I think that people are starting to wake up to the fact something is wrong with the conventional wisdom on diet. For the past several decades, government officials and health experts have been telling people to adopt a low-fat, high-carb diet. They largely succeeded, and now we’re in the midst of an obesity and diabetes epidemic exploding in lock step with the experts’ high-carb push.
To question this conventional wisdom 30 years ago was professional suicide for doctors, and difficult socially for lay people. But skepticism is growing, and more people are becoming convinced that it’s wrong — or are at least opening their minds to the possibility that it could be wrong.
Here’s a fun experiment: Go to a popular blog that advocates the conventional wisdom on diet, and then go to a popular blog that discusses the Alternative Hypothesis. Read some of the comments. I bet you find that the Alternative Hypothesis folks come across more engaged.
I was just at Peter Attia’s fantastic site, War on Insulin. This is by far the best health blog on the Internet and if you haven’t seen it yet, then go check it out right now. While you’re there, notice the level of discourse going on in the comment section. Here’s a comment from his most recent post, The straight dope on cholesterol, part 1:
Request: A major punchline here is the proportion of circulating cholesterol derived from the diet. You’ve got the numbers but it’s left to the reader to stitch them together (for example, 25% of cholesterol is exogenous, but then >50% of that is esterified and not absorbed, thus <12.5% of the cholesterol used by the body is derived from diet, which is similar to, perhaps the same number as, the 15% exogenous UC which is the complement of the 85% endogenous you cite…). A picture would be helpful; I’m imagining arrows of various thicknesses going from diet, liver, etc. into the gut and then into circulation, cells, etc.
On a related note: it would be nice, if the data are known, to know the relationship between change in cholesterol intake and change in circulating cholesterol. That is, if one quadruples the amount of cholesterol one eats, what is the effect on cholesterol in the body? The naive notion would be “it quadruples”; the prediction from cholesterol being tightly regulated would be “it does not change”. Has such a study been done?
Note that Peter is advocating the Alternative Hypothesis. And contrast his commentors with the ones I just stumbled across at Everyday Health. I was at USAToday.com and they were promoting this site Everyday Health, so I clicked on it and came to their post, 11 Power Foods for Lower Cholesterol.
Note that this piece, also about cholesterol, is pushing the reader to ingest “super heart-healthy” foods like margarine, toast, orange juice, grape juice, and grains. Here’s the first commenter:
“11 Power Foods for Lower Cholesterol” article is very beautiful.it has nice information.this site is very great. it provides their users so latest n useful information. i like this site.
And the second:
hi, robert…really this site is very fantastic this gives use so good knowledge about health, food and our lifestyle.i appreciate this and recommend this site.i like these lines……If you’re concerned about high cholesterol, it’s natural to think about the foods that shouldn’t cross your lips: I’ve been eating too much cheese or Why did I put so much butter on that toast?this article very nice
Now of course I’m just picking two blogposts out of a hat, and a sample size of two is utterly worthless. But I encourage you to take note of the health discussions happening today. I think we’re on the cusp of a big shift.