November 2004 Issue --> Health & Fitness Article
Low Fat Diets Trigger Health Crisis for Older Americans!
By: Udo Erasmus


America's obsession with low fat diets has created a potentially lethaltime bomb for older bodies, says one of North America's leadingnutritional researchers and authors.
In his book, Fats that Heal -- Fats that Kill, Dr. Udo Erasmus predicts that lack of essential fats and other nutrients in the foods North American adults now consume will trigger a variety of life-threatening illnesses that, if not corrected, may result in premature death for seventy-five percent of individuals currently forty-five to seventy years old.
"Forty million premature deaths from nutritional deficiencies may seem unbelievable," says Dr. Erasmus, "but the Surgeon General's 1988 publication stated sixty-eight percent of US deaths were diet-related, and that percentage is steadily climbing." Dr. Erasmus reports eight out of ten baby boomers are getting too little of twenty-three of the forty-three essential minerals, vitamins, aminos, and fatty acids that must be present in the food supply for humans to sustain life.
But of all the nutritional deficiencies that Dr. Erasmus identifies in his book, it's the lack of the essential fatty acids "omega 3" and "omega 6" (which are typically absent in a low fat or non fat diet) that he claims will create the most havoc with older people's health.
"Lack of these essential fats in the diet are linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. These essential fats are usually removed from the low fat foods we purchase at the grocery store," says Dr. Erasmus.
Dr. Erasmus says that Madison Avenue has created a tragic misconception about fats -- "low-fat is healthier." And a recent Harvard University study found those who avoided saturated fats by using margarine instead of butter had twice as many heart attacks.
"Essential fatty acid deficiency has become the biggest and most dangerous nutritional deficiency of our time," says Dr. Erasmus. Thankfully, Dr. Erasmus reports, there is a way to reverse diseases caused by fatty acid deficiency -- by adding fatty-acid rich seeds and oils into the diet. "Fresh seeds and oils (flax, sunflower, and sesame) contain the largest amount of essential fatty acids," says Dr. Erasmus. Prolonged consumption of these seeds and their fresh oils can actually reverse heart disease, says Dr. Erasmus.
Dr. Erasmus always smiles when he talks about the therapeutic value of another substance rich in beneficial fatty acids -- snake oil. "The Chinese treat many illnesses, including arthritis, with oil from Chinese water snakes," he says. Pharmacies in North America don't sell snake oil, so if you want to add it to your diet, you'll probably have to make it yourself."
"Just don't use rattlesnakes", he says. "They're deficient in essential fatty acids - just like the rest of us."
Udo Erasmus, Ph.D. Nutrition, is considered a foremost authority on the roles thatfat, oils and cholesterol plays in human health. His seventeen-year researchproject culminated in the book, "Fats that Heal Fats that Kill", "the first book tomake sense out of the role of fats in health" according to the Society forOrthomolecular Medicine. His book "Choosing The Right Fats" is a handy guideto healthy eating that includes recipes. Trained in research, biochemistry, andgenetics at the University of British Columbia in Canada, Dr. Erasmus has beenan invited guest on over 1000 radio and television programs. His advice on healthand nutrition has appeared in newspapers and magazines worldwide.(
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