Has All Dietary Advice Been Wrong?

Sometimes I get the feeling that those in our entrenched nutritional and health establishments don’t know what they’re talking about. Has all dietary advice been wrong? Surely not all of it, but most of the mainstream talking points today are definitely wrong, and you’ll be healthier ignoring most of it.

Let’s look at these main points.

Saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart disease

Mainstream health and nutrition has told us for many decades, at least since the 1960s, to avoid saturated fat, on the grounds that it blocks coronary arteries and causes heart disease. Cutting back on saturated fat has been official government policy since the late 1970s.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that saturated fat is perfectly healthy.

A meta-analysis done a few years ago, one that I’ve cited many times, found:

Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. (ref.)

Furthermore, carbohydrates, not saturated fat, have been found to correlate with heart disease in more recent studies. (See here and here.)

Dietary cholesterol is now acknowledged even by the mainstream as being of little to no significance, after decades of telling us to avoid it.

And higher blood levels of cholesterol are associated with longer life, not shorter.

Saturated fat is clearly a case where the dietary advice has been wrong.

Meat and cancer

We get told a lot that meat, especially red meat and processed meat, causes cancer.

Is that really true? Was it the hamburgers and hot dogs, or was it the buns, fries, and sodas that people ate with them?

Dr. Georgia Ede has done a lot of leg work on this one: WHO [World Health Organization] Says Meat Causes Cancer?

Dr Ede finds the evidence put forth by the WHO as weak and unconvincing; “all politics and no science”. She reviews these studies in detail so please have a read at her site.

The upshot is, the evidence that meat causes cancer is exceedingly weak and in some cases non-existent.

Even the evidence against processed meat is weak. In this day and age, people are very biased about this, wanting everything fresh and “organic”.

But bacon actually prevents colon cancer in rats. (Ref.)

Vegetarians don’t live longer than others

The mainstream has long held out vegetarianism or veganism as the ideal regarding diet and health.

These days they tend to call it “plant-based”, since that term may be more palatable to the public.

But, we now know that vegetarians don’t live longer than others. Previous studies that found that they did were confounded, because vegetarians are more health conscious. When you compare them to other, omnivorous, but health conscious people, the advantage disappears.

Health conscious people live longer, whether they eat meat or not.

And veganism is associated with a long list of health problems.

Any health advantage of a “plant-based” diet derives not from avoiding meat, but from avoiding ultra-processed plant foods.

Ultra-processed plant foods, the real health scourge

While we’ve been told to avoid meat and saturated fat, we’ve also been told to increase our intake of carbohydrates. We have to eat something, after all.

Sugar was held out as something benign.

And they told us to use seed (vegetable) oils in place of saturated fat.

So, people started eating a lot more carbohydrates and sugar, and they did cut back on saturated fat.

The result: an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

So, the advice to eat less meat led to eating more ultra-processed junk food, which has been a disaster.

High protein is healthy

One of the most persistent myths that the establishment has encouraged is the idea that too much protein is harmful, and in particular, harms the kidneys.

But a recent study found that there is no evidence that high protein diets cause any harm to the kidneys.

One of the alleged disadvantages of eating a low-carbohydrate diet has been that you would ingest too much protein.

That idea needs to be laid to rest.

More protein leads to stronger bones and higher muscle mass.

What else?

Just off the top of my head:

  • they told us that fasting was bad, and that we should eat many small meals daily, a practice known as grazing
  • they told us to avoid the sun. That’s not nutritional, but is typical in that they told us not to do something that our ancestors did regularly.
  • they told us to eat a lot of fiber, but fiber has been underwhelming in effect.

Even now, after all this, plans are afoot to get the world to go vegan.

There will soon be meat taxes, and the health misinformation campaign will continue.

Don’t be fooled. They got just about everything wrong so far, and they won’t be right in the future.


PS: If you need to lose weight and you want to save yourself years of poor results with bad information, I’ve put everything in a simple guide for you. The World’s Simplest Fat-Loss Plan.