The death of the low-fat diet (again)

Low fat

The low-fat diet just died. Again. Science has already pretty much confirmed it’s useless for improving heart health. Now it’s confirmed that it’s bad advice for losing weight as well.

A just-published article in the prestigious journal The Lancet summarizes all major scientific trials on losing weight on low fat. The conclusion? There’s no evidence that low-fat helps to lose weight, compared to any other diet advice.

In fact, giving any other diet advice tends to be better, with people given the opposite advice (low carb, higher fat) in studies losing significantly MORE weight.

The only situation where the low fat looks decent is when comparing it to no diet at all. I.e. a low-fat diet might be less bad than eating donuts and pizza. Not really a surprise. But when choosing a diet for weight loss, low fat looks like the worst option.

Media

The study:

Conclusion

The low-fat diet is dead. All the last decades of fat phobic advice managed to do was make people hungry, eat more bad carbs, and make the obesity epidemic worse. Time to move on.

A better way

Are you ready for better weight-loss advice? You can find it right here: How to Lose Weight

Do you want to try a low-carb diet? Here’s your guides: LCHF for Beginners / Low-Carb Foods Guide

Earlier

The Big Fat Surprise

Low-Carb Diet Best for Weight Loss, According to Yet Another New Review

The British Medical Journal Slams Unscientific and Biased Low-Fat Dietary Guidelines!

Credit Suisse: The Future is Lower Carb, Higher Fat

New Major Study: A Low-Carb Diet Yet Again Best for Both Weight and Health Markers!

11 comments

  1. Martha
    The Feinman effect in action - Harvard now claims they've always been low carb!

    ""It's nothing new, and similar to what we've always told our patients for all these years. Low-fat diets are not the key to sustained weight loss, despite the fact that a gram of fat has higher calorie content than a gram of carbohydrate. It's a confirmation of what we knew," Messer told CBS News.

    "With low-fat versus low-carb, there was less weight loss with the low-fat diet. The only time the low-fat diet was useful was when it was compared to no diet. Low-carb wins out over a low-fat diet," said Messer."

    Ha ha ha!

    Replies: #2, #6
  2. That's funny, but they're most welcome – hey, I too once used to believe in low fat.
    Reply: #5
  3. Justin
    I keep getting my hopes up when stuff like this comes out. However, just this week, on a comedy podcast I listen to, they definitely brought up the "meat causes cancer!!!" articles from this past week, with one of the hosts even admitting something like "I only saw the headline, but I didn't read further because I didn't want to be more depressed about what I'm putting in myself". I'm not sure when the tipping point is, but it doesn't seem to be here yet sadly.
  4. Jeff C
    RIP Dr. Robert C. Atkins, I wish you were still here to see this.

    As a community, we can't let those you pushed this garbage now pretend they were with us all along. Whether their motivation was corruption, cowardice, or simply intellectual laziness, they are responsible for turning an much of an entire generation into extremely unhealthy obese diabetics. They must be held accountable.

    Take no prisoners.

  5. BobM
    I think it was impossible NOT to believe in low fat. I used to get bodybuilding and exercising (eg, cycling) magazines, and they always had articles about how low fat was good and how you needed carbs for exercising. Even now, it's easy to find articles about and believers in low fat. We have friends whose kids drink skim milk, and the parents refuse to eat pork, duck, anything with fat. It's still going to take a while.

    As for Atkins, I liked the diet, but I think the Atkins organization went overboard. I used to eat Atkins bars and other goods, then I realized those things are not good either. Sugar alcohols and sugar replacements are bad. Real food is what we should be eating.

  6. Nate
    Thanks Martha, that was laugh out loud funny!
  7. Nate
    Oh my heavens, the American Diabetes Association helped fund that study. Wow, getting the ADA to change some of their advice will help a lot of people who are already damaged by the low fat experiment. A lot of pain and suffering will be averted if the ADA switches to saying a low carb diet is good for diabetics.

    I'm glad that Dr. Bernstein is alive and well to see this win. He started taking this battle directly to the ADA back in the 1970's. In fact, he became an MD around the age of 50 to have more authority in his fight. It may not be the war, but it is an important battle.

  8. chris c
    Malcolm Kendrick had a line about how the Cholesterolosaurus was dead but didn't yet realise it and was still busy stomping on people. I suspect the same for the Lowfatosaurus - decades after it is dead doctors, nurses and dieticians will still be recommending it out of habit. Too many of them are still concerned about warning patients away from the "cranks on the internet" and have little interest in discovering how much information is being witheld from them.
  9. Lee
    Well it seems the American Health Association is still pushing their deadly advise in their 2015 healthy eating plan and food pyramid for weight management and a healthy heart, they are still telling Americans to -
    Eat low fat/ fat free and are still insisting that fat is and always will be the number one contributor to fatal heart attacks and obesity, insisting that there is not enough research proving otherwise and tons of scientific proof proving low fat/ 0 fat is still the healthiest diet, they still say that you should reach for margarine and fat free dairy creamer instead of unhealthy options like butter, and full fat cream, and on top of this run our butts off for 30-40 minutes a day too,
    they're telling parents to stuff their kids full of fat free dairy and high carb cereals and bread everyday for optimal growth and health, I scream Bull S***....
    my diabetes DR told me before finding this site to eat minimal 60 grams of carbs per meal and at least 20 - 30 grams per snack of which there are three per day so do the math that's between 340 and 370 grams per day, and when I told him about this site he said well there is a lot of wrong advise being dished out by internet Quacks, and he was worried that if I continue down this road It would result in amputation, kidney/liver failure or death from a stroke or heart attack, he went as far as stating I can only advise you to listen to my advise and hope that when you realize this is site is a wrong and unhealthy choice then we can get you back on your insulin and a healthy diet.
    I'm sick and tired of most of Canadian Doctor's bowing down to the thick headed American health association, thinking well if the Americans say its healthy then it must be,
    I go to the store and see 99% of yogurts are 0% fat the highest for plain yogurt is 3% and margarine is still taking up 3 shelves where as butter we have a limited selection of 4 brands and none of them are grass fed.
  10. Charlie Wlson
    Nothing here surprising to me/ We get conflicting information from the scientific community all the time. Just wait a while and there will be another prestigious study that will reject this one. I read a lot of blogs and there is a lot of conflicting information by people with seemingly impressive credentials, who all reference impressive sounding studies and articles. One thing I do know is that when I was growing up in the 40's and 50's there were very few obese people, and I only knew of one diabetic. I don't believe in low carb or low anything else. But they all work for some people, so am working on finding out what works best for me. I am diabetic, and I read Dr Richard Bernstein's original book many years ago and he is a man I believe and look up to. I have asked every diabetic doctor that I have seen if they are familiar with his work and none of them have ever heard of him. I obviously have not found the right doctor yet. I am doing better now than I have in a long time, but I stll have a long way to go. I do enjoy articles I read here.
  11. Ian
    It’s amazing for Messer from Harvard to say, “It's nothing new, and similar to what we've always told our patients for all these years. Low-fat diets are not the key to sustained weight loss.” Look, your pants are on fire! Andreas may say “they’re most welcome” but Andreas admits that he has changed his mind, a sign of someone who truly responds to the evidence. I understand that the important thing is to undo damage done from distorted science, but I can’t help but feel that Andreas is being too forgiving.
    Link to Messer’s comment,
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/low-fat-diet-long-term-weight-loss/

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts