Monday, May 5, 2014

Saturated Fat: Marketing Anti-Fat Righteousness

"Everything in moderation" was my advice growing up, but history indicates Americans joyfully embrace righteousness and the more-is-more senario.  Nina Teicholz discusses the links between science, marketing, politics and saturated fat in her recent article, The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease.
"Saturated fat does not cause heart disease"—or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine....The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias.Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Keys was formidably persuasive and, through sheer force of will, rose to the top of the nutrition world—even gracing the cover of Time magazine—for relentlessly championing the idea that saturated fats raise cholesterol and, as a result, cause heart attacks....Critics have pointed out that Dr. Keys violated several basic scientific norms in his study....Our half-century effort to cut back on the consumption of meat, eggs and whole-fat dairy has a tragic quality. More than a billion dollars have been spent trying to prove Ancel Keys's hypothesis, but evidence of its benefits has never been produced. It is time to put the saturated-fat hypothesis to bed and to move on to test other possible culprits for our nation's health woes.
Ms. Teicholz has been researching dietary fat and disease for nearly a decade. Her book, "The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet," will be published by Simon & Schuster on May 13, 2014.
Saturated Fat Foothills, from Processed Views

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