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A New Look at Fat in the Diet
Old 08-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
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A New Look at Fat in the Diet

Here is a recent article from the Harvard School of Public Health with their current views on fat in the diet:

Harvard School of Public Health The Nutrition Source Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good

They are not advocating that people pig-out on fatty meat and dairy food, but they have changed their views about reducing the amount of fat we should be eating, and they re-emphasize that fats should be the 'healthy' fats (mono and poly unsaturated).

Quote:
Well it’s time to end the low-fat myth. The low-fat approach to eating may have made a difference for the occasional individual, but as a nation it hasn’t helped us control weight or become healthier. In the 1960s, fats and oils supplied Americans with about 45 percent of calories; (1) about 13 percent of adults were obese and under 1 percent had type 2 diabetes, a serious weight-related condition. (2,3) Today, Americans take in less fat, getting about 33 percent of calories from fats and oils; (4) yet 34 percent of adults are obese and 11 percent have diabetes, most with type 2 diabetes. (5,6)


What interests me is that since we were so much thinner and diabetes was hardly an epidemic in the 60's, why not simply go back to the way we were eating at that time?


They have also come to the conclusion that dietary fat does not necessarily make one fat. As they tactfully put it:


Quote:
But the notion that food fat equals body fat isn’t completely true, and the advice has been misguided.
Misguided? Looks like another entry in my "bad dietary advice that led me astray" list.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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Not really that "new", but in general I very much agree - fat is demonized and too many people are missing out. I disagree with their suggestions regarding red meat and full-fat dairy. I don't have a problem with either (particularly grass-fed red meat). I also don't agree with their support of using oils such as canola, corn, safflower, etc., as those are high in Omega-6s. Instead, olive oil is king for everything, and coconut oil is also very good for cooking.

An avocado a day keeps the doctor away!
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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A comedic view on this topic is a documentary called "Fathead". It's available on netflix streaming. It actually has a lot of insightful scientific data as to why Fat was demonized from the 1960s on and why it was wrong to do so.

Worth the little more than an hour to watch, IMO.

Edit: Forgot that he has an active blog too: http://www.fathead-movie.com/
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by nash031 View Post
Not really that "new", but in general I very much agree - fat is demonized and too many people are missing out. I disagree with their suggestions regarding red meat and full-fat dairy. I don't have a problem with either (particularly grass-fed red meat). I also don't agree with their support of using oils such as canola, corn, safflower, etc., as those are high in Omega-6s. Instead, olive oil is king for everything, and coconut oil is also very good for cooking.

An avocado a day keeps the doctor away!
+++1

Well said.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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They have also come to the conclusion that dietary fat does not necessarily make one fat.
As Dr. Richard Bernstein (The Diabetes Solution) succinctly says "Eating fat no more makes one fat than eating tomatoes makes one red". Dr. Bernstein is a low-carb proponent.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut
What interests me is that since we were so much thinner and diabetes was hardly an epidemic in the 60's, why not simply go back to the way we were eating at that time?
That would probably work if you could get the portion sizes down to those of the 60's. I believe a Big Mac and fries when McDonalds first opened had the same nutritional content as today's Hamburger Happy Meal for kids.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:12 PM   #7
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That would probably work if you could get the portion sizes down to those of the 60's.
Too true.

When I was a kid, Coca-Cola only came in one size, a six ounce bottle. That was considered a normal serving.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:41 PM   #8
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Interesting idea...Did everyone melt cheese on absolutely everything back in the 60's? Nowadays, chain restaurants seem to put vast quantities of cheese on or in everything. Witness "cheese-stuffed crusts" on pizza, as if the cheese on top weren't enough. And I've seen many articles in women's magazines advising moms to melt American cheese on vegetables in order to get kids to eat them. If my mom had done that, I would have refused to touch them; I was a teenager before I learned to like cheese.

I remember the 70's, and it seems that cheese back then was a treat or specialty item, something grown-ups ate with wine at parties Or something you put on a burger now and then.

Amethyst

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H fats should be the 'healthy' fats (mono and poly unsaturated).

What interests me is that since we were so much thinner and diabetes was hardly an epidemic in the 60's, why not simply go back to the way we were eating at that time?
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:21 PM   #9
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I remember the 70's, and it seems that cheese back then was a treat or specialty item, something grown-ups ate with wine at parties Or something you put on a burger now and then.
My recollection is that most of us were eating things like Velveeta or Kraft American Singles -- things that should be referred to as "vaguely cheese-like industrial products."

At least today we have access to real cheese, even in supermarkets.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by nash031 View Post
Not really that "new", but in general I very much agree - fat is demonized and too many people are missing out. I disagree with their suggestions regarding red meat and full-fat dairy. I don't have a problem with either (particularly grass-fed red meat). I also don't agree with their support of using oils such as canola, corn, safflower, etc., as those are high in Omega-6s. Instead, olive oil is king for everything, and coconut oil is also very good for cooking.

An avocado a day keeps the doctor away!
Today, I focus on staying away from processed foods - especially those made with white flour - and sugar. Got to love those avocados! l
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:00 PM   #11
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That would probably work if you could get the portion sizes down to those of the 60's. I believe a Big Mac and fries when McDonalds first opened had the same nutritional content as today's Hamburger Happy Meal for kids.
Before I came to the US my friend told me american's like things big. I didn't really understand what he meant until I saw the portions at cheesecake factory.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:12 PM   #12
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That would probably work if you could get the portion sizes down to those of the 60's. I believe a Big Mac and fries when McDonalds first opened had the same nutritional content as today's Hamburger Happy Meal for kids.
Agreed. I don't doubt there is merit to the article, I think it's reasonable that fat has been unjustly vilified. But quotes like this make me concerned:

Quote:
In the 1960s, fats and oils supplied Americans with about 45 percent of calories; (1) about 13 percent of adults were obese and under 1 percent had type 2 diabetes, a serious weight-related condition. (2,3) Today, Americans take in less fat, getting about 33 percent of calories from fats and oils; (4) yet 34 percent of adults are obese and 11 percent have diabetes, most with type 2 diabetes. (5,6)
Hmmmm, so they talk about percentage breakdown of calories, but not the total amount of calories? And how about physical activity? Maybe they detail that in the article, but drawing conclusions from that sort of data is probably what led to vilification of fat in the first place!

-ERD50
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:44 AM   #13
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Hmmmm, so they talk about percentage breakdown of calories, but not the total amount of calories? And how about physical activity? Maybe they detail that in the article, but drawing conclusions from that sort of data is probably what led to vilification of fat in the first place!

-ERD50
While my family was definitely more active back then (we lived in a small town, didn't own a car etc) we definitely ate much smaller portion sizes, which I believe had a much greater effect on weight and obesity than the fact that we walked to the shops.


As mentioned above we also ate highly processed Kraft cheese slices on toast plus lots of fried and deep fried stuff in lard


25 years ago when family and friends visited us in the US from the UK they were amazed at the meal sizes in restaurants, and bottomless sodas (full whack, no diet stuff for our lot). Since then the UK has caught up a lot on portion sizes and now obesity, heart disease and liver problems are a rapidly increasing problem.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:57 AM   #14
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Hmmmm, so they talk about percentage breakdown of calories, but not the total amount of calories? And how about physical activity?
Good points. I suspect these have changed also, and not for the better.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:55 AM   #15
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As a youngster Mac and cheese was a staple, and we always had a slice of american cheese on our baloney sandwich.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:34 AM   #16
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I just hope folks don't support mandating small portion sizes for restaurants. Many entrees are too small for me at American restaurants.

In fact, sometimes when I am not real hungry and going out with friends, I know I can have any entree on the menu (not just the biggest meals) and so I will take the opportunity to choose one of those items I can't really order when I am actually hungry.

Various studies have shown that calorie labeling of menus has no effect on what people order anyway.

Personally, I stay away from almost any sugared drink. Best decision I ever made many years ago.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:48 PM   #17
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Agree...when people talk "huge portion sizes," they are referring to box-chain restaurants (my word for Olive Garden-Cheesecake Factory-esque chains that are housed in big boxy buildings, are noisy, crowded and have zero ambiance - but they sure give you a lot of food). Higher-class restaurants barely give you a bite and a dab, is my experience.

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I just hope folks don't support mandating small portion sizes for restaurants. Many entrees are too small for me at American restaurants.

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Old 08-06-2013, 05:59 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Interesting idea...Did everyone melt cheese on absolutely everything back in the 60's? Nowadays, chain restaurants seem to put vast quantities of cheese on or in everything. Witness "cheese-stuffed crusts" on pizza, as if the cheese on top weren't enough. And I've seen many articles in women's magazines advising moms to melt American cheese on vegetables in order to get kids to eat them. If my mom had done that, I would have refused to touch them; I was a teenager before I learned to like cheese.

I remember the 70's, and it seems that cheese back then was a treat or specialty item, something grown-ups ate with wine at parties Or something you put on a burger now and then.

Amethyst
Ha. It was pretty rare back then. But I eat boatloads of cheese these days. DW puts a plate out with fig jam almost every night. I got so skinny cutting sugar and processed carbs out of my diet, while loading up on cheese, eggs, and steak, that I have been forced to add carbs back in. Twice this week I have eaten a six slice meat lovers pizza for lunch and I'm still hovering under 160. Seems like my set point done reset. YMMV
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:56 PM   #19
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Seems like my set point done reset. YMMV
How long did that take? I hear it's usually about 2 years after weight loss.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:32 PM   #20
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How long did that take? I hear it's usually about 2 years after weight loss.
I didn't know it was a known factor. I lost 35 pounds a little over a year ago. Then I stuck with about 100 grams a day until about three months ago when I began adding carbs back. So far nothing I do (like eating all sorts of guilty pleasures on multi-week trips) has had any impact. It is like high school when I could not gain weight. At this point my primary restriction is sugar. I also don't eat much pasta. Potatoes and rice seem fine.

I think I won the metabolic lottery. Most people who gain weight over the years don't seem to lose it as easily as I did.
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