Have you heard about “The Big Fat Surprise” yet? It’s a new book which takes to task over a half century’s worth of bad fat rap.
Pursuant to nine years of trailing the research and conducting expert interviews, author Nina Teicholz’s challenging revelations on Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet is rattling the cage of many a diet guru and medical pundit.
Good Fat/Bad Fat
An independent investigative journalist, Teicholz relentlessly pursued a tedious journey of facts and fiction which began with a post-World War II rise in heart disease in America. Triggered in part by President Eisenhower’s 1955 heart attack, a WSJ review recounts Teicholz’s tracking of (government backed and tainted) clinical study results which were irrevocably embraced by the media and echoed forward by food manufacturers.
Teicholz describes the trail of historical data as “the blood sport of nutrition science” suggesting that decades of scientists would use extreme measures to shield their findings over contradictory others. Some of Teicholz’s provocative conclusions include:
* The health benefits of eating red meat high in saturated fat outweigh the benefits of eating lean red meat with less saturated fat.
* Red Meat is the only food which improves good HDL cholesterol levels
* Diets which are void of the saturated fats in meat, eggs and dairy have ultimately increased carbohydrate consumption thus contributing to diabetes and obesity
As you can imagine, contemporary proponents of cardiovascular health are quick to contradict. In a CNN interview, Doc du Jour, Dean Ornish, professes, “If you eat a diet that is high in animal protein, your risk of dying from everything goes up considerably. If you eat a plant-based diet, which is naturally low in fats and refined carbs, a whole foods plant-based diet, the disease risk decreases.”
Industry pub, Meating Place, notes that Teichholz’s book comes at a time when the 2015 issue of the DGA (Dietary Guidelines for Americans) is looming in the wings. Interestingly enough, no less than 20 government agencies (see the full list here) legislate and rely upon the DGA.
Food for Thought
Ornish also says Teicholz’s book is “dangerous” because it tells “people what they want to hear.” And there’s the AMEN moment –who doesn’t want to eat bacon with great abandon?
You can’t help but wonder if the Atkins Diet wasn’t closer to the mark than decades of critics would have us think. Everyone I’ve ever known who tries it loses weight quickly—but as soon as they stop “doing Atkins,” they gain it all back.
Where swapping out sugar for fat may be a great accelerant for weight loss, it still always comes down to balance. Low fat, doesn’t mean no fat, and bacon, will always rule!