4

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Is mainstream exposure to the benefits of fat a good thing?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 20, 2010 at 2:04 PM

It's nice to see mainstream media showing some love for fat! The article is not specifically about paleo, but I love the message. I think my favorite quotes are:

"Fat is not the problem," says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases."

and

"The country's big low-fat message backfired," says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. "The overemphasis on reducing fat caused the consumption of carbohydrates and sugar in our diets to soar. That shift may be linked to the biggest health problems in America today."

Here's the link to the full article.

As has been noted in some comments, the author makes some broad generalizations about carbs. What do you think? Is this kind of exposure a good thing overall?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on December 21, 2010
at 02:57 PM

@Stancel: great points. Jimmy on his podcast when talking with the twinkie guy actually pointed something similar out: that when eating primarily only twinkies the guy wasn't actually eating a whole bunch of carbs like some would like to think. His fat (although bad fats) intake was possibly higher? As far as macronutrient ratios go it can be very misleading. I agree that a lot of these type of articles are overcomplicating the issue. Perhaps the easiest thing is something Jack lalene said a long time ago: if man made it, dont eat it. Simple.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on December 21, 2010
at 04:46 AM

@Dale -- can you put this in form of a question?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:35 PM

Point well taken, but the fat in donuts, Reese's, etc, are not healthy fats either. Donuts qualify in my mind to be the most damaging: sugar and wheat fried in rancid trans-fatty veg oil. They actually take the oil after other fast food joints can no longer use it - yuck!

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 20, 2010
at 06:59 PM

The problem is that they are promoting bad science by conflating "carbs" with refined sugar and refined grains. It's like if someone conflated trans fats/PUFAs with all fats. Someone would have to call them on it.

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on December 20, 2010
at 04:41 PM

I was looking at it as baby steps. The more people that open their eyes and realize that fat is good the better.

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3 Answers

5
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 20, 2010
at 03:01 PM

They are dispensing with fat-phobic dogma only to introduce a new scary demon: carbohydrates.

I just have to laugh because they claim to be so educated. What kind of nutritionist puts potatoes in the same category as junk food?

This idea that "sugary snacks" are somehow symbols of a low-fat diet is absurd. People who actually read the nutrition facts on the label of these snacks will see they have fat, even more calories from fat. Let's be fair and stop painting junk food as fat-free sugar bombs. Junk food is not such a narrow category. Of the 210 calories in a package of Reese's Cups, 110 are from fat. A Snickers bar has 280 calories, 130 from fat. Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donut, 190 calories, 100 from fat. I could go on with cookies, ice cream and other goodies. Not really shocking.

In fact their headline picture is a picture of donuts. As if that is low-fat. I am not a low-fat diet advocate, or low-carb. I just hate all this BS. Why lead people astray into fearing healthy foods that just so happen to be high in carbs? Because that's what this kind of stuff could do.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on December 21, 2010
at 02:57 PM

@Stancel: great points. Jimmy on his podcast when talking with the twinkie guy actually pointed something similar out: that when eating primarily only twinkies the guy wasn't actually eating a whole bunch of carbs like some would like to think. His fat (although bad fats) intake was possibly higher? As far as macronutrient ratios go it can be very misleading. I agree that a lot of these type of articles are overcomplicating the issue. Perhaps the easiest thing is something Jack lalene said a long time ago: if man made it, dont eat it. Simple.

209d2fc1f43df88348031c7c38077172

(693)

on December 20, 2010
at 04:41 PM

I was looking at it as baby steps. The more people that open their eyes and realize that fat is good the better.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:35 PM

Point well taken, but the fat in donuts, Reese's, etc, are not healthy fats either. Donuts qualify in my mind to be the most damaging: sugar and wheat fried in rancid trans-fatty veg oil. They actually take the oil after other fast food joints can no longer use it - yuck!

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 20, 2010
at 06:59 PM

The problem is that they are promoting bad science by conflating "carbs" with refined sugar and refined grains. It's like if someone conflated trans fats/PUFAs with all fats. Someone would have to call them on it.

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 21, 2010
at 04:11 AM

Prob is, they are still pushing the grain oils and painting all fats with the same brush and all carbs with the same brush.

Also, might be very confusing before it gets better. Lower carb and avoidance of processed foods is picking up, but the other side is still strong. Just today, there was an article in the local San Diego newspaper touting the healthiness of veganism. But on the plus side, they also wanted you to eliminate all processed foods and all sugar. That's a lot of stuff to cut out! I'm glad I can still eat my meat every night! ;-)

0
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 20, 2010
at 07:50 PM

A step in the right direction. They're going to need a new scapegoat once fat's name is cleared, so voila! carbohydrates.

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