“Diet and Nutrition Recommendations have a History of Being Wrong”

Most people try to eat a so-called “healthy diet”, which is presumably based on solid scientific studies. Sadly, the history of dietary recommendations has a long history littered with errors. In the 1940s, the USDA was emphasizing the Basic Seven, with a focus on bread/flour/cereals, butter or margarine, and at least 2 cups of milk a day. The 1984 Food Wheel and 1992 Food Guide Pyramid still relied heavily on bread, grains, and cereals (6-11 servings per day), but increased emphasis on fruits and vegetables (5-9 servings per day) while warning that fats and oils should only be eaten sparingly. Not until 2005 did the USDA transition to diet personalization, moderation, and proportion, with a first-time emphasis on the value of oils. Currently, the entire concept of a healthy diet has been flipped on its head. Cholesterol, once definitely labeled as bad, can now be good or bad. Carbohydrates, once the foundation of food recommendations, now might be implicated in the increased prevalence of obesity and diabetes, though whole grains still provide a variety of potential health benefits. And, in a complete turnaround, certain fats and oils, once considered among the greatest of food evils, have demonstrated cardiovascular benefit.

Download the complete article (a PDF).