Response to Critics

This post goes hand-in-hand with the Research FAQs page. Please head there for more information.

For reporters writing about me or The Big Fat Surprise, please see this.

She must be backed by the meat/dairy/egg industry:

My work and research has never been supported by any industry nor do I work with any industry. Since the publication of my book, I have been paid modest honoraria to present my research findings to various organizations, such as medical education programs, public affairs groups, foundations, professional societies, and industry trade associations–including, yes,  a half-dozen or so meat producers (whom I’d never met before writing my book but turn out not, in fact, to have horns under their cowboy hats, as a Berkeley-bred girl like me is inclined to imagine!). The fear is that making a speech to an industry group will influence one’s work—which is certainly possible, since meeting people tends to make you more sympathetic to their views. Yet my speeches to meat groups took place post-publication of my book, so they could not have any influence on it. And the work that I’ve done since my book, some op-eds and my BMJ piece, have focused on the quality of scientific data used in creating nutrition policy–ideas on data quality that are drawn directly from my book. Meat and other foods are mentioned only in this context. So I don’t think the case can be made that my speaking fees have influenced my work in any way. (By the way, given the fact that meat is what I call the “third rail of nutrition science,” I’ve for the moment capitulated to these politics and stopped presenting my work to meat groups as of May 2015, yet I think this is a shame, and I don’t intend to be cowed by these politics forever).

She’s just a journalist with no credentials:

This is a logical criticism, based on the assumption that the advice of experts should be trusted more than the advice of non experts. In general, I might agree with this. The field of nutrition science, however, has become entrenched in its mistakes, a situation that is now becoming obvious: sixty years of expert advice on dietary cholesterol have been overturned, as has the expert advice on the low-fat diet; sixty years of expert advice on saturated fats has been seriously challenged. The reversals on these lynchpins of dietary advice show that the experts have been wrong and cannot, unfortunately, be trusted based on their authority alone.

And while it’s true that I have no nutrition or medical degrees, I spent a decade digging through thousands of scientific papers including many of the original, foundational studies that have long been forgotten. I studied  biology and chemistry at Yale and Stanford  (pre-med courses, and I also partially fulfilled the requirements for an undergraduate degree in biology), but I believe my training in political science and history (for American Studies and then Latin American Studies at Oxford) were equally important to this endeavor, since my book is as much about the history and politics of nutrition policy as it is about the science.

Moreover, the real question is whether my arguments have credibility. Are there any strong challenges to them? In fact, to my great surprise and disappointment, serious scientists in the field have responded only with superficial or personal attacks. There has been no critique by a serious scientist of my book. By contrast, in the top journals where my book has been covered (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, British Medical Journal), it has received extremely strong reviews (“This book should be read by every nutritional science professional…” stated the reviewer in AJCN. “Impressive . . . This book shook me. . . . Teicholz has done a remarkable job…” stated the reviewer in the BMJ ) The more substantive counter-arguments to my work, I respond to here, as well as in my FAQs post.

To the critique by Science of Nutrition, Parts 1-2

This critique, which has been heavily promoted is by Seth Yoder, a computer engineer with a degree in nutrition. It is notable in that it’s the only serious outside critique that I have seen of my book–which tells me that  my book must actually be solid. (I did hire a professional fact-checker to fact check my book, but as in any book with thousands of footnotes, there will always be errors).

Seth went through every single one of my citations to check them, an exercise that must have taken him a hundred-plus hours (sponsored by whom?), and this makes his critique unique. Last summer, I went through Seth’s entire review, and here’s what I found: I had made some mistakes. This is probably to be expected when you have thousands of footnotes. There were some incorrect page numbers and some sources that were wrong. All these corrections, I put into the paperback, a near-complete list of which can be found here.

However—and this is fundamentally important—none of these corrections altered any of the assertions in my book.

Seth makes a lot of mistakes. The biggest one is that, as a relative newcomer to the field, he simply fails to understand the larger historical context in which scientific papers have been written. For decades, researchers have been under extreme pressure to conform to the diet-heart hypothesis (that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease)—something my book documents extensively. I describe numerous examples where scientists saw their careers suffer (lost research grants, unable to get papers published, disinvited from expert panels,  etc) due to efforts to challenge this hypothesis. And among scientists who believed in the hypothesis, they could not acknowledge evidence to the contrary, even when their own data did not conform to their beliefs. The result has been that knowingly or not, researchers consistently buried “inconvenient” results. Sometimes even the written conclusions of their own papers inaccurately reflect what their own data indicates. I write about one such instance in the book, when Jerry Stamler, in his Western Electric Study, dismisses his own study results, which do not support the diet-heart hypothesis, and instead goes on to conclude the opposite. The real results are buried deep inside his paper, and this practice has been common in the last 50 years of nutrition science. Therefore, reading these studies requires an extremely careful and experienced eye. Whenever possible, I also talked to the researchers themselves to better understand their work. Much of this subtlety and background work is lost when a study is simply cited in the footnotes. Seth simply takes papers at face value and fails to grasp these subtleties.

In other cases, Seth’s accusations are simply sloppy. For instance, he goes on at length about how I copied David Schleiffer’s thesis. Actually, the lines of information sharing here are reversed: I helped David with his thesis. David found me via an article that I wrote on trans fats for Gourmet magazine, published in 2004. David was then writing his thesis on trans fat: I met with him and helped him with his research, including sharing with him a number of my interviews with food-company executives as well as many other materials.  If you search his thesis (2010), you’ll find that my name is cited 24 times, often to make clear that the people he quotes are from the interviews that I conducted. He also cites me in the acknowledgments.

In another of Seth’s comments about me, he states that “nobody in their right mind would call this [30-35% fat] a low-fat diet. No one, that is, except for hyper-dogmatic low-carb proponents like Teicholz.” This statement, again, reflects an ignorance of the field. In fact, the USDA and AHA for decades told Americans to follow a “low-fat” diet that was defined as anywhere from 25-35% of calories from fat. You can look this up in the Dietary Guidelines or find it in any one of the thousands of papers written on the low-fat diet over the past 50 years.

Moreover, many of the allegations in my book have now been reported elsewhere or re-reported since. For more information on the many researchers with work along similar lines, see here.

To the charge that I copied the work of Gary Taubes:

Gary Taubes has provided the following statement on this issue (July 23, 2015):

The accusation that The Big Fat Surprise plagiarizes or “cribs” from my work is unjustified and naive. As Teicholz herself notes, any critical recounting of nutrition policy inevitably includes certain key events that must be addressed. I’d like to think my writing has in some way led to awareness of these events and to how they should be interpreted. Moreover, I believe that Teicholz, throughout her book, amply credits my books and articles as well as my role in exposing some of the bad science underlying the dietary fat hypothesis of heart disease and in developing the alternative hypothesis for chronic disease.

My statement:

I’d venture to say that there’s no writer today challenging the low-fat diet policy who is not drawing upon the work of Gary Taubes. He single-handedly launched this entire field of inquiry, and we all owe him a great debt. Indeed, in my book, I credit his work throughout and have also included him in the acknowledgements. Beyond that, he is a major character in Chapter 10, where I seek to set his place in history so that it might never be forgotten (an effort that has turned out, sadly, to be ever more necessary as researchers, doctors and journalists on a regular basis claim to have themselves invented the contributions that rightfully belong to Taubes). Moreover, in interviews, I regularly volunteer Taubes’ name and explain how he is the “godfather” of this line of thinking.

There is no doubt that in my book, I recount many of the same events and studies as did Taubes. This is necessary because in outlining the mistakes of nutrition history since 1950, certain events must be repeated, in the same way that any telling of the story of the Civil War must include the battle of Fort Sumter. This might seem redundant to anyone who already knows Civil War history, but this retelling cannot be called “plagiarism,” in either the spirit or the letter of that word.

(Regarding a specific accusation that like Taubes, I mistakenly accuse Keys of cherry picking countries for a 1953 chart on mortality vs. dietary fat data. Taubes and I are not making that accusation ourselves: we are merely (and accurately) recounting a criticism by contemporary critics of the chart. And whether or not their critique of Keys was perfectly on the mark in 1953 is largely irrelevant. The central importance of this moment in history is that it motivated Keys to embark upon the Seven Countries Study, the most influential study in the history of nutrition science, and this remains true regardless of whether we might interpret that chart differently today. The point is that Keys, in his time, was criticized for cherry picking countries, and that this was such a source of humiliation to him, at that moment, that (according to his pal Henry Blackburn), he launched the famed Seven Countries Study, which changed the entire course of nutrition worldwide.)

Also, I think it’s fair to say, too, that the story of our failed low-fat policy is so important that it bears repeating, many times over and in as many ways possible, until it becomes a matter of common knowledge.

For Taubes’ followers interested in how my book is different: The Big Fat Surprise is written for a more general audience than was Good Calories, Bad Calories. My book also goes off in some entirely new directions: for instance, it covers the history of vegetable oils, tropical oils, trans fats and what replaced them, the Mediterranean Diet, and the story of nutrition science since 1986 (where Taubes’ book leaves off). And it includes the story of Gary Taubes himself and how he changed nutrition history, along with some brave and groundbreaking researchers.

To the charge that my main motivation for engaging in the discussion on the science/politics of nutrition is for financial gain:

No one expects to make a fortune by writing a serious tome on politics, history and science with thousands of footnotes, even if its thesis is controversial. If you want to make money, you write diet books, as many prominent nutrition experts have done. David Katz, for instance, has seven, and I mention him because he has prominently accused me of being motivated only by book sales (Perhaps he is thinking of his own motivations, since Katz charges $3500 an hour, according to his deposition, to consult with companies, including Chobani, for whom he was hired to defend the sugar content of its yogurt; Katz is also supported by Hershey’s, Quaker Oats, and JuicePlus, who sell the kind of high-carb products that he promotes in his work). Other influential voices in nutrition with popular books to sell are Marion Nestle (7) and Walter Willett (3). And, as I document in my book, Nestle also negotiated a back-room deal with the the olive-oil industry to fund a journal supplement that she edited). My book has not, in fact, been, financially beneficial to me or my family: if you take my book advance and divide it over nine years, with no paid vacations or health benefits and then subtract monies spent on fact checkers, research help, travel, the rights to republish illustrations, the result is embarrassingly less than what a kindergarten teacher would earn.

My motivation has been, instead, to pursue truth, which I believe is also a form of justice, especially when the health of millions of people is at stake.

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About the Author
Nina Teicholz

Nina Teicholz

Nina Teicholz is an investigative journalist and author of the International (and New York Times) bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet (Simon & Schuster). Named a *Best Book* of 2014 by the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Forbes, Mother Jones, and Library Journal, The Big Fat Surprise has upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat and challenged the very core of our nutrition policy.  Before taking a deep dive into researching nutrition science for nearly a decade, Teicholz was a reporter for National Public Radio and also contributed to many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The Economist. She attended Yale and Stanford where she studied biology and majored in American Studies. She has a master’s degree from Oxford University and served as associate director of the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Columbia University. She lives in New York city.

Comments 64

  1. Dear Ms. Teicholz,
    I want to thank you so much for writing The Big Fat Surprise. Your thoughtful writing is proving to be a life-changer for me. I came across your book at a library & checked it out on a whim. Coincidentally, about the same time I had a visit with my older brother, learned he was now officially diabetic, realized I was now at least as overweight as him, and so, given that our father died in a diabetic coma, was motivated to see the handwriting on the wall; increasing belly girth, multiple digestive issues, daily blood sugar problems, knee problems from carrying all the weight, etc. — in sum I was feeling like an Accidental Tourist on the Road to Diabesity… and despite being comparatively well-versed on nutrition issues (in part related to my long career in the natural foods industry), I had had no success in reversing course. Reading your book, hearing your appearances on KQED’s Forum and at the SF Commonwealth Club, and then coming across Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt’s very effective PowerPoint/Youtube presentation about the LCHF approach, these got me started on experimenting w/ 86’ing the carbs. Within days/weeks I could feel an improvement, and now, after say, 4-6 weeks, the whole embarrassing litany of GERD/IBS/etc. symptoms… gone. Weight… dropping. Energy level… rising. I have to stop myself from telling people more than they’d care to know about fat in the diet lest I come across like a freshly-minted evangelical. Anyway, your research has really opened my eyes… truly I’m in your debt. You so totally rock, if I may say so. Thank you Nina!

    — Doug

  2. An example of entrenched scientific dogma affecting a career: see Alfred Wegener.
    Also, Bjorn Lomborg’s The Skeptical Environmentalist. Which I managed to read in its entirety, but only by skipping over the numbers parts. Anyway, I thought it was interesting that, like yourself, he also tracked back the footnote recursions in scientific papers; especially liked the one where global erosion values were calculated – once one worked back to the original published paper – based on the erosion from a < 1 acre plot in Belgium (I assume a hectare is less than an acre – I reveal my ignorance).
    You may wish to use the word "tome" instead of "tomb", incidentally, in your commentary, above. While it's shocking that anyone would write for money, one would think that if one is getting paid by the word, then one that starts a career of writing "tombs" is shortly going to be in one, epitaphs not known as especially wordy. I guess it depends.
    My wife got tired of hearing me quoting from your book. Her dad, who attended the U of M before the advent of Dr. Keys and had a career as a dairy farmer, always thought the emphasis on a low-fat diet was…well, it certainly couldn't be bologna, but nevertheless somewhat unhinged, and was…umm…"plain-spoken" about it.
    Note that those "sunshine only" diets have been successful at causing weight loss, too, and reducing blood cholesterol levels to…well, zero…and one can't get any lower fat than that. If that's what the sole emphasis should be, then nutrition labels should probably include an SPF number, the lower the better.
    And we'll always have Soylent Green. With a nice Chianti, but lose the fava beans.

  3. Nina

    There is a factual error which remains in the paperback version of Big Fat Surprise:

    “And in 2013 in Sweden, an expert health advisory group, after spending two years reviewing 16,000 studies, concluded that a diet low in fat was an ineffective strategy for tackling either obesity or diabetes.”

    The reference used to support this claim is Hanson 2013 [1] and contrary to your claims of “reading all the original studies themselves” this is a actually a short news article in the BMJ which summarises the HTA, not the actual report itself. The problem is the article you relied upon (presumably without reading the primary source) gives an entirely incorrect summary of the HTA report contents.

    The HTA cited by Hanson, deals only with the dietary treatment of obesity [2], not diabetes which was the subject of an earlier, entirely separate report back in 2010 [3].

    The HTA on the dietary treatment of obesity does NOT state that low fat diets are ineffective for tackling obesity [2]:

    “In the short term (six months), advice on strict or moderate low carbohydrate diets is a more effective means of achieving weight loss than advice on low fat diets. In the long term, there are no differences in the effect on weight loss between advice on strict and moderate low carbohydrate diets, low fat diets, high protein diets, Mediterranean diets, diets aimed at achieving a low glycaemic load or diets containing a high percentage of monounsaturated fats.”

    It also states:

    “Maintaining reduced weight. When obese individuals have lost weight, they can maintain their weight more effectively with advice on low fat diets with a low glycaemic index and/or high protein content rather than low fat diets with a high glycaemic index and/or low protein content. There is no data available to assess whether advice on low carbohydrate diets and Mediterranean diets, for example, is effective to prevent weight increase after weight loss.”

    The HTA on the treatment of diabetes states [3]:

    “In type 2 diabetes, low-fat and moderate low-carbohydrate diets (30–40% of the energy from carbohydrates) have similar, favorable effects on HbA1c (long-term blood glucose) and bodyweight. The absence of sufficient-quality studies in people with diabetes prevents evaluation of the long-term effects of more extreme diets involving low-carbohydrate and high-fat intake, eg, so-called “low-carb, high-fat” (LCHF) diets. Hence, safety aspects become particularly important in clinical follow-up of individuals who choose extreme low-carbohydrate diets (10–20% energy from carbohydrates).”

    I don’t see how either of the HTA’s can be seen to support the statement in Big Fat Surprise that Swedens SBU found that low fat diets are “ineffective”.

    Refs

    [1] Swedish health advisory body says too much carbohydrate, not fat, leads to obesity. BMJ 2013;347:f6873

    [2] Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. Dietary Treatment of Obesity, Sep 2013.

    [3] Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. Dietary Treatment of Diabetes. August 2010.

    1. After I pointed out the obvious errors in the Hansen article which you cited to the BMJ, they have corrected the article in question (http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2646):-

      “In this News story, “Swedish health advisory body says too much carbohydrate, not fat, leads to obesity” (BMJ 2013;347:f6873, doi:10.1136/bmj.f6873), the headline and some of the text were incorrect. The report did not say that too much carbohydrate leads to obesity, as stated in the headline. It said that low carbohydrate diets were more beneficial for reducing obesity in the first six months of treatment, when compared with low fat diets, but made no difference at 12 months.

      The report said that, in the longer term, “there are no differences in the effect on weight loss between advice on strict and moderate low carbohydrate diets, low fat diets, high protein diets, Mediterranean diets, diets aimed at achieving a low glycaemic load, or diets containing a high percentage of monounsaturated fats.” The report did not conclude that “the scientific evidence did not support a low fat diet.”

      In addition, the report made few recommendations with regard to specific foods and did not say that “the consumption of pasta, potatoes, and white bread should be reduced.” We apologise for these errors.”

      So your claim that “And in 2013 in Sweden, an expert health advisory group, after spending two years reviewing 16,000 studies, concluded that a diet low in fat was an ineffective strategy for tackling either obesity or diabetes.” is entirely incorrect.

      Will you be adding this errata to your website?

      1. So your claim that “And in 2013 in Sweden, an expert health advisory group, after spending two years reviewing 16,000 studies, concluded that a diet low in fat was an ineffective strategy for tackling either obesity or diabetes.” is entirely incorrect.

        You make a valid point. It was probably exagerated and misinterpreted. But it doesn’t take evidence to realise the low fat diet isn’t working. have a look out the window or have at look at the obesity and diabetic growth charts on the internet.

        its important we have the facts right and good on you for getting BMJ for correction, but also we need to look at the bigger picture instead of focusing attacking semantics. Attacking referencing errors isn’t going to help our health crisis.

    2. You weaken your own comments on Ms. Teicholz’s blog when you misquote her, and exaggerate her claims. Her statement was that she read “many of the original” studies, not “all” of them.

  4. I love that post! I’ve read your book twice, watched many interviews, listened to many podcasts, and somehow, I always find your ideas, as well as the way you develop them, challenging and interesting! Thanks for this update!

  5. I am supremely impressed by your book, and I have given out several copies and recommendations to read it. However, as a nutritionist, I regret your portrayal of butter. You overlook the basic distinction between whole foods like meat vs. man-made, nearly empty-calorie foods like butter. In your subtitle (“Why Butter, Meat, & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet”) and in your FAQ about eating “sticks of butter/meat 3x a day,” you imply and write, “If saturated fat and cholesterol do not cause disease, then there is no reason to avoid these foods.” Disease aside, there are basic *nutritional* reasons to limit butter. One stick supplies 810 calories, or 40% of a 2000-calorie diet. But unlike all whole foods, it supplies comparable amounts of only 3 nutrients–all added (vitamin A, sodium and chloride). In contrast, 810 calories of whole milk (5.5 cups) supplies 40% or more of recommended amounts of 22 nutrients–8 vitamins, 11 minerals, protein, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids. For nearly all nutrients, one stick of butter dilutes the nutrient-to-calorie ratio of a 2000-calorie diet by 35% to 40%. This is a major loss, especially in the context of American diets that usually are already diluted by empty calories from added sugars (10% to 20% of calories) and vegetable oils (5% to 15%). While defending the roles of saturated fat and cholesterol, we should remember there is a basic reason to limit all non-whole foods–butter, lard, added sugars, and vegetable oils. I would change your subtitle to, “Why Whole Milk, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.” The dramatic nutritional differences between whole and non-whole foods are illustrated in NutriCircle graphics at http://bioinst.cm.utexas.edu/williams/nutri.htm. On request, I will e-mail to anyone graphic comparisons of butter vs. whole milk, sugar vs. fruit, and soy oil vs. soybeans.

    1. I found you comment regarding butter consumption to be unfounded. You are probably correct in you argument that butter doesn’t contain a lot of “important” nutrients. So What? We eat to provide energy for our bodies to help us move and work and be active. If we are short of these “important” nutrients, that would be a problem, but you have not provided any evidence that a diet that has a content of saturated fat less than say 75% would be a problem. I know you are suggesting that it might be, but I have not seen any evidence that we do not obtain all of our essential nutrients from the remaining 25+% of our diet. I would rather eat butter (as well as lard, tallow, and other animal fats) than carbs to fullfil my calorific requirements. A little fruit and veggies and proteins should cover my other nutritional needs.

    2. “we should remember there is a basic reason to limit all non-whole foods–butter, lard,”…

      Though there might not be a lot of nutritional value (vitamins etc) in butter, saturated fats do play a huge role in biochemistry, affecting our satiety hormones, (correct me if I’m wrong) and nutrient absorption. There are plenty of studies which show when you take out certain types of fat, satiety decreases immensely and people overeat. Probably the reason why people are getting fat.

      The book title does not focus on nutritional values, but rather the history of nutrition policy. So I think you’ve misunderstood the notion that Nina thinks butter is more healthier than wholefoods. Nothing like that. But you do make a valid point about nutritional value. Thanks for the info.

      1. Everyone’s needs are different ways even though you may also be one or the claims adjuster and filing their taxes. A fifth way, is three-yearattacked our roads might match a minimum coverage that you get your complaint seen to be frugal when it comes to meeting the needs of the lower your insurance company, awaitup to save money in the targets of theft. Lights- a few obstacles – in my personal auto policy that covers you. As a person on the internet. Once you yourhelp to ensure that you contact. This is true when searching for an elongated period of perhaps just when you had to make sure you’re getting you’re getting a home insurance.will fill out one quote might be selling an old car that’s prone to cause very serious about protecting himself or herself as she was texting, ran a multi-national survey whoIf necessary, the list above a B average in this accident.” This conclusion apparently caused my premium would be careless for them to offer coverage of 25/50/10, which is competitive thedestroyed in an insurance coverage benefits from the inner part of getting protected with the insurance rates that teenagers are impulsive, so not all will be ‘stepped back’ to a inneed it, is an inevitable requirement so long as you decide which insurance company that will make you their quote compared to their vehicles as a Third Party Fire and happensshould you go through the advent of Internet, car insurance will have very ‘deep pockets’. It is necessary due dates, which makes purchasing collision coverage.

      2. I have heard with my own ears Mark Driscoll say that those who believe baptism is part of the saving process are heretics and cult members.And thank you for clarifying about your comment.

    3. Drinking whole milk supplies nutrients, that’s true. It also supplies significant carbohydrate. For those, for example, who should be consuming a severely restricted level of carbohydrates in their diet–both Type 1 and 2 diabetics, those with insulin resistance–that additional carbohydrate is deadly.

      There are multiple sources of the nutrients that milk contains, but the body’s requirements for healthy saturated fats (from grass fed, not corn fed, cows) cannot easily be satisfied elsewhere.

    4. As to your comparison of the nutrients found in butter and whole milk, I fail to see how one can compare nutrients without volume percentages and measurement units. 1 cup of whole milk is at least 87% water, which means that 1.04 ounces is where the 8 vitamins, 11 minerals, protein, choline, carbohydrates and fat (particularly omega-3 fatty acids) are found. There is much more detail found at http://milkfacts.info/Nutrition%20Facts/Nutrient%20Content.htm) but the key points are 215.50 grams of water, 7.93 grams of fat, 7.86 grams of protein, 1.68 grams of minerals, and 11 grams of carbohydrates with tiny (micrograms) amounts of vitamins and minerals giving 148 calories total. Butter is essentially 100% fat with 810 calories. 810/148 is is where 5.5 (5.47) cups of milk comes from.

      I cannot imagine eating a whole stick of butter three times a day nor do I think this is even remotely what Ms. Teicholz meant. Likewise, there is no way that I can or will drink 5.5 cups of whole milk every day, not even close. If I were to somehow drink that much milk, there would be no room for anything else. Ms. Teicholz did not include milk in her book title but it was not an accidental oversight. Foods NOT to avoid is not equivalent to consuming mass quantities of those foods (like the Coneheads…).

      It is clear to me from the evidence she presents that milk is a good food for most people (who are not lactose intolerant) and that good health is directly related to avoiding seed oils (particularly soybean), PUFA’s, refined carbohydrates AND getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids (so that the ratio to Omega 6 is closer to the ideal of 1:1). In other words, she presents a solid case for eating like the 19th century (and before) and staying away from highly processed foods however you want to mix and match the daily amounts of meat, cheese, butter, and milk (along with generally low calorie unrefined carbohydrates). The astute individuals who understand the evidence are probably already decreasing the amount of sugar and doing other things to offset the problems that food technology hath wrought. We can no longer afford to not see the forest for the trees if we expect to live a reasonably long time without premature death and morbidity.

      1. , you need not be concerned about eradicating the beneficial flora of the intestinal tract unless you were to apply electrodes over the abdomen and treat fairly aggressively. Bear in mind that, with the biological terrain altered by the de-vitalization of the undesirable bacteria, the friendly flora have improved conditions in which to proliferate. I generally recommend the addition of probiotics for those who have conditions which require this kind of local application.

      2. Also I believe that mesothelioma is a extraordinary form of most cancers that is normally found in all those previously familiar with asbestos. Cancerous tissues form in the mesothelium, which is a safety lining which covers a lot of the body’s bodily organs. These cells usually form inside lining of the lungs, abdominal area, or the sac which encircles the heart. Thanks for giving your ideas.

  6. I noticed that Seth had links to two “Scientific advisors” to ACSH (ACSH is a industry front group):

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/American_Council_on_Science_and_Health
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/ACSH_Scientific_advisors
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Elizabeth_Whelan

    Seth call S. Novella and S. Barrett “sceptics”, so maybe Seth is a believer in James Randis “sceptic movement”, that because of their leaders
    like Novella and Barrett spreading ACSHs propraganda.

    But of course they sometime spread conflicting propraganda. Well i guess it depends on who is giving money to ACSH. Barrett have published propaganda against low carb, but Micael Shermer, which is also tied to the ACSH. Did wrote on his facebook-page
    “Michael Shermer
    den 3 juli 2014 ·
    Nina Teicholz’s book is a good read & she did her homework showing that the diet-cholesterol-heart disease connection is not that solid.”

    That is very close to ACSHs view:
    http://acsh.org/2014/05/metabolic-explanation-lack-heart-effects-dietary-fat/

    So see also:
    http://buggesblogg.blogspot.se/2014_07_01_archive.html

  7. I just want you to know that your 9 years in the wilderness of nutritional research has not been in vain. Your work has been transformational to people like me. You have helped people SAVE their own lives, mine included. Please continue to do everything you do. Thank-you.

  8. Pingback: Carne, formaggio e conflitti di interesse | DottProf

  9. Pingback: Expecting Scientifically Sound Nutritional Guidance from the Feds? Fat Chance. - The Right News Network

  10. Nina, can you comment on work done by Dr. Fuhrman in his books Eat to Live and Eat for Health? He is a practicing physician who has used his own eating plan to help patients lose weight, reverse diabetes and improve their heart health. Although he does not completely ban animal fats, he argues for a reduced role in your diet, and emphasizes fruits vegetables, nuts, seeds and in huge quantities, compared to typical diets. It also restricts carbohydrates to a great extent. I would be very interested to hear your comments, because I find your work compelling.

    1. Nina Teicholz Post
      Author

      The main point is that there are no randomized controlled clinical trials on the vegetarian diet, so there is simply no conclusive evidence to show that this diet reduces disease or indeed, is even safe. The trial cited by Dean Ornish on this diet followed only 41 men and was multifactorial, so it’s impossible to know if the effects he measured were due to diet or the yoga, meditation, other stress reduction techniques of supplements. Otherwise, the data supporting the vegan or vegetarian diet is all epidemiological, and this is the type of data shows association but not causation–and has been the source of virtually all the dietary advice that has had to be reversed in recent years (dietary cholesterol, the idea that fat causes cancer, and the low-fat diet generally). This kind of data is unreliable. Therefore, until a sizable randomized, controlled clinical trial is conducted on this diet, it is fair to say that the evidence supporting its effectiveness or safety is circumstantial but not conclusive. That said, it seems to work for many people. It’s just not supported by rigorous scientific evidence. There is also a difficulty in reaching nutritional sufficiency on this diet.

      1. Yes, I understand your point, which is why I don’t dismiss the “animal fat is good” viewpoint, and maybe the best diet lies somewhere in the middle – deriving most of your calories from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans; avoiding oils except those derived from nuts, maybe coconut; and supplementing that with a reasonable amount of dairy, meat, fish and fowl. No individual food is perfect if that’s all you eat, but most foods in moderation are probably fine, except maybe transfats, processed meats and white flour.

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  12. Judging by his screed against Tom Naughton I bet Seth Yoder is some kind of vegan.

    If vegans were honest they would admit that the real reason why they refuse to eat meat is because they refuse to participate in the meat industry. That’s it. That’s the real and only good reason to be a vegan or a vegetarian.

    All the rest, the claims about cancer, heart disease, the China Study, etc. is just an attempt at using objective arguments to convince those who don’t care about animals that they should stop eating meat. And you have some nerdy vegans trying to scientifically justify their diet or attack the low carb diet because it’s their big enemy or something (even though you can do a vegan/vegetarian version of low carb if you want to). All of this wouldn’t be necessary if they were honest with themselves and others.

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  15. I’m a great fan of you and your book. Please continue preaching the good word and it shall pay off eventually. With others like Gary Taubes, Robert Lustig and many others with similar interests, the truth will prevail.

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  20. What are your thoughts on the Harvard studies paid for by and with direct influence from the sugar industry? I should think this would further put the nail in the coffin of the bad science that has dominated modern nutrition guidelines. Thank you for your honesty and hard work and those of your associates in the battle. I hope that you comment publicly on the Harvard debacle.

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  22. Yay, I’m your daily reminder! That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling (which I need–we’re snowcovered!)Love the fact that all this doing becomes a positive cycle. My doing helps you which helps me which…you get the point.

    1. more or less “the atheists won because they knew how to play the game. The courts should understant how the atheists play the game.” He was complaining, then, that the atheists were there. My thought when reading it the first time is he doesn’t want the atheists to display.I believe you are correct, however, his case in court was about free speech. Anyway, it’s all over. Thanks for commenting.

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  26. ““She’s just a journalist with no credentials”

    We don’t need an medical or nutrition degree to see flaws in the science or how a adopted guideline is not working.

    I find the reporters arguments fallacious.

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