid fats stay liquid inside of you, and are good for you.
Solid fats stay solid. Solid fats–from animals and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil–appear to cause heart disease, colon and prostate cancer.
What the study missed is that which most people care most
about—and the group which followed the prescription closest actually did–is keeping their weight down, and once down keeping it off.
For that, eating a little less fat is not enough: you need to eat the right foods at the right meals, to make the most of your body’s metabolism.
Weight and fat loss are the holy grail for most Americans, not disease prevention. Give people a long tem solution and good health will follow.