Last week science helped us clearly establish that wine may or may not be good for you.
‘Here we go again’ I hear you say!
Now, what about fat?
‘The Big Fat Surprise’ author Nina Teicholz
In the latest is-it-or-isn’t-it nutrition debate, author and cheese advocate Nina Teicholz says fat has been misunderstood and unfairly vilified. Her new book, The Big Fat Surprise, argues that more fat—including the saturated kind found in meat, dairy, and eggs—leads to better health and weight
We all want to know how she decided it was all right to give such seemingly indulgent advice. What follows is an edited, condensed version of the conversation.
So now you would have us get our fill of fat?
You can have a good 50, 60 percent of your calories as fat, and that’s fine.
It won’t damage your heart. Don’t be afraid of those foods. They’re tasty and uniquely satisfying, and we’ve been terrified of eating them. This French woman I ran into said, “I love cheese, but I feel like I’ll be condemning my children to being orphans.” And I said, “Eat the cheese! It won’t cause your early death, and it’s delicious.”
Saturated fat does not cause heart disease, and a high-fat diet over the last decade has been rigorously tested in numerous clinical trials, and it shows that a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is healthier than a low-fat diet looking at markers for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
What do you eat?
I start my day with bacon, or egg, or sausage, or meatballs.
‘Farmer Boy ‘ author Laura Ingalls
If you read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy they eat meatballs for breakfast, too—I was so amused by that. For lunch I graze because I never really sit down for lunch. I’ll have handfuls of nuts, cheese, tuna fish salad. In the evening, we have some kind of stew or roasted chicken or fish.
But is a data point of one. Science is about looking at large groups of people—data points are anecdotes and they’re interesting, but they don’t establish truth. So you don’t have to eat chicken and fish for the rest of your life.
(1By the way, not all chickens are sources of unsaturated fat due to intensive production methods – but that’s another story!)
And you’re health is fine? Your weight?
The last time I got my cholesterol tested, it looked great; it looked better than when I was in my thirties, and I’m in my forties now. I’m not super thin because I’ve been sitting at my computer for so many months now, but my weight is normal.
Then why do all of us think fat is unhealthy?
The idea that saturated fat causes heart disease goes back to a theory rooted in the 1950s that was proposed by one scientist and became enshrined, first in the American Heart Association in 1961 and became basically over the years a fact. But it had never been tested. Evidence against it—when it was finally shown—[the claim] was really poor and inconclusive and has since fallen apart.
No offense, but why should we trust you?
I have been digging into this research for 10 years. I looked through all of the original research. I did not rely on any summary or review documents. We’re in the third generation of scientists universally believing that fat and saturated fat cause heart disease. That’s accepted, and no one goes back to read what it’s based on. I don’t accept—and have not accepted—any industry money in my research. Almost everyone in nutrition researchers [gets] funding from industry because the government just doesn’t fund that much nutrition research. It doesn’t automatically bias their results, but I came without any preconceptions in this field. I am an outsider who brings a rigorous, science-journalist perspective.
I eat 2 or 3 chicken or goose eggs, bacon and spinach, sometimes sausages for breakfast most days of the week. And, have done for the last three or four years. I’m well into my 50’s and my recent cholesterol test brought back shocking results! A very high 7.2 value – I panicked! With a naughty giggle my health care provider then explained that my good cholesterol was very high and the bad stuff was NO problem, PHEW!!
I don’t have any worries recommending a high or higher real fat diet to my Heart Patients.
‘What’s a REAL fat diet?’
Foods that have naturally occurring fats like meat, eggs, fish, nuts and seeds
Yes, saturated and unsaturated fats!
Saturated fats are digested, dealt with easily by your body. We have survived as a species by eating them. The difference these days us that we mess with our food by processing it, adding things to it, feeding poor quality food to our chickens, pigs, sheep and cattle.
If you choose Free Range and Wild caught food you won’t go far wrong.
In the UK, we are lucky, there are many food suppliers that don’t follow the intense production methods that reduce the nutrient value of our basic food stuffs.
We can still buy local fruit and veggies, that aren’t sprayed with tons of chemicals, and we don’t have to buy Organic everything to guarantee that.
If you really want to reduce your chances of Heart Disease, Diabetes and Obesity you must add in real food – high fat – including Real cheese ( NOT Processed)
BUT eliminate as many grain based foods as possible – that beans breakfast cereals! Because the best way to elevate your cholesterol, inflammation, joint pain and lots more nasty conditions is to eat foods containing Omega 6’s and fake processed sugars.
Think about where you get your calories (energy) from, do you eat a rainbow of foods? ( M & M’s don’t count) if you do and you drink enough fluid, you will have a healthy gut, and have no need for Bran based cereals.
Give it a try, you will feel full. You’re energy levels will balance out over the day, cravings will disappear and so you won’t want high sugar snacks at coffee time or on your commute home.
Eat Clean, Feel Great!