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A Big Fat Debate

The low-fat trend finally appears to be on its way out. The notion that saturated fats are detrimental to our health is deeply embedded in our Zeitgeist—but shockingly, the opposite just might be true. For over 50 years the medical establishment, public health officials, nutritionists, and dieticians have been telling the American people to eat a low-fat diet, and in particular, to avoid saturated fats. Only recently, have nutrition experts begun to encourage people to eat “healthy fats.”

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Big Cheese vs. Real Cheese

As shocking as the news is that the United States Department of Agriculture facilitated a cheese bailout with a $12 million marketing campaign to help sell Domino’s Pizza, I believe there is much more to the New York Times story as it affects average Americans and their ever-expanding waist lines.

The story makes a strong case for the correlation between saturated fat consumption and obesity. Michael Moss nails the issue of the USDA’s two-sided policy: promoting cheese consumption in the form of Domino’s Pizza, while simultaneously working to fight obesity by discouraging some of these very same foods.

But as I see it, cheese in itself is not the problem—the issues are deeper and more complex than that. Conventional wisdom says that saturated fat is bad and at the root of the American obesity and diabetes epidemics. The Times article says, “[O]ne slice contains as much as two-thirds of the day’s maximum recommended amount of saturated fat, which has been linked to heart disease.” But let’s look a little deeper at this claim. Read more