My mum recently sent me a link to this article about the perils of a low-fat diet. While I am in complete agreement that a low-fat diet is not a healthy diet (we need all of the macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins) I disagree with the argument that we need more fat and that low-fat, high-grain diets are the cause of heart disease.
The article is based on the work of a Dr Dwight Lundell. He argues that our “mainstream” diet that is low in saturated fat, and high in grains is the cause of obesity, heart disease, and type two diabetes. I would argue that demonizing any one food, or food group, is no the solution. Grains are not causing obesity and related diseases. Excess consumption of calories (regardless of their source) and insufficient levels of exercise excess levels of sedentary activities are the controllable causes of these diseases.
He also discusses the role of inflammation as the cause of accumulation of cholesterol in our bodies. As far as I can tell, the idea that certain foods promote inflammation in the body is just another made-up diet to convince us to buy a certain series of diet books. Dr Lundell also argues that our use of polyunsaturated fats (such as olive oil) is unhealthy and we should all consume more saturated fats. I don’t think that eschewing plant oils for butter is the solution. I think that both can be incorporated in a healthy diet.
I decided to do a quick google search on our Dr Lundell. Fortunately for me, it was very quick. Right at the top of the list of results was what I was looking for: an article on Quack Watch. This article informed me that Dr Lundell actually lost his medical licence in 2008 for a number of reasons including inadequate patient care. This article warns against heeding Dr Lundell’s advice. Now, that’s advice I would be inclined to heed.