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Agricultural News

Author Getting Americans to Rethink Nutrition

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:57:49 CDT

 Author Getting Americans to Rethink Nutrition

The way Americans think about food may change in the near future. There is growing support for the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products. Nina Teicholz, author of the book 'The Big Fat Surprise' spoke this week at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association annual convention in Oklahoma City. She shared how these animal by products are not as bad as what consumers have been lead to believe.

"It makes the case for why saturated fats, even though they have been the main dietary culprit for 50 years in red meat, cheese, butter, dairy, eggs," Teicholz said. "Those fats are not bad for health it turns out ."

Reporters interviewed Teicholz at the convention, including Radio Oklahoma Network's Leslie Smith. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the full conversation.

In writing her book this investigative reporter studied the science and the politics that has been shaping the nation's dietary guidelines. She found weak science has been used to determine the nation's nutritional policy. The first anti-saturated fat guideline was put out by the American Heart Association in 1961. Since then she found there has been a small group of individuals who have shaped the nation's dietary guidelines and any scientist who has criticized that science was basically expelled from the scientific community and these individuals didn't get their work published, they did not receive research grants and were not invited to speak on panels. This left a small group of individuals Teicholz, called 'Nutrition Aristocrats' who basically controlled the main institutions in charge of the nation's nutrition guidelines.

More than 50 years later, Teicholz said that is still the case today with a small circle of scientists who control the expert panels with the American Heart Association and the US Department of Agriculture, the two most important groups issuing recommendations. She said still today critics can not get their papers published and do not get invited to those panels. She said that is evident in the latest dietary guidelines as Americans have been lead to believe that low fat is better than saturated fat. The dietary committee has doubled down on saturated fat over the last 35 years.

"We have ramped up carbohydrates by 25 percent, we've decreased our saturated fat by 11 percent," Teicholz said. "We have complied with the dietary guidelines and they clearly haven't worked."

Teicholz can make the case that the exact opposite is true and that the nation's dietary guidelines have moved completely in the wrong direction when it comes to reversing obesity. Research has found fat is a necessary part of the diet. She thinks the dietary committee needs to reckon with the science.

"The bottom line is that a high fat diet that is restrictive in carbohydrates is really the best one for health ," Teicholz said. "There are now dozens of clinical trials on all together thousands of people showing that eating more fat including saturated fat in meat, butter, dairy, cheese, eggs leads to better outcomes in terms of obesity, diabetes and heart disease."

With the current strategy not working the arguments to keep animal by products limited have become evident. Teicholz has found in recent years the environment has become part of the discussion in updating the nation's dietary guidelines. She said the environment is another reason to justify a low saturated fat recommendation. That's disturbing as the dietary committee are not experts when it comes to environment.

"They are engaging now in basically mission creep beyond their mandates to also look at environmental questions," Teicholz said.

As the government looks to update the nation's dietary guidelines, Teicholz encouraged the beef industry to push the committee along with US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack along with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to look at this latest research. If the dietary committee is too biased to look at the science, she encouraged the beef industry to call upon Congress to intervene.

Click here to learn more about the author of 'The Big Surprise' - Nina Teicholz



Reporters at TCFA Convention interview Nina Teicholz
right-click to download mp3


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