News highlights, market trends, and original data analysis related to the U.S. retail food & beverage industry … by Jay Nargundkar
Steer clear of red meat. Butter is bad. Eggs too. All of these foods have saturated fats, something most of us grew up learning to avoid. But recent science may be turning that notion on its head. “Saturated fat does not cause heart disease,” reports a widely-trumpeted preview of a study published last month.
A prominent Wall Street Journal article published this weekend lays out the history of the anti-saturated fat movement in the U.S. and paints it as a misguided campaign that has steered Americans toward excess carbohydrates:
The problem is that carbohydrates break down into glucose, which causes the body to release insulin—a hormone that is fantastically efficient at storing fat. Meanwhile, fructose, the main sugar in fruit, causes the liver to generate triglycerides and other lipids in the blood that are altogether bad news. Excessive carbohydrates lead not only to obesity but also, over time, to Type 2 diabetes and, very likely, heart disease… The reality is that fat doesn’t make you fat or diabetic. Scientific investigations going back to the 1950s suggest that actually, carbs do.
Earlier, the New York Times’ Mark Bittman used the news about the study to go after a different villain — processed foods:
The real villains in our diet — sugar and ultra-processed foods — are becoming increasingly apparent. You can go back to eating butter, if you haven’t already. This doesn’t mean you abandon fruit for beef and cheese; you just abandon fake food for real food, and in that category of real food you can include good meat and dairy.
Food for thought, certainly. Yet an easier and more common sense approach to nutrition in general, instead of pinballing back and forth based on the latest hyped study, is far less sexy: moderation in all aspects of one’s diet, paired with regular exercise.