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Old 06-13-2014, 02:49 PM   #31
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Just to hit on a couple of points about the last posts. Yes, "Time" seems to hardly make any kind of splash anymore. We were always a "Time" home, never "Newsweek".

The fight is definitely there and we and others should ALWAYS look for "the other side of the story". But that's not what most of us Americans are going to do. We're going to go for the news bite, the sound blurb, the 30-second wrap up.

Tara, you really sparked a lightbulb moment in me talking about the real butter generation circa 1975. When the switch came to margarine, did KNOW why they did that? I was young but still I know I didn't and I know my mother who was buying it didn't. That's what "they" said was healthier and you couldn't miss it because that's what the ads were for. There were no "butter is healthy" TV ads, it was just butter and how good it tastes. But the margarine ads, well, all they HAD is "healthy" as the tag line. It could never beat butter in taste. What a perfect, graphic illustration of how manipulated we are by media, PR marketing, and PACs and lobbies. I mean, I KNOW that but you like to tell yourself, no, that wasn't MY family.

And here we are and we here have actual reasons WHY we are actively choosing to eat real butter that people just LOVE to criticize (Oh, how can you eat all that saturated fat? ick); but back then, not one single person queried you on your reasons for switching to margarine. It was never questioned. NEVER. I tell ya, that thought right there chills me how "group speak" it is, has always been, and continues to be. There's a small groundswell like those of us here, but it will always be an uphill battle of fighting for our choices.
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:59 PM   #32
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I'll be honest, low carb is mainly for my health and then my weight; BUT that I also feel like I'm sticking it to the "man" gives me a perverse thrill. I'm bucking the conventional low fat "wisdom" that is clearly NOT working for the people in this country and those people want me to subvert my own knowledge and research for THEIRS when it comes to MY body.
Don't worry, as soon as this catches on in a big way there'll be lots of people claiming the whole high-fat-low-carb phenomenon is a vast conspiracy by the meat, eggs and dairy farmers lobbies. All the big food processing companies will start making TV dinners and everything else around a HFLC theme, which will only embolden opponents of the HFLC scheme who will claim even more that it's also a giant money-making scheme by Big Industrial Concerns.

It's pretty predictable, actually.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:46 AM   #33
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When the switch came to margarine, did KNOW why they did that? I was young but still I know I didn't and I know my mother who was buying it didn't. That's what "they" said was healthier and you couldn't miss it because that's what the ads were for. There were no "butter is healthy" TV ads, it was just butter and how good it tastes. But the margarine ads, well, all they HAD is "healthy" as the tag line. It could never beat butter in taste. What a perfect, graphic illustration of how manipulated we are by media, PR marketing, and PACs and lobbies. I mean, I KNOW that but you like to tell yourself, no, that wasn't MY family.
It was exactly the same here in England so please don't let anyone beat yourselves up by thinking this was an exclusively American thing, and England in the 70's (I'm not trying to open any political debate btw) was VERY left-wing dominated, the unions and Labour (left-wing political party) had far more sway in this country than they do now, and yet it was still pushed via various methods as THE healthy, responsible thing to do.

I think maybe because 'post-modernism' and things like cybercrime, worries over vaccines, and all the stuff that's made us warier now of scientific-based 'progress' hadn't yet been exposed or become part of people's lives, and people trusted science to improve their lives a whole lot more?

People had just come out of WW2 which with the rationing thing was the first time people had been forced to accept ongoing wholescale govt. intervention in their food pantries and daily diets, and of course the govt (at least in the UK) had been in the habit of, very sensibly, issuing recommendations for recipes etc. to eke out the slim rations, so people had become accustomed to the idea of govt. telling you what to eat and that this was a good thing - which, during WW2, made sense.

This 'new healthy way of living' from the mid-70's which was grain-based, pasta over pork etc. had that same stamp of 'this is what responsible people do' and played to a generation who had been born into rationing as a way of life.

We also had the NHS running at its fullest here in England, and in America you guys had seen some amazing advances in what could be achieved by medicine in the 3 decades after WW2 ended, so (again politics aside) there were compelling voices from our healthcare providers telling us that the new better health services on offer approved of this new diet and that we'd best do our own part in deserving them, by eating what was recommended.

And backing all that up, it was the first time there was widespread public awareness of large-scale famine in other parts of the world, so the idea of 'slimming down' our western diet away from meat and towards grains, vegetable oils and lentils etc. probably seemed more appealing, even ethical, especially since the peace movement and the general vibe of the era was towards a 'fairer peace and love' kind of world. I mean, I'm generalising a lot there but I think that was the social backdrop to a lot of this stuff.

But when we look back at the mainstays of that 'wonderful new diet' like hydrogenated veg fat it makes your flesh creep, I mean I used to eat biscuits as a child, and that was THE key ingredient, proudly featured, and look at the trouble Mary Enig had to go to in order to wake people up to that menace.

It's crazy, you can guess my age from my screenname and I was of that generation where our grandparents were slim, and thankfully not blighted by cognitive decline, diabetes was rare, and usually Type 1 only, I'm not saying EVERYONE'S health was perfect but of the people their age my grandparents knew, their friends and former work colleagues, all of those people had clear sharp thinking and a basic level of fitness.

It worries me what damage has already been done in my case because although my mum resisted and cooked with lard for the most part, we did use margerine and like I said biscuits and chocolate were exclusively trans-fat based, and I was a skinny kid so encouraged to eat as much as I wanted of both...

Oh well, have to work with what we have now, my diet resembles that of my grandparents a lot more now and boy do I feel better on it.

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Old 06-14-2014, 09:15 AM   #34
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I often wondered why my grandparents and even more so my great grandparents were able to eat real full fat butter (lower in fat wasn't even produced here) and still stay fit and healthy. It was also rare for people to buy anything other than full fat milk. They also on average ate more fatty meat. You had to fight for the fattiest slices at the dinner table (I still see this difference today between old and young people).

The "low fat" campaigners would argue they weren't as sedentary back then and therefor could afford it more to eat more (saturated) fat. But the obesity epidemic skyrocketed in a relatively short period of time but on the other hand people became more sedentary gradually between generations. I also believe the difference isn't as much as many people believe. There were also people in the 50's who took their car everywhere and back then exercising to stay thin was almost unheard off (it didn't really become a popular idea until the 70's).

So yeah when I discovered low-carb the puzzle kinda came together. These generations did eat bread though but the full fat butter made them eat less of it and also you didn't have thousands of different high-carb snacks with wheat and sugar in them. They also actually ate less fruit because they didn't have a "5 a day" nutritionists back then (for some reason lots of people would guess they ate more fruit back then).

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Old 06-14-2014, 10:04 AM   #35
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They also actually ate less fruit because they didn't have a "5 a day" nutritionists back then (for some reason lots of people would guess they ate more fruit back then).
The primary difference I think was that nobody chugged back half a pint of fruit juice aka liquid fructose first thing in the morning every morning, along with a huge bowl of wheat or corn doused in low-fat milk, under the impression these things are excellent for health.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:16 AM   #36
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The primary difference I think was that nobody chugged back half a pint of fruit juice aka liquid fructose first thing in the morning every morning, along with a huge bowl of wheat or corn doused in low-fat milk, under the impression these things are excellent for health.
Yup. People were just fine with bacon and eggs.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:11 PM   #37
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Anyone read it?
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:34 PM   #38
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Ok here it is, first half:

Quote:



The taste of my childhood was the taste of skim milk. We spread
bright yellow margarine on dinner rolls, ate low-fat microwave oatmeal
flavored with apples and cinnamon, put nonfat ranch on our salads.
- We were only doing what we were told.


In 1977, the year before I was born, a Senate committee led by George McGovern published its landmark “Dietary Goals for the United States,” urging Americans to eat less high-fat red meat, eggs and dairy and replace them with more calories from fruits, vegetables and especially carbohydrates.

By 1980 that wisdom was codified. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its first dietary guidelines, and one of the primary directives was to avoid cholesterol and fat of all sorts. The National Institutes of Health recommended that all Americans over the age of 2 cut fat consumption, and that same year the government announced the results of a $150million study, which had a clear message: Eat less fat and cholesterol to reduce your risk of a heart attack.

The food industry—and American eating habits—jumped in step. Grocery shelves filled with “light” yogurts, low-fat microwave dinners, cheese-flavored crackers, cookies. Families like mine followed the advice: beef disappeared from the dinner plate, eggs were replaced at breakfast with cereal or yolk-free beaters, and whole milk almost wholly vanished. From 1977 to 2012, per capita consumption of those foods dropped while calories from supposedly healthy carbohydrates increased—no surprise, given that breads, cereals and pasta were at the base of the USDA food pyramid.

We were embarking on a “vast nutritional experiment,” as the skeptical president of the National Academy of Sciences, Philip Handler, put it in 1980. But with nearly a million Americans a year dropping dead from heart disease by the mid- ’80s, we had to try something.

Nearly four decades later, the results are in: the experiment was a failure. We cut the fat, but by almost every measure, Americans are sicker than ever. The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes increased 166% from 1980 to 2012. Nearly 1 in 10 American adults has the disease, costing the health care system $245 billion a year, and an estimated 86 million people are prediabetic. Deaths from heart disease have fallen—a fact that many experts attribute to better emergency care, less smoking and widespread use of cholesterol-controlling drugs like statins— but cardiovascular disease remains the country’s No. 1 killer. Even the increasing rates of exercise haven’t been able to keep us healthy. More than a third of the country is now obese, making the U.S. one of the fattest countries in an increasingly fat world. “Americans were told to cut back on fat to lose weight and prevent heart disease,” says Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. “There’s an overwhelmingly strong case to be made for the opposite.”

But making that case is controversial, despite the evidence to support it. The vilification of fat is now deeply embedded in our culture, with its love-hate relationship with food and its obsession over weight. It has helped reshape vast swaths of agriculture, as acre upon acre of subsidized corn was planted to produce the sweeteners that now fill processed foods. It has changed business, with the market for fat replacers—the artificial ingredients that take the place of fat in packaged food—growing by nearly 6% a year. It’s even changed the way we talk, attaching moral terms to nutrients in debates over “bad” cholesterol vs. “good” cholesterol and “bad” fat vs. “good” fat. All of this means the received wisdom is not going to change quietly. “This is a huge paradigm shift in science,” says Dr.Eric Westman, the director of the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, who works with patients on ultra-low-carb diets. “But the studies to support it do exist.” Research that challenges the idea that fat makes people fat and is a dire risk factor for heart disease is mounting. And the stakes are high—for researchers, for public-health agencies and for average people who simply want to know what to put in their mouth three times a day.

We have known for some time that fats found in vegetables like olives and in fish like salmon can actually protect against heart disease. Now it’s becoming clear that even the saturated fat found in a medium rare steak or a slab of butter—public health enemies Nos. 1 and 2—has a more complex and, in some cases, benign effect on the body than previously thought. Our demonization of fat may have backfired in ways we are just beginning to understand. When Americans cut back, the calories from butter and beef and cheese didn’t simply disappear. “The thinking went that if people reduced saturated fat, they would replace it with healthy fruits and vegetables,” says Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. “Well, that was naive.”

New research suggests that it’s the over-consumption of carbohydrates, sugar and sweeteners that is chiefly responsible for the epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Refined carbohydrates—like those in “wheat” bread, hidden sugar, low-fat crackers and pasta—cause changes in our blood chemistry that encourage the body to store the calories as fat and intensify hunger, making it that much more difficult to lose weight. “The argument against fat was totally and completely flawed,” says Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatrician at the University of California, San Francisco, and the president of the Institute for Responsible Nutrition. “We’ve traded one disease for another.”
The myopic focus on fat has warped our diet and contributed to the biggest health crises facing the country. It’s time to end the war.

The Fat Man: We have long been told that fewer calories and more exercise leads to weight loss. And we want to believe that science is purely a matter of data—that superior research will always yield the right answer. But sometimes research is no match for a strong personality. No one better embodies that than Dr. Ancel Keys, the imperious physiologist who laid the groundwork for the fight against fat. Keys first made his name during World War II, when he was asked by the Army to develop what would become known as the K ration, the imperishable food supplies carried by troops into the field. It was in the following years that the fear of heart disease exploded in the U.S., driven home by President Dwight Eisenhower’s heart attack in 1955. That year, nearly half of all deaths in the U.S. were due to heart disease, and many of the victims were seemingly healthy men struck down suddenly by a heart attack. “There was an enormous fear overtaking the country,” says Nina Teicholz, author of the new book The Big Fat Surprise. “The heart-disease epidemic seemed to be emerging out of nowhere.”

Keys had an explanation. He posited that high levels of cholesterol—a waxy, fatlike substance present in some foods as well as naturally occurring in the body— would clog arteries, leading to heart disease. He had a solution as well. Since fat intake raised LDL cholesterol, he reasoned that reducing fat in the diet could reduce the risk of heart attacks. (LDL cholesterol levels are considered a marker for heart disease, while high HDL cholesterol seems to be cardioprotective.) In the 1950s and ’60s, Keys sought to flesh out that hypothesis, traveling around the world to gather data about diet and cardiovascular disease. His landmark Seven Countries Study found that people who ate a diet low in saturated fat had lower levels of heart disease. The Western diet, heavy on meat and dairy, correlated with high rates of heart disease. That study helped land Keys in 1961 on the cover of Time, in which he admonished Americans to reduce the fat calories in their diet by a third if they wanted to avoid heart disease. That same year, following Keys’ strong urging, the American Heart Association (AHA) advised Americans for the first time to cut down on saturated fat. “People should know the facts,” Keys told Time. “Then if they want to eat themselves to death, let them.”

Keys’ work became the foundation for a body of science implicating fat as a major risk factor for heart disease. The Seven Countries Study has been referenced close to 1 million times. The vilification of fat also fit into emerging ideas about weight control, which focused on calories in vs. calories out. “Everyone assumed it was all about the calories,” says Lustig. And since fat contains more calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates, the thinking was that if we removed fat, the calories would follow. That’s what Keys, who died in 2004, believed, and now it’s what most Americans believe too. But Keys’ research had problems from the start. He cherry-picked his data, leaving out countries like France and West Germany that had high-fat diets but low rates of heart disease. Keys highlighted the Greek island of Crete, where almost no cheese or meat was eaten and people lived to an old age with clear arteries. But Keys visited Crete in the years following World War II, when the island was still recovering from German occupation and the diet was artificially lean. Even more confusing, Greeks on the neighboring isle of Corfu ate far less saturated fat than Cretans yet had much higher rates of heart disease. “It was highly flawed,” says Dr. Peter Attia, the president and director of the Nutrition Science Initiative, an independent obesity-research center. “It was not on the level of epidemiology work today.”

Keys’ unshakable confidence and his willingness to take down any researcher who disagreed with him was at least as important as his massive data sets. (When the biostatistician Jacob Yerushalmy published a 1957 paper questioning the causal relationship between fat and heart disease, Keys responded sharply in print, claiming that Yerushalmy’s data was badly flawed.) Keys’ research also played into a prevailing narrative that Americans had once eaten a largely plant-based diet before shifting in the 20th century to meals rich in red meat. Heart disease followed, as if we were being punished for our dietary sins. The reality is that hard numbers about the American diet are scant before mid-century and all but nonexistent before 1900. Historical records suggest Americans were always voracious omnivores, feasting on the plentiful wild game available throughout the country. In his book Putting Meat on the American Table, the historian Roger Horowitz concludes that the average American in the 19th century ate 150 to 200 lb. of meat per year—in line with what we eat now.

But the anti-fat message went mainstream, and by the 1980s it was so embedded in modern medicine and nutrition that it became nearly impossible to challenge the consensus. Dr. Walter Willett, now the head of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, tells me that in the mid-1990s, he was sitting on a piece of contrary evidence that none of the leading American science journals would publish. “There was a strong belief that saturated fat was the cause of heart disease, and there was resistance to anything that questioned it,” Willett says. “It turned out to be more nuanced than that.” He had been running a long-term epidemiological study that followed the diets and heart health of more than 40,000 middle-aged men. Willett found that if his subjects replaced foods high in saturated fat with carbohydrates, they experienced no reduction in heart disease. Willett eventually published his research in the British Medical Journal in 1996.

In part because of Willett’s work, the conversation around fat began to change. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—the kind found in some vegetables and fish—were found to be beneficial to heart health. The Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, nuts, vegetables and olive oil, surged in popularity. And it’s worth noting that the Mediterranean diet isn’t low in total fat—not at all. Up to 40% of its calories come from poly- and monounsaturated fat. Today, medical groups like the Mayo Clinic embrace this diet for patients worried about heart health, and even the fat-phobic AHA has become receptive to it. “There is growing evidence that the Mediterranean diet is a pretty healthy way to eat,” says Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, the chief science officer of the AHA.

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Old 06-24-2014, 01:35 PM   #39
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But what about saturated fat? Here, the popular wisdom has been harder to change. The 2010 USDA dietary guidelines recommend that Americans get less than 10% of their daily calories from saturated fat—the equivalent of half a pan-broiled hamburger minus the cheese, bacon and mayo it’s often dressed with. The AHA is even stricter: Americans over the age of 2 should limit saturated-fat intake to less than 7% of calories, and the 70 million Americans who would benefit from lowering cholesterol should keep it under 6% of calories—equal to about two slices of cheddar per day. Some experts say they just aren’t comfortable letting saturated fat off the hook. “When you replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, you lower LDL cholesterol,” says Dr. Robert Eckel, a past president of the AHA and a co-author of the group’s recent guidelines. “That’s all I need to know.” But that’s not the full picture. The more we learn about fat, the more complex its effects on the body appear.

The Truth About Fat the idea that saturated fat is bad for us makes a kind of instinctive sense, and not just because we use the same phrase to describe both the greasy stuff that gives our steak flavor and the pounds we carry around our middles. Chemically, they’re not all that different. The fats that course through our blood and accumulate on our bellies are called triglycerides, and high levels of triglycerides have been linked to heart disease. It doesn’t take much of an imaginative leap to assume that eating fats would make us fat, clog our arteries and give us heart disease. “It sounds like common sense—you are what you eat,” says Dr. Stephen Phinney, a nutritional biochemist who has studied low-carb diets for years.

But when scientists crunch the numbers, the connection between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease becomes more tenuous. A 2010 meta-analysis—basically a study of other studies—concluded that there was no significant evidence that saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Those results were echoed by another meta-analysis published in March in the Annals of Internal Medicine that drew on nearly 80 studies involving more than half a million subjects. A team led by Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, a cardiovascular epidemiologist at Cambridge University, concluded that current evidence does not support low consumption of saturated fats or high consumption of the polyunsaturated fats that are often considered heart healthy. Though the authors came under criticism for the way they evaluated the evidence, they stand behind the conclusion, noting that the aim of their study is to show the need for more research. “The main message is that there’s a lot more work that needs to be done,” says Chowdhury.

Given that the case on saturated fat was long considered closed, even calls to re-examine the evidence mark a serious change. But if the new thinking about saturated fats is surprising, it may be because we’ve misunderstood what meat and dairy do to our bodies. It’s incontrovertibly true that saturated fat will raise LDL-cholesterol levels, which are associated with higher rates of heart disease. That’s the most damning biological evidence against saturated fat. But cholesterol is more complicated than that. Saturated fat also raises levels of the so-called good HDL cholesterol, which removes the LDL cholesterol that can accumulate on arterial walls. Raising both HDL and LDL makes saturated fat a cardio wash.

Plus, scientists now know there are two kinds of LDL particles: small, dense ones and large, fluffy ones. The large ones seem to be mostly harmless—and it’s the levels of those large particles that fat intake raises. Carb intake, meanwhile, seems to increase the small, sticky particles that now appear linked to heart disease. “Those observations led me to wonder how strong the evidence was for the connection between saturated fat and heart disease,” says Dr. Ronald Krauss, a cardiologist and researcher who has done pioneering work on LDL. “There’s a risk that people have been steered in the wrong direction by using LDL cholesterol rather than LDL particles as a risk factor.”

It’s important to understand that there’s no such thing as a placebo in a diet study. When we reduce levels of one nutrient, we have to replace it with something else, which means researchers are always studying nutrients in relation to one another. It’s also important to understand that the new science doesn’t mean people should double down on cheeseburgers or stir large amounts of butter into their morning coffee, as do some adherents of ultra-low-carb diets. While saturated fat increasingly seems to have at worst a neutral effect on obesity and heart disease, other forms of fat may be more beneficial. There’s evidence that omega-3s, the kind of fat found in flaxseed and salmon, can protect against heart disease. A 2013 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a diet rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats significantly reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events.

And there is variety even within the category of saturated fats. A 2012 study found that fats in dairy—now the source from which Americans get most of their saturated fat—seem to be more protective than the fats found in meat. “The main issue here is comparative,” says Dr. Frank Hu, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health. “What are you comparing saturated fat to?”

The Unintended Diet: The food industry is nothing if not inventive. Faced with a fatwa against fat in the 1980s, manufacturers adjusted, lining grocery shelves with low-fat cookies, crackers and cakes. The thinking for consumers was simple: Fat is dangerous, and this product has no fat; therefore it must be healthy. This was the age of SnackWells, the brand of low-fat cookies introduced by Nabisco in 1992 that within two years had surpassed the venerable Ritz cracker to become the No. 1 snack in the nation. But without fat, something had to be added, and Americans wound up making a dangerous trade. “We just cut fat and added a whole lot of low-fat junk food that increased caloric intake,” says Dr. David Katz, the founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. “It was a diet of unintended consequences.”

Those consequences have been severe. From 1971 to 2000, the percentage of calories from carbohydrates increased nearly 15%, while the share of calories from fat fell—in line with expert recommendations. In 1992, the USDA recommended up to 11 servings a day of grains, compared with just two to three servings of meat, eggs, nuts, beans and fish combined. School districts across the country have banned whole milk, yet sweetened chocolate milk remains on the menu as long as it’s low-fat. The idea here was in part to cut calories, but Americans actually ended up eating more: 2,586 calories a day in 2010 compared with 2,109 a day in 1970. Over that same period, calories from flour and cereals went up 42%, and obesity and Type 2 diabetes became veritable epidemics. “It’s undeniable we’ve gone down the wrong path,” says Jeff Volek, a physiologist at the University of Connecticut.

It can be hard to understand why a diet heavy on refined carbs can lead to obesity and diabetes. It has to do with blood chemistry. Simple carbs like bread and corn may not look like sugar on your plate, but in your body, that’s what they’re converted to when digested. “A bagel is no different than a bag of Skittles to your body,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the incoming dean of nutrition science at Tufts University.

Those sugars stimulate the production of insulin, which causes fat cells to go into storage overdrive, leading to weight gain. Since fewer calories are left to fuel the body, we begin to feel hungry, and metabolism begins to slow in an effort to save energy. We eat more and gain more weight, never feeling full. “Hunger is the death knell of a weight-loss program,” says Duke’s Westman. “A low-fat, low-calorie diet doesn’t work.” Because as this process repeats, our cells become more resistant to insulin, which causes us to gain more weight, which only increases insulin resistance in a vicious circle. Obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high triglycerides and low HDL can all follow—and fat intake is barely involved. All calories, it turns out, are not created equal. “When we focus on fat, carbohydrates inevitably increase,” says Ludwig, who co-wrote a recent JAMA commentary on the subject. “You wouldn’t give lactose to people who are lactose intolerant, yet we give carbs to people who are carb intolerant.”

Ultra-low-carb diets have come in and out of vogue since Dr. Robert Atkins first began promoting his version nearly 50 years ago. (It has never been popular with mainstream medicine; the American Diabetic Association once referred to the Atkins diet as a “nutritionist’s nightmare.”) Studies by Westman found that replacing carbohydrates with fat could help manage and even reverse diabetes. A 2008 study in the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at more than 300 subjects who tried either a low-fat, a lowcarb or a Mediterranean-style diet found that people on the low-fat diet lost less weight than those on the low-carb or Mediterranean diet, both of which feature high amounts of fat. Those results aren’t surprising—study after study has found that it’s very difficult to lose weight on a very low-fat diet, possibly because fat and meat can produce a sense of satiety that’s harder to achieve with carbs, making it easier to simply stop eating.

Not every expert agrees. Dr. Dean Ornish, founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute, whose lowfat, almost vegan diet has been shown in one study to reverse arterial blockage, worries that an increase in animal-protein consumption can come with health problems of its own, pointing to studies that link red meat in particular to higher rates of colon cancer. There’s also the uncomfortable fact that meat, especially beef, has an outsize impact on the planet. Nearly a third of the earth’s total ice-free surface is used in one way or another to raise livestock. Even if eating more fat is better for us—which Ornish doesn’t believe—it could carry serious environmental consequences if it leads to a major increase in meat consumption. “These studies just tell people what they want to hear,” says Ornish. “There’s a reductionist tendency to look for the one magic bullet.”

The war over fat is far from over. Consumer habits are deeply formed, and entire industries are based on demonizing fat. TV teems with reality shows about losing weight. The aisles are still filled with low-fat snacks. Most of us still feel a twinge of shame when we gobble down a steak. And publishing scientific research that contradicts or questions what we have long been told about saturated fat can be as difficult now as it was for Willett in the ’90s. Even experts like Harvard’s Hu, who says people shouldn’t be concerned about total fat, draw the line at fully exonerating saturated fat. “I do worry that if people get the message that saturated fat is fine, they’ll [adopt] unhealthy habits,” he says. “We should be focusing on the quality of food, of real food.”

Nearly every expert agrees we’d be healthier if more of our diet were made up of what the writer Michael Pollan bluntly calls “real food.” The staggering rise in obesity over the past few decades doesn’t just stem from refined carbohydrates messing with our metabolism. More and more of what we eat comes to us custom-designed by the food industry to make us want more. There’s evidence that processing itself raises the danger posed by food. Studies suggest that processed meat may increase the risk of heart disease in a way that unprocessed meat does not.

How we eat—whether we cook it ourselves or grab fast-food takeout—matters as much as what we eat. So don’t feel bad about the cream in your coffee or the yolks in your eggs or the occasional steak with béarnaise if you’ve got the culinary chops—but don’t think that the end of the war on fat means all the Extra Value Meals you can eat. As Katz puts it, “the cold hard truth is that the only way to eat well is to eat well.” Which, I’m thankful to note, doesn’t have to include skim milk.

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Old 06-24-2014, 01:44 PM   #40
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Thanks Geiri for posting the article!
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:52 PM   #41
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:58 PM   #42
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Thanks for posting the article.

BTW, Publix has Kerrygold on sale this week! I got some. Not sure how many months I went w/o butter but it sure tastes good! And guilt-free, too.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:02 PM   #43
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It was alright but it annoys me how the "don't just yet go out and stuff yourself with steaks and butter" message always has to be a part of it. I was hoping for it to be a little more aggressive considering the front page headline.

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Old 06-24-2014, 04:49 PM   #44
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Thanks for posting. And I agree with you - there really wasn't enough vilification of carbohydrates (i.e. the whole grains and pastas and the like), and there's still the mantra not to load up on saturated fact, a/k/a the "eat it in moderation" BS.

My 90 year old father-in-law moved in with us in March. He had a *horrible* diet prior to moving in with us. Lots of pasta, bread and sugar, and pretty much zero vegetables. He was born and raised in Italy, so pastas were a huge part of his staple diet. He had a heart attack in 2003 and ended up with multiple bypass. He's lost almost 25 lbs. since he moved in with us. I've been feeding him lots of healthy fats and good veggies.

The other day I went down to the basement refrigerator to bring up more eggs (we buy them 5 dozen at a time from our farmer) and I saw that he'd gone shopping. In less than a week he'd gone through a bag of fun-size Snicker bars and a gallon of some junky Mexican fruit punch type drink. The first three ingredients in this "juice" drink were water, high fructose corn syrup and corn oil! Yet, he told us that he no longer wanted us to add coconut oil to his morning coffee (even though it worked wonders for his chronic constipation that he's had for years and years) because he was afraid that it would clog his arteries. I tried to explain that it's all the bread and sugar that he's eating, and not the healthy fats that I've been giving him, but he seems to think I'm just crazy. I can't wait to show him this article.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:36 PM   #45
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Thank you Geiri for posting the article.

Its amazing when you think about it, how one megalomaniac (Dr. Ansel Keys) was able to mislead and bully a country for decades.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:48 PM   #46
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I don't think I was ever really against saturated fat, just tried to limit it. I still do. I like to vary my fats. But what I didn't get was that vegetarian does not necessarily equal healthy. I was giving myself a green light to eat whatever, as long as it didn't contain animal. I do love veggies, but breads/noodles/tortillas/brownies were easier. I still eat those, but I watch portions now. And I have dramatically cut sugar. I think that's the take-away message, really. We, as a nation (the US), consume too much carb because we love refined flour and portions are gargantuan. I personally don't care to consume animals, but nutritionally speaking, I don't condemn that. I don't condemn it morally, either, so if you are a meat-eater, I do not feel you are doing anything wrong. It's a personal thing for me. I just wanted to put that out there.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:49 PM   #47
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By the way, Mr. Geiri, thank you for taking the time to post the article here. Fortunately, I was able to read a copy, but some people missed it.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:46 PM   #48
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Thanks for posting this Geiri. My Barnes & Noble was out of the magazine. Glad I didn't miss it. It really doesn't bother me that they don't get more 'hard core'. At least the message is getting out in the mainstream. I think Dr. Lustig is huge in pushing this message. This is a far cry from calling Dr. Atkins before congress to testify about his 'unhealthy' diet.

Angel Keys has a lot to answer for, for sure.
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