Thursday, August 7, 2014

'Big Fat Surprise': Saturated Fat is Not Bad For You

So I'm addicted to NPR podcasts, which I listen to via a great app on my smart phone, and this morning I heard reputable journalist Nina Teicholz on KQED blow the lid off everything we've all been told about the evils of saturated fat.

She was on Forum promoting her new book, "The Big Fat Surprise, Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet."

"People do not need to feel guilty about or restrict themselves when it comes to eating cheese, whole fat dairy and red meat," she said. "The science supports a higher-fat diet."


So the whole federal government and revered low-fat gurus like Dr. Dean Ornish are wrong?

It's possible if you believe Teicholz, who has an impressive pedigree. The Yale, Stanford and Oxford educated journalist has studied biology, reported for NPR and written for the New Yorker, the Economist and the New York Times. We are not talking matchbook degree credentials. 

What Teicholz did was plod through all the scientific studies that linked high saturated fat to obesity and heart disease and found enough holes in them to open a donut shop.

For instance, one famous study of the Mediterranean diet occurred during Lent when the people being followed did not eat their usual higher amount of meat. Teicholz also found lots of bad science in the Framingham Heart Study, Seven Countries Study and other landmark studies that launched the low fat revolution.

"Protein Power: author Michael Eades is a believer: "T
eicholz brings to life the key personalities in the field and uncovers how nutritional science has gotten it so wrong. There aren't enough superlatives to describe this journalistic tour de force," he wrote in a review of her book.

The real culprit?

You guessed it. Carbs. 

The unintended consequence of reducing fat in our diets has been replacing them with insulin spiking carbohydrates. Eating a bowl of pasta with low-fat marinara sauce is nutritionally worse than eating a filet mignon if you buy into the book's thesis. 

You can't have it both ways, though, and feast on pizza, because then you'd be loading up on both fats and carbs.

Though I have not read "The Big Fat Surprise" yet, my body tells me Teicholz is right. I feel better when I eat more fat and fewer carbs. And I'd rather eat paper than an egg white omelet.

More from Diet Skeptic:

Why I'm Addicted to Chia Seeds

Why Fat Head Pizza Is the Holy Grail of Low Carb Pizzas 

The Shocking Truth About Imported Olive Oil

Making Cauliflower Rice in the Vitamix 

Why WebMD Doesn't Want You to Get Well

Follow Nancy's board Low Carb Recipes on Pinterest

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an interesting book. Fats are essential to our brain health. Maybe the higher incidences of Alzheimer's these days is from the last few decades of low fat diets. Children under two especially need fats for brain development. Maybe there's a connection between low fat diets and the increase of Autism. Makes you wonder. Coconut oil is now being discovered as a very healthy fat. It was once considered bad for us because it is solid at room temperature. It melts at about 73 degrees. We still have a lot to learn and discover.