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The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet | [Nina Teicholz]

The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?
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Publisher's Summary

Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong.

For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?

In The Big Fat Surprise, Teicholz reveals how 60 years of nutrition science has gotten it so wrong: how overzealous researchers have made basic scientific mistakes that, through a mix of ego and bias, allow dangerous misrepresentations to become dogma, and how scientists who dared oppose this consensus have been ostracized. For eight years, Teicholz has pored over the massive research literature and interviewed hundreds of leading experts to unravel the shockingly distorted claims of nutrition studies. She brings these researchers to life and shows how their ambitions, loyalties, and rivalries have undermined a field of research already full of difficult pitfalls.

With a lively narrative style akin to Michael Pollan's in The Omnivore's Dilemma and the scientific rigor of Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Calories, Teicholz convincingly upends the conventional wisdom about all fats. Her groundbreaking claim is that more dietary fat leads to better health, wellness, and fitness. Science shows that reducing the saturated fat in our diets has been disastrous for our health as a nation, and we can, guilt-free, welcome these "whole fats" back into our lives.

©2014 Nina Teicholz (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

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  •  
    Ted 07-08-14
    Ted 07-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book. Challenges your belief system."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it to a friend because it addresses "numero uno" : health.


    What does Erin Bennett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She is one of the best narrators I have heard. I have heard the author speak in a podcast and Bennett brings her persona into the story. In this way she is like a good actor.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of those books that changed long-held beliefs and reset my worldview. Every few years I run across one. The last time was "Power to Save the World: the Truth about Nuclear Energy" by Gwyneth Cravens. It overthrew decades of received wisdom--what I thought I "knew."
    "Big Fat Surprise" does the same thing for the energy source used in our bodies.

    This book, like the other, doesn't just make assertions. Seemingly paradoxical ideas are backed up with a lot of convincing history and evidence. Along the way you will learn some nutrition science. And some science history-- including the political corruption of science. If you are disposed to have popular orthodoxies challenged and overturned this is a great book. The kind of book one reads several times.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 05-20-14
    Brian 05-20-14 Member Since 2002
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    "Good follow-up to Taubes"

    Good book. Most of the book is spent showing the problems with previous studies. It takes the work of Gary Taubes and furthers it. I like the science that was in "Why We Get Fat". You don't really get much fat science. You get a lot of how fat science has been messed up through the years. If you like both of Gary Taubes' books, this is a good follow-up.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lance Maryland, United States 07-13-14
    Lance Maryland, United States 07-13-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Politics aside, some folks respond to LCHF diets"

    If you're one of these people, this book is great as a resource so that you can understand more of how we all got to this point in time.

    How you may have eaten what was inappropriately labeled "healthy" food in the grocery store and found yourself with a number of illnesses. How you might start to explore finding a diet that could cure your illnesses (she mentions a number of researchers such as Volek and Phinney). How you can understand why your doctor who seems pretty reasonable can be so completely against a system that is working for you.

    There is so much in this book. I have not read Taubes. But if you are one of the multitude of Americans who are realizing that they must take responsibility for their health, I would highly recommend this book. Shocking to hear how the trans-fats became outlawed, even more shocking to realize that whats next is not necessarily tried and true. The establishment has banished saturated fat and is sticking to the story, come hell or high water. You also get the inside story on the Mediterranean diet, olive soybean and palm oil. You can't make this stuff up. Although many are attacking the author for exactly that. Reality always trumps fiction. Science is settled despite the rapidly increasing obesity rates. You want to know why healthcare costs so much? This is a great book to start to understand that government and doctors have duped the public into a system that values conformity of message over adversarial scientific truth seeking. This is all about to change and this book will help you understand why.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    STORK 05-21-14
    STORK 05-21-14

    stork

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    "Real food we evolved to eat."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a well documented book about the politics of science and why fat was unfairly condemned.


    What other book might you compare The Big Fat Surprise to and why?

    Why We Get Fat by Garry Taubes. Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar by Robert Lustig.


    Any additional comments?

    As a physician with a degree in nutrition I am impressed with this book. The world of nutrition is flipping back to what we ate hundreds of years ago before we got fat and died of heart disease.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kara Roche 10-08-14
    Kara Roche 10-08-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Fast paced, smart, engaging!"
    What did you love best about The Big Fat Surprise?

    The author says she spent the better part of a decade researching and writing this book. You can absolutely tell! Her research is impeccable. For me, this book read like a fast paced detective novel. I thought it would be a book that I would listen to in small doses - taking in a little bit at a time. Not so! I was hooked from the onset and could not put it down. I felt smarter for having read it, but most importantly, empowered to make the right choices for my family going forward.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    You're doing it all wrong!


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Indianola, IA, United States 06-29-14
    Michael Indianola, IA, United States 06-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A big fat lesson in corporate and scientific corru"
    What made the experience of listening to The Big Fat Surprise the most enjoyable?

    The book isn't afraid of chipping away at the misinformation, corruption & outright lies against the American people by those who are supposed to have our best interests at heart (no pun intended).


    What did you like best about this story?

    The in depth research of old studies showing their flaws.


    Which character – as performed by Erin Bennett – was your favorite?

    N/A


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    As a physician, I was shocked to learn that most, if not all, I had been taught to tell my patients is most likely incorrect.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie la vernia, TX, United States 02-01-15
    Julie la vernia, TX, United States 02-01-15 Member Since 2015
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    "I'm horrified"

    As a healthcare provider, I'm hanging my head in shame that I've propelled the low fat diet forward. Despite a sensible grasp on anatomy and physiology, I've only recently come around to understanding that insulin is THE anabolic hormone that we've ratcheted up to the point of a death sentence. Add the inflammatory effects on our vessel intima, and we have a perfect combination for CV disease, DM, and obesity.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer los angeles, ca, United States 01-13-15
    Amazon Customer los angeles, ca, United States 01-13-15 Member Since 2011

    Osprey

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    "The Big Fat Surprise"

    Read several books on this subject, food, from veganism to all protein. Was a vegetarian at one time and have since gone the other way. Since neither vegetables or meat are a religion with me, I decided on the food that made me feel good. This book explains why meat, with its fat is good for you. After experimenting, I agree with the author because I feel better, my memory is better, glucose levels are better and not hungry all the time. This is not a diet book, just a book that explains why fat may not be the devil and why vegetables may not be angels.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Travis A. Jensen Lehi, UT United States 12-11-14
    Travis A. Jensen Lehi, UT United States 12-11-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Most accessible book on the most screwed up field."

    I've read a lot of books on nutrition, having dealt with weight problems my entire life. It wasn't until I started learning the actual science of nutrition that I was able to lose weight, keep it off, and become healthy. There are a handful of books I would recommend as starting places for others who want to follow that path, and, at the top of the list, is The Big Fat Surprise.

    Understanding why we are so healthy requires a 50 year dive into history as scientists decided how they thought the world was, stretched the numbers in their experiments to make it look like they were right, then used political persuasion to push those beliefs in an experiment on hundreds of millions of people. The low fat diet, so beloved by dietitians and nutritionists everywhere, was NEVER tested in a controlled fashion before being dumped on the American people, and, with half of the country obese, the results speak for themselves.

    Erin Bennett does a great job narrating, keeping the material fresh and interesting throughout. Reading this book is much like peeking behind the Wizard's curtain, and, once you do, you can never look at nutrition the same again.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 06-19-14
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 06-19-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Solid Information; Must Read"

    I confess that I thought the author might just be trying to ride on Gary Taubes' coat tails, and was a little skeptical, but she covered a lot of details that Taubes didn't and really delved into some of the more interesting facts behind the political wrangling over the various kinds of oils, etc.

    It's a must read for anyone that is truly interested in the facts and detailed history of how the current public health situation became so badly disorientated.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    8/28/14
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    "Excellent Book. Easy listen."
    What did you like most about The Big Fat Surprise?

    Such an easy listen despite the material contained. As soon as I finished I listened to it over again. Very informative.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Reesy
    3/23/15
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    "Well researched"

    Fantastic book, flying in the face of the dogma we are subjected to daily. I highly recommend this to any and all who are finding out the truth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tim
    2/14/15
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    "And the truth shall set you free!!"

    brilliant. I knew the basics of where it all went wrong but really informative and detailed as to how western world nutrition descended into such a mess!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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