Part of Dr Mansfield's argument for this is that the US has the lowest fat diet in the world and the fattest people. The UK is not far behind on either of these measures. In contrast to this, the French eat the most fat and are one of the slimmest nations.
Dr Mansfield pinpoints 1980 as a significant moment in time for obesity in the USA and the UK - suddenly the number of clinically obese people started to rise. Just a year or so before this, both nations were told that they should reduce the amount of fat in their diet. This advice came following the wide acceptance of the theory that saturated fats cause high cholesterol and heart disease - a theory which Dr Mansfield disagrees with. Within 10 years of this change to a lower fat diet, the number of cases of obesity had doubled in both the US and the UK. By 2005 we had trebled the number of cases. The French on the other hand continue to eat a larger amount of fat, including saturated fat, and have a much lower incidence of coronary heart disease.
Dr Mansfield actually goes as far as to say that
"Eating fat has nothing to do whatsoever with becoming fat, and nothing to do with diabetes or heart disease. The concept that eating fat is bad for you is the biggest mistake in medical thinking in the past century"Obviously a controversial statement - but one which many dieters will of course welcome with open arms. My diet at the moment contains plenty of fat. I am using lots and lots of olive oil for cooking and for salads, eating many avocados and an enormous amount of nuts, particularly macadamias. I have added butter and eggs back in recently too as I didn't find a sensitivity to either.
There are several chapters in the book which discuss exactly why Dr Mansfield thinks we should all eat fats, but in summary, my understanding of it is that fats make you feel full so you eat less, and if you are on a low fat diet you consume more carbohydrates, which do make you fat!
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