Here’s a segment from Irish prime time TV recently. The truth is getting out there – no reason to fear fat. And replacing it with low-fat processed junk food full of sugar and carbs is a disaster.
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Have three decades of dietary (low-fat) advice from the US government been a mistake? It seems the answer is a definite yes. How did that happen? Here’s a recent op-ed in The New York Times, no less, by Nina Teicholz:
Teicholz is the author of The Big Fat Surprise, a book I highly recommend. Here’s my full review.
The advice from the 1980’s about avoiding butter lacked evidence. The entire Western world received dietary guidelines that had never been shown to do any good.
This may be old news for the regular reader here, but now the knowledge is spreading faster and faster around the world.
A new scientific review shows that the advice completely lacked evidence of any benefit when it was first introduced. This hit the big headlines around the world yesterday:
- The Telegraph: Guidelines to avoid fat should never have been introduced
- TIME: Where Dietary-Fat Guidelines Went Wrong
- Times LIVE: ‘We’ve been sold a big fat lie’
- Reuters: The fat fight: Study fuels row over UK, U.S. diet guidelines
- The Verge: Low-fat diet advice was based on undercooked science
- Daily Record: Butter isn’t bad for you after all: Scots researchers claim advice on fatty foods was flawed
- Mashable: Butter and cheese may not be so bad for you after all, study says
- Mail Online: What irony. By scaring us off butter they’ve made us fatter – and more unhealthy writes JOHN NAISH
- The Herald: It’s official (38 years on): links between saturated fat and health have no scientific basis, say Scots researchers
- Tech Times: Forget Low Fat: Butter, Other Fatty Food Not Bad For You, Says New Study
- NHS: 1980s fat guidelines ‘lacked evidence,’ study argues
The old fear of fat is dying out. Those who are still afraid of natural fat today haven’t yet managed to update their knowledge. Unfortunately, this includes quite a few older experts who govern our official dietary guidelines.
Getting over the fear of fat is absolutely necessary to return to honest, real food, which is needed to get away from calorie obsession and starvation dieting. It’s necessary to turn round the epidemics of obesity and diabetes and other related disorders. It is necessary and it can’t wait.
Fortunately, repeated headlines like these show that the Food Revolution continues, all around the world. Continue Reading →
This is the book that contributes to finally dismissing the old fear of fat. When the book The Big Fat Surprise came out in June last year, major American newspapers praised it. It has become a New York Times best seller and The Wall Street Journal appointed it one of the best books of the year.
This book redefines food for many influential people and the fear of fat is losing its grip on the world.
Finally, I too have read the book. It’s a big book that initially is very similar to the fantastic Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007). But once you’ve read the first chapters you realize that this book is so much more. It’s an updated version with a somewhat different focus – and for most readers probably far more entertaining, clarifying and upsetting.
This is the definitive story on how fear of fat was based on how ambitious researchers and well-meaning politicians took short cuts and ignored the lack of real evidence. And as gigantic economic interests entered the picture things went very wrong.
The Problem with Fear of Fat
We know the result: instead of harmless fat – that we’ve been unnecessarily afraid of – people began to eat more sugar, wheat flour and other refined carbohydrates, which increase the fat-storing hormone insulin. Voilá: an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.
The book also goes in detail through the tragicomic and terrifying hunt for a replacement for natural saturated fat. Continue Reading →
The food revolution continues and the credibility of the old theory that butter is harmful is in free fall. Here’s a real slaughter of the fear of fat in one of the leading scientific medical journals, The British Medical Journal. It’s written by an expert on evidence-based medicine, one of the leaders of the Cochrane Collaboration.
The conclusion? The advice to eat less fat was a gigantic mistake from the beginning, new science show that it isn’t beneficial. Instead it may have led to an increased intake of bad carbohydrates, which is likely fueling today’s epidemics of obesity and diabetes.
It’s time for all authorities still recommending low-fat replacement products to wake up.
Wall Street Journal has named the best books of the year. Among them is The Big Fat Surprise, a book that totally rejects the last decades’ unnecessary fear of saturated fat. In the book the shaky background is discussed – and how today the theory completely falls apart in the light of modern science.
The book is well-written and captivating, but long. It has also been criticized for resembling Gary Taube’s classic Good Calories, Bad Calories which partly goes through the same story (but only up until 2007).
Most of those critics can’t stand Taubes, so they can’t stand Teicholz either. I’m a huge fan of Taubes so I should enjoy Teicholz, but a lack of time combined with a slight feeling of déjà vu has, embarrassingly enough, prevented me from reading more than part of the book yet. Finishing it is on my to-do-list. You can still beat me to it:
Swedes are becoming heart-healthier, faster!
The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare recently released the latest statistics for the risk of myocardial infarctions in Sweden, up to the year 2013. This is encouraging reading for almost everyone… except for those who are desperately looking for signs that increased butter-consumption has something to do with heart disease.
The years when LCHF has been popular and butter sales in Sweden have more than doubled – from 2008 – are highlighted in green in the image. The risk of heart disease is not on its way up, as some have warned, but rather the risk is going down faster than ever!
Swedes are consuming a lot more butter and at the same time getting more heart healthy than ever before.
How will the outdated fat-fearing people at our agency for dietary guidelines explain away this? They’ll probably continue their usual tactics: acting as though nothing has happened. Or what do you think? Continue Reading →
Science is in full swing changing views on saturated fat. More and more people realize that the fear of real butter has been a mistake.
One of the most well-known nutritional Scandinavian scientists, Danish professor Arne Astrup, has completely changed his view on the issue. Now he’s written a new opinion piece in the latest issue of one of the world’s leading scientific journals on the subject, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. He writes that dairy products and saturated fat are beginning to be viewed as good and healthful foods.
His article concludes (my boldface type):
The totality of evidence does not support that dairy SFAs increase the risk of coronary artery disease or stroke or CVD mortality…
There is no evidence left to support the existing public health advice to limit consumption of dairy to prevent CVD and type 2 diabetes. Cheese and other dairy products are, in fact, nutrientdense foods that give many people pleasure in their daily meals.
Arne Astrup – as well as many leading nutritional scientists – has gained support from the food industry. Including several dairy-product manufacturers. Unfortunately, this and his focusing mostly on dairy products makes the article seem to lose a bit of credibility.
However, it’s a sign of the times when a well-established scientist like Astrup has the guts to (and is allowed to) totally dismiss fat-phobia in one of the leading scientific journals of nutrition.
The old fear of fat is melting away, along with yesterday’s low-fat craze. Welcome back, butter. Continue Reading →
Here’s a nice op ed published in the Wall Street Journal:
The illustration is badly chosen, as this meal is likely to contain more sugar and other bad carbs than anything else. The article is good though. The author, Nina Teicholz, also wrote the new book The Big Fat Surprise on the same topic.
Is natural fat bad for you? Hardly. Here’s yet another fine article about the ongoing shift in scientific position regarding fat and carbohydrates: