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  #16   ^
Old Fri, May-16-14, 03:51
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is online now
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Jimmy Moore offers reasons why the well-read LCer will find something new in this book not already covered by GC, BC; Death by Food Pyramid, etc.
http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/...-teicholz/22762
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  #17   ^
Old Mon, May-19-14, 12:55
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JEY100 JEY100 is online now
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Dr. Davis's Review:

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2014/...s-good-for-you/

Quote:
Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz’s new book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, is now available.

Nina’s eat-the-fat message fits like hand-in-glove with the Wheat Belly lifestyle. You will especially find her chronology of the historical blunders made along the way to the “low saturated fat for heart health” advice enlightening and liberating. It was, as she discusses, the low total fat and saturated fat mistakes that led us down this more “healthy whole grain” detour, the worst nutritional misjudgements ever made on a worldwide scale.

I asked Nina to provide a bit of discussion about her book and she provided this Q&A. Teicholz Big Fat Surprise

How did you come to write this book?
NT: I was a faithful follower of the low-fat, near-vegetarian diet, but when I started writing a restaurant review column, I found myself eating things that had hardly ever before passed my lips: rich meals of pâté, beef, cream sauces and foie gras. To my surprise, I lost the 10 pounds that I hadn’t been able to shake for years, and to boot, my cholesterol levels improved. To understand how this could be possible, I embarked upon what became a decade of research, reexamining nearly every single nutrition study and interviewing most of our top nutrition experts. What I was shocked to find were egregious flaws in the science that has served as the foundation of our national nutrition policy, which for more than 50 years has all but forbidden these delicious and healthy foods.

You write, “Almost nothing we commonly believe today about fats generally and saturated fats in particular, appears, upon close examination, to be accurate.” How did we get here?
NT: Our distrust of saturated fat dates more than 50 years, and can be traced to just one man: a bullying, charismatic but revered pathologist named Ancel Keys, whose quest for fame caused him to run roughshod over basic scientific standards. His deeply flawed “Seven Countries” study was the “Big Bang” of all our nutrition recommendations today. In an effort to quickly address the terrifying heart-disease epidemic, Keys persuaded the American Heart Association and ultimately the U.S. government to subscribe to the notion that saturated fat was our chief dietary culprit. Fat generally — and saturated fat specifically — came to be blamed for causing heart disease, obesity and cancer. Eventually this unfounded belief became ingrained as our national dogma, and many of our most esteemed nutrition scientists today endorse this idea based on the same kind of soft science that originated with Keys.

What are the unintended consequences of the low-fat diet that resulted from this flawed thinking?
NT: Avoiding fats has led to eating more carbohydrates—25% more since adopting the low-fat diet—and this shift (not only to more sugar but also more whole grains and fruit) has led to today’s diabetes and obesity epidemics. Cutting back on saturated fat has also meant that we are now eating far more vegetable oils, like soybean, canola and corn. These oils didn’t even exist in 1900 and now are 7-8% of all calories we eat. They have always been associated with health problems, including cancer. When heated, they oxidize and cause inflammation and gastric damage. These oils are now being used much more commonly in restaurant fryers, ever since the big fast-food chains like McDonalds and Wendy’s announced their shift to trans-fat free oils.

A bigger story: How did bad science become the foundation our national dietary policy?
NT: This larger story is at the heart of the book. It begins in the 1950s, when the desperate need to solve the heart-disease epidemic caused experts to jump the gun, launching dietary guidelines based on weak, incomplete science. As research dollars and institutions became invested in the idea, it became harder to reverse course, until, ultimately, the U.S. government’s adoption of the diet enshrined it in our federal bureaucracy. Biased science became a necessity. A once-loud group of critics was silenced (one, in particular, has come to be considered the “Cassandra” of nutrition). Big Food has played a role too (though less than is commonly thought) by buying off our most esteemed authorities and the science itself.

Many readers might be surprised to learn that the low-fat diet is especially harmful to women, which is scary because women tend to diet more. Tell us why.
NT: Women have been especially hard hit by the low-fat diet recommendations, which they have followed more religiously than anyone else over the past few decades. It turns out that women’s “good” cholesterol (HDL) drops dramatically on this diet (it does for men, too, but less so), thereby increasing their risk of heart disease. Even in the 1980s, it was found that middle-aged women with high cholesterol lived longer than those with low cholesterol, but researchers ignored this result, because they were focused on middle-aged men. In fact, all of our diet and cholesterol recommendations for decades have been based exclusively on data from men.

Who else is at special risk?
NT: Children are another population who were never tested before the U.S. government recommended putting them on the low-fat diet. Plenty of pediatricians objected that this diet, designed for middle-aged men, was inappropriate for growing children, but their voices were ignored. Only a few small trials were ever conducted on children and low-fat regimens, and these studies show that the diet increases the risk of nutritional deficiencies. Children grow better on higher fat diets. Our current school lunch and WIC-program policies of feeding them skim milk rather than whole are therefore alarmingly bad for their health.

It seems the prevailing thinking on fat is that some fats, like olive oil, are the best for our health. You discovered in your research that the Mediterranean Diet is not what it’s cracked up to be. How did it come to pass that we all worship at the altar of olive oil?
NT: The Mediterranean Diet originated from a survey of the eating habits of long-living Cretan peasants in the 1950s, who seemed to eat very little meat or dairy. However, they were surveyed shortly after WWII, when their economy was in ruins. Also, their diet was sampled during Lent, when animal foods were severely restricted. The data was therefore not any good and never grew any better. In fact, the reason that the Mediterranean Diet became celebrated and famous is that researchers fell in love with the sun-kissed, enchanting Mediterranean—and most of their studies and travel were funded by the olive-oil industry. It’s amazing how researchers, including some of the most respected people in the field today, thrived on the Mediterranean Diet conference junket. The actual science is far from impressive: it can only show that this diet is superior to the failed, low-fat diet (and what diet isn’t?). Tested against a higher fat diet, the Mediterranean regime looks far less impressive for weight loss or heart disease. Also, no one’s ever been able to pinpoint any special, disease-fighting powers of olive oil—which turns out not to be an ancient foodstuff after all but a relatively recent introduction to the Mediterranean diet.

What about tropical oils? Are they OK?
NT: Coconut and palm oil were condemned in the 1980s for being high in saturated fats. Yet the main campaign against them was really a trade war, organized by the American Soybean Association (ASA), to drive out the foreign competition. For years, there was a feud between the Malaysians, who are the world’s largest producers of palm oil, and the ASA. The ASA appeared to be winning, but when the Malaysians threatened to expose the trans-fat problem in hydrogenated soybean oils, the ASA decided to call a truce–and stopped its slander campaign against the tropical oil producers. These oils are good for health and are now enjoying a comeback.

What about cholesterol? Doesn’t saturated fat raise people’s cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease?
NT: The evidence against saturated fat amounted to: 1. Very poorly controlled trials from the 1970s (whose flaws have since been revealed) and 2. The fact that saturated fats raise total cholesterol. In the late 1980s, it was discovered that total cholesterol is not, actually, a reliable predictor of heart disease, so the conversation shifted to LDL cholesterol, which saturated fat also raises. However, over the past decade, many studies have shown that LDL-C has also failed to be a reliable predictor of risk. The new science shows that certain subfractions of LDL are more accurate—and saturated fat has a good effect on these. Plus, saturated fat is the only kind of food that is known to increase HDL, the “good” kind of cholesterol. In short, saturated fat was condemned when the science was still primitive. The science has evolved, but experts are stuck in old paradigms due to longtime biases and support from the statin industry.

Robert Atkins vs. Dean Ornish (or fast forward to Gary Taubes vs. Mark Bittman)—What’s the truth?
NT: Robert Atkins, who was an early proponent of a high-fat diet, and Dean Ornish, who espoused a plant-based diet, were the two most famous diet doctors of their day. Speaking out against the low-fat dogma that had already infiltrated the popular imagination, Atkins was seen as a quack. He was curmudgeonly and ornery—the worst possible advocate for the low-carb diet. Compared to him, Ornish came across as a scientific man of reason. But it turns out that the studies Ornish conducted were too small to be meaningful. And in fact, most of the scientific literature shows that very low-fat diets, vegan and near-vegetarian diets, such as the kind Ornish recommends, lead to obesity and greater heart-attack risk. Meanwhile, Atkins has been vindicated. When he was alive, there were few scientific studies to back up his ideas,but the last decade has seen an explosion of rigorous clinical trials on the high-fat, low-carb diet. These trials have been ignored by the low-fat obsessed mainstream, but they show, definitively, that a high-fat diet is the best for health.

So what are the implications of your findings? How should we eat differently and how should national policy change?
NT: The most rigorous diet trials clearly show that a high-fat, low-carb diet is better for fighting obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The question is: what kind of fat should you eat?
If you want to get your fat from red meat, eggs, whole-fat dairy or coconut butter, there’s no data to show that’s not perfectly safe—and very likely healthier than vegetable oils. Our government should change its dietary recommendations to reflect the scientific evidence. Two immediate action items: It should let whole milk back into the WIC and school lunch programs. And it should not ban trans fats without first weighing the problems of toxic oxidation products from vegetable oils in restaurant fryers.
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  #18   ^
Old Mon, May-19-14, 16:11
Verbena Verbena is offline
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I have not read the book yet, but have read the comments and reviews that have been posted here. It sounds like a good read ... though I do wonder if it is different enough from other recently published books to warrant the expense of buying it.
But, from the article quoted above, I do have a couple of questions/comments.

Quote:
Also, no one’s ever been able to pinpoint any special, disease-fighting powers of olive oil—which turns out not to be an ancient foodstuff after all but a relatively recent introduction to the Mediterranean diet.


How recent is "recent"? The Romans were using olive oil during their time of Empire; the Jews were using olive oil during Old Testament times; there are amphorae littering the Mediterranean sea bottom from Greek/Roman/Egyptian etc. ships that went down while transporting olive oil. Or does "recent" mean any time more recent than Paleolithic times?

Quote:
And it should not ban trans fats without first weighing the problems of toxic oxidation products from vegetable oils in restaurant fryers.


Does this statement indicate that she thinks that trans fats are a better option than vegetable oils? Surely they are both bad, and should both be banned. With tallow replacing them in the deep fryers, of course.
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  #19   ^
Old Tue, May-20-14, 02:34
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ParisMama ParisMama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verbena
How recent is "recent"? The Romans were using olive oil during their time of Empire; the Jews were using olive oil during Old Testament times; there are amphorae littering the Mediterranean sea bottom from Greek/Roman/Egyptian etc. ships that went down while transporting olive oil. Or does "recent" mean any time more recent than Paleolithic times?


Funny, I just listened to this part last night, and the "olive oil is relatively recent (17th century)" bit really surprised me too! Enough so that I discussed it with my history-buff husband who not only was surprised, was incredulous, started also telling me how the Romans paid their soldiers in olive oil, etc.

It made me want to further investigate this assertion of hers for sure.

I'm pretty well-read in the low carb/paleo world - I've read both Taubes books, Volek/Phinney, Davis, Perlmutter, Sisson, etc - I'd say this book is more in the investigative style of Taubes, a bit of history weaving like Minger, but still has new angles and details.

I'm now at the point where she's going through trans fat (for sure she's negative on them, don't worry!) and you can see the artful weaving of the sugar/carbs thing starting to come at you. I'm not sure how many "regular" diet people would read a book like this, but the way she's leading up to the carb sucker-punch is more artful than Taubes (I'm a big fan of his, but I like things up-front and direct, probably more than the average person does). She's constructed the carb/sugar explanation a little like a butler in a mystery novel, that you suspect is going to play a larger role towards the end, and now in the middle of act 2 you're starting to see him popping up a little too much for him to just disappear into the book...

Anyone with info on the olive oil history thing I'd love to see details/links. I might need to download the chapter references, since I'm in the audio version...
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  #20   ^
Old Tue, May-20-14, 04:07
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JEY100 JEY100 is online now
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I thought Romans paid soldiers in salt, root of the word salary.
So add that to the list of things to Google

Did a little last night, and while olive oil goes back to Minoan and Greek cultures, the trees were considered sacred and a source for medicinal and ritual oils or given as an honor. Maybe her point being it was not a significant source of calories for the average person? Most of the first hits are olive oil companies who might embellish the storied history of the olive anyway.
Yesterday our library system agreed to purchase the book so eventually will check the sources for this surprising statement.

Last edited by JEY100 : Tue, May-20-14 at 04:14.
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  #21   ^
Old Tue, May-20-14, 04:23
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JEY100 JEY100 is online now
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Adele Hite gives us more reasons to buy the book even if you loved Taubes' GC, BC or if you found his prose challenging An inspiring and clever review with links to two other reviews (one Dr. Eades)

http://eathropology.com

If you don't follow Adele's blog, check it out. She use to work with Dr Westman, then went to UNC for her RD, now working on a PhD in Nutrition Epidemiology and has a balanced approach to many public health issues. Also director of Healthy Nation Coalition http://www.forahealthynation.org


Ps now I feel guilty about having the library order the book, but hey, they always order a minimum of 14 copies.

Last edited by JEY100 : Tue, May-20-14 at 14:49.
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  #22   ^
Old Tue, May-20-14, 12:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEY100
I thought Romans paid soldiers in salt, root of the word salary.
So add that to the list of things to Google

Did a little last night, and while olive oil goes back to Minoan and Greek cultures, the trees were considered sacred and a source for medicinal and ritual oils or given as an honor. Maybe her point being it was not a significant source of calories for the average person? Most of the first hits are olive oil companies who might embellish the storied history of the olive anyway.
Yesterday our library system agreed to purchase the book so eventually will check the sources for this surprising statement.


Olive oil was used for a lot of things, lamps, lubrication, etc. It's been around, but not soley as a dietary oil for sure.
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  #23   ^
Old Tue, May-20-14, 18:35
s-piper s-piper is offline
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Well whatever the use, olive oil cannot accurately be called new. There have been ancient olive oil presses found all across the Mediterranean.
Unless we're actually going to accuse the entire field of archeology (which itself is centuries old) of being a shill for the olive oil companies?
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  #24   ^
Old Wed, May-21-14, 05:27
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If olive oil was used for lamps etc., it makes sense that the modern petroleum industry would have nixed a major market for the stuff--just as petroleum byproducts replaced flaxseed (linseed) for finishing wood. There's no doubt that the olive oil industry is ancient, also no doubt that the fraction of oil produced that gets eaten has gone up as well. As far as how much got eaten... there's difficulty in figuring out just what people are eating now, let alone then.
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  #25   ^
Old Wed, May-21-14, 06:22
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ParisMama ParisMama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teaser
l As far as how much got eaten... there's difficulty in figuring out just what people are eating now, let alone then.


Ha ha ha! Love this!!!

Google hasn't helped me find the details of the history of olive oil food consumption. I'm going to let it go, frankly I trust my husband more on this than a thrown-off comment in this book that came in handy as she was discrediting the Mediterranean diet. (by the way, her reporting of this was new to me and really illustrates that all diet "research" is hogwash. I'll throw another few dollars at NuSi in hopes they can do it better...)
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  #26   ^
Old Wed, May-21-14, 17:34
Love2Write Love2Write is offline
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I strongly recommend reading this book.

The section on olive oil is actually quite long and detailed. Many, many pages.
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  #27   ^
Old Wed, May-21-14, 21:32
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CarolynC CarolynC is offline
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I've just finished listening to the audio version of the book. I highly recommend it!

The information on the fraudulent and bad science, along with misguided government intervention, that lead to public adoption of the low fat diet wasn't new to me, but it was still an interesting read. Ditto with the info on cholesterol. What I hadn't really known about was the history and research behind trans fats. I didn't even know about Fred Kummerow's >55 year fight to get the word out about the dangers of trans fats (which is still going on even though he's 99 years old). And, I hadn't heard about the food industries' replacements for trans fats or the fact that some of them might be even worse for human health than trans fats. There's some scary stuff out there, especially in the deep fat fryers of restaurants (like McDonalds uniforms catching on fire at the cleaners because of the fats now being used).

All in all, a few interesting and educational book.

Last edited by CarolynC : Wed, May-21-14 at 21:39.
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  #28   ^
Old Thu, May-22-14, 07:23
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ParisMama ParisMama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love2Write
I strongly recommend reading this book.

The section on olive oil is actually quite long and detailed. Many, many pages.


I strongly recommend it too - I listened to the audio version, and I'm joining the people pushing to try to make this a bestseller by ordering a few copies as gifts.

My comment on her treatment of olive oil was only related to the history of olive oil not being consumed in large quantities historically - that's the bit at odds with my knowledge of history and what my history-buff husband knows. I'm well aware of her long and interesting chapter on olive oil & the Mediterranean diet. In fact, I'll never give another moment's thought to Mediterranean diet recommendations after what she wrote (first nail in the coffin actually came to me from Denise Minger, this one went further, and did it in!).

Anyone hesitating about this book should go ahead and pick up a copy - it's really quite different from other books treating the same subject, it's well written and enjoyable, and there are new nuggets of information for even well-read low carbers.
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  #29   ^
Old Thu, May-22-14, 08:21
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Liz53 Liz53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEY100
Adele Hite gives us more reasons to buy the book even if you loved Taubes' GC, BC or if you found his prose challenging An inspiring and clever review with links to two other reviews (one Dr. Eades)

http://eathropology.com

If you don't follow Adele's blog, check it out. She use to work with Dr Westman, then went to UNC for her RD, now working on a PhD in Nutrition Epidemiology and has a balanced approach to many public health issues. Also director of Healthy Nation Coalition http://www.forahealthynation.org



Thanks for mentioning Adele Hite's blog. It's funny, irreverent, at times deliciously ascorbic. It's also extremely well written and ultimately sensible. She's on my list of regulars now.

Glad to see the good reviews of Big Fat Surprise. I started it last weekend, but got sidetracked. Can't wait to pick it up again.
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  #30   ^
Old Thu, May-22-14, 09:17
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aj_cohn aj_cohn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEY100
Jimmy Moore offers reasons why the well-read LCer will find something new in this book not already covered by GC, BC; Death by Food Pyramid, etc.
http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/...-teicholz/22762


I skimmed Moore's review and didn't find an indicator of anything that hasn't been already covered by other low-carb investigative research. In particular, Taubes and Ravnskov have demolished the research underpinning the low-fat dogma. From your perspective, what is the new information?
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