The Credit Suisse Research Institute recently published Fat: The New Health Paradigm, a report based on over 400 medical research papers and books, global databases on food consumption and interviews from academic and industry experts that analyzed the changing role of fat consumption.
Obesity has skyrocketed in the last 30 years, and many believe this is due to dietary guidelines that recommended we reduce saturated fat intake and cut out any foods containing cholesterol, which led to a “fat-free” free-for-all and increase in the consumption of carbs and sugar. Now, medical research shows that eating cholesterol has literally no effect on blood cholesterol levels or heart disease risk. In fact, human breast milk contains 25% saturated fat. If saturated fat is so bad for us, why would breast milk naturally contain higher levels of it?
Official nutritional recommendations still caution that we should limit our daily saturated fat intake to 10% of daily caloric intake, and many doctors and consumers are aligned with these recommendations. But some consumers are making different choices. Data shows that butter consumption has grown by 2% to 4% globally; whole milk consumption in the U.S. has grown by 11%, while skim milk consumption has shrunk by 14%. Egg consumption has increased by 2% and organic egg consumption has increased by 12% in the last 12 months.
Natural, unprocessed fats are healthy and important for our health. Natural foods high in monounsaturated and saturated fats are preferred sources of energy for our bodies to use and store, and omega-3 fats have strong protective properties for the heart and brain. And the numbers seem to reflect this more “fat-friendly” trend.
Fat consumption per capita is expected to increase by 23% until 2030, with the majority of this fat comprised of saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fats. Protein consumption is expected to increase by 12% and carbs will decrease by 2%. The winners in terms of consumption are eggs, dairy, red meat and fish, while the consumption of vegetable oils and chicken will remain about the same. The clear loser in all of this? Carbs—specifically sugar.
If you’re following Atkins, you’re on the cusp of this global fat paradigm shift. You’ve seen firsthand the negative effects processed carbs and sugar have on your waistline and your health. And you’ve also seen how healthy fats, vegetables rich in fiber, protein such as chicken, red meat and seafood, as well as full-fat sources of dairy can give you more energy, help you control your hunger and blood sugar levels and lose weight, while improving your health.
According to this report, the correction of one major nutritional mistake—if not the biggest—is finally underway on a global basis.