“I don’t have to take medication anymore.”
“My blood pressure is down. I’m off insulin. I feel better than I have in years.”
We hear stories like this over and over again on the Low Carb Zen Facebook page.
I can’t tell you how many of these stories we’ve heard because I lost count! But I can tell you, each and every one impacts me. I usually tear up. How amazing and humbling is it, you know? These are real people, dealing with very real struggles and finding answers.
Now you know why we keep doing what we do.
The health impact of low carb is REAL. And not just for me, but for millions of people. It matters.
That’s why I’m gonna talk about something I never talk about: politics.
But today? I’m making a very important exception.
Because YOU can make a difference.
As we speak, the US government is reviewing the standard USDA Nutritional guidelines for 2015. You know the guidelines – that upside-down food pyramid that morphed into an out-of-kilter plate graphic.
The guidelines that tell us the only way to lose weight is to count calories and while we’re at it, at least half our daily calories should come from carbs? The same tired (and wrong) recommendations our healthy-fats-phobic government has been making over 30 years now?
Yeah. Those nutritional guidelines.
But somehow, all that skim milk and dry, whole wheat toast didn’t do much for us. Obesity rates are higher than ever.
In a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it’s estimated that half of all Americans have diabetes or prediabetes.
Think about that. Half. HALF!
Does that not boggle the mind?
This wouldn’t be as bad if we didn’t know any better. But we do! And it’s not just “known” among low carbers.
I’m not a science geek by a long shot, which is why you don’t often find me citing specific studies. But I do follow nutritional trends and I know slowly, gradually, the science is bearing out what low carbers have learned via personal experience for years.
And the science is backing that up.
Can I get a “hallelujah?”
So why isn’t the most current, credible and very on-point research–which demonstrates what we low carbers know to be true–being used for the basis of our updated national nutritional guidelines?
You’d think, right? But somehow, it’s not happening.
A lot of problems with these guidelines are covered in a report in the British Medical Journal written by by Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.
The 14-member panel which produces the report that becomes the basis of these dietary recommendations–well, it appears to be systematically dismissing anything that might challenge the status quo.
Hello, food politics. Not-so-nice-to-meet-ya!
They’re not using the same criteria for the scientific credibility as previously–the Nutrition Evidence Library from the U.S. Department of Agriculture–to standardize the information. Instead, the committee is relying heavily on reviews from outside professional organizations like the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.
Sounds legit, right?
“Use of external reviews by professional associations is problematic because these groups conduct literature reviews according to different standards and are supported by food and drug companies,” the report reads.
Worse, members of the committee have what could be considered conflicts of interest that don’t have to be addressed. Some have gotten research funding from companies that make vegetable oil products or a group that advocates eating nuts. Another got more than $10,000 from a group that produces content for food corporations (e.g. General Mills and Pepsi).
Am I the only one who has a problem with that?
But you know what? There is something to feel hopeful about. There is a LOT of controversy over these guidelines right now. More than ever.
And while the guidelines remain under fire, we can make our voices heard. That’s exactly what I’m doing.
I signed the petition. I don’t know how much of a difference it will make in the long run, but you know what? I’m out there every day, promoting low carb and helping people change their lives. I am but one voice, but I’m going to use that voice to speak my truth as best as I can.
I’d love to have a chorus of voices speaking out with me. Nutrition Matters. (#NutritionMatters on social media.)
- Dr. Jeff Volek: The Petition! (Author of The Art and Science of Low Carb, among many other research-based books.)
- Time: “Here’s What’s Wrong With the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, Report Says“
- Newsmax Health: US Dietary Guidelines Ignore Latest Nutritional Research: Study
- BMJ Report: The scientific report guiding the US dietary guidelines: is it scientific?
- Fortune: Why the new, proposed U.S.D.A. dietary guidelines are provoking controversy and ire