This week there have been many articles in Swedish newspapers about the press release from SBU, the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. We even posted about it earlier this week. The following snippets and quotes are from this article and is from one newspaper, translated by Google and myself.

Fat provides a fat thin waist

Butter, olive oil, cream and bacon are not dangerous. On the contrary, fat is the best for those who want to lose weight, and a connection between high fat intake and cardiovascular disease does not exist.

This Monday “dynamite” was presented from SBU, the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. After two years of investigation and pouring over 16,000 studies the report “Dietary treatment for obesity” made claims that traditional dietary advice for obese or diabetic people was wrong.

For a long time health care generally advised us to avoid fats, especially saturated fat, and calories. Low carbohydrate diets (LCHF which stands for low carb, high fat and is actually a Swedish “invention”) is generally dismissed as dangerous and a fashion diet without scientific foundation.

Instead, health care urged diabetics to eat a lot of fruit (= sugar) and keyhole-labeled products with low fat but with considerable amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners, the latter a dangerous trigger for those who are sugar addicts.

This report hones in on key concepts and advocates for a low carbohydrate diet, high in fat, as the most effective weapon against obesity.

The expert group has served a dozen doctors, several of whom were skeptical about a high fat diet when the work began.

One of them, who has proselytizing about saturated fats (butter, cream, bacon) since 2006, is Linköping Professor Fredrik Nyström, who sometimes imposed and scorned almost to the same extent as LCHF´s “mother”, doctor Annika Dahlqvist.

For Fredrik Nyström the report is almost a form of revenge.

Absolutely. I’ve been working so long with this. It feels good to have this scientific report in the back and that skepticism towards low carbohydrate diet disappeared with colleagues while working. After all the recent scientific studies line up, the result is indisputable: our deep-seated fear of fat is groundless! You do not get fat by fatty foods, just as you don´t turn green of eating vegetables.

Professor Nyström has long advocated a greatly reduced intake of carbohydrate-rich foods, high in sugar and starch, to achieve healthy levels of insulin, blood fats and good cholesterol. That is to say, away with sugar, potatoes, pasta, rice, flour, bread. In with olive oil, nuts, butter, cream, fatty fish and meat with fat stripe.

You might as well eat sweets as potatoes. Potatoes contain a whole range of glucose molecules, which are converted to sugar in the intestine. Such diet causes the blood sugar and the hormone insulin skyrockets.

This summer also came another study of the Mediterranean diet, with plenty of unsaturated fat (olive oil, avocado, nuts), and that is part of the SBU-report base.

It showed that it is more dangerous to eat low-fat diets than high fat diets. The study also advised to drink wine with the Mediterranean diet. I have long recognized that moderate intake of alcohol is beneficial and I have done a study that confirmed improved blood lipids of red wine. Alcohol in moderation is not only okay, but also healthy and good. ~ Fredrik Nyström

There are many mantras we have learned to believe in as truths:

” A calorie is a calorie, it does not matter where they come from. ”

” It’s all about the balance between calories in and calories out. ”

“People are fat because they do not move enough. ”

” Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

Of course it is not so. But such nonsense just serves to weight on the conscience of people with weight problems, as if everything would be on their bad character. For many, a high intake of fat to be properly measured means that you can go longer between meals and feel fuller instead of needing to eat every five minutes. But you do not get measured by calories from Coca Cola or nearly fat-free, keyhole-labeled fruit yogurt with lots of sugar. Sure, exercise is good in many ways, but to keep a diet is what really affects weight. ~ Fredrik Nyström

The report states: “physical activity for people with obesity has, if any, marginal effects on weight loss.”

But what about breakfast?

Skip it if you can! It is a habitual behavior, but the body has no need of nourishment directly after we wake up if you eat a lot of fat at dinner the day before. It makes sugar itself of protein stored there, and it probably cost a few calories to produce this sugar itself, that may be the reason why low carbohydrate diet provides good weight loss. Skip snacks and all light products. If it was supposed to be low fat snacking throughout the day, we had not been equipped with a gallbladder. If you eat two meals a day, with little carbohydrates and very good fat, you stand up fine. Do as the people around the Mediterranean do, be content with a cup of coffee in the morning. ~ Fredrik Nyström

One of the biggest blogs, kostdoktorn.se, is driven by doctor Andreas Eenfeldt. Since 2007 he is an avid proponent of low carbohydrate diets and debater on how diabetics with proper diet can greatly reduce their medical needs or even avoid it altogether. On Monday, he had 73 000 visits on his blog and he declared it as a historic day for the LCHF world.

Diabetics should think the same way as others with health problems of some foods: avoid it. Less hyperglycemic food makes diabetics require less blood sugar lowering medication. ~ Andreas Eenfeldt

SBU report challenges the Swedish health care. It’s time to stop giving people with weight problems and diabetes, the advice that now turns out to be the worst in the tests. ~ Andreas Eenfeldt

Both he and Fredrik Nystrom agree that a paradigm shift, a health care revolution, must come.

Sweden´s National Food Agency has ignored modern research for some time, and it affects many nutritionists. It is very worrying. Health care is almost bound to follow the SBU report, considered as “law” until it is refuted, because it is edited by one of our most important agencies. But how will this work? Will we retrain an awful lot of “health people,” of all sorts, to recommend less light products, bread and pasta. I do not really know. ~ Fredrik Nyström.

Professor Fredrik Nyström’s advice is to eat the following:

  • Fatty meats, oily fish, olive oil, nuts, avocados. Do fatty sauces of butter, cream and crème fraiche. Wine with meals for those who can tolerate it.

However you should avoid:

  • Sugar and starch-rich products such as pasta, potatoes, flour and bread.


SBU the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment, has been commissioned to evaluate the methods used in health care, both established and new. Based on current and well executed research, we find out which medical effectiveness of different approaches have, if there are any risks associated with them, and if it is delivering the most benefit for your money. SBU’s independent evaluations will be used to help shape what health care should look like from several different levels of society.

The report from SBU has really made an earthquake in Sweden. The results will probably be new dietary guidelines and the “death” of low fat products filled with sugar and chemicals. Professor Nyström recommended full fat dairy products, but there is a big difference between full fat dairy products in Sweden compared to the U.S. I will come back to that in another post.

Click here to get more information about LCHF food.

Do you want to read about Annika Dahlqvist, LCHF´s “mother” click here.

Spread the word and save lives!