Since 2012, I’ve read most of the books comparing the low-fat/high-carbohydrate and high-fat/low-carbohydrate diets, and how they affect human health. Although I was late in reading Gary Taubes’ book, Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), he started the shift in my thoughts. In Chapter Three, he writes,
“By 1977, when the notion that dietary fat causes heart disease began its transformation from speculative hypothesis to nutritional dogma, no compelling new scientific evidence had been published. What had changed was the public attitude toward the subject. Belief in saturated fat and cholesterol as killers achieved a kind of critical mass when an anti-fat, anti-meat movement evolved independent of the science.”
A few books later, I read Nina Teicholz’s book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. David Perlmutter, M.D. wrote this on the back cover,
“Nina Teicholz reveals the disturbing underpinnings of the profoundly misguided dietary recommendations that have permeated modern society, culminating in our overall health decline. But The Big Fat Surprise is refreshingly empowering. This wonderfully researched story provides the reader with total validation for welcoming healthful fats back to the table, paving the way for weight loss, health, and longevity.”
On page 334, she says that our fear of saturated fats is unsubstantiated and…
”This fear may have seemed reasonable once but persists now only because it fits the preconceptions of researchers, clinicians, and public health authorities; it conforms with their prejudices. “
Their books changed my life. I give them a lot of credit for my conversion from being anti-cheese to pro-cheese. I know that Nina consumes high-quality cheese because I had dinner with her at a Manhattan French restaurant in February, and we shared a delicious cheese plate before dinner. I’ve never heard Gary Taubes mention cheese, so I don’t know if he eats it. Most of the authors that I’ve read have admitted that they love artisan cheese. Only a handful are against it.
2012 was a good year for me. I published my first book on how to prevent childhood obesity and added high-quality cheese to my diet. I was released from “fat prison,” and loving every minute of it.
What is striking is that some people are still following the low-fat/high-carb diet! In fact, a recent poll showed that 47 percent of Americans intentionally avoid dietary fat and continue to eat an abundance of carbs and sugar. Amazing! Everyday, I see another headline denouncing the evils of fat. How is it possible that almost half of us in the US, are following old guidelines?
In case you haven’t yet adopted the new dietary approach, which includes healthy fats and limits processed carbohydrates and sugar, start with a new book, written by Jeffrey Gerber, M.D. and Ivor Cummins, titled: Eat Rich, Live Long. Last week, I loaned my copy with my doctor and endorsed it with great enthusiasm. Please read this book!
If you want to know how fat was vilified for decades, read Nina’s book. If you think that the number of calories consumed dictates how much you weigh, read Gary’s book. Oh, I could list twenty more books, but if you have read their work, you are already well-informed.
What about cheese?
I’ve learned that high-quality cheese is healthy…for many reasons. Every genre is different; every cheese is different. The health aspect of cheese depends on many factors, such as:
1. What kind of animal provided the milk?
2. How was the animal treated and cared for?
3. Was the animal grass-fed, pasture-raised, allowed to roam around?
6. Quality of grass in pastures
7. Quality of food fed to animals
8. Amount of anti-biotics injected into animals who aren’t sick
9. Amount of other chemicals injected or fed to the animal
10. Breed of animal
11. Was the cheese made from raw milk or pasteurized?
12. Length of aging time and condition of the aging facility
13. Sanitation techniques of cheese-making facility, transportation of milk, etc.
14. And many more!
For me, knowing that I don’t have to look for low-fat or non-fat cheese is a big deal. I always buy full-fat cheese and dairy, when available. The authors of my collection of books have convinced me that sugar is the evil one…not fat. Junky, refined carbs are also useless in my diet. My research on cheese nutrition has opened many doors. I’m so thankful to my professional cheese friends for embracing me, even though I’m an outsider to their world. Since attending my first American Cheese Society conference in 2012, I have many new friends. In in my previous career, we wouldn’t have been a good match due to the lack of common interests—plus, I was preaching the low-fat message against cheese. No more! I’m joyfully on the cheese wagon, beating the drum with the band.
Thank you, Gary and Nina, for releasing me from fat prison. The cheese doors are swinging wide open. It’s time to celebrate!