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The Diet wars are over!

28 March 2014, 14:06

For those that are connected to the right sources, it’s incredible how much robust evidence is emerging of just how wrong we’ve been about nutrition.   Everyday a new, well-designed, large-cohort, longitudinal study seems to confirm that the conventionally trained ‘low-fat, whole-grain’ dietary establishment is really an industry built on the sands of theory, hypothesis and vested agro-industry interests. 

From one day to next we learn that saturated fat cannot be linked to any increased health risks, dietary cholesterol has no bearing on blood cholesterol and that people eating 4000-calories a day on high-fat, low-carb Ketogenic diets are still losing weight.  I can attest to that last point, but yes n=1 is hardly power.  As more and more evidence emerges, it’s starting to get rather embarrassing for the Association of Dietetics and other detractors of the LCHF lifestyle.  For years, and in the last few years in particular, many registered dieticians have publicly and vociferously campaigned against a low-carb lifestyle; and now the public are asking on what basis did they do so?   Do they feel threatened by all this emerging science, like creationists do in the face of emerging evidence that the world is not in fact only 6000 years old, nor was it started by a man, a women and a talking snake.    

This is a serious issue.   If doctors held out against evidence in this manner they would potentially open themselves up to serious malpractice liability.  Imagine your doctor kept on prescribing a medication that had been on the market for years, but that recent studies had shown to have potentially serious side effects.  It happens.  If you ended up injured as a result of these side-effects, don’t you think a legal settlement of some sort would be a distinct possibility? Why would a health care provider such as a dietician, or a doctor giving dietary advice be any different?   I mean they are required by law (and oath) to provide their patients with the best & most-up-to-date care.  In fact it goes further, they are supposed to discuss various alternative treatments with their patients so that informed choices can be made.   So why do so many dieticians not do just that?  I know diabetics, who's doctors and dieticians have not discussed a LCHF diet with them, despite overwhelming evidence of the efficacy of reduced carb consumption on T2DM.  Why do they recommend eating plans that we now know are not supported by real science?  How can ‘professionals’ make such declarative statements about cause and effect in human nutrition, that when tested under intense scientific and independent scrutiny often turn out to be nonsense?  There is something wrong with an entire industry here; and perhaps this explains the vitriolic defensiveness of the establishment in recent years. 

I often wonder just on what basis the conventionally trained dietary community think they are able to denigrate and diminish the choices and experiences of the thousands and thousands of people who choose a LCHF lifestyle?   I wonder more every day, especially when it is becoming apparent, their theoretical frameworks are no more valid than conjecture we’re likely to hear at a Star-Trek convention?

I think the big LCHF mistake the ‘registered, conventionally trained dietetics community’ made was to underestimate the nature of the LCHF beast; and to overestimate their perceived authority on nutritional matters in today’s instant access technological age. 

By the LCHF beast, I mean the contrarian sub-culture that defines the low carb community.  Low carb has always been a kind of anti-establishment movement; scorning the now-defunct food pyramid by eating it upside down.   To eat low-carb, one had to go against the grain (yes..I know); you had to adopt a middle-finger attitude to what the good doctors (and politicians who paid the good doctors, who were paid by the agro-industrial complex lobbyists) told us to eat.

Yet one of the consequences of this contrarian approach meant you had to take a keen and personally accountable interest in your diet.   In other words RD’s, LCHFers tend to actually care very deeply about their health.  Embarking on a blind swim against the nutritional current (and primarily through self-experimentation) would seem like madness; yet when people found that they lost weight, felt great, performed better at work and on the sports field, had more energy and reported an improved sense of control in their lives, they really started to question the authority of the so-called nutritional experts.  Scepticism and distrust grew into a full-blown rebellion.  People grew, and still are, justifiably angry at learning that most of what they were told by people calling themselves 'experts' (and are still being told) is actually complete bollocks.   On top of it, we have an industry hell bent on telling us that our overwhelmingly positive experiences (and the emerging evidence) are all wrong.  No wonder this LCHF revolution took on almost evangelical proportions.  The parallels between dogma and evidence are numerous, and like all other 'earth revolves around the sun' moments, yours is the choice of what side of history you find yourself on. 

Yes, it must be tough watching everything you thought you knew with such certainty being eroded by the relentless pursuit of truth that is the scientific method.    

LCHFers probably research diets and the concomitant emerging evidence far more than any other dietary lifestyle group does.  The foundation of the LCHF movement is Evidence. It had to be.  Personal experience and robust science.  It’s always been the only tool the LCHFers had in the Diet Wars all these years – the fact that it works, and works better than anything else, emboldened a public rebellion against the bullshit were told is good for us.   If new evidence emerged that saturated fat was in fact bad for you, LCHF numbers would plummet. because LCHFers take such a keen interest in evidence.  Each day, as the evidence mounts, more and more people join the fight.   

It is hardly surprising then that the old model of a subservient client, gullibly following the advice of their registered dietician doesn’t work anymore - especially not for someone with a real interest in the truth and an internet connection.   

As with everything I write, I always think it best for the reader to take what I say with a healthy dose of scepticism.  That only leads to more robust knowledge in society as a whole.   Rather read additional info for yourself – like Joanna Blythman’s opinion on why almost everything you have ever been told about unhealthy food is wrong.  I’m quite sure you’ll find that most of what I have to say makes sense, and even if you don't who cares at least we're creating knowledge.

All the best

DISCLOSURE:  I am 100% committed to a LCHF lifestyle.   I have lost 15kg in 5 months, every single measure of disease risk (LDL, HDL. Triglycerides, Blood pressure, etc.) has improved markedly.  I eat as much as I want to when I feel like it, no portion control, never count calories and I haven’t been hungry in 5 months.  I also run marathons on LCHF – so no, I don’t believe ‘you need carbs’ to run marathons – and at 15kg lighter you can imagine how much easier (and faster) running is.

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