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#knowvember - Sweden dismisses low-fat diet


Posted by Cags R under Nutrition on 11 November 2013 at 12:00 AM

Here's a little #knowvember knowledge to kick off your week with: Sweden have become the first Western country to promote a high-fat low-carb diet as their recommended diet for optimum health.

The majority of Western governments recommend a low-fat diet - this was first put in place in the US in 1982 when the American Medical Association encourages citizens to reduce their total fat consumption from 40% to 30%. But what has happened in the last 30 years? Obesity levels have risen from 10% of the population to close to 40% - so the proposed low fat solution for health has clearly gone awry somewhere along the way.

The Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment has been going over tens of thousands of studies from health experts in order to make a more educated decision on what the recommended diet for the Swedish citizens should be - their conclusion: FAT!

As highlighted last month in the blog post Fat, Fat, Wherefore Art Thou Fat, our negative view of dietary fat is unjust and damaging to our health:

"When all recent scientific studies are lined up the result is indisputable: our deep-seated fear of fat is completely unfounded. You don't get fat from fatty foods, just as you don't get atherosclerosis from calcium or turn green from green vegetables."

- Prof. Frederik Nystrom, one of the committee members who commissioned the study.

Swedish Meatballs

Their conclusions should change the future for Swedish health, elevating added strain from their health care system and will hopefully get other nations to reconsider whether the low-fat approach is actually beneficial to their citizens.

The research was conducted when obesity levels began to rise in Sweden, with 1 in 6 5-year-olds considered to be overweight (a markedly lower figure than the US and UK) - the proactive approach to prevent further increases in obesity is something that we hope to see replicated in other nations too.

So, it'll be more butter and less breadcrumbs in the traditional Swedish meatballs from now on - what do you think about the change in direction from low to high fat diets?