Four Doctors Face Off on our Most Pressing Nutrition Issues
The nutrition headlines from the past year have all the plot twists and turns of a Christopher Nolan film: The good guys are now the bad guys, the old standbys are not to be trusted, and the accursed have been vindicated.
Two significant studies this past year threw into serious doubt everything we thought we knew about what is "good" or "bad" for us. A University of Cambridge study raised questions about the link between saturated fats and heart disease—as well as the nutritional guidelines that have long advised us to restrict their consumption. In this meta-analysis of 72 unique studies, researchers found that total saturated fatty acid as a biomarker was not associated with coronary heart disease risk. In another study, sugar (more specifically fructose, a derivative of sugar featured prominently in many processed foods) took another hit when researchers at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found more evidence of its links to disease promotion and metabolism destruction.
Thirty years ago, the science indicated we should bar saturated fats from our diets—leaving the back door open to sugar, which snuck in with nearly every new low-fat product to hit the grocery. Now many physicians see the fat-free craze as a blunder that escalated the nation’s obesity epidemic and its ensuing spectrum of related diseases (heart disease, diabetes, cancer). Such sudden shifts, however, make most consumers uneasy. Can we trust the new science? Should we? Here to help set the record straight are four authorities on diet and nutrition: Richard Carmona, MD, the 17th U.S. Surgeon General; Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of The End of Dieting; Robert Lustig, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco and author of Fat Chance; and Pamela Peeke, MD, an expert on food addictions and most recently the author of The Hunger Fix.
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