The food guidelines in most large developed countries were designed with the idea to reduce the growing rate of heart disease back in the 1980s. Their advice was to reduce saturated fat in the diet, reduce cholesterol-rich foods (and blood cholesterol levels), reduce salt, but also increase plant seed oils and whole grains. This on the whole seemed to make sense on one level, but even back then the nutrition science community wasn't in agreement.
The ONE major study which caused a change in belief of nutrition and later the development of the food guidelines was a paper known as the "7 countries study" in the late 1950s by Dr Ancel Keys, an epidemiologist, and creator of the K-rations used in the armed services. His study showed that there was a link between saturated fat (and cholesterol) intake and heart disease, and based on his study, he lobbied and pressured the medical authorities to believe that cholesterol was the major cause of heart disease which was not the opinion at the time. And so it became the "low fat, low cholesterol era".
It didn't work did it? The rates of heart disease and other chronic disease shot up, to epidemic proportions all around the world which we see today.
Why? Because Dr Keys actually studied the heart disease rates and diets (only on paper, not real health results) of people from 22 countries, but he only published the data on 7 countries which actually matched his perceived opinion (i.e. reporting bias). When the data from the other "missing" 15 countries was later analysed by other scientists, they found that they did not come up with the same findings as the 7 which were reported. In fact, when all of the data was analysed together, there was NO correlation between cholesterol and heart disease at all! Sadly this misrepresentation of data in scientific studies continues to this day, which makes it difficult for you (and me!) to sort out the truth from the BS!
And this is confirmed in many more recent and quality studies, which show that high blood cholesterol levels are NOT associated with an increased risk of heart disease at all! In fact the OPPOSITE is the case - low cholesterol levels (especially seen in those taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins) actually increase the risk of heart disease. Other studies show that 50-75% of people who have had heart attacks do NOT have high cholesterol levels, but "normal" levels! So there must be something else which is causing this epidemic of heart disease!
And we know what this is! More on this in the next article.
Coming back to the recent Swiss nutrition conference... the general consensus of the nutrition experts there was that "we got it wrong on saturated fat and cholesterol with respect to heart disease". They admitted it! Which is a massive step in turning around this epidemic we have.
Now we need the government nutrition bodies to realise the truth too. No more covering their backsides or hiding the truth, so that they don't get sued. They can't hide the truth any longer. We know what's really going on, and we know why - they have made a lot of money deceiving people and making them sicker to sell more pharmaceuticals and useless medical procedures.
Let's hope that the admission by leading experts that "we got it wrong" on cholesterol and saturated fat will be the start of a major change in nutrition advice!