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#52 – Nina Teicholz – The Truth About Fat

Nina Teicholz is a journalist and author of The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.

Nina Teicholz and Mikhaila Peterson took a deep dive into the stigmas and realities of eating fat. Nina gives a wonderful history in the political, industrial, and pharmaceutical aspects of fat and fat substitutes in American diets. They also covered topics including why we’re told fat is bad for us, saturated fats, vegetable oil substitutes, how fat got demonized in the first place, effects of high and low LDL cholesterol, the monetary incentive to use fat substitutes (hello conspiracies that are real), and more.

Find more Nina Teicholz on her website​ For more on Nina’s group’s nutritional guidelines check​, and on she’s on Twitter @bigfatsurprise.

Buy Ninas Book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet here:…​

This episode is sponsored by truLOCAL. truLOCAL partners with local farmers and butchers (in your area) to source the best meat available. Serving 100’s of cuts of beef, lamb, buffalo, and chicken; truLOCAL even offers cuts that you can’t get at the grocery store. My favorite is their lamb and striploin.

Visit​ and enter code “MP” to get 2 free ribeye steaks with a large box order. If you’re Canadian and you appreciate quality meat – I’d highly recommend checking them out.

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Show Notes:
[2:00​] Mikhaila Peterson starts the episode by introducing Nina Teicholz, author of the book The Big Fat Surprise, on the truth surrounding fats in our diet. Mikhaila kicks off the discussion by asking how the demonization of fat started.
[6:00​] American scientist Ancel Keys was primarily responsible for the theory that saturated fats were the primary culprit for the increase in heart disease from the 1920s to the 1950s. He became a leading member of the American Heart Association and helped spread the idea that saturated fats were definitely the culprits in heart disease and attacks.
[7:30​] In the 1960s and 1970s governments all over the world started to recognize the American Heart Association’s stance on fat in our diets and started doing research. Most studies seem to come up rather inconclusive but the narrative of fat being bad is not affected.
[11:30​] Companies with a monetary investment in replacing fat start to get involved in marketing and lobbying towards their own benefit.
[14:00​] Mikhaila asks Nina to explain what saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are.
[19:30​] Nina Teicholz talks about her book The Big Fat Surprise. She speaks about how doing a series of investigative food stories sparked interest in fats. She started to hear stories of censorship from anyone who was looking into the subject of fats, especially from corporations that made fat alternative products.
[22:00​] Nina Teicholz on the food industry’s involvement in food science – “The nutrition world seemed a little bit more like the wild west than I had imagined. It’s not what I felt I had learned about science. Science was supposed to unfold in a rational way with honest, earnest discussion.”
[22:30​] Mikhaila asks Nina to talk about what cholesterol is and how it affects our bodies, and additionally the differences in cholesterol, HDL, and LDL.
[26:30​] Cholesterol is a highly complicated topic because of the involvement of the pharmaceutical industry.
[30:00​] There is even conflicting information that women and children benefit from having higher cholesterol.
[33:00​] Can you eat too many saturated fats specifically with meat consumption?
[37:30​] Revisiting the oil substitutes that cause inflammation.
[40:00​] Covering trans fats
[47:00​] Why has there been such a rise in heart disease if saturated fats and cholesterol are not to blame?
[52:00​] Nina believes the push towards low-fat diets was primarily a factor of fat being more calorie-dense per gram than carbs are so in effect lowering fat was the easiest way to reduce caloric intake. Mikhaila referred to a previous podcast episode with Ben Bikman, where she had an in-depth conversation about insulin.
[53:00​] How can you help shift someone’s mind towards accepting that fat is not bad after years of hearing the opposite stance?

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