The quick answer: A new voice has joined the crusade to restore traditional fats to the healthy American’s diet. (Which means removing unhealthy factory-processed vegetable oils.)
Good Fat—Bad Fat
The Wall Street Journal—usually a source of business news—just landed with both feet in the battle over healthy fats. Nina Teicholz’s May 2nd essay, “The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease, supports points we’ve been making in Word of Wisdom Living, namely:
- Despite what the government has been saying for 50 years, traditional fats—butter, cheese, full-fat milk, and eggs—should be part of a healthy diet. What is unhealthy are the low-fat and nonfat processed foods that Food Inc has been pushing as a substitute. In our home we enjoy traditional fats including butter, cheese, whole milk, EVOO, and eggs. We avoid reduced fat products.
- Despite what the government has been saying for 50 years, modern factory-processed vegetable oils are not healthy. These oils are the foundation of the processed food industry—the bakery section, chip, cookie and cracker aisles of your grocery store are full of them. Ditto for prepared foods in the frozen section. Factory-processed vegetable oils are a serious health concern—we don’t allow them in our home.
- WOWL's Healthy Change #2 addresses a particular fat problem: Avoid deep fat fried foods. There are two problems with these oils that sit for days at high temperatures: a) oils that have been hydrogenated contain harmful trans fats. b) non-hydrogenated oils oxidize faster in the fryers creating toxic byproducts (see #4). Scientists suspect a link to brain diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease.
- The toxic byproducts noted in #3 have, as Teicholz states, “dramatic inflammatory and oxidative effects.” We don’t know what they all are but two groups—monochloropropane diols and glycidol esters—are now causing concern among health authorities in Europe. (The Europeans just seem to have more common sense about food.)
- Vegetable oils, factory processed, now constitute over 7% of the average American’s caloric intake—the biggest and most worrisome 20th Century change in the American diet. (Rising sugar and high fructose corn syrup intake is another big problem.)
- Because Americans cut back on natural fats as advised by governmental and other authorities like the AHA, Americans now eat more sugar and refined carbs and this is a big factor in the overweight/obesity surge in recent decades and the consequent surge in diabetes and related diseases. It's a sad story.
- Fat doesn’t cause you to add body fat—though many think so. But sugar and refined carbs raise your insulin level and insulin causes you to store and retain excess fat. It’s contrary to what you’ve heard but to lose fat, eat more fat and less sugar and refined carbs.
Telcholz’s WSJ article states the issues between natural and factory-processed fats more clearly than I have yet seen in the media. (And supports the Healthy Changes Word of Wisdom Living has promoted from the beginning.) The last such article was by Gary Taubes in the N. Y. Times: “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie.” Taubes wrote 12 years ago, and in more detail. Teicholz succinctly updates the emerging truth about fats.
Nina Teicholz has a book coming out, available now in Kindle: The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. I thought you would want to know about it.