Fact-checked by Dr. Anthony Gustin, DC, MS.
Written by Brenda Godinez
Remember the old-school food pyramid you were taught in school?
According to your teacher, mother, and the government, you could achieve optimal health by eating 6 or more servings of grains per day while keeping dairy, meat, fats, and oils at a minimum.
That food pyramid has since been quietly retired, but our current nutritional guidelines are still based on the same principles: cut the fat and stick to grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The only issue is it’s all wrong.
That’s what Nina Teicholz discovered while she was doing research for her best selling book The Big Fat Surprise, which revealed why we should be eating more saturated fat.
Nina is an investigative science journalist, author, and founder of Nutrition Coalition, a group that strives to create evidence-based dietary guidelines.
Nina did almost 10 years of research on fats, nutrition policy and health for her book, and she discovered something most people would have a hard time believing: The nutritional guidelines backed by all major health institutions, schools, and doctors are based on either completely flawed evidence or none at all.
She found that the studies linking saturated fat and heart disease were flaky and unreliable, but they still served as the basis for the first low-fat nutritional recommendations in the 1980s.
When scientist ran rigorous trials hoping to proof that fat and cholesterol caused heart disease and obesity, they found saturated fat didn’t increase the risk for these diseases.
However, instead of changing their advice, health institutions buried and ignored these findings and continued to peddle a low-fat dogma.
Essentially, all evidence that favored saturated fats was erased from the nutrition narrative.If you look at obesity in America, it’s fairly low and then in 1980 it just shoots up. It’s a really hard turn upwards and that was the same year that we launched our dietary guidelines for all Americans. Click To Tweet
Join me as I sit down with Nina to talk about why this unfounded demonization of saturated fat has fueled the current health epidemic and the important reasons you should enjoy a high fat diet.
In this episode we go over:
- Why scientists believed fat and cholesterol caused heart disease
- The two best possible explanations for heart disease
- Why the negative research about saturated fat is plain wrong
- How faulty data got made into nutritional policy
- How health institutions put America on a low-fat, high grain diet — and why it made us fatter and sicker
- Why saturated fat is crucial for overall health
- The shocking reason your doctor doesn’t recommend a high fat diet (and why he should)
- The health consequences of manufacturing low-fat foods
- How the vegetable oil industry profited from the low-fat craze
- The dangerous side effects of vegetable oils
- The difference between epidemiology studies and randomized clinical trials
- How to know when you’re reading news based on bad science
- The difference between saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
- The conflict of interest between food companies, pharmaceutical companies, and health institutions
- Why the press is hostile to science that contradicts the low-fat or vegetarian dogma
- The disconnection between policymakers and nutrition evidence
- Why having nutrition guidelines based on evidence matters
- How Nina’s health changed after she started eating red meat again
- Nina’s diet staples
Listen to the Episode
Mentioned in This Episode
- Nina’s book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
- Nina’s website
- Study: Women’s Health Initiative
- Nutrition Coalition
- Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketones
- What Does 30 Grams of Fat Look Like? Not All Fats Are Created Equal
- Does Fat Make You Fat? Research Shows the Real Culprit May Surprise You
- Macadamia Nuts are 75% Fat (+ That’s Just One of the Reasons They’re Healthy)
- Butter, Bacon, and Fat: The Truth About Keto Cholesterol May Surprise You
- The Canola Oil Myth: 10 Reasons Why It’s Damaging Your Health