Normally, science advances by trial and error. When an experiment fails, researchers question assumptions, formulate new ideas and then design better studies. But the field of nutrition is having a hard time of this when it comes to the low-fat diet debacle.
As noted last week in JAMA, conventional wisdom used to be that cutting back on fat would make us lean and healthy. However, things have not quite worked out that way, and Americans are struggling to adjust to a new dietary reality.
Fifty years ago, we consumed a high-fat diet, with whole milk, rich sauces and spreads, full-fat salad dressings, regular peanut butter and fatty meats. But this eating pattern came under persistent attack, as preliminary research suggested that the fat in our food would make us gain weight and clog our arteries. . .