July 15th is the last day to submit your comments to the USDA about their new food guidelines. I urge you to please speak out before this travesty is finalized. You are limited to 2,000 characters or less, and they seem to count spaces. If you want to send a longer message, you can send it as an attachment. I thought people would be more likely to read it if they didn’t have to open anything, so I worked really hard to get my comment down to the proper length.
Tom Naughton has a nice (and much more entertaining) summary of the proposed guidelines on his site that is helpful if you don’t want to plow through all the proposal documents yourself. It is here: http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2010/07/08/2010-dietary-guidelines-fat-made-us-fat/
Send your comments to the USDA here:
Below is my comment:
For the past 30 years we have been told to eat less fat because of the supposed link between heart disease and fat intake. But heart disease is still a leading killer and diabetes and obesity have reached epidemic proportions. Diabetes is a condition in which the body’s ability to metabolize sugar and starch is impaired, yet the USDA advises everyone, even those with diabetes, to consume most of their calories as carbohydrates. New research is showing that advice to be, not just counter-intuitive, but part of the problem. It is time to return to the good, natural fats that have been blamed for the mess created by the heavily-promoted, “heart-healthy,” low-fat foods that replaced them in the American diet.
Eating a diet high in natural fat is a health risk only when the diet contains too much carbohydrate, which provokes the release of insulin, the fat-storage hormone. Insulin inhibits fat burning and leads to obesity and diabetes and all the other diseases that have gotten worse since the government first issued its misguided advice. Fats and proteins are essential to life. Dietary carbohydrates are not.*
Harvard professor, Mier Stampfer, who worked on the last food pyramid, said that this year’s committee “knows perfectly well what the evidence says, but they don’t want to shake the status quo or risk confusing the public by changing the message.” (www.slate.com/id/2248754) What they fail to realize is that their refusal to change their advice to match emerging research is already undermining their credibility. The public would be far more likely to support them if they would acknowledge the existing science. There is no disgrace in changing your mind when the evidence changes. Refusing to alter your position when you know it is wrong is indefensible.
*The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life is apparently zero.” (The Dietary Reference Intakes, the document on which the government supposedly bases its guidelines, Ch. 6, 275)
(C) 2010, Judy Barnes Baker