A Big Fat Lie

By Casey Hawthorne

In the 1950s, Americans encountered a fast-growing epidemic that seemed to have emerged from nowhere but had quickly become the number one cause of deaths in the country:  heart disease.  Partly spurred by President Eisenhower’s heart attack in 1955, the nation fervently sought an explanation for the disease.  The man with the answer was Dr. Ancel Keys, an imperious physiologist clutching his now infamous Seven Countries Study. In his research, the finger pointed to fat as the cause of heart disease, more specifically, the saturated fats in red meat, eggs and dairy products. 

 

It was speculated that the saturated fats found in such food should be avoided because they would raise cholesterol, clog arteries, and as a result, cause heart attacks.  In 1961, Keys strongly insisted that the American Heart Association advise Americans to cut down on saturated fat.  By 1980, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued their dietary guidelines to avoid foods with fat of all sorts and replace them with calories from fruits, vegetables and with carbohydrates in general.  After five decades, the idea that fat is bad for you has now been so ingrained in our culture that it is almost taboo to enjoy a steak, pick up a gallon of whole milk or use butter instead of margarine.  And yet, decades later, cardiovascular disease continues to be the nation’s number one killer.  And since 1980, Type 2 diabetes has increased 166% affecting nearly 1 in 10 Americans.

Are you ready to have the blindfolds removed?  A 2010 meta-analysis concluded there was no significant evidence that saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  In addition, those results were echoed by another meta-analysis published in March in the Annals of Internal Medicine that drew on nearly 80 studies involving more than half a million subjects.  It turns out that fat was never the enemy, but because it was admonished so resolutely, Americans turned to excessive carbohydrate consumption.  The response to the issuance of the 1980 USDA guidelines was a complete upheaval in grocery stores resulting  in a proliferation of low-fat and non-fat alternatives, skim milk, nonfat yogurts, yolk substitutes, low-fat frozen dinners and low-fat cookies and crackers.  Americans’ diet now consists of more potatoes, pasta, grains and carb-ridden junk food, which incidentally contain a lot of fillers and artificial ingredients to replace the fat but still taste palatable.  And because non-fat foods are not as satiating as foods with animal fat, Americans have increased their caloric intake of these low-fat and non-fat foods.  The problem is that carbohydrates break down into glucose, which causes the body to release insulin-a hormone that is very efficient at storing fat.  Excessive carbohydrates lead not only to obesity but also to Type 2 diabetes and, as mounting evidence suggests heart disease.  Dr. Keys' Seven Countries Study was severely flawed, ignoring data from countries and segments of the population that did not support his hypothesis.

It’s time to accept the facts that fat is an essential part of a healthy diet and that the effective path to reducing obesity and the risk of heart attack is through regular exercise and balanced nutrition.  This means the whole concept of dieting, and the resulting radical changes to macronutrient ratios in the diet, is essentially flawed. In fact, as the disease statistics point out, it is downright dangerous. So eat what your body naturally craves and incorporate regular exercise into your routine. You’ll see the positive effects almost immediately.

‘Our latest single Wide Thing touches on the obesity epidemic and the sort of warped view of attractiveness that emerged about fifteen to twenty years ago. At the same time people were obsessively avoiding fat, obesity rates were still rising. As a result, the media was split down the middle with some glorifying the full-figured woman and others glorifying the emaciated, anorexic model. This polarized view confused people even more and obscured the path of moderation to good health,’ postulates Millennium.   ‘In the music video, by taking Sapphire, who’s fit and healthy, on a fast food binge in a quest to obtain a larger posterior, we sort of took the logic of that era and turned it on its head.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX0ZxbvVDPA

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