Nina Teicholz covers the history of food recommendations in American history. Along the way she talks about fad diets, popular trends, myths, misconceptions, and outright lies designed to line the pockets of the people who benefit from a fat and lazy American population. Nina Teicholz goes out of her way to give the benefit of the doubt to these people who actively grew rich while we all grew fat.
I would send them off to The Hague for crimes against humanity.
Like Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, Nina tells the story of how it was a really bad idea to switch from natural animal fats, such as lard, tallow, suet, and butter to fats created in a lab, such as trans fats and vegetable oils. She does say good things about Palm Oil and Coconut Oil, both saturated fats.
The bottom line is that saturated fats are good and fats made in a lab are bad. The Big Fat Surprise is that this has been known for over a hundred years and yet there has been an active campaign to blame saturated fats for everything from obesity to heart disease. Like Taubes before her, she quotes a lot of sources and tells how Native Populations all go from perfectly healthy to fat and sick once they start eating a Western Diet high in processed carbohydrates. It is a bit amazing that there are still people who refuse to believe that what humans ate since the dawn of time was better for them than the plastic foodstuffs we eat now.
Near the end of The Big Fat Surprise Nina rides to the defense of Dr. Atkins, who got rich, but never got the respect he deserved. Yeah, he was right about the whole low carb thing.
I liked The Big Fat Surprise and it is well worth reading. But like the advice offered in Good Calories, Bad Calories, knowing you should never eat another processed foodstuff is a lot easier said than done. In fact, I’m not even sure that it’s possible to do in our modern age of wonders. Not without raising your own food or spending a lot of money. White flour, white sugar, white rice, and corn syrup are all rock bottom cheap and used by every food manufacturer in America. While a diet made up of grass fed meat, cage free eggs, and whole milk can be a bit pricey.
As with all such books, The Big Fat Surprise is basically preaching to the choir.