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‘The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet’ (book review)

Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Food, Drink & Nutrition, Health with 0 Comments

By Katherine Martinko | treehugger

big_fat_surprise_cover

Author Nina Teicholz reveals how the past sixty years of low-fat nutrition advice has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment with disastrous consequences for human health.


“You may be making yourself miserable three times a day without purpose.” – Edward Pinckney, The Cholesterol Controversy, 1973

Fat, especially saturated, is good for you. With this rebellious statement, author Nina Teicholz wades into a decades-long debate over whether or not eating fat results in heart disease. Her new book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet (Simon & Schuster, 2014), is an eloquent argument for why North Americans should abandon the ‘low fat, high carb’ diet that’s promoted by the official USDA Dietary Guidelines and return to an old-fashioned diet featuring animal products.

Over the ten years she spent researching her book, Teicholz interviewed top nutrition experts in the country, as well as many of the scientists who conducted the studies that remain the cornerstone of mainstream nutritional advice in the United States. She spent years reading the studies in their entirety, not just the abstracts. This effort paid off; she came across many inconsistencies, questionable methods, skewed data, and misleading conclusions. She interviewed people in the nutrition field who have been shunned for not “toeing the official line,” for daring to question whether minimizing saturated fat intake is really the best thing for human bodies.

The Big Fat Surprise reveals a world that is fraught with poor science, loads of industry money, political clout, and bloated egos pushing for specific results that always feature the demonization of fat, particularly saturated. It makes you realize quickly that the food pyramid, as we know it, has very little to do with what’s actually optimal for human health and far more to do with politics.

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