New advice on heart health based on the same old weak evidence
New advice from the Australian Heart Foundation seems to have both good news and bad news for those who follow a low-carb or keto way of eating.
The recently released, updated guidance says that eggs, full-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are now considered to be heart-healthy. That’s the “good news.” The “bad news” is the advice says meat should usually be replaced with plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits and wholegrains or fish and seafood. Further, limits on dairy fat and eggs still apply to people with type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, the updated guidance is like previous advice given by this and other associations that provide information on prevention of heart disease: It is based primarily on observational evidence, the weakest kind of evidence. This applies equally to the “good news” and the “bad news.”
Observational studies are not designed to indicate cause-effect relationships and can suffer from many biases and confounding effects. In addition, the associations shown in many diet-chronic disease studies are often very weak, meaning that they could be caused by “statistical noise” rather than a true association.
For those who follow a low-carb or keto way of eating, the updated guidance by the Australian Heart Foundation is neither an excuse to eat another slice of cheese nor a reason to cut back on animal-based protein. It is more of the same strong claims based on weak, association-based evidence that we’ve been hearing for years. Just because some of these claims now sound more supportive of low-carb and keto diets doesn’t mean the evidence has gotten better.
You don’t need an excuse to have another slice of cheese, if you want one. Dairy fat did not magically become “healthy” after years of being “unhealthy.” We simply never had proof that it was ever “bad” in the first place. And you don’t need to be afraid of having a steak or a pork chop as part of your low-carb or keto diet. We still lack proof that animal-based protein is harmful.
At the same time, if you are concerned about eating meat for other reasons, there is some truly good news. You can be a vegetarian and still experience the benefits of reducing the carbohydrates in your diet. And a new low-carb vegan guide is coming soon!
How to follow a healthy vegetarian keto diet
GuideAre you a vegetarian interested in experiencing the many benefits of a keto diet? Or perhaps you’re already eating keto but have been thinking about giving up meat for ethical or other reasons. There’s good news – a vegetarian keto lifestyle is definitely doable. Read on to learn how to follow a vegetarian keto diet in a healthy, sustainable way.