Everything most of us think we know about food, nutrition, and healthy eating is all wrong.
Everything most of us have heard or read from researchers, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and the government about eating a low fat diet in order to be healthy is inaccurate if not down right lies.
Everything most of us have heard, read, and have been told about the veracity of the research that supports a low fat diet is simply false.
For sixty years it has all been one big fat lie!
And we did as the medical establishment and our government told us to do. Yet we kept getting fatter, had more heart attacks; and diabetes became increasingly common.
Anyone who questioned the big names in nutrition “research” was shunned, ridiculed, and practically tarred and feather and run out of town on a rail.
The new book, The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz, was a ten year project and is meticulously researched. It has one-hundred and twelve pages of citations or notes to back up the authors damning indictments.
The story she tells is so compelling it is hard to put the book down. Much of what Ms Teicholz writes in her best seller has been written on this blog over and over and over again.
The difference? She has the proof – a smoking gun. She exposes the lies, the egos, the hard-ball politics, and the fame and fortunes made by those who pushed the low fat diet mantra.
The Scientific Method
The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning, and improved upon by others through open review and criticism. qq Source: Wikipedia, Emphasis Mine
The scientific method was NOT used in determining that a low fat diet was good for us, no matter what ‘everyone’ says.
The scientific method was not used to determine that too much saturated fat was bad for humans. The researchers who promoted the low fat diet were ruthless in discrediting anyone who disagreed with them.
Even though there were warning signs, even though there was research that raised red flags about a low fat diet, even though there were scientists who found different data and outcomes, these scientists were ignored and the Scientific Method thrown in the trash can.
The greatest tragedy? During the sixty years any scientist who tried to “correct or integrate previous knowledge,” or “improve upon others through open review and criticism,” was scorned and ridiculed, ignored, and denied money for more research. Careers were ruined.
Below are The 5 Main Take-Away-Facts from this book.
1. Eating more grains and carbohydrates makes us gain more weight, not fat.
Here is how it works. The body turns carbohydrates into glucose. Then this causes the body to release the hormone insulin. And guess what! This particular hormone is very efficient at storing fat. The more carbs you eat the more fat your body stores.
According to government data and reported in the Wall Street Journal, since the early 1970’s Americans have increased their carb intake by 25 percent and lowered their saturated fats by 11 percent.
If you take a look at the government’s Food Plate carbs contained in grains and breads and vegetables and fruits make up about seventy-five percent of the plate, as they did the old pyramid.
Is it any surprise Americans are getting fatter and heart attacks and diabetes are on the rise?
To make things even worse the use of vegetable oils instead of animal fats like lard and tallow adds even more carbs into our bodies. Some very important new research on vegetable oils suggests that when heated at very high temperatures they become toxic. I will keep you up to date on this as new research is published.
2. Fatty foods do not make you fat.
Back in the 1950’s Ancel Keys believed that fat made people fat since fat contains 9 calories per gram while protein and carbs contain only 4 calories per gram. That was the beginning of counting calories. He also believed that fat clogged the arteries. Seems obvious, right? Eating fat = Getting fat?
Remember Ancel Keys and the Lipid Hypothesis? He was the researcher who eliminated any and all data that did not conform to his hypothesis.
There were researchers who challenged Key’s hypothesis. There were other studies that did not support this hypothesis.
These studies were of the Masai and Samburu African tribes who eat more than 60 percent of their calories from animal fat, and eat no vegetables at all. Yet the blood pressure and weight of the men in these tribes is about 50 percent lower than for American men and do not rise with age. According to the date in the studies, there was also no cancer either.
There were other healthy, no heart disease tribes and populations whose diets were high in fats including the Inuit Indians in the Canadian Arctic, Native Americans of South West America, and the Bardi tribe of northwest Australia.
And these people did not eat lean meat as some suggest. (Pages 16-18.) The meat they ate contained saturated fat cooked in real butter, tallow, or lard.
How was this information and research treated?
It was ignored at best, laughed at and summarily dismissed instead of following the Scientific Method of “correcting and integrating previous knowledge improved upon by others through open review and criticism.”
Thankfully, things are slowly changing as new research studies are showing that it is carbs that lead to an increase in heart disease, diabetes, and obesity not red meat, eggs, and butter.
Furthermore, eating meat without fat is not healthy as the human body cannot metabolize the meat properly and it’s hard on our livers.
3. The Paleo Diet Is Not the Right Diet Either
While Ms Teicholz barely mentions the Paleo Diet in her book I want to say a little about it.
On page 6 of The Big Fat Surprise, Ms Teicholz mentions that diet in passing.
The only other mention of this diet is in a footnote on page 139 that states that this diet “…….reinforced the idea our prehistoric diet was formerly comprised of mostly plants……….” [Emphasis mine]
And as I pointed out in the post, Which Is Better, Meat or Vegetables it was meat, or more specifically the protein in meat that resulted in the human brain evolving into the most complex brain on earth.
Meat is what made us human. (See Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, by Richard Wrangham.)
Reporting on a study from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, according to Christopher Wanjek of the Washington Post says, “Eating meat and cooking food made us human, the studies suggest, enabling the brains of our prehuman ancestors to grow dramatically over a few million years.”
And not just grow in size……but to develop complex systems of neurons giving humans the most complex brain in the animal kingdom.
The vegetable or plant diet of animals simply does not provide enough calories to support the complex neurons of the human brain. [All emphasis mine.]
Nutrition Pundits who want us to eat less meat and more grains and vegetables evidently must want humans to de-evolve.
4. Vegetarian Diets May Actually Be Bad For You
This story is not one where someone fudged the research data. This is a story of, ‘If I don’t like or agree with what the research shows I will ignore it and not tell anyone about it.’
The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was the first large scale trial of the Low Fat Diet. Launched in 1993, more than 30 years after the low fat diet first came out. Better late than never, right?
All of the low fat diet proponents were licking their lips because they believed they were going to be vindicated.
From that set up you know what’s coming next, don’t you?
Yep! Panic, dismay, consternation, discombobulation ensued. The medical establishment was beside themselves.
While the women in the study successfully lost their overall fat and percent of calories from saturated fat, after ten years being on the low fat diet……
………they were no less likely than a control group to contract breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, stroke, or even heart disease.
The low fat diet did nothing to improve the health of the women and proved ineffective against the diseases the low fat diet was supposed to cure.
5. High cholesterol, especially HDL cholesterol is good for you. Low cholesterol is bad for you
After years of believing that saturated fat is enemy #1 the long and short of it is this:
…………there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. And it turns out that a diet rich in saturated fat increases the former while decreasing the latter. Carbs, on the other hand, do exactly the opposite. In fact, a new Annals of Internal Medicine review of 72 studies and hundreds of thousands of subjects found no strong evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease.
Daniel Duane, Men’s Journal
However, according to new studies the real problem in our modern day diet appears to lie in trans fats and hardened oils (margarine and hydrogenated oils.)
And that, dear readers, is a discussion for another day.
Featured Recipe Steak With Shallots and Red Wine Vinegar
Because of today’s blog topic I had to share a red meat recipe. Right????
So today’s recipe is a filet mignon. All things considered it was also relatively inexpensive.
Have you seen the cost of hamburger these days? Here in Columbus, Ohio it is over $5.00 a pound.
By the time I cut my filet mignon in half the cost of the steak was about $6.00 per person.
You can substitute the less expensive flank or skirt steak.
The best thing I like about this recipe is how simple and quick and easy it is to make. Steaks are often like that.
I can hear you. I know what you are thinking. “That steak is not big enough to fill me,” you are thinking.
Fat makes you feel full longer. So you actually eat less. Add a small potato and a salad with your steak. You do not have to give up carbs totally and completely, just eat less of them.
BTW – Eating more carbs is another reason so many Americans are over weight. Carbs do not make you feel full. So you eat more. Eat more fat and problem solved.
Today’s recipe is a Henry Lewis Creel recipe from his cookbook, Cooking For One Is Fun.
Here is what you need for 2 people:
About ½ poynd Filet Mignon
2 tablespoons butter
1 small to medium shallot
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Here is what you do:
Since this was a thick steak I cut it in half to make two steaks.
Warm a plate in the oven on low heat.
Salt and pepper the steaks on both sides.
Peel and chop the shallot and the parsley.
Heat the pan first.
Add the steaks and cook 3 minutes on each side for rare, or to taste. I cooked mine for 4 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other side.
Remove the steak to the warm plate and let it rest for a few minutes to allow juices to redistribute.
In the mean time, add the shallots to the frying pan and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
Then stir in the wine vinegar and cook until the liquid is reduced to a couple of tablespoons and is thick and syrupy.
The spoon the sauce over the steaks and sprinkle on the parsley.
Serve and Enjoy!
Filet Mignon $11.50
2 tablespoons butter $0.16
2 small shallots $0.28
4 tbspn red wine vinegar $0.36
1 tspn chopped parsley $0.10
Salt and pepper to taste
Total Cost = $12.40
Cost per person = $6.20
Quote of the Day
The simple answer as to why we get fat is that carbohydrates make us so; protein and fat do not.
Gary Taubes – Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It