Over 200 doctors and allied health practitioners in Canada signed an Open Letter to their government calling for urgent, radical reform of nutrition guidelines to include low-carb diets.
They say that authorities told Canadians to follow guidelines for nearly 40 years. During that time, nutrition-related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, increased sharply. The doctors are also concerned about sharp increases in childhood obesity and diabetes rates.
Most of the doctors are now rising up and expressing that the evidence does not support conventional low-fat dietary advice. In fact, they say it worsens heart-disease risk factors. They say that those responsible must be free to compile dietary guidelines without food and drug industry influence. They want the guidelines to promote low-carb diets as an effective intervention for people with obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Here are some points the doctors are trying to address:
- Clearly communicate to the public and health-care professionals that the evidence no longer supports the low-fat diet and that it can worsen heart-disease risk factors;
- Eliminate caps on saturated fats and stop advising people to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils to prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Favor “real” food, that is, whole, unprocessed foods that include full-fat dairy and regular red meat;
- Recognize controversy on salt and avoid a blanket “lower is better” recommendation;
- Not emphasize aerobic exercise as a weight-loss tool. In other words, language should not suggest that people can manage their weight sustainably just by creating a caloric deficit;
- Involve a complete, comprehensive review of the most rigorous data available;
- Promote low-carb diets as at least one safe and effective intervention for people struggling with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and
- Offer “a true range of diets” that responds to the population’s diverse needs;
Interestingly, the letter advances Brazil as a good example. Quoting that Brazil’s nutritional guidelines are “near perfect”.
The letter’s recommendations are brief and easy to understand. It also gives the scientific evidence to back up recommendations.
Canada isn’t the first to begin moving in the right direction. Sweden and a few other nations are starting to learn the truth and challenge the governing bodies for nutritional guidelines. At the end of the day, the truth is always going to emerge. It might take time, but it’ll always climb up.