Tag Archives: Policy

Look Out, World! Sweden’s Going Low-Carb

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that when it comes to nutrition, the United States is missing something. I’ve already written about why the Dietary Guidelines are wrong about cholesterol, but it’s especially interesting to note that Australia, Europe, Canada, India, and Korea do not support upper limits on cholesterol intake in their national dietary recommendations [1]. They still believe that saturated fat should be severely limited, so I’m not sure they quite have the whole picture, but at least they recognize that limiting cholesterol intake does nothing to reduce rates of heart disease. Why is the US missing it?

But here’s one country that isn’t missing it: Sweden. Sweden is going low carb. Read more →

Policy Brief: Reforming the Dietary Guidelines

This is also a project from this semester, this time from my public policy class. I decided to post it because it’s also on the Dietary Guidelines, and you’ll likely be hearing about them a lot on this blog! It was a bit challenging to write because while there’s plenty of research on what the problem is, there really isn’t any research on possible solutions. So I had to come up with solutions on my own, and because of my limited policy knowledge, I have no idea if they’re even feasible. But I got a good grade, so I guess that’s something (:

Executive SummaryScreen Shot 2012-12-25 at 5.21.04 PM

This policy brief examines the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a policy that began in 1980 and mandates the periodic release of federal nutritional guidance. Based on the rising rates of obesity and the pervasiveness of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it is clear that the Dietary Guidelines have not achieved their goal of reducing the risk of chronic disease in Americans. In fact, research indicates that the Dietary Guidelines could actually be contributing to the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes. This is for three reasons: the Dietary Guidelines often exclude or misrepresent scientific evidence; the Guidelines have had unintended consequences for industry and consumer behavior; and the Guidelines cannot adequately address a diverse population with different nutritional needs. Read more →

Why The Dietary Guidelines are Wrong about Cholesterol

This is a research paper that I wrote for my English class this semester. I wanted to share it on this blog because it’s about eggs, cholesterol, and the Dietary Guidelines, three things that definitely impact the ancestral health community! 

Abstracthappy eggs

With rising rates of obesity and diabetes, most Americans feel more pressure than ever to make the right food choices. However, the country’s primary source of nutritional guidance – the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – has been criticized for being misleading, inaccurate, and potentially harmful to public health. In this paper, I present eggs as a ‘case study’ to strengthen the criticisms that others have brought against the Dietary Guidelines. The Guidelines advocate limiting egg consumption because of their high cholesterol content. However, having reviewed the scientific literature on cholesterol and health, I conclude that there is no documented health benefit to limiting dietary cholesterol. Additionally, eggs are an excellent source of choline, a nutrient that is sorely lacking in the diets of most Americans. For these reasons, the Dietary Guidelines should actually encourage egg consumption, rather than limit it.

  Read more →