High Carb+Low Fat= A Fat Nation

by Dennis Volz

in Health & Fitness

How Did We Get Here?

In 1985 the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute through its National Cholesterol Education Program advised us to cut fat and cholesterol intake and replace the calories with “healthy whole grains.”  This advice and subsequent proliferation of wheat products in the American diet coincides precisely with the beginning of the explosion of obesity and diabetes as tracked by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  As Jim Rohn says when presented with startling facts worth a second or third look, “Isn’t that good information!”

One of the major contributions to this advice was a study done by Ancel Keys, “Coronary Heart Disease in Seven Countries”, Circulation 41, Suppl 1, (1970): 1-211.  Although he cited much data that supported the correlation between dietary cholesterol and heart disease, he also left out several countries that, for some unexplained reason, did not align with his presupposed conclusions.

The seven countries were admittedly selected by Keys. Such selection may be helpful to illustrate an idea at a preliminary stage, but a proof of causality demands random data. In more recent studies, including many more countries, the association was weak, absent, or inverse (52).  (Cited from http://www.ravnskov.nu/myth4.htm )

All of this has led us down the road to the current “conventional wisdom” on cholesterol and heart disease. It has two parts: first, that eating cholesterol in the diet raises cholesterol levels in the blood; and second, that high cholesterol levels in the blood cause heart disease.

You might be surprised to learn that neither of these statements is true. The first one is relatively easy to dispatch. In the Framingham Heart Study, which is the longest-running and perhaps most significant study on heart disease done to date, it was demonstrated that intake of cholesterol in the diet had absolutely no correlation with heart disease.

In fact, the “diet-heart hypothesis”, which is the scientific name for the idea that eating cholesterol causes heart disease, has even been discounted by the researchers who were responsible for its genesis. Ancel Keys, who in many ways can be considered the “father” of the cholesterol-heart disease hypothesis because of his study I previously cited, had this to say in 1997:

“There’s no connection whatsoever between the cholesterol in food and cholesterol in the blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit.”

All of this high carb, low fat thinking has led us to be one of the most overweight and diseased countries on the planet.

So What’s the Solution?

Low Carb dieting has been around for a long time.  The first bona fide low-carb book came out in 1864 because William Banting thought he was going deaf. Banting, a 66yo prosperous London banker was so overweight he couldn’t tie his own shoes.  His doctor, Dr. William Harvey, told him his deafness was not due to any anatomical hearing malady, but simply a result of his obesity: Fat was pressing on his inner ear.  He put Banting on a diet and in little less than a year, Banting has lost almost 50 pounds and 12-1/2 inches from his waist.

While calorie measurement was unknown at that time, experts have reconstructed from his food diaries that he was put on a high calorie (2800/day), low carb diet. He did NOT eat milk, sugar, beer, potatoes or pastry and was limited to a single slice of bread a day. They identified flour and sugar as the main causes of his obesity.  It worked!  Banning kept the weight off and lived to a healthy and comfortable age of 81.

In 1906, Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived with an isolated group of native Eskimos called the Copper Inuit in the Arctic for eleven years. He observed that their diets consisted of almost exclusively meat, fat and water. In spite of this seemingly unhealthy diet that was in opposition to conventional wisdom of the time, they were thin, healthy, active and lived long and happy lives.

Scientific studies of Greenland Eskimos by Drs. Hans Bang and Jorn Dyerberg from Denmark showed us that despite containing a diet of more than 60 percent animal food, not one death from heart disease — or even a single heart attack occurred in 2,600 Eskimos from 1968 to 1978.  This death rate from heart disease is one of the lowest ever reported in medical literature.

A high carbohydrate diet produces great fluctuations in blood glucose levels. These spikes in blood glucose is when the body dumps insulin into your system to mitigate the effects of the toxic glucose . You will subsequently store fat and generate excessive cholesterol in the form of VLDLs (Very Low Density Lipoproteins, which is the precursor form of LDL cholesterol (the “bad kind”)

Manage your blood glucose by consuming only carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables.  Eliminate wheat from your diet and any other processed food that adds chemicals and calls it “food”.   You’ll feel better, your blood chemistry will dramatically improve and you’ll be adding YEARS of health and vitality to your life.

Try it for 30 days.  If you don’t like the result, go back to eating what you’ve been eating.  What do you have to lose?


Obviously I’m not a doctor or trained nutritionist. Don’t make any diet changes without consulting your doctor or at least doing some of your own research.  Information for this article was gleaned from:

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet

Living Low Carb: Controlled-Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss



            It's a Good Life! . . . .