Dietary Guidelines: Who To Trust?

Dietary guidelines are provided by many different health agencies, organizations and individuals in the United States. Some familiar sources of health information include the:

  • American Medical Association
  • American Heart Association
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Dietetic Association
  • National Institutes of Health
  • US Department of Agriculture’s Food Pyramid
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Your family physician.

The people who run these associations repeat the same harmful dietary guidelines: eat plenty of whole-grain foods, fruits, and vegetables and minimize your intake of fat, especially saturated fat and cholesterol.

However, anyone who does serious research on the best diet for human health will come to the conclusion that a diet lower in carbohydrates and higher in fat is the healthiest diet. There are now many gold-standard studies which show that a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet improves the risk markers for coronary heart disease, and reduces all caused mortality rates in general.

Gary Taubes discovered this evidence in writing his book Good Calories, Bad Calories, cardiologist Robert Atkins knew that his diet improved the health of patients, and my own research and experience have confirmed it for me.

Ignoring this body of research, the Federal agencies who are supposed to be the “experts” on dietary guidelines and health advice still recommend eating a high carb, low-fat diet, and continue to use the USDA food pyramid to advocate that all Americans eat 6-11 servings of grains every day.

Why? Because they have a vested, financial interest in maintaining the agricultural industry in this country. The Feds subsidize farming because that’s what Big Food companies like Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill have paid them to do.

Huge amounts of money have been, and are being invested in corn, soybean, canola and cottonseed crops, in the bioengineering of these crops, and in using them in the food supply. And as you can see, the federal dietary guidelines highly recommend these grains as a healthy food.

Any food substance that doesn’t support these industries gets either marginalized and banned by the Feds.

Just look at the federal record on stevia, a natural sweetener. For years, the FDA has banned it from being marketed as a sweetener, mostly because the sugar lobby didn’t want the competition. But 2008, when Cargill and the big soft drink companies wanted to use it in new products, suddenly stevia was approved.

Fox in The Hen House

These government agencies and other entities regulating the food and drug industries were originally created to protect the public. But many have been corrupted through financial reliance on the very industries they are supposed to regulate.

Recent news stories have revealed some of the intimate financial relationships that our government scientists and nutritional experts enjoy with the pharmaceutical companies and food manufacturers.

Let’s take a look at a few nutrition advising entities and see if we can really trust the dietary guidelines they give to us and our physicians.

Follow the Money…

So why do these organizations continue to push the “low fat” dietary guidelines when it is clear that the low fat, high carb diet has failed as a health-supporting device?

In a word, the answer is money. Consider how dependent these national agencies, the low-fat researchers, food manufacturers, the drug companies, and our medical industry are on the American people’s belief that a low-fat diet is the healthiest, and that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease:

  • The federal government pays out millions of dollars in farming subsidies every year. These subsidies not only support the farmers but are actually aimed at supporting huge agribusiness companies as well. Our stock market trades heavily in food commodities like corn and soybeans, and this financially driven machine keeps churning on, even though we have more corn and soybeans than we could ever use. These crops are the ingredients for all processed foods, and they are fed to livestock and poultry by the tons.
  • Food manufacturers rely on Federal dietary guidelines to direct the market. They spend heavily on research developing new ways to use corn and soybeans in processed foods, and they are constantly coming up with new ways to provide low-fat designer foods because that is what the Feds are telling the public to buy.
  • Millions of dollars are spent on research by drug companies developing the newest cholesterol-lowering statin drug. The profits from the sale of these drugs are astronomical. In order to ensure these drugs are approved, pharmaceutical companies give loads of money to government scientists at the NIH and other federal research centers in “consulting fees”. Statins are only successful because the federal health agencies are constantly telling the public that they should lower their cholesterol levels (never mind that the people who live the longest have the highest cholesterol levels).
  • Huge sums of money are spent by patients and their insurance companies to buy cholesterol-reducing drugs to try and meet the “200 mg/dl and below” standard set for cholesterol levels by federal research centers and other medical research authorities.
  • Our national health agencies spend thousands of man-hours and our hard-earned tax money on cholesterol “education” programs and campaigns to convince the public to reduce the amount of saturated fat they eat to get cholesterol levels as low as possible.

These organizations would endure major financial losses in funding and income if they admitted to the American public that a low-fat diet has no mitigating effect on heart disease mortality rates, and processed foods should not be a part of any healthful dietary guidelines.

And it isn’t that they don’t know the truth about the connection between the food we eat and health. Consider this telling quote from a USDA Assistant Director:

Most all of the health problems underlying the leading causes of death in the United States could be modified by improvements in diet.”


~Weir, C. Edith, “An Evaluation of Research in the United States on Human Nutrition, Report No. 2, Benefits from Nutrition Research,” Human Nutrition Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, August 1971.

Change Will Have to Come From Us

The Feds and the processed food industry will do whatever they can to block the public’s use and knowledge of the whole, clean foods, simply because they can’t make any money from processing these foods.

And because the standard American high carb, low-fat diet is making people sick, the pharmaceutical and medical industries also throw their weight into the fray. They also push the low-fat dietary guidelines, because, without sick people to treat, they would lose money.

So, I believe the establishment is not interested in helping people get well, or eat better. It is against their financial interests to do so.

If we want to change that in this country, it’s going to have to come from us.

Coke, Pepsi, and Cargill got stevia approved because they see the writing on the wall. People are getting wise to the dangers of high fructose corn syrup and sales are dropping. They are being forced by the market to offer products with “natural” sweeteners instead.

If we want to change how food is supplied and dietary guidelines are created in the United States, we have to stop supporting the big food processors; we must stop buying the processed foods that make us sick. If enough of us do that, and they take a hit in the wallet, the change will be more likely to happen.

Resources for Further Reading

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