Why Your Doctor Is Clueless About Diet
Because, despite decades of government recommendations telling us what kind of diet we should eat (a low-fat, high-carb, grain-heavy one), there is actually very little science to support such claims:
Quoting The New York Times:
“We don’t know what the best diet is,” said Dr. Michael Lauer... When it comes to diet and heart disease, doctors -- and patients -- have been going on hunches. [...]
“Diets are an extreme case of accepting evidence we want to believe,” said Dr. J. Sanford Schwartz, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
That includes doctors, he added, who overlook that the evidence for the low-fat diets they often recommend is the sort “we would never accept in the practice of medicine.”
Those low-fat diets sound sensible -- eat fruits and vegetables, fish and lean meats. Cut back on salt- and sugar-laden sodas and potato chips. Cut or sharply limit most fats, including olive oil and nuts. But such diets have not been tested in the way the Mediterranean diet was tested.
Doctors are in a bind, said Dr. Daniel J. Rader, a heart disease specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. When patients ask what to eat, he said, “you have to give them something.”
“Given the importance of diets and given the decades of dietary recommendations we have given to people, you would think we would have had more dietary studies with hard endpoints to get at these questions,” Dr. Rader said. But the best they have are studies that look at intermediate markers of risk, like cholesterol levels. In the end, he said, “most doctors just give dietary platitudes.”
Actually, it’s worse than that: because the government decided to start giving out dietary advice before there was solid scientific evidence to support that advice, they now have a vested interest in keeping that narrative going even in the face of evidence against it, since the government can’t admit when it has made a mistake.