Forward: this blog post is not intended to promote any specific diet or way of eating. This blog post is about critical thinking, and critical thinking alone. This post is meant to promote critical examination of the actual evidence. The intent here is to goad the reader into thinking more deeply about the information they’re consuming and where it’s coming from. The intent is NOT to tell the reader what or how they should eat.
This is a post I made on my facebook wall:
“Diet gurus like to blame the USDA dietary recommendations for the obesity epidemic. But there’s a flaw in their logic.
The USDA dietary recommendations call for 5-9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables. Currently, the percentage of American adults consuming the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables is hovering around 25%.
So, we can safely estimate that at BEST, 25% of American adults are following the USDA dietary recommendations.
So how the gurus figure that the recommendations, which most people don’t follow, are responsible for obesity is beyond me.
No, I’m not advocating any specific diet here, I’m advocating examining the evidence critically. Until we get better compliance with the recommendations, there’s no way to tell if they cause obesity.”
We can’t know how awful, or how good, the guidelines are unless and until people actually follow them. So all the rhetoric blaming them for obesity is completely specious.
But the guidelines made us afraid of fat, Amber! And then we started eating fake processed foods because they were low fat! All because the guidelines said fat was bad!
The guidelines do not recommend a low fat diet. The current guidelines recommend getting 25-30% of calories from fat – that’s not low fat! It’s actually quite moderate. I get about 100 grams of fat a day on average, which works out to about 30% of my calorie intake, which is totally in line with the dietary recommendations. 100 grams of fat a day is NOT low fat.
No, it wasn’t the guidelines that made us fear fat. It was the diet gurus of the time. The diet gurus of the 80’s and 90’s who took the recommendations out of context, who cherry picked evidence, who used logical fallacy to support their claims that their low-fat diet would cure you of disease and obesity. You know,
kind of exactly like the low-carb anti-sugar diet gurus of today take recommendations out of context, cherry pick evidence, and base their claims on elaborate logical fallacy constructs to support their claims that their low-carb diet will cure you of disease and obesity. Today’s diet gurus have creatively found a way to blame “the government” for the sins of their predecessors. It was the DIET GURUS that made us afraid of fat. It was the DIET GURUS who sold us low fat diets and low fat fake food and low fat cookbooks. Blaming the government is handy, because it distracts the consumer from the fact that they are selling similar exactly the same shit as the gurus of yore, just wrapped up in a different colored bow. It’s not fat that’s evil any more. It’s sugar now.
But look Amber! The guidelines recommend low fat dairy! It’s CLEAR that the guidelines vilify fat! And you know what happens when ‘they’ take the fat out of dairy…they put in all sorts of toxins and additives and fake stuff!
‘Low fat dairy’ is not synonymous with ‘low fat diet’. I prefer low fat dairy for the texture in general, and also because low fat dairy is more protein dense that regular dairy. Am I saying YOU should eat low fat dairy? No. Eat what you want. But there is more to the low fat dairy recommendation than the ‘fat phobia’ the diet gurus trumpet. Protein density for instance.
And as for the claims that low fat dairy contains fillers and additives and toxins – it’s bullshit. The back of my container of FAGE low fat greek yogurt lists “milk, cream and yogurt cultures” (yogurt cultures are probiotics like acidophilous and bifidus – you know, things the gurus tell you you should take in pill form). Milk, cream and yogurt cultures. That’s it. Where are the toxins? Where are the fillers and additives? They’re in the rhetoric made up by the diet gurus, that’s where. Not in reality.
The USDA guidelines are not responsible for the obesity epidemic. Barely anyone is following them, so there’s no WAY they could be responsible. And the USDA guidelines are not responsibly for fat phobia. The USDA guidelines even explicitly recommend against dropping below 10-15% fat. The DIET GURUS are responsiible for fat phobia. The DIET GURUS are also responsible for sugar phobia and carb phobia and cardio phobia and fruit phobia and bacon phobia and virtually every other food phobia we are plagued with. Those diet gurus are very good at creating a mythology that they the ones saving us all from the evil government, but their logic is flawed. The DIET GURUS, and the DIETS are the problem.
Want to check out the guidelines, and rates of compliance, yourself? Start here: