Since 2014, the US Dept. of Agriculture has a record of "burying" the science
Unfortunately the answer, as is often the case, has nothing to do with health. "Given that diabetes costs $350 billion per year to treat, the possibility of rolling back this epidemic should have been tantalizing to experts entrusted with the nation’s health, yet no one from USDA-HHS followed up with Hallberg to learn more."
Big Agriculture, or as I prefer to call them, Big Farmer, & Big Pharma, have a lot to lose if low carb diets become the standard. They can buy a lot of votes & a lot of influence.
It's because of people like you Nina, that this battle can be won.
Excellent article, Nina. Your tireless fight in this arena is an inspiration. It seems you are running up against political dogma rather than solid science.
Nina you are my hero. Fighting the good fight. As a physician I believe real science is dead. G-d forbid one thinks out of the box or does not adhere to the one think of the FDA, ABIM who threatens one’s license for critical thinking. You have brought light to a serious issue and you are what you eat.
A few years ago I wrote up my anti-USDA rant, let me share it again.
It’s hard to go wrong by doing the exact opposite of the USDA recommendations:
USDA: High carbohydrate, low fat, and most of that unsaturated.
Healthy: Low carbohydrate, high fat, almost all saturated. Avoid seed oils, which easily go rancid. (Carbs give you metabolic syndrome, then diabetes, and eventually cancer.)
USDA: Avoid Cholesterol sources such as egg yolks.
Healthy: Cholesterol intake does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Enjoy high cholesterol foods as you wish. Braaains!
USDA: Low sodium to the point where deficiencies strike many.
Healthy: Salt to taste and then some, healthy kidneys can eliminate any excess, there is no CVD risk due to sodium. Sick people have high serum sodium, high sodium intake does not make you sick. (Wet streets do not cause rain.)
USDA: Measure and regulate serum LDL cholesterol levels with statins.
Healthy: LDL has no predictive power for CVD. Statins cause harm and no good.
USDA: Fruit juices are a healthy part of the “My Plate” regimen.
Healthy: Fructose in all forms must have fiber with it to slow and reduce absorption. It is almost as hepatotoxic as ethanol.
USDA: A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.
Healthy: Added Sucrose (and particularly fructose) contributes to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Avoid sugars and starches as much as possible.
USDA: Feedlot fattened beef is an economical and healthy food.
Healthy: Only grass-fed beef with good Omega 3: Omega 6 balance should be eaten. Wild-caught fish vs farm-raised has the same issue. Natural Omega 3-6 ratio is about 1:1 when eating non-factory foods, the standard American diet is about 1:20. Ack.
USDA: To lose weight you must consciously consume fewer calories.
Healthy: LCHF diet induces satiety before excess calories are consumed, ensuring long term compliance. and successful fat loss. Ever had a cheeseburger so rich you couldn't finish it? Ditch the bun and fries, wash it down with water, and you'll eat fewer calories than in a carb-laden meal -without having to struggle.
USDA/AMA/FDA: The cause of type 2 diabetes is a mystery, and can only be treated, not cured, with medication.
Healthy: Stop eating the goddamn carbs and T2 diabetes will cure itself, except in end-stage patients.
It’s almost as if they’ve been programming the proles to drop dead as soon as they retire and can draw benefits… Otto von Bismarck smiles.
Nina is my heroine. I still recommend her book, along with the books of Gary Taubes, on this topic.
Everyone and his brother or her sister these days, it seems, has heard of low-carb and keto approaches. Knowledgeable doctors and other medical professionals below about age 50 are more open to it. One sometimes runs into resistance among older doctors, although that has changed a great deal in the last 10 years.
I trust in Nina, not the USDA!
I am a 66 year old Internal Medicine doc with insulin resistance, mild HTN, and a strong family history of diabetes. Last month, I began using a continuous glucose monitor, and it has been eye opening for me. My undergraduate degree was in nutrition, and I have always strived to eat a healthy diet with plenty of plant foods and fish. I have come to realize, however, that I am intolerant to many seemingly healthy carbohydrates, including root vegetables, but that my blood sugar control is excellent if I stick to a high fat diet and keep my carbohydrate intake under 40-50 grams per day.
Thank you, Nina, for your excellent and courageous work, and a shout out to the work of Sarah Hallberg as well - she was a beacon of light for people struggling with obesity and diabetes.
My work as a physician now centers around prevention; I am cynical about the influence of Big Food, Big Pharma, and the medical machine in continuing to foster poor health in the US and abroad.
I completely agree. The "nutritional-industrial complex," which includes the sugar lobby, has been lying to us for over 100 years, ever since Dr. Kellogg and Mr. Post started putting the mark of evil on bacon and eggs so they could sell breakfast cereal.
I have gone on a carnivore diet, and not only have I lost between 25 and 30 lbs in less than 2 months, but I have also stepped off of the precipice of being pre-diabetic, been able to get off of my blood pressure medicine and statins (which are also really bad for you), and it appears to have reversed, or at least reduced the effects of my blood cancer.
One of the best sources I have found online for low-carb diet information (including keto and carnivore) is Dr. Ken Berry's channel on youtube. He is a family practice doctor, and includes much of the research he references. Well worth watching.
Great article & Thank You for continuing the fight! Your efforts are appreciated.
I am on the Virta program, and have lost considerable weight and came off all but a small dose of metformin. I have only been on the program less than 4 months and expect my 25+ years of diabetes to be reversed. It is VERY troubling that this style of diet is not even considered by the USDA since SO Many could be helped!
Regulatory capture. They want us all fat and sick.
Very frustrating to not be able to call these guys out for not making decisions for the greater good. How big does the population have to get before responsibility is taken for that? Thanks, Nina, for all your delving and sharing.
It is truly shocking how those directing nutrition policy can turn such a blind eye to the vast amount of low-carb data. Thank you for your work to expose the truth.
The parasites called government are there to serve the people - the people who grow grains, who sell pharmaceuticals, who sell processed foods loaded with sugar and cheap vegetable oils, and, of course, the medical profession who treat all the diseases that result from the modern industrial diet.
It is just plain unamerican to stay healthy by eating right. A lot of healthy people would devastate much of our economy. Faith in authorities is essential.
I think it's a given that regulatory capture has a lot to do with this.
Another angle occurs to me. The dietary guidelines dictate the food in federal programs such as schools, prisons, retirement homes, hospitals, etc. A large portion of the foods recommended by the dietary guidelines are highly subsidized by federal taxes. A low-carb option, at least in today's system, would cost more to provide, which would impact the budgets of those federal programs.
Makes me wonder how that consideration might be affecting the committee's resistance to low carb.
It all flows from healthy food. Forget about vanity or looking good, meat based diets MAKE YOUR BRAIN BIGGER. Downstream of that it's all to the good. A healthy mind and healthy body are the best version of you, fully equipped to tend to the remaining details. Problem is they just can't abide that. If you're not stupid and obese their healthcare PACs don't have loads of profits to heap on them. If you eat animals that grow and feed and reproduce themselves, then all of their farm subsidy grifts go away along with the power they wield. If you're not constantly sick from processed garbage, you're probably not going to feel sick, take a fake COViD test, and get shot up with their frankengene shot. And only in your deteriorated state will you believe the 100% lies the TV tells you about everything from war to inflation ("Vitamins are a scam don't you know. Brought to you by Pfizer"). Their success, power, continuity and wealth all depend on you being a dumb, fat piece of shit in a perpetual state of slow death. Were you really so stupid as to ever think any of it was ever about science or health? Kraft Macaroni at one point used to be vaguely macaroni, made from some small amount of semolina flour. Now it is basically glue and cellulose. Because they don't actually apply or maintain any standard for anything. Subway put bugs and plasticizers in their bread for years. It was only removed by the threat of boycott, but not by any of our 'food safety' agencies. Artificial sweeteners have been on carcinogen lists for decades. Yet theyre in more stuff than ever now, even fruit juice. Sadly it all comes down to people being willing to die than to accept that the TV and pols are lying to them and start thinking for themselves. If you have 2 IQ points to rub together you have to know that Doritos and Coca Cola are poisonous trash. Yet they'll serve this stuff in schools while hesitating to admit that grass fed beef might be a healthier alternative. REALLY?! Forget about your party affiliation or the 'red wave' or anything else. Vote out EVERY INCUMBENT and replace them with someone who will go to DC and fire all the unelected bureaucrats entrenched in these agencies. Do not compromise no matter what lies they tell you or the only one being compromised is you. No matter who is in power this is the one constant. How long you gonna let them lie and deny you healthy food? Our most basic need. And how can you fool yourself into believing that anyone who does is working for you or on your side? Go eat a pound of steak and think about it. Then get pissed and do something.