Health and Fitness

25 Reasons The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Are Wrong And Could Make You Fatter And Sicker

Read time: 4-5 minutes

When it comes to following the rules of so-called good nutrition, you know what my take is, don’t you? Break ’em often, and break ’em well. Unless, of course, you’re talking about back to basics rules such as oh, I don’t know, eat real food. In as close to its natural state as possible. You know, meat, green veg, berries, nuts, seeds and the like. Maybe some fresh fish. But the reality is that most rules on ideal nutrition for health and weight loss are so far off base it’s almost laughable. Except for the fact that these screwed up instructions are quite literally responsible for seriously impeding the health and wellbeing of thousands of well-meaning folks just like you. In fact, it seems that the more ‘professional’ the institution, the more likely it is that the rules aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

Take the US based 2010 Dietary Guidelines

They’re scheduled to be released in December this year but already pretty much done and dusted. A diet based around 25% sugar? Sure it sounds a bit strange, but hey, if that’s what the powers-that-know-all are saying then I guess it must be good for us right? Hmmm. Conventional wisdom goes off track yet again? Shocking!

“But hang on”, I hear you say. “I get what you’re saying Kat, but surely they can’t be all bad. I mean c’mon. Good fat yes, but saturated fat and cholesterol based foods? Surely they’re just as bad as sugar, or should at least be dealt with carefully”?

Well. I get that it can be tough to accept the idea of something supposedly intended for your good and the progression of optimal health being so wrong. I still struggle with that myself from time to time. I mean WHY would conventional wisdom get it SO wrong every time? Well, that’s a separate post really, but how about big business, food-company-funded scientists and research, control of mainstream nutritional education just for starters?

Anyway, if you’re still a bit unsure about replacing conventional wisdom with a back to basics or paleo approach to real nutrition that actually works, then you just have to check out this this fantastic article.

25 Reasons The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Are Wrong

You can read them all in detail at the above link, but here are a few reproduced to get you started.

1. In 1937, Columbia University biochemists David Rittenberg & Rudolph Schoenheimer demonstrated that dietary cholesterol had little or no influence on blood cholesterol. This scientific fact has never been refuted. Why, then, do the proposed 2010 Dietary Guidelines limit dietary cholesterol to less than 300 mg per day – or 200 mg if you are diabetic?

2. Dietary cholesterol is poorly absorbed, 50 percent at best (Mary Enig, PhD; Michael I. Gurr, PhD, lipid biochemists). According to these lipid biochemists, the more cholesterol you eat, the less cholesterol you absorb. Since our bodies must synthesize between 1200 and 1800 mg of cholesterol daily, why is there any dietary limit?

3. Cholesterol in food has no affect on cholesterol in blood and we’ve known that all along.”  These are the words of Professor Ancel Keys, American Heart Association board member and father of the low fat diet, who, in retirement, recanted the idea that dietary cholesterol raises blood levels. His recant has been greeted with silence.

4. All federal Dietary Guidelines since 1980 discuss cholesterol as something to fear. Since cholesterol is found in every cell in our bodies and is a precursor to all adrenal and sex hormones, why wouldn’t the 2010 Dietary Guidelines discuss the essential nature of cholesterol instead?

5. Cholesterol is a single molecule. There is no such thing as “good cholesterol” or “bad cholesterol.” These descriptions were cooked up to sell statin cholesterol-lowering drugs. Referred to as “bad,” LDL is not bad and LDL is not cholesterol. LDL is a lipoprotein that delivers cholesterol to the 70 trillion cells in our bodies. (Only oxidized cholesterol is bad and elevated blood sugar and elevated triglycerides oxidize LDL.)

7. Cholesterol, fat, and fat soluble nutrients are delivered to our cells in lipoproteins, such as LDL. Also, there are lipoprotein subfactions (such as LDL, subclass A and subclass B). Understanding lipoprotein subfractions is much more important in preventing and reversing heart disease than measuring your total cholesterol (TC). Ask your doctor to provide LDL subfractions and stop scaring you about your total cholesterol number.

8. The statement “saturated fat raises blood cholesterol” is a false and misleading overgeneralization. There are many different types of saturated fat and many reasons why blood cholesterol rises and falls. Saturated fat intake and blood cholesterol levels are not in a teeter-totter relationship.

9. Fat in food is always a combination of saturated and unsaturated fat. As an example, butter contains 12 different fatty acids, including 8 different saturated fats (and 8 different chain lengths). Saturated stearic acid, as an example, does not elevate blood cholesterol and, in fact, promotes higher levels of HDL, a lipoprotein associated with protection from heart disease. (Michael I. Gurr, lipid biochemist; Dr. Eric Rimm, Harvard University, member, 2010 DGAC).

10. Cholesterol is found in every cell in the body and is a precursor to vitamin D (actually a hormone) and to our stress hormones. Stress has the potential to temporarily elevate blood cholesterol. When the stress is over, cholesterol will leave the blood and go back to the liver and tissues. Frequent fluctuations of blood cholesterol due to fear, stress, weather, activity, and age represent normal body functioning.

Still need convincing? You can read the full article over here. Or just skip straight to the end  ….

25. Heart failure is the #1 Medicare expenditure. The incidence of heart failure has doubled since 1990. According to the CDC in Atlanta, 1 in 3 children born today will become diabetics. According to the American Heart Association, eighty percent (80%) of diabetics die of heart disease. We have both an expanding population and a steadily increasing incidence of chronic disease. Americans need relief. It’s time to end the confusion about fat and cholesterol. How bad do things have to get before we revise the U.S. Dietary Guidelines in favor of a higher fat whole foods carbohydrate-restricted diet?

I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts on this. Also, are you a reformed sugar addict now eating wholesome foods such as real fat in your daily diet? We’d love to hear your experience!

9 responses to “25 Reasons The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Are Wrong And Could Make You Fatter And Sicker”

  1. HedgeMage says:

    The guidelines being stupid is annoying, but they are guidelines and we can choose to ignore them.

    …or can we?

    There are many separate, seemingly small things happening in the US to force more people to eat a particular way:

    * Doctors, nutritionists, etc. face serious liability if they advise a diet outside the guidelines. Most would rather give out bad advice than buck the standard and risk losing their livelihoods, homes, retirements, etc.

    * Public schools are upping the pressure on families to make children eat government-prepared foods instead of foods prepared at home:

    * Because the US government manipulates the food market through welfare, restrictions on what schools and other institutions can serve, subsidies, excise taxes, tariffs, and so on, the poor and middle class have fewer food choices: growers can’t grow based on what people want because they have to first take into account how growing a certain crop or raising a certain animal (or raising it in a “nontraditional” way like without constant administration of antibiotics) will effect the subsidies they may receive and the tax penalties they may pay. Good, healthy food is scarce, and therefor expensive.

    * The government has outlawed a number of foods deemed to be “unhealthy” such as unpasteurized dairy products.

    * Public schools are required to teach the government nutritional guidelines as unquestionable truth.

    * There are no statistics on this available, as far as I know, but I’m now hearing rumors of an increasing number of foster parents, parents under investigation by child protection agencies, and parents in litigation over custody agreements being told by the government “feed your children this way or lose them”. I don’t know how common or wide-spread it is (or if it’s just a few nutjob bureaucrats), but it is worrisome to me that this happens at all.

    * When my son was young, we were a military family, and our health care was provided through military hospitals. My son’s pediatrician towed the party line, pressing on us the government dietary guidelines, and telling me I was going to kill my child by giving him whole milk instead of skim or 1%, letting him eat cheese, including meat in just about every meal, and including the yolks when I prepared eggs. Because it was a government system, we didn’t have the choice of going to a different medical practice with a different approach. With ObamaCare’s move toward government takeover of all health care, will this will be the standard of care in every medical practice and hospital in the country?

    * Sadly, the best-case scenario under ObamaCare is my paying much higher taxes and our country facing even higher deficits to care for people who choose (under government, school, and medical guidance) to eat poorly. The worst-case scenario is the government deciding that poor eating habits (as defined by them) cost us too much, and granting itself new powers to enforce the guidelines. Then I won’t even have the opportunity to eat right!

    There’s a reason that these are supposed to be individual decisions. The government is just a group of people, and like any people, they can be wrong. America isn’t about to get any healthier, I’m afraid.

    • Kat says:

      Thankyou so much for this comment. What you’ve written here is something that I think we all need to hear and consider. Sometimes the truth not only hurts, but is downright scary. I’m so grateful that we still DO have as much freedom as we do in our food choices, even though we have to pay for it. But at the same time I’m so angry at the general mis-information that is perpetuated again and again throughout the ‘health’ industry. As you say, I don’t think it’s a problem that is going to be solved anytime soon.

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