“Butter better than vegetable oils”


Norway’s biggest newspaper writes that the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) are incorrect about fats. A new review of all studies on the subject shows that butter is most likely better for the heart than the Omega-6-rich vegetable oils that are recommended:

VG: Danish researchers: – Butter is not more harmful than vegetable oils (Google translated from Norwegian)

The most interesting part of the article is the comment from the Head of the Division of Nutrition of the Danish National Food Institute, Gitte Gross, who’s been involved in coming up with the fat-phobic Nordic nutritional recommendations:

We know that people eat too much saturated fat. To obtain a better fat ratio you should choose a lot of vegetable oils. The dietary recommendations should be as straight-forward as possible, so that people can understand them and implement them in their daily life, Gross says.

She is annoyed by the conflicting messages on nutrition and health that keep coming up in the media.

People get confused when nutritional experts come forward in the media with messages that go against official guidelines. When this happens people will think the advice isn’t good, she says.

Time for an update

How can Gross continue to know that vegetable oils are always better than saturated fats, when a new review of all high-quality science shows the opposite?

Is it really the most important thing that the advice is simple and that people believe it? Isn’t it more important that the advice is good for health?

Doesn’t it bother Gross when major new studies show that the dietary advice she is involved in issuing is making heart disease worse? Should the media silence such details?

No, Gross, welcome to the 21st century. You can no longer cover up hazardous mistakes that affect millions of people. Admit the mistakes and correct them.


Good Night, Low-Fat Diet

Death of the Low-Fat Diet

Heart Doctor: Time to Bust the Myth about Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

“I Was Wrong, You Were Right” 

All about failed low-fat advice


  1. robert
    Another Gross mistake...
  2. FrankG
    "People get confused when nutritional experts come forward in the media with messages that go against official guidelines."

    So we should only listen to the "nutritional experts" who come up with the official guidelines and not the "nutritional experts" who dare to speak out against them?

    In other words, "Shut up and eat your Gross margarine.. we know what is best for you.. trust us!" Hah :-P

  3. paulc
    the good news here is that the newspapers are calling them out on this...
  4. GP
    The more butter the better. But the more lard the bestest.

    Do we even need such articles? I'm sure most of the site's visitors know such basic stuff. I feel like I haven't learned anything new in a very long period. Does even Andreas try to learn anything new? It's great when LCHF brings the desired results but I think you should never feel confident with your current knowledge and try to learn and understand more and more. There are so many unanswered questions. I think the site needs more advanced articles, more articles on controversial and unclear topics. more discussions and a greater focus on health as a whole.

    Yep. the food is the foundation of good health but there are also other things that can help you improve it. Just as an example I think people use too many questionable and unnecessary cosmetic and personal care products. The site is great and I know it can be even better... butter... oh damn :)

    Reply: #10
  5. murray
    Is there no penalty for Gross Misconduct?
    Reply: #11
  6. Paul the rat
    No penalty because of the size of Gross income.
  7. murray
    Yes, high Gross earnings touting the Gross domestic product.
  8. Ondrej
    Omega-6-rich vegetable oils were recommended because Big Food bribed the nutritional experts and doctors to say so.
    Reply: #9
  9. FrankG

    Omega-6-rich vegetable oils were recommended because Big Food bribed the nutritional experts and doctors to say so.

    Sounds about right... it is certainly more to do with vested financial interests that the interests of public health, in any case.

    So who is paying you off?

    Reply: #12
  10. sten
    I disagree somewhat with the statement "lard is best". I prefer Beef Tallow as it is more monounsaturated and saturated fats from beef. All animals with 4 stomachs converts grass to 60%+ fats that are most stable. Pigfat, same as our own fats depend on what we eat as we do not have the same conversion efficiency. And unfortunately the cheapest pig food today I guess is soy based. Hence Omega -6...

    Here some quality from a lady called Stephanie Seneff, headed "..A Clue to Why Low Fat Diet and Statins may Cause Alzheimer's"

    A simple and crucial extract from Stephanie's article that Lady Gross yet could learn from in this day and age of grossly accelerating Alzheimer's disease.

    "...Fats come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. One dimension is the degree of saturation, which concerns how many double bonds they possess, with saturated fats possessing none, monounsaturated fats having only one, and polyunsaturated fats having two or more. Oxygen breaks the double bond and leaves the fat oxidized, which is problematic for the brain. Polyunsaturated fats are thus the most vulnerable to oxygen exposure, because of multiple double bonds."

  11. robert
    Of course: Gross ridicule!
  12. Ondej
    @ FG - "So who is paying you off?"

    Nobody. And I'm not a fool that spends all the time in front of a computer like you.

    Based on your plethora of posts on this site (and maybe others) evidently you even carry it with you to the toilet. I hope you wash it every now and then.

    Get a life!

    Reply: #14
  13. greensleeves
    This is the consistent problem with our beloved country, DK. Because the government is in general so functional, so well-run, so efficient (compared to most others), and so non-corrupt, Danes trust it. It's rare for Danes to seriously question the government or doubt its recommendations. But in this case, they must. I wonder if they will be able to.
  14. bill
    If he hasn't before, he has now proven himself a troll.

    Please don't feed the troll.

  15. Eric Anderson
    The problem goes back to the French ==> Revolution that is. The blockades made fat and grease more difficult to obtain. First grease for the industry then for the poor. Margarine leads to cotton seed oils and crisco and on and on == Eric

    If Ben Franklin could not eat it (Died before the effects of man made oils) we might be 'butter off' with historical fats and oils like butte, tallow, lard!

  16. Paul the rat
    This is interesting. beta-Hydroxybutyrater, the major ketone body, is a strong inhibitor/regulator of histone deacetylases.
    Pass some more butter please.

    Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2013 Nov 11. [Epub ahead of print]

    Histone deacetylases inhibitors: conjugation to other anti-tumour pharmacophores provides novel tools for cancer treatment.

    Papavassiliou KA, Papavassiliou AG.
    University of Athens Medical School, Department of Biological Chemistry , 75, M. Asias Street, GR-11527 Athens , Greece +30 210 746 2508/9 ; +30 210 779 1207 ; papavas@med.uoa.gr.
    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are involved in the removal of acetyl groups from intracellular proteins. The catalytic activity of HDACs plays a major role in numerous biological processes, including cell-cycle regulation, cell proliferation and apoptosis. Importantly, tumour development and progression have been associated with altered expression and mutations of genes that encode members of the HDAC family. This family comprises at least 18 enzymes that are responsible for the post-translational deacetylation of several histone and non-histone proteins. HDACs hold a place among the most promising therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer and there are growing efforts to optimise HDAC inhibition therapy. The authors believe that there is the need for an innovative pharmacological strategy, if the field wants to significantly ameliorate the current shortcomings of the current cancer therapies, in particular, perhaps a strategy that focuses on developing single HDAC inhibitor-based compounds, which can modulate the functions of additional intracellular oncogenic targets via conjugation to other anti-tumour pharmacophores.

  17. Paul the rat
    Pass more butter please, and leave healthy multi grains and rolled oats for those who enjoy (for some reason) suffering.

    Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Oct 17. pii: S1043-2760(13)00156-2. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2013.09.002. [Epub ahead of print]

    Ketone bodies as signaling metabolites.

    Newman JC, Verdin E.
    Gladstone Institutes and University of California San Francisco, 1650 Owens Street, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.

    Traditionally, the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB) has been looked upon as a carrier of energy from liver to peripheral tissues during fasting or exercise. However, βOHB also signals via extracellular receptors and acts as an endogenous inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs). These recent findings support a model in which βOHB functions to link the environment, in this case the diet, and gene expression via chromatin modifications. We review the regulation and functions of ketone bodies, the relationship between ketone bodies and calorie restriction, and the implications of HDAC inhibition by the ketone body βOHB in the modulation of metabolism and in diseases of aging.

  18. murray
    Paul, this plethora of recent research on the benefits of ketones leads me to wonder how this research gets funded and published. I suppose the funding and editorial committees are not yet consciously making the link between ketones and a high-fat, low-carb diet, and so the censorship forces have not become engaged in restricting research into ketones or in funding Gerrymandered experiments to produce results that look discouraging for ketones (unless you dig deep into the experimental design).

    The apparent phenomenon of metabolic modal shifts in response to diet (that is, nonlinear effects, so that under 50 grams of dietary carbs per day is fundamentally different metabolically than over 100 grams of dietary carbs per day) has me reading Mary Jane West-Eberhard's Developmental Plasticity in Evolution.

    Replies: #19, #20
  19. Paul the rat
    In medical community ketones are still viewed as bad guys, associated with diabetes. For example I showed these 2 papers to last year Summa Cum Laude medical graduate, who is a resident at oncology department and he said, and I quote: "so what - it is only 2 papers". I could not even have an open-minded dialog with him over a cup of tea. Medicos (I repeat 99% of them): 1) are taught to treat diseases with drugs not with diet; 2) their understanding of biochemistry is rudimentary (listen for example to YouTube talks by John McDugall about say diabetes - it is a comedy).
    Reply: #21
  20. robert
    I've read / heard somewhere that it is possible to eat some form of ketone-supplement (not the raspberry stuff) to drive up serum levels of ßOHB and get at least some of the positive effects of LCHF, independent of what the test-subjects ate otherwise. If my memory doesn't trick me, the military was interested in a "keto-pill" as well.

    So again, just follow the money.

    Don't get me wrong, it is vital to have research in the realm of ketones. But the goal should not be just another pill "everybody must take", but proper diet. So the research is good, but its interpretation (and the watered down or slightly skewed version for joe public) might not necessarily result in "just eat real food with all the fat and cut the carbs".

    If the new message should be "eat more fat, because that turns into healthy ketones", some business is bound to push more vegetable oils on us again.

    Reply: #22
  21. robert
    Mr. McDougall is quite a strange character.

    It might be the case that a truly healthy individual can do well on his beloved starchy food, but if somebody is already troubled with high insulin levels and the accompanying problems, how is even more glucose going to help?

    I fail to see the logic.

  22. murray
    robert, Dr. Dominic D'Agostino is doing some of this research. Dr. D'Agostino's main research, I believe, is enhancing cancer treatment with ketogenic diet, but he is also doing work for the military. He explained some of this in an interview in a podcast earlier this fall. Sorry but I don't recall who the interviewer was.
  23. murray
    The dog that didn't bark.

    Here is what is touted as good news--"A step toward development of drugs for diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's." This compound (NT219) reduces activity in the insulin/IGF1 pathway, and therefore is promising in developing drugs to prevent these diseases. Good news for drug companies---but where is the barking dog? You can reduce insulin/IGF1 signalling, and avoid Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's, by eating low carbohydrate and keeping protein modest. Woof! Woof! Woof!

    Perhaps those who develop drugs are not interested in people eating less carbohydrates--it's bad for business.


    Replies: #24, #25
  24. robert
    You know, I think for many companies out there that are part of the "health-care industry"... this is actually a typo.

    It should have been "healthy care-industry".

    I'll leave the possible interpretations of that phrase to the readers.

  25. Paul the rat
    That's right Murray, we only starting to, let me use a cliche statement, scratch the surface what low carbohydrate or even no carbohydrate diet can do to our health. If full scale research would be allow to go ahead and investigate protein/fats ratio, quality and quantity of different fatty acids in the diet, ways of protein (meat) preparation e.g. cooking (how long, with what herbs, plant components et cetera) we would be free of many deceases quickly. The effect of fatty acids and their metabolites on our biochemistry is simply mind-bogling. This is why I am convinced that LCHF will never be officially approved - it is simply too healthy. One example, if children would start to eat LCHF now, in 20 years time half of the dentists would have nothing to do.

    There are several papers published showing that humans do not need dietary carbohydrates at all - how many "nutritionists" know about this?, do you think that distinguished professor Gitte Gross read those papers?. Few weeks ago a person with heavy social responsibility asked me during a lunch break: 'why are you reading all the time, don't you have something more important to do?"; despite the fact that the person was (is) almost morbidly obese, never asked me: " how is it that you are 10 years older that me and look like high school kid"?. For him/her obesity (metabolic syndrome) is a part of the money/employment making game, he/she is a part of that game, a field general. Not so long ago I had a relaxed conversation with another of those generals, during which the person said: 'all those diet approaches to fix this or that are just anecdotes. If you are sick we have doctors, hospitals, medications for it." These generals are the part of the well organized system and no LCHF or very or no carbohydrate diets will be allowed to make any cracks in this system.

    Reply: #26
  26. FrankG

    ...if children would start to eat LCHF now, in 20 years time half of the dentists would have nothing to do.

    I've said as much to my own Dentist.. for the first five years after I was diagnosed with Type 2 D and I was dutifully following the standard dietary advice, my teeth were basically falling apart; with fillings, root canals and even extractions.

    Since I started LCHF, my mouth, gums and teeth have just gone from strength to strength -- I still attend six monthly checkups for the hygienist to scrape and polish them but even she has little enough to do for me these days.. when the Dentist comes in for a look see, I tell him my diet will put him out of business!

    Funnily enough I just remember now that when I was growing up in the UK (45+ years ago) the Dentists had a big anti-sugar campaign.. it made a great deal of sense back then -- strange that they seem to be less noisy about it these days!

    Reply: #27
  27. murray
    FrankG, Weston Price is required reading regarding dental, as is The systemic theory of dental caries, a paper by Dr. Ken Southward. In a nutshell, ample vitamins K2, retinol (animal vitamin A) and D3, with calcium, build rock hard teeth and regenerate teeth. Insulin, however, blocks this process. So Price found cavities were minimal in cultures that didn't even brush their teeth, but were epidemic once flour and sugar were introduced into the diet. Vitamin K2, of course, is a fat-soluble vitamin present in the fat of grass-eating ruminants and other eaters of green leaves, or in some fermented products.

    Price also noticed jaw and face structure changed with the introduction of flour and sugar into diet, even as between successive children in the same family where the younger but not the older siblings had flour and sugar in their diet. Fortunately, our son was breastfed for over two years and I was already down on flour and sugar when he came off so his exposure to flour and sugar was limited even before I read Weston Price's book. Our son was the only kid in his eighth grade class last year who has never worn braces. Our dentist says he is the first kid he has had in his practice who has had perfect occlusion. We don't drink fluoridated water and neither of our children have had a cavity.

    But I must say, our dentist is supportive. He seems genuinely pleased with the outcome and interested to learn about it, even if he does not earn as much income from us.

    Reply: #28
  28. FrankG
    Already on my favourites list thanks Murray :-) It's just a shame that some might read him out of context as a bit racist

    Nutrition and Physical Degeneration -
    A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects

    Weston A. Price, MS., D.D.S., F.A.G.D.


    I also recommend this, in case you have not yet seen it...

    The Saccharine Disease -
    Conditions caused by the Taking of Refined Carbohydrates, such as Sugar and White Flour

    T. L. Cleave, M.R.C.P. Surgeon-Captain Royal Navy (Retd.)


    and while I'm busy adding links, Paul mentioned that humans do not need dietary carbohydrates at all... it's a classic but just in case it was missed (not that I am advocating a zero-carb diet... yawn)

    Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition?
    Eric C Westman

  29. Paul the rat
    Reply: #33
  30. Paul the rat
    Funct Neurol. 2013 Dec 3:1-4. [Epub ahead of print]

    Diet transiently improves migraine in two twin sisters: possible role of ketogenesis?

    Di Lorenzo C, Currà A, Siriani G, Coppola G, Bracaglia M, Cardillo A, De Nardis L, Pierelli F.

    The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet long used to treat refractory epilepsy; ketogenesis (ketone body formation) is a physiological phenomenon also observed in patients following lowcarbohydrate, low-calorie diets prescribed for rapid weight loss. We report the case of a pair of twin sisters, whose high-frequency migraine improved during a ketogenic diet they followed in order to lose weight. The observed time-lock between ketogenesis and migraine improvement provides some insight into how ketones act to improve migraine.

  31. Bill UK
    Paul the Rat - I amazed at the number of articles you have access to. Is research your job?

    Please keep them coming, great stuff.


    Reply: #32
  32. Paul the rat
    Yes, I am a research scientist. Unfortunately I can not make the whole papers accessible to you - it can not be done due to the institution library laws, I am told by our IT guys.
  33. murray
    Paul, the link brings up just a blank page for me.

    Last evening I was at a corporate seasonal party (or whatever they are called these days) and was talking to the person building the proprietor's new house. This was no ordinary builder or ordinary house. He does custom projects of all sorts--ones other builders would not be able to do. At 69, he is very fit, mentally sharp and going full-bore in his work. By chance, in response to a few offers of hors d'oeuvres from passing servers, we discovered we were both high-fat, low-carb. He has been doing this for 15 years. 15 years! I am so behind. I asked how he started and he said he did it based on what a client whom he respected told him. Apparently his client had done a research paper or a thesis on the effects of insulin. That convinced him to convert. No signs of cognitive decline whatsoever, keeping his insulin/IGF-1 pathways less active by avoiding carbs.

    Reply: #34
  34. Paul the rat
    Yes I know sorry, the next post is the abstract of that paper.

    As you know folks, for few years now there is a hype about fish oil supplements. Fish oil is officially approved in USA to lower triglycerides. Personally I was skeptical about recommended doses (or supplements at all) from the start. In this paper researchers use soy extract as a tested agent, we know from else where that soy is not all that good either. The best way to lower triglycerides, as we all here know, is to reduce carbohydrates. Unfortunately fish oil supplements industry (which grew to some multi-billion behemoth worldwide) won't make any money (:

    Nutrition. 2014 Jan;30(1):112-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.05.024.
    Effect of soy product kinako and fish oil on serum lipids and glucose metabolism in women with metabolic syndrome.
    Simão AN, Lozovoy MA, Dichi I.
    Department of Pathology, Clinical Analysis and Toxicology, University of Londrina, Londrina, Paraná, Brazil.
    At the doses typically used to treat hypertriacylglycerolemia, fish oil may increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and blood glucose levels. The aim of the present study was to verify whether soy could attenuate the effects of fish oil on blood lipids and carbohydrate metabolism in patients with metabolic syndrome.
    Sixty-five women (47.9 ± 9.98 y) were studied with the use of a parallel, randomized design. The control group maintained the usual diet; the second group received 29.14 g/d of soy (kinako); the third group received 3 g/d of fish oil n-3 fatty acids; and the fourth group received fish oil (3 g/d) and kinako (29.14 g/d). Assessments were performed at baseline and after 45 and 90 d.
    In relation to baseline values, fish oil increased (P < 0.05) total and LDL cholesterol, glucose, insulin, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance levels after 90 d. Comparisons among groups demonstrated a decrease (P < 0.05) in total cholesterol in the fish oil and kinako group after 90 d as compared with the fish oil group. LDL cholesterol decreased (P < 0.01) in the kinako group as compared with the fish oil group. Blood glucose and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance levels decreased after 90 d (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively) and insulin levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 45 d when the kinako group was compared with the fish oil group.

    The present study showed that kinako moderates the adverse effects of high doses of fish oil on LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and glucose metabolism levels.

  35. paulc
    adverse effects upon LDL from fish oil?

    Did they do a FULL lipid profile to seperate what types of LDL were being raised? It could have raised the good large "fluffy" type and reduced the small dense type. So they could have been undoing a good side effect of fish oil by adding soy to the diet.

    It annoys me when they obsess with LDL and only concentrate on getting the total LDL figure down.

  36. Joseph
    Vegetable oil always sounds healthy cause it has the word vegetable in it ;)

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