• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

rlibkind

More on the fat wars

19 posts in this topic

I thought this was an excellent article, probably because it affirms my own thinking. I have not yet read her book, but I have preordered it. The article, IMO, is a start but does not go far enough. Maybe her book does.

First, the quality of meat matters. The meat reflects what the meat eats. Animals fed high quality food and what naturally suits them are going to produce meats that have healthier fats. Taking an idea from a book I'm reading, if you were a cannibal, would you want to eat the average American on a junk food diet? Shudder... Gimme an American who eats pastured animals and butter from grass fed cows!

Second, there are studies that purport to show (red) meat is bad for you. People that eat lots of meat have more disease. Reread the articles and/or studies with the following mindset: People whose diet has high percentage of meat don't eat many vegetables. People who don't eat vegetables have lots of diseases. People who eat lots of vegetables but little meat don't get these diseases as often. The studies also sometimes show that adding a little bit of veggies completely negates all the bad effects of meat. It's a plausible alternate explanation, but not as newsworthy. Meat kills! Vs. Eat your veggies!

I did not understand the points in the WSJ article linked and my points until recently. Slightly more than six months ago, I was borderline obese, and my doc wanted me on statins, despite the risks. Embracing fats, plants, and fiber, I am now 40 lbs lighter, healthy weight, better than "optimal" lipids, and many - no all - of my chronic aches and pains are gone. I have no seasonal allergies for the first time in decades. My doc said he has never seen such a dramatic change, ever.

And the eating has never been better.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Embracing fats, plants, and fiber, I am now 40 lbs lighter, healthy weight, better than "optimal" lipids, and many - no all - of my chronic aches and pains are gone. I have no seasonal allergies for the first time in decades. My doc said he has never seen such a dramatic change, ever.

And the eating has never been better.

 

Can you give us some more details about the better eating?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes - can you be a little more detailed about your typical diet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you give us some more details about the better eating?

In the context above, I was referring to the taste of the food. Whereas, e.g., I usually had oatmeal with skim milk for breakfast, I now have a two egg omelette cooked in goat butter with cheese from grass fed cows. With some added vegetables, of course. Full fat yogurt instead of no fat. No obsessive trimming of fat from, say, a ribeye from pastured animal. Butter on baked potatoes. Lard in my beans.

After a lifetime of being told to avoid saturated fats and to use vegetable oils, I had to overcome my aversion to are the good fats. Tasty stuff!

But I get lots of fiber, more than 100 g per day (I supplement too). And the amount of meat I eat is far less than I ate before, even though the calories as a percentage from fat is higher. I find the typical restaurant portions of meat to be ridiculously large (I often take about half home) and the vegetable portion to be far too small. I usually order two or three veggie sides and eat them myself.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes - can you be a little more detailed about your typical diet?

I think most of the magic is in the fiber. I am a big fan of the guy who founded the Human Food Project, and its motto is something along the lines of "No one needs to tell a giraffe what to eat, so why should humans be any different?" He is the one who got me started on high fiber. My body is now self-regulating, and I do not have to use any will power to avoid foods or to avoid eating too much. If I eat a lot one day, my body responds by naturally suppressing my hunger the next day or by making me want to be more active. I have never been like this up until about 6 months ago, which is when I started high fiber.

I'm talking plants and berries, not bran and oatmeal. If I buy a cauliflower, I get one with leaves wrapped around it. I eat the leaves and the stem core, while the family eats the flower. Lots of green onions. Raw garlic whenever possible.

I think the fats, however, are important too. It's probably simplistic and I'm not a food scientist, but I think of good fats like butter and grass fed meat as adding to my body's good fats (HDL, fluffy LDL, etc.) while reducing bad fats like vegetable oil reduces my body's bad fats (small dense LDL). Plus the food just plain tastes better, is more satisfying, and a smaller amount provides more energy.

The connection is through the gut microbiota. All of the good things that have happened to me -including the absence of seasonal allergies - has been shown to be a potential result of having a healthy, diverse gut microbiome. And fiber feeds the gut microbiome and makes it happy, at least in my case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm all for fat, I'm in much better shape now that I limit carbs and eat a diet with a high percentage of fat.

It's interesting that although the percentage of fat that I consume is now higher, total fat is a bit lower because I don't have the cravings that I often used to have when eating a higher carb diet.

1 person likes this

~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm all for fat, I'm in much better shape now that I limit carbs and eat a diet with a high percentage of fat.

It's interesting that although the percentage of fat that I consume is now higher, total fat is a bit lower because I don't have the cravings that I often used to have when eating a higher carb diet.

Correct me if I am wrong, but from a previous thread that you and I were in, I believe you said that "carb" as you use it above refers to net carb. I.e., you enjoy your fiber too. I might be mistaken. I have found that because my fiber is so high that I can handle starches too, like in rice (only white, not brown, because brown usually has rancid fats) and potatoes. I have no desire to eat non nutritious carbs and have not had a carb craving since last year.

+1 on the percentage vs amount. I would never have dreamed a 4 oz portion of meat would be all I could eat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's correct, I only pay attention to net carbs...total carbs minus fiber. So yes, I eat a good amount of fiber.

Unfortunately, I  think that I've always been carbohydrate intolerant...I can eat about 30-40g of net carbs per day but beyond that I get into trouble. 

It doesn't help that there's diabetes on both sides of the family and the fact that I had cancer 28 years ago which screwed up my endocrine system.


~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article is a good one, but not new news... this has been known for years, starting with Dr. Atkins and on to Gary Taubes more recently.  Unfortunately I love some of those carbs! :-)


*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article is a good one, but not new news... this has been known for years

 

Yep, that's for sure....Drs. Phinney and Volek have written much about it in recent years.


~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article is a good one, but not new news... this has been known for years, starting with Dr. Atkins and on to Gary Taubes more recently. Unfortunately I love some of those carbs! :-)

I'm not sure that the low carb diet is generally correct. It might be the right diet for some - and I have no standing to argue against those for whom it is the right diet - but in think the case against carbs is generally overstated and as dogmatic as the low-fat and vegan camps. Before I started all of this, I was hypoglycemic. Carbs would send me into a tailspin of cravings. I tried low carb for about a month. I lost weight, but in my heart I knew that a diet that eliminated beans, baked potatoes, and rice was not for me. Once I crossed the threshold of about 80 g of fiber per day, my weight loss accelerated no matter what I ate. My hypoglycemia is gone. To be sure, I have lost my taste for many carbs. Honestly, I cannot find a pasta that does not taste rancid to me. Not sure what that's about!

I think you are right, though, that the article is reaffirming rather than groundbreaking. However, I think the world at large is still afraid of fat, as I was six months or so. The cap (?) portion of a grass-fed ribeye has become one of my favorite things, and to think I've been denying myself its fatty glory for most of my life kills me...


Edited by Ttogull (log)
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been thinking this about wheat, not carbs.  Take a look at the book Wheat Belly.

 

I've known this about my body for years:  If I eat wheat, I crave more food.  I am not talking about gluten.  It doesn't factor into the picture at all.

 

I have a diabetic friend who tells me that wheat is far harder to clear from his body than pure sugar, like ice cream, which clears out pretty fast.

 

I am more alert, have a better attitude, weigh less, and have more flexibility when I don't eat wheat.  I am also trying to give up sugar and every day I go without it, I feel that much better.  I also feel better when I don't drink coffee.

 

To circle back to the fat question -- I came from a traditional fat consuming family and that's what I eat.  Butter.  My mother used to say that she could not wash margarine off her hands, and refused to eat it.  


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the context above, I was referring to the taste of the food. Whereas, e.g., I usually had oatmeal with skim milk for breakfast, I now have a two egg omelette cooked in goat butter with cheese from grass fed cows. With some added vegetables, of course. Full fat yogurt instead of no fat. No obsessive trimming of fat from, say, a ribeye from pastured animal. Butter on baked potatoes. Lard in my beans.

After a lifetime of being told to avoid saturated fats and to use vegetable oils, I had to overcome my aversion to are the good fats. Tasty stuff!

But I get lots of fiber, more than 100 g per day (I supplement too). And the amount of meat I eat is far less than I ate before, even though the calories as a percentage from fat is higher. I find the typical restaurant portions of meat to be ridiculously large (I often take about half home) and the vegetable portion to be far too small. I usually order two or three veggie sides and eat them myself.

 

 

Excess carbs definitely affect me in a negative way...anxiety, panic attacks, depression, high-triglycerides, fluid retention, hyperglycemia, metabolic syndrome, etc.


~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People are different.  I eat a lot of wheat.  I'd say eat/drink what works for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure that the low carb diet is generally correct. It might be the right diet for some - and I have no standing to argue against those for whom it is the right diet - but in think the case against carbs is generally overstated and as dogmatic as the low-fat and vegan camps. Before I started all of this, I was hypoglycemic. Carbs would send me into a tailspin of cravings. I tried low carb for about a month. I lost weight, but in my heart I knew that a diet that eliminated beans, baked potatoes, and rice was not for me. Once I crossed the threshold of about 80 g of fiber per day, my weight loss accelerated no matter what I ate. My hypoglycemia is gone. To be sure, I have lost my taste for many carbs. Honestly, I cannot find a pasta that does not taste rancid to me. Not sure what that's about!

I think you are right, though, that the article is reaffirming rather than groundbreaking. However, I think the world at large is still afraid of fat, as I was six months or so. The cap (?) portion of a grass-fed ribeye has become one of my favorite things, and to think I've been denying myself its fatty glory for most of my life kills me...

I second this! I'm so happy that natural fats are losing their demon status, but it seems to take so long to appear in mainstream media. I recently learned of the cap/deckle of the ribeye from a Rhulman article. Cooked it for my husband on our anniversary. That "beef butter" had the most wonderful flavor. I'm actually thankful I got to eat at least one in my life. You've reminded me to get another one, Thanks.

1 person likes this

Inventing the Universe

Here in the South, we don't hide crazy. We parade it on the front porch and give it a cocktail.

The devil is in the details but God is in the fat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have now read 8% of "The Big Fat Surprise", the book by the author of the article above. So far, I am finding it very enjoyable. It is well-written. I'd have to say that her conclusions about fat will be preaching to the choir for many. Some new details I did not know, such as the lean parts of venison like the tenderloin were tossed to the dogs by extreme meat eating cultures. Maybe that is why my hunting buddies always gift me the tenderloin.

So far, the book is building a solid picture of manipulation, distortion, and suppression of evidence, and this angle in the fat wars is new to me. I have a separate interest because I am a former academic from another field and have seen the "idols of the mind" first hand.

I am reading the book simultaneously with others, but I wanted to say it is a good read for those interested in the fat wars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second this! I'm so happy that natural fats are losing their demon status, but it seems to take so long to appear in mainstream media. I recently learned of the cap/deckle of the ribeye from a Rhulman article. Cooked it for my husband on our anniversary. That "beef butter" had the most wonderful flavor. I'm actually thankful I got to eat at least one in my life. You've reminded me to get another one, Thanks.

I am not sure if I have the terminology right, but if you like that there is something else even more incredible. For Xmas, we got a standing rib roast (rib - ribeye). The butcher asked me which ribs I wanted. Huh? Some ribs apparently have a lot more deckle. That. Was. Awesome.

Baked potatoes with almost 1/2 stick of butter. That. Was. Awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure if I have the terminology right, but if you like that there is something else even more incredible. For Xmas, we got a standing rib roast (rib - ribeye). The butcher asked me which ribs I wanted. Huh? Some ribs apparently have a lot more deckle. That. Was. Awesome.

Baked potatoes with almost 1/2 stick of butter. That. Was. Awesome.

The item I got was only the deckle (from Double R Ranch) in one big 1.5 lb. slab. It was about (in my memory) 18" long, 7" wide and over 1" thick. Looked like it had capped about an 8 rib section. Sorry :unsure:, I think the sight of a "steak" serving that is pure deckle might not be as impressive looking as a standing rib roast, but it's all "the best part".


Inventing the Universe

Here in the South, we don't hide crazy. We parade it on the front porch and give it a cocktail.

The devil is in the details but God is in the fat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.