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Clean Out Your Fat-Free ‘Healthy’ Substitutes for Spring

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It’s time for spring cleaning. And according to Nina Teicholz, writing for the Washington Post, it’s time to put egg-white-only omelets, agave syrup and soy milk where they belong (in the trash). Fill up on real low-carb foods instead and you’ll do your health a favor:

Government nutrition guidelines and magazine advice columns have long promoted healthy substitutes for everyday foods. Whole industries have been built around alternate foods that are supposed to make us feel better and live longer. But in many cases, the healthiest choice is to forgo the “healthy” substitutes.

The Washington Post: Spring Cleaning: Healthy Substitutes

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The Official Dietary Advice Continues to Fail Us

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Yes – eggs are good for you

Regardless of whether it being advice on salt, saturated fat or sugar, health authorities are failing to stay up-to-date with the latest research:

Observer: Health Authorities Continue to Fail Us

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New US Food Availability Data – Americans Follow the Guidelines & Get Obese

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Americans have been following the Guidelines.

The government just published a new report on American food availability, 1970-2014. This is big news! The last such report was published nearly a decade ago.

This report confirms what the last one found: In nearly every way possible, Americans have followed official dietary advice during the last few decades. In the same time period we’ve had massive epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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Why We Fear Fat


4.9 out of 5 stars5 stars91%4 stars3%3 stars5%2 stars0%1 star0%59 ratings3,488 viewsHave 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 my interview with NYT bestselling author Nina Teicholz (The Big Fat Surprise), where she explains why butter, meat and cheese belong in a healthy diet and what the unintended consequences of removing saturated fat have been.

Watch a segment above (transcript). The full 11-minute interview is available (with captions and transcript) with a free trial or membership:

The Big Fat Surprise – Nina Teicholz

Join free for a month for instant access to this and over 190 other low-carb TV videos. Plus Q&A with experts and our new low-carb meal planner service, etc.

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The Limits of Sugar Guidelines

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Do we know that added sugar is bad for us? Problems arise when the government offers too specific guidelines on what to eat, says Nina Teicholz, since they might be based on incomplete evidence.

The Atlantic: The Limits of Sugar Guidelines

It’s always good to question your own beliefs. As Gary Taubes makes clear in the beginning of his new book The Case Against Sugar: “I’m going to concede in advance a key point that those who defend the role of sugar in our diet will invariably make. … [I]t cannot be established definitively, with the science as it now stands, that sugar is uniquely harmful.”

With that said, the way I see it, excess sugar is very likely to be harmful and contribute to obesity and disease. Furthermore, there is zero need for added sugar in the diet. So why not try to avoid most of it, and experience the potential benefits?

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Nina Teicholz: The Deal on DASH

Typical DASH-diet foods: skim milk, grains and fruit

Typical DASH-diet foods: skim milk, grains and fruit

Recently, US News and World Report published its annual diet rankings, and as usual, DASH was at or near the top.

DASH is a diet that was designed to help reduce blood pressure for people with hypertension. It makes no sense to recommend this diet to a general population, for the main reason that DASH has pretty much only ever been tested on hypertensive ore pre-hypertensive subjects, who cannot be generalized to the population at large. Also, all trials have been short term, with outcomes indicating that DASH may actually cause heart disease–not prevent it.

Summarizing the trials

DASH has never been shown to be effective for preventing any nutrition-related chronic disease: Continue Reading →

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Nina Teicholz Responds to the News that BMJ Stands Behind Her Article

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Dear Friends,

The good news to announce today is that last Friday, The BMJ announced that it is not retracting the article I wrote critiquing the science behind the Dietary Guidelines. The BMJ stood strongly by the article, including this comment by BMJ Editor-in-Chief, Fiona Godlee:

We stand by Teicholz’s article with its important critique of the advisory committee’s processes for reviewing the evidence, and we echo her conclusion: ‘Given the ever increasing toll of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and the failure of existing strategies to make inroads in fighting these diseases, there is an urgent need to provide nutritional advice based on sound science.’

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BMJ Stands Behind Nina Teicholz’ Critique of the US Dietary Guidelines

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Here’s another victory for science over dogma. Today, the British Medical Journey has again decided to stand behind science writer Nina Teicholz’ peer-reviewed study from 2015, in which the conclusion was that the American dietary guidelines were founded on a weak scientific foundation, and still fail to be up-to-date with the best science.

Teicholz’ article was heavily criticized by old-school scientists – and 180 angry ones even demanded that the BMJ should retract it. After two independent experts reviewed it again, they have concluded that it is “within the realm of scientific debate”:

We stand by Teicholz’s article with its important critique of the advisory committee’s processes for reviewing the evidence, and we echo her conclusion: ‘Given the ever-increasing toll of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and the failure of existing strategies to make inroads in fighting these diseases, there is an urgent need to provide nutritional advice based on sound science.’
– Fiona Godlee, BMJ Editor in Chief

The BMJ: Press Release: Independent Experts Find No Grounds for Retraction of the BMJ Article on Dietary Guidelines

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“Don’t Scapegoat Big Sugar. Lots of Food Producers Profited from the Demonization of Fat”

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Recently, there were big media headlines about the revelation that the sugar industry paid Harvard researchers in the 1960s to shift blame from sugar to fat.

There has been a lot of bad science in the field of nutrition — and many “Big Tobaccos.”
– Nina Teicholz
But according to a new op-ed by Nina Teicholz, it is naive to believe that only Big Sugar played a role in this shift, since other food industries (such as corn syrup, wheat and vegetable oil producers) also capitalized tremendously on it:

LA Times: Don’t Scapegoat Big Sugar. Lots of Food Producers Profited from the Demonization of Fat

Producers from these industries also paid scientists, and the American consumption of these foods has increased even more than the sugar consumption.

The bad (and bought) nutrition science is not just about sugar.

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The BMJ Criticism of the Dietary Guidelines Will NOT Be Retracted

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A year ago the British Medical Journal published an article by Nina Teicholz that was very critical to the official US dietary guidelines, and the weak science supporting them. Specifically the article and the BMJ editor in chief criticized the low-fat, high-carb advice that was said to be “driving rather than solving the current epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes”.

The article resulted in furious resistance from old-school scientists. Even more than other people, scientists who have been deeply involved in this for decades likely have a very hard time shifting their thinking. Not fewer than 180 (!) of them signed a letter demanding the BMJ retract the article:

After an investigation, The BMJ has just now decided not to retract the article. They stand by it, as they should:

Fortunately The BMJ and its leadership refuse to be intimidated by those who would prefer to stop inconvenient questions and censor scientific debate.

Current dietary advice has completely failed to stop the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and may very well have made them worse. We can’t solve the problem by forbidding people to talk about it.

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