Who’s right about dietary fat and carbohydrates?

Professor Tim Noakes had a long career in sports medicine and exercise science at the University of Capetown in South Africa, and for several decades was aligned with the orthodoxy that athletes depend on carbohydrates for peak performance.

He even was an inventor of a commercial glucose goo used by marathon runners, and was an advocate for carbohydrate loading. He invested 30 years of his research career on the pro-carbohydrate side.

Then he dug into the research on low-carb, high fat diets and came to the conclusion he had been wrong.

It’s difficult to admit publicly that you have been wrong for three decades.

It’s even harder when you face withering public rebukes from colleagues and former allies, and even professional license revocation.

Professor Noakes is a giant figure with immense courage to have done so. This documentary tells the story of his trial in South Africa when he was accused of giving irresponsible and harmful medical advice via Twitter.

We all should feel indebted to him for his fortitude. He is of course one of my Health Sherpas.

Conventional and government-backed wisdom have said for more than 50 years that dietary fats, and especially saturated fats, are dangerous and increase the risk of heart disease.

Professor Noakes and other low-carb proponents have argued that evidence is lacking in the case against dietary fat, and that consumption of carbohydrates that exceeds our tolerance is instead responsible for increased prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and a host of associated diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

As he says in the video below, “We can’t both be right.”

If you have any doubts as to whether a low-carb, high healthy fat diet is better supported by science than the current low-fat dogma, you owe it to yourself to watch this video.

Here’s just one slide from his talk, in which he describes a study that showed that a high-fat diet reduced all coronary disease risk factors across the board as compared with a high-carbohydrate diet.

When you see a study showing 14 of 14 risk factors changing for the better with a high-fat diet, you should at least consider whether the science really justifies the current low-fat government guidance.

If you think your friends might find this post helpful, I hope you’ll share by email or on your social networks using the buttons below.

To get these updates on a regular basis you can subscribe by email, or follow me on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn, where I’ll also be posting links.

Check out My Health Journey for our full story, and my #BodyBabySteps for tips on getting started on your own health-improvement journey.

Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 14. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.