Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Do you think dietary fat is bad? Do you follow a low fat diet because you think a high fat diet is unhealthy? Have we all been duped?
In the seventies and eighties, there was this general recommendation to avoid fat, thinking that fat was causing disease. We hadn’t yet started to study the different types of fat and knew nothing about good fats. Even governmental guidelines recommended low-fat diets. The fear of fat was more than enough motivation for food processing companies to get to work. By creating “fat-free” versions of their foods, they raked in millions and made millions sicker. Little did we know that by replacing the fat in foods with heavily processed ingredients, like sugar, white flour or high-fructose corn syrup, we were right back to where we started. In 2014, The NY Time magazine published a controversial cover story. “Eat Butter” was what they irresponsibly promoted. By saying “butter is back”, they gained many fans, but most people had no clue that the study praising saturated fat that they were referring to was incredibly flawed.
After removing fat from popular and tasty foods, food scientists added sugar and white flour and many other engineered ingredients to make them even tastier, and removed fiber and nutrition to make them shelf stable, which increased the total amount of calories while making it less satiating. People were eating processed and calorie dense foods instead.
The studies that the NY Time was referring to were very misleading. They were designed to study diets containing saturated fat and comparing them to diets containing less fat, which made them higher in processed ingredients. They found that eating high amounts of saturated fat didn’t increase heart disease and so that’s what they published. What they failed to mention was that it didn’t increase heart disease when compared to a highly processed low fat diet. Just ends up that both diets are bad. Comparing two unhealthy diets and saying “butter is back” when it doesn’t kill more people than the other unhealthy option is not only misleading and irresponsible, it’s down right dangerous. Since then, it has been challenging to undo this misinformation campaign. Even more difficult after it has graced the cover of one of the biggest magazines in the world. The confusion still lingers on today. Butter isn’t back. It’s still as unhealthy now than it was back then and studies of hundreds of thousands of people have confirmed this. Butter is made of milk fat, and contains almost solely saturated fats. There are many studies showing that saturated fat intake is directly related to increased heart disease risk. In fact, so many studies have confirmed the link between saturated fat