Nutritionists are fighting to change perception and stop health experts from “banning” fat when a patient comes to them looking for dietary advice needed to either lose weigh or keep a medical condition in line.
In fact, they are so passionate about their cause that they’re looking to get a federal decision that drops the so called recommended restrictions on total fat intake for the soon to be out Dietary Guidelines for Americans of the year 2015. Their paper appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the June 23 / 30 issue.
There is a catch however. They’re not supporting all fat, and most definitely not trans fats which are notorious for leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even memory problems.
But good fats are quite the opposite. They are found in certain fish species such as salmon, herring and trout, and have been proven to help fight off various illnesses, especially if the meal is complemented by nutrients from fruits and vegetables such as olives, avocados, wall nuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews, leafy greens, algae and krill.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean over at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Boston), wrote an article not just supporting taking in a small amount of good fats, but stressing that a diet rich in them can be good for people as it often chases away their desire to consume unhealthy foods that have copious amounts of sugar, refined grains and starches.
It’s the first time since the year 1980 that someone didn’t propose entirely restricting fat consumption. Dr. Mozaffarian’s working theory is that by excluding good fats from peoples’ diets, health experts are unwillingly pushing them towards bad fats, and that this is one of the main mechanisms that have contributed to obesity and diabetes epidemics in the United States.
He went on to add that “We really need to sing it from the rooftops that the low-fat diet concept is dead. There are no health benefits to it”.
The dean also points out that while the current dietary guidelines, claim that an average adult should typically take in somewhere between 20 and 35 percent (20% and 35%) of calories per day from fats, these guidelines simply ask people to drastically cut down on fat intake all while having forgotten to add a chapter that addresses fats in particular and justifies the restriction.
Based on the recommendations of Dr. Mozaffarian and his committee colleagues, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are now tasked with updating the current dietary guidelines and realizing a new version of them latter this year.
Sotiria Everett, a dietitian over at the Katz Institute for Women’s Health (Lake Success, New York) agrees with Dr. Mozaffarian, saying that there is an increasing amount of evidence showing how a diet that reduces fat might do more harm than good. In the dietitian’s expert opinion patients typically respond to limited fat intake by indulging in refined carbohydrates or added sugars.
If the old fat restrictions are left behind, Americans will be able to adopt diets that include good amounts of in fish, as well as other unsaturated fat sources such as avocados, olives and nuts. One such diet is the Mediterranean diet.
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