Are low-fat diets bad?
Question: Are low-fat diets bad for you?
Dr. Wright: I'm not a big fan of low-fat diets since most of our ancestors never ate that way. Even so, there are researchers (Nathan Pritikin and Dean Ornish come to mind right away) who have shown that low-fat diets can be beneficial in some circumstances. But the media makes it sound otherwise with headlines like this one: "Low-fat diets do not protect women against heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or colon cancer."
No one bothered to mention (or didn't notice) that none of the low-fat studies measured the amount of trans fatty acids in the overall fat intake. Even los Federales know that trans fatty acids are bad and can actually promote chronic inflammation, atherosclerosis, and cancer. In fact, los Federales have gone so far as to require that labels state the amount of trans fatty acids in food products. The researchers also didn't report the proportions of monounsaturated fats (generally health-promoting), nor did they check the balance of omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) to omega-6 (generally pro-inflammatory) fatty acids.
And it gets worse: Only 14.4 percent of the women in these studies met the researchers' own criteria for a low-fat diet, and the average fat reduction (whatever type it was) was only 8.2 percent.
In contrast, the studies done by Dean Ornish that indicated the benefits of low-fat diets reduced total fat consumption considerably more than that. And he paid attention to both "good" and "bad" fats.
Even though the mainstream research discussed in the articles you've seen cost you and me (as tax-payers) multiple millions of dollars, it shows no sign of intelligent design of any sort and should be consigned to the trashcan.
About the author
Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. has degrees from both Harvard University (cum laude) and the University of Michigan. More than any other doctor, he practically invented the modern science of applied nutritional biochemistry and he has advanced nutritional medicine for nearly three decades.
As of today, Dr. Wright has received over 35,000 patient visits at his now-famous Tahoma Clinic in Washington State.
To learn more about Dr. Wright, and to sign up for his free Health e-Tips eLetter, please visit www.wrightnewsletter.com.