For individuals trying to live a healthy lifestyle, constantly changing recommendations can be confusing. For those following a low-fat diet high in whole grains, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) recent study is alarming.
The NIH conducted a study over a year with a group of 150 men and women from various racial backgrounds. One group received instructions to limit the amounts of carbohydrates they consumed, and the other to limit fat consumed. Neither group had to keep track of or limit caloric intake.
After a year, researchers found the group eating a low-carb diet high in fat — precisely the opposite of the diet recommended by public health authorities enamored of the high carb, low fat food pyramid — experienced considerable benefits over the low-fat group, including better weight loss, muscle versus fat retention, and improved health indicators.
These results seem to contradict conventional dietary wisdom, which emphasizes fat as more detrimental to health than carbohydrates.
How to Distinguish Truth from Fiction in Product Warnings
With so many sources asserting claims about what is best for us, it can be difficult to make the healthiest and safest choices for you and your family. As an informed consumer, questioning popular opinions about foods or products can be in your best interest.
When considering whether a study or report has relevance for you, ask yourself several questions:
• Who funded this study? If an industry or special interest group sponsored research, chances are the results reinforce their marketing message.
• What are my health goals? While a fad diet or product may claim to help “shed pounds fast,” do its ingredients or required lifestyle help you meet your health objectives?
• What are the results? If people trying a healthy behavior (such as low-fat diets) have seen few benefits, perhaps it’s time to reconsider. (As respected researchers and journalists like Nina Teicholz and Gary Taubes both reported on at length in their best selling books, The Big Fat Surprise and Good Calories Bad Calories, the popular demonization of dietary fat has never had good experimental support. In fact, in 24 head to head comparisons of low carb and low fat diets, low carb has won every time.)
Have you or a loved one suffered as the result of a misleading health claim on a product or program? Talk with a Washington D.C. personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
What other "things you know that just ain’t so" might be putting you and your family at risk? For more eye-opening insights, check out: Hidden Dangers of Swimming Pools Highlighted Again in Recent Death of Child.