An American organization is promoting a petition to improve the US dietary guidelines on the best diet for health, and they suggest eleven evidence-based dietary reforms that could benefit many people who are currently following outdated health guidelines or medical advice.
Evidence-based information on the best diet simply means that unless there is clear and unbiased scientific information available, preferably from randomized controlled studies, large groups of people should not be told what is healthy for them to eat.
“The guidelines should be based on a complete, comprehensive review of the most rigorous (randomized, controlled clinical trial) data available, and on subjects for which this data is lacking, the guidelines should remain silent.”
In other words, expert opinions and uncontrolled studies aren’t rigorous enough to justify pushing dietary change to large populations. National recommendations to people about their best diet should be based on quality scientific evidence.
What Are The Eleven Reforms Suggested For Your Best Diet?
- Tell people that the low-fat diet is no longer recommended, and is actually associated with heart disease. It is not the best diet for health, never was, and previous advice on reducing fat was incorrect.
- Stop telling people that saturated fats such as coconut oil and butter are associated with heart disease, since they are not.
- Offer low-carbohydrate diets as a viable option for fighting chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Admit that a one-size-fits-all diet isn’t the best choice, and encourage people to adopt a dietary pattern that is in alignment with their age, genetics, gender, race, and personal health conditions.
- Promote nutritionally sufficient eating patterns where all needed nutrients come from whole foods and not artificial fortification.
- Stop telling people to do aerobic exercise for weight loss, since it has been proven ineffective for that purpose.
- Educate people to know that lower salt consumption is not always better, and establish a lower limit on consumption (as well as an upper one) since it has been proven that too little salt intake increases risk of cardiovascular death.
- Stop telling people that “calories in equals calories out” in terms of obesity, and that their weight gain is always simply because they eat too much and exercise too little. This oversimplification ignores the role of insulin and other hormones in weight gain.
- Stop recommending vegetable oils for health, since they do not reduce cardiovascular mortality and in several large, controlled clinical trials, caused an increase in death rates from cancer and suicide.
- Recommend regular meat and milk, rather than low-fat versions. Also, clarify that there are no substantive clinical trial data showing any ill effects of red or processed meats.
- Don’t issue guidelines based on weak data. It’s better to say nothing than to give incorrect health advice at the national level.
Your Best Diet Fits Your Lifestyle
If you read my articles regularly, you’ve probably already noticed that I’ve talked about many of the dietary recommendations on this list. It’s good to see this type of information becoming more publically accessible, and it’s to be hoped that governments will follow this advice and produce improved “best diet” guidelines, rather than the ones we’ve seen in recent decades which have led to increases in metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.