How dietary guidelines need to change

"For the past 35 years, we’ve been following the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans (“Guidelines”). During this time, there’s been a sharp increase in nutrition-related diseases, particularly obesity and diabetes, and childhood obesity and diabetes diagnoses have quadrupled.

Why is that? The answer is that in many cases, the Guidelines have been shown to be based on weak science, and the government’s evidence reviews have failed to comprehensively or systematically consider the best and most current science." 

"How dietary guidelines need to change" source

"The need for change is great.


11 evidence-based REFORMS: 

Let the public know that the low-fat diet is over

Since 2015, the Guidelines clearly and definitely dropped the low-fat diet. They no longer recommend reducing total fat, since, as stated in the expert report, the low-fat diet is associated with “dyslipidemia”—meaning heart disease. Yet the government has not made this shift clear to the public.

→The Guidelines must clearly communicate to the public and health-care professionals everywhere that the low-fat diet is no longer recommended.

Lift caps on saturated fats

Given that there are now at least 14 meta-analyses and systematic reviews of the scientific literature concluding that saturated fats are not associated with heart disease or have no effect on cardiovascular mortality, and given that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines expert committee did not comprehensively reviewthis literature,

→ The Guidelines should eliminate the caps on saturated fats. 

Offer low carbohydrate diets as one viable option for fighting chronic disease

Given that expert committees for the Guidelines have never reviewed the large body of research on low-carbohydrate diets, which now amounts to more than 70 clinical trials on altogether thousands of people, including several trials lasting 2-years, which is considered long enough to reveal any harmful side effects; and given that these trials demonstrate the safety and efficacy of this diet for combatting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease,

→The Guidelines should promote low-carbohydrate diets as one safe and effective intervention for people struggling with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Offer a true diversity of diets

Given that the current Guidelines are still a one-size-fits-all diet, which is not appropriate for a general population in which nutritional needs vary by age, genetics, gender, race, metabolic health, and other factors,

→The Guidelines should offer a true range of diets that respond to the diverse nutritional needs of our populations.

Make the Guidelines nutritionally sufficient

Given that the current Guidelines recommend a diet that is nutritionally insufficient and further, advises people to obtain many key nutrients from artificially fortified refined grains,

→The Guidelines should ensure nutritional sufficiency, and those nutrients should come from real, whole foods, not from artificially fortified refined grains.

Stop telling Americans to do aerobic exercise for weight loss

Given that a 2008 expert review by the U.S. government concluded that aerobic exercise is ineffective for weight loss,

→The Guidelines should de-emphasize aerobic exercise for controlling weight.

Stop recommending “lower is better” on salt

Given that three papers in major journals as well as a 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine all concluded that, in addition to an upper limit on sodium consumption (and possibly only for a hypertensive population), there is also a lower limit, below which increased risk of cardiovascular death is seen; and given that the current Guidelines do not incorporate this science but instead continue with a “lower is better” recommendation,

→The Guidelines should recognize the controversy on salt and cease the blanket “lower is better” recommendation.

Stop telling the public it’s as simple as “calories-in-calories-out”

Given that: The calorie-in-calorie-out (“energy balance”) model of obesity — which asserts that people get fat because they eat too much and exercise too little — oversimplifies the issue,

→The Guidelines should stop using any language suggesting that sustainable weight control can simply be managed by creating a caloric deficit.

Stop recommending vegetable oils

Given that large, government-funded controlled clinical trials on more than 50,000 people have demonstrated that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils does not reduce cardiovascular mortality and in quite a few trials, caused an increase in death rates from cancer,

→The Guidelines should discontinue its advice to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils.

Recommend regular meat and milk rather than the low-fat/lean versions

Given that there is no clinical-trial data showing adverse health effects of “lean meat,” red meat, processed meats, or “low-fat” dairy, and given that there is some clinical trial data to show that regular dairy leads to better health outcomes,

→The Guidelines should stop steering people away from nutritious whole foods, such as whole-fat dairy and regular red meat.

Don’t issue Guidelines unless there’s rigorous science to back them up

Given that experts developing the Guidelines have, in many cases, ignored relevant clinical trial data or improperly prioritized observational findings over the more rigorous trial data,

→The Guidelines should be based on a complete, comprehensive review of the most rigorous (randomized, controlled clinical trial) data available, and on subjects for which this more rigorous data is lacking, the Guidelines should remain silent."

"How dietary guidelines need to change" source