The full-fat debate: Reports from medical community say beef is healthy
In the 1970s, USDA Food Pyramid guidelines called for an emphasis on cutting the fat. This low-fat diet stressed the importance of grains and minimized servings of animal proteins and fats. At the same time, obesity rates skyrocketed. Yet, beef has been blamed for the obesity epidemic, at a time where beef consumption is at an all-time low.
An article on NPR entitled, “The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean.” Written by Allison Aubrey, she rounds up a couple of studies that show keeping the fat in the diet may actually help manage the scales.
Here is an excerpt: “The reason we’re told to limit dairy fat seems pretty straightforward. The extra calories packed into the fat are bad for our waistlines – that’s the assumption. But what if dairy fat isn’t the dietary demon we’ve been led to believe it is? New research suggests we may want to look anew. Consider the findings of two recent studies that conclude the consumption of whole-fat dairy is linked to reduced body fat.
“In one paper, published by Swedish researchers in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, middle-aged men who consumed high-fat milk, butter and cream were significantly less likely to become obese over a period of 12 years compared with men who never or rarely ate high-fat dairy. Yep, that’s right. The butter and whole-milk eaters did better at keeping the pounds off.
“The second study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, is a meta-analysis of 16 observational studies. There has been a hypothesis that high-fat dairy foods contribute to obesity and heart disease risk, but the reviewers concluded that the evidence does not support this hypothesis. In fact, the reviewers found that in most of the studies, high-fat dairy was associated with a lower risk of obesity.”
Another article on tunedbody.com entitled, “Heart Surgeon Declares What Really Causes Heart Disease,” reiterates the point that animal fats are actually good for us and that the common low-fat dogma might just be the leading cause of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
According to the article, “Despite the fact that 25 percent of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before. We have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.
“There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Animal fats contain less than 20 percent omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the science that has been drummed into your head for decades. The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.”
As medical professionals change their tune, many are predicting that beef producers will be able to use this information as tools in their arsenal to promote beef and help it regain its place as a health food in Americans’ eyes.