How Our Diets Have Changed

I've been doing a lot of research on nutrition and the history of the American diet recommendations. I find it interesting that there is a long history of support for a high-fat, low-carb nutritional focus (not just paleolithic long, more like early 20th century long), but the theory that fat increased cholesterol, therefore led to heart disease dominated the discussion. Because of this saturated fat -> increased cholesterol -> heart disease mentality, we switched to hydrogenated fats (trans fats) but quickly learned these increase inflammation and heart disease risk and cut them out. Well, kind of, any product with partially hydrogenated oil HAS trans fat. That's pretty much all fast and processed foods. But we got smarter about trans fats and instead pushed people toward polyunsaturated vegetable oils that lower cholesterol. Now we are finding that trans fat is also present in these supposedly healthy vegetable oils, like canola oil. While they may in fact lower cholesterol, is this a good thing? In a 2009 study, 75% of Americans who were hospitalized for heart attack had normal cholesterol levels. 

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