Everything You Know About Dietary Fat is Wrong

by Charlotte on April 30, 2010 · 50 comments

Nothing says health food like meat in a can. But look – it even has one of those little key thingies to help you open it!!

The Internet teaches many strange lessons. For instance, courtesy of Facebook I now know more of my girl friends’ maiden names than I did when we were in high school and they were still using them. Just today I learned that millions of baby cribs are being recalled (sending me creeping into Jelly Bean’s nursery with a flashlight like the stalker mom I am), that I can use oil-based exterior paint to spruce up my ugly front door (What do you all think of a cobalt blue front door? Fun? Or there goes the property value?), and that Heidi Montag was named Time magazine’s least influential person (they made up a “moron” category just for her). Would I have known any of this without the great wonder that is Google? Nay.

Which I why I blame Google for all the misinformation out there about dietary fat. If that little start-up had just algorithm-ed it’s way to glory a wee bit earlier then we could have crunched the data linking – or rather not linking – saturated fats with coronary disease twenty years ago and avoided the horror that is fat-free cheese. If you would have told me 15 years ago that eating fat would not make me fat, not even butter, I might have fainted.

That’s right, all of the stuff you’ve been told about fat the last few decades was wrong. It turns out butter, real whipped cream and lard won’t give you a heart attack after all. But you know what will? Simple, processed carbs.

We have a long, troubled history with fat. Back in the early part of the last century someone invented margarine, a cheap alternative to butter made out of hydrogenated vegetable oils. This oleo spread didn’t catch on at first but then someone else decreed that eating fat makes you fat – especially the saturated fats found in animal products and coconut oil. Margarine, replete with the demon-spawn transfats, came to rule the market and a whole movement was born. The hysteria culminated in the fat-phobic 90′s where fat grams were the only piece of information about a food that mattered. In fact, when I was a wee lass just beginning my eating disordered journey, fat grams were my number of choice to obsess over. It was my goal to make it through the day on less than 1 gram of fat. I was really good at it too! I went for years without touching meat, real cheese, nuts, avocados and even chocolate. I replaced them with – and I kid you not – fat-free popcorn and SweeTarts candy. And I felt downright smug about my “healthy” diet.

If a time machine is ever invented I want to go back and smack me.

Over the past 10 years or so, we’ve come to see the importance of dietary fat to our health and have welcomed “healthy fats” like olive oil, avocados and nuts back into our diet. But we were still told to limit saturated fats. Even today, this very second, the FDA is still recommending to “limit saturated fats to less than 10% of calories with the majority of fat coming from poly- or mono-unsaturated fats.” They’re also still recommending fat-free or reduced-fat milk despite the fact that studies have shown full-fat dairy to be healthier.

But now The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (via Scientific American) has published a meta analysis of major studies on dietary fat that refutes once and for all the assumption that saturated fats are to blame for heart disease.

The meta-analysis—which combines data from several studies—that compared the reported daily food intake of nearly 350,000 people against their risk of developing cardiovascular disease over a period of five to 23 years. The analysis, overseen by Ronald M. Krauss, director of atherosclerosis research at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, found no association between the amount of saturated fat consumed and the risk of heart disease.

The finding joins other conclusions of the past few years that run counter to the conventional wisdom that saturated fat is bad for the heart because it increases total cholesterol levels. That idea is “based in large measure on extrapolations, which are not supported by the data,” Krauss says.

But wait, it gets better: “Stampfer’s findings do not merely suggest that saturated fats are not so bad; they indicate that carbohydrates could be worse.” The article goes on to discuss research that shows that eating a diet high in refined, processed carbohydrates is correlated with heart disease. All those Snackwell’s are sitting a little heavy now, aren’t they?

So will the FDA update their guidelines to reflect the new research? “Right now, Post explains, the agency’s main message to Americans is to limit overall calorie intake, irrespective of the source.” That would be a big no.

It looks like Michael Pollan and your great grandma were right again: the less processed your food is the better it is for you. Whole milk beats skim. Whole wheat bread beats white. Virgin, unprocessed coconut oil is amazingly good for your health. And butter is not the great evil we have been led to believe. That noise you are hearing? All my gears grinding as my whole food paradigm shifts. (The one exception to this would be conventionally farmed meat. Toxins ingested by animals are stored primarily in their fat so the more animal fat you eat from animals raised in feed-lots, the more toxins, hormones, pesticides and other nasties you are exposing yourself to. It isn’t the animal fat that is the problem though – it’s the way the animals were farmed that is.)

However, to quote the inimitable G.I. Joe, knowing is [only] half the battle. Sure I know that fat is good for us blah blah blah but do you know what is in my fridge right now? Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (for the fam. I don’t eat them), 2% milk (for the kiddos, again I can’t have it), low-fat cream cheese and turkey bacon. Worst of all: Smart Balance Lite. Not that I am saying Smart Balance in and of itself is a bad product but why can’t I just embrace butter already?! My heads says one thing but my heart still says no.

Anyone else having this internal conflict? Do you still buy skim milk? How do you feel about saturated fat? Do you generally try to avoid it? Do you think the FDA’s nutritional guidelines need an overhaul? And I really do need opinions about my potentially cobalt blue door – would it be too much??

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

marathonmaiden April 30, 2010 at 3:37 am

i don't go out of my way to avoid it (ice cream anyone? hah) but i don't go out of my way to include it either. i think that, like with everything, too much of something is not a good thing. and ever since i learned way back in the day that about 60% of the brain is fat i try not to stress out over it. hard but it's a fact i keep repeating to myself :)


Tyler April 30, 2010 at 3:56 am

i love the idea of eating all natural, un-processed food, including full fat food. the problem is that i am so addicted to sweets, that when i decide it's OK to eat bacon again, i still eat my chocolate ice cream, and thus just end up eating a lot more calories than normal! whoops!

our official nutrition guidelines really really need an overhaul, but i don't think that is going to happen anytime soon. actually, its the USDA that puts out the food guide pyramid, and they are too financially tied to food industries to put out unbiased recommendations. grain surplus = tell everyone to eat more bread! sigh.


bjbella5 April 30, 2010 at 4:23 am

Saturated fats are ok?My brain is freaking-out right now!


Amber Rose April 30, 2010 at 4:55 am

I agree with raspberryrunner about the food pyramid and the financial incentives rather than health incentives behind these recommendations. The media in Australia used to quote a woman named Rosemary Stanton as the be-all and end-all for nutrition. They never mentioned, however, that she was paid by Weight Watchers. Not that I'm a cynic or anything :)

I've pretty much ignored the food pyramid for years. I've been reading research on nutrition for ages and am amazed that people still teach and quote science that's been outdated since the 1950s. Same with exercise.

Apparently living fat-free, low-fat and reduced fat for years meant that my body didn't get any fat at all, including the good fat, which is now affecting my health. However I've found Chia seeds (http://www.chialive.com.au/),” target=”_blank”> http://www.chialive.com.au/),” target=”_blank”>(http://www.chialive.com.au/), and even though it's only been a couple of days I've noticed a massive difference. They have a great Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio, plenty of fibre, protein etc.

I pretty much blame the food pyramid (that is internationally endorsed, not just the USDA) for some of my current health problems.


Sabrina April 30, 2010 at 5:34 am

Thank you Charlotte for your excellent post– this is information that needs to be out there. I shudder to think how many boxes of Snackwells (aka Crackwells) I ate in college thinking it was healthy!


jenn April 30, 2010 at 5:41 am

Holy sh#! are you my doppelganger (non ghostly of course)???? My front door IS cobalt blue.

I got over the low-fat stuff about 5 or 6 years ago when I read the Makers Diet. (Prob my favorite health book BTW.) I still buy low-fat cottage cheese and some yogurts but not b/c they are low-fat just b/c that is the only organic cottage cheese my Trader Joe's carries. I love butter and coconut oil. Eat both every day. We drink whole milk and when we can afford it raw whole milk.


Organic Fertilizer April 30, 2010 at 6:53 am

I can say I got proper information about Dietary fat with the help of this post.I was only aware that it contributes to many negative health effects including many of today's common causes of death, such as heart disease and cancer.Everything is well mentioned here so that one can get deep idea about this.


Lizzie April 30, 2010 at 8:37 am

Go for it with the door!!!! :) x


Gingersnapper April 30, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I do tend toward lean meats, and I buy skim milk and low-fat cottage cheese, but it's not to avoid fat per se, it's to avoid excess calories. We all know that fat has about twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates, so I think of it in terms of whether it's worth it to use my calories on those foods. Generally not, because dairy products specifically aren't a big part of my diet, I use them more as ingredients in something else. But when I want ice cream, I buy real, full-fat, straight-on ice cream, because that's something I'm going to eat and enjoy as itself, not as an ingredient. Those calories are worth it!


VaMomof2 April 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I buy real butter, real mayo, 2% milk and reduced fat cc and sour cream – but for the calorie difference, not the fat. I also try for organic as much as possible (in our house, we just call it happy – happy meat and happy veggies). Never did take to skim milk – would rather have just given it up. I was raised on margarine and was thrilled to leave it behind when I was paying for my own groceries.

Blue door could be very cool – depending on the color of your house.


Jen April 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I just happen to be working on a post about the FDA as we speak. IMHO, the FDA, as well as the USDA, need a complete overhaul. Skinny Bitch, if you can ignore their obvious bias, does a great job of detailing what's wrong with the sources governing our food. I also recommend watching Food, Inc if you haven't yet.

I try to only eat "real" food so I usually don't worry about the breakdown of macromolecules. I would rather have 200 calories of bread made from yeast and flour than 100 calories of hydrolized oil and high fructose corn syrup. I don't care about the sat fat in my chocolate because I'm eating small amounts of REAL dark chocolate. I don't worry about the carbs in my rice because I'm eating real brown rice instead of rice products.


Nath April 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I prefer the regular dairy, but every now and then I feel bad and buy the low fat stuff. Irrationnal, since I know the regular stuff is actually better for me. Have you ever read the ingredients of low fat sour cream or low fat cottage cheese, or even 0% yogurt? There is so much added crap in there to try to get the texture similar to the full fat version! Not bad stuff per se, though some are, but just stuff that has no place in dairy. Who needs cellulose in there dairy? It sounds like they added sawdust to the mix. As for meat, I usually go with what I want rather than the fat content, but I do limit bacon and processed meat.

Another persistent fat myth that bugs me is that cholesterol in your food (like in egg yoks and shrimp) increases bad 'cholesterol' in your blood. Cholesterol, the molecule, is necessary to good body function, including hormones and cell membranes. Good and bad 'cholesterol' are not referring to molecule cholesterol – I don't know why they call it 'cholesterol' – but to fat complexes that are used by the body to circulate fat in the bood stream (since fat is not soluble in the blood). Good and bad refers to the quantity of saturated or insaturated fat in each type of these complexes. I know this, my nutritionnist knows this, but somehow my doctor (in his 60s) is still telling me to watch cholesterol content rather than saturated fat content and to stop eating eggs and seafood and red meat.


Alina April 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I love saturated fat – I switched to butter and coconut oil a few months ago, and I actually ended up losing a bit of weight. I don't control serving sizes either … the way I see it, eating fat is as natural to humans as eating veggies, so I put it in the same good-for-you category. Doing that alleviated a whole lot of crazy (although it also involved giving up calorie counting my meals). But again, I lost weight, so I am ok with not counting.

I like the idea of a cobalt blue door. There is something very charming about it.


Erin April 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I gave up margarine and switched to butter several years ago. However, I do buy 1% (organic!) milk. My husband would be in heaven if I bought even 2% but I prefer the taste of skim so 1% is our compromise. And, to be honest, I would prefer to get my dairy calories from something like really good cheese as opposed to straight up whole milk.


Ruth April 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Excellent post Charlotte.

I too used to count fat grams. I was hungry all the time.

Also, my poor father died of heart disease, not knowing it was the carbs that did him in (he felt guilty about eating FAT).

Turns out then, that Atkins wasn't so far off after all. Although beginning of Atkins is too restrictive of veggies, IMHO, a lot of his research, etc., was pretty accurate.


redhead April 30, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I've got to disagree with the way you open this article, saying fat won't make you fat. Fat CAN make you fat. Eating too many empty calories with too little exercise will make you gain weight, and empty calories are usually either high-sugar or high-fat food with no other nutritional value. Because yes, we do need some fat in our diet (and still not just any fat – trans fat is still bad), but we should eat much less fat than, say, veggies. Junk food can still make you fat if you are eating too much of it and not exercising enough – whether it's sweet, sugary junk food or greasy, fat junk food. Fat-free as a diet doesn't work because most of the fat-free foods (cough Snackwells) just add more sugar, and sugar-free foods sometimes add extra fat (and sometimes add chemical sweeteners, a whole other issue).

I definitely agree that the less processed food is, the better, and that empty carbs and starches with extra sugar and no nutrients are not healthy. But fat doesn't get a free pass, either. Butter isn't some great evil to avoid at all costs, but if you add it to everything you eat, you will consume much more fat than you need with no other nutrients. Many "healthy" fats like avocado or peanut butter are called that because they have other nutrients and good stuff besides the fat.

Bottom line – eat the combo of produce, grains and protein source (tofu, nuts, meat, whatever) that works for you. If you're going to have a treat, have the cookie made with real butter and sugar, or the potato chips made with real oil and potatoes – at least your body knows how to digest those things. Just limit it. ANYTHING that is high calorie but nutrientless will make you unhealthy and make you gain weight – whether it's high sugar or high fat.


Geosomin April 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Ah yes – this is why large blind studies are so very necessary. Small studies can be made to say whatever you like…and noone publishes negative data, so there's often a skewed reporting of things.
Moderation is the key. I'm sure if you spooned in the lard you'd have issues, but I just try and use less processed foods and get on with it.
But then I've never had cholesterol issues…


Primal Homemaker April 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

This is so true. When my friends and family ask me how I have managed to lose nearly 70 pounds and keep it off for a year and I tell them that 50% of my diet is fat. Their jaws drop to the floor. They don't believe me or they tell me how unhealthy that it is. I laugh in my head as I gaze upon their "muffin top" running over their pants. It's clear they know how to eat "healthy"


Elisa April 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm

High fat foods will fill you up so much faster than simple carbs. I've been eating lots of fat for the last five years and have lost 10-15 lbs. Of course fat contains a lot more calories than carbs, but one spoonful of peanut butter will keep you out of the cupboards and fridge for much longer than low-fat snacks.


shelly April 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm

So a) I often choose skim milk, 2% cottage cheese, and 2% Greek yogurt over the full fat stuff primarily to save calories. (And because I’ve developed a taste preference for skim milk over whole). As for fats, I cook with olive oil more often than butter, but I don’t mind using butter. I am definitely not afraid of peanut butter or avocados and I sometimes indulge in homemade coconut butter. (You run shredded coconut in the food processor until it has the consistency of frosting- yum!)
But b) I don’t think my body handles fatty foods particularly well. And by fatty foods, I mean the stuff I indulge in when I go out to eat, fried food in general, and the gumbo my dad made a couple weeks ago that was full of cheap pork sausage. My tummy is not a fan! Whether that’s b/c it’s not “good fat” or because it’s just too much all at once, I don’t know. All I know is that peanut butter does not make me ill, but the duck and cheese on sourdough (sounds weird, but tasted amazing) I ate at a restaurant the other night did a number on my tummy.
And c) I really love my carbs. I do, on the other hand, eat whole wheat everything and lots of quinoa and oats and think that these are a) healthy dietary choices and b) not something I would give up or cut down on, but I always feel like some people take away the wrong message from studies like these and restrict all carbs. Snackwells and sweet potatoes are not the same!
I was going to ask you about the link between animal fat and cancer (prostate cancer springs to mind- the biggest risk factor for that other than being an older man is a diet high in red meat and other sources of animal fat) but I think the point you made about how the animals were cared for is a good one that could very well be a link to why animal fat and cancer are linked. (And it makes me feel better about the farmer’s Market bacon I occasionally indulge in- the guy who sells it is a big proponent of healthy farming and literally told me the pedigree and lineage of the pig I was about to eat- it stands to reason that not all pork is created equal!)


Paige April 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I just had a conversation with my Mom about my change to primal/paleo diet and lifestyle 3 months ago after a lifetime of believing that avoiding fats but gorging on refined food of all kinds (organic, macrobiotic, standard American, etc.) was healthy. She found it hard to believe that the "no-fat" message was the one I had always received. I can't believe the identifiable and measurable changes in my body and mind in just these months. I am deeply grateful that it didn't take the same 43 years to undo what I am convinced was diet-related damage, even if that damage never manifested as a serious medical issue, but rather acne and wrinkling, constant hunger, and difficulty maintaining a lean physique, for example. Glad you're spreading the word. I am, too.


linteater April 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I never really liked milk or butter (They just tasted yucky to me, but I do like cheese), but my husband makes fun of me for how much olive oil I use. I adore my fats :)

I've always been suspicious of the USDA, mainly because of their dairy requirements. Requiring 3 servings of dairy a day is the equivalent of saying we have to suckle from a cow three times a day, which just seems like an odd requirement.


Allison April 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm

"If a time machine is ever invented I want to go back and smack me."– This may be the best thing I've ever read!

On another note, I, too, have a blue door- and a navy blue living room, a green kitchen, and a red bedroom. It's just paint! Go for it!


Lasserday April 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm

yay blue doors! yay fat!


Rob April 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Unicorn meat! I almost choked on my baby seal sandwich. Love that pic.


Carla April 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm

This is such a fabulous post! I am just learning all these things so I found it really interesting.

I stopped drinking skim milk, and added back in butter, full fat cheeses, eggs, nuts, etc several months ago and I have never felt better. It is helping me lose weight because I am not hungry all the time! Thanks for the info!


aboyn3girls April 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Nay to the cobalt door. If I remember right, your house is blue right? Live a little girl..go for a different color. Perhaps the wild and crazy……….almond? :))


dragonmamma/naomi April 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm

The house across the street has a purple door, and the one next door to that has royal blue. To wow this neighborhood, I'd need to paint my door in rainbow colors with a top-coat of glitter.

I love my saturated coconut oil! I don't do dairy, so low-fat versions aren't an issue.


JavaChick April 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm

I grew up eating butter, though my mom did use margarine to bake with. I have never bought skim milk. I love coconut oil for cooking. Apparently I am an aberration.

Our front door is an awful yellow color. We've been talking about painting it ever since we moved into the house. 8 years ago.


Joan April 30, 2010 at 9:46 pm

For years I have stuck with low-fat dairy, but being a fishetarian, no meat at all. The day I heard a nutritionist claim that peanut butter was not a healthy food because it was so high in fat, I just had to laugh. I have been reading a lot about fats, but feel I still need to learn a lot more. I was just starting to dabble with eating butter and cheese again, then read another study linking a dietary pattern that is low in high-fat dairy, among other things, with a sizeable reduction in Alzheimer's. Agh!
And to think that I ate all that trans-fat in margarine for all those years.
The real cause of obesity is that Americans eat an average of 400 more calories per day compared to the 70s. We don't actually eat less fat than then, just more carbs, especially high-fructose corn syrup.


mjb April 30, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Wow, I hope this is true. I think it will be easy for me to go back to butter and whole milk.

On the other hand, is anything in science ever settled "once and for all"?

Also, if Time created a new category for Heidi Montag, doesn't that make her very influential?


Lola April 30, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Hey Charlotte!! I think I've read your blog before, back when I had a xanga account and loved it, so i'm very glad to find you again!! I love it!
Cool pic of the unicorn meat hehe and yeah, i know all about healthy fats, i eat a ton of nuts but I still buy skim milk, and fat free yogurt and cottage cheese!
have a nice weekend!


Heather Eats Almond Butter May 1, 2010 at 1:06 am

Love my fats – all of them!I did the Smart Balance Light stuff too for a while, and then I got over it. Nothing like some Kerrygold grass fed butter. However, I still love my carbs too…I just try and stay away from the SweeTarts. ;)


Jen May 1, 2010 at 2:58 am

Hi Charlotte,

For me… low-GI carbs are the way to go (forget the simple vs.complex, rather how it raises your blood sugar once it starts the digestion process). And I'm sticking with low-er fat, not no-fat (animal derived) dairy simply because the full fats over time messed with my cholesterol levels.

I belive that dietary requirements completely depend on the individual and their bodily make-up – what works for me may not work for you. And this is why moderation is the best way to consume anything, whether it be hi / low, fat / carb / protein… it's all fuel in, but how our bodies uniquely handle it makes the real difference.

For the door… how about orange?


Kara Thom May 1, 2010 at 11:11 am

First the door: I'm in favor of Cobalt, maybe. Years ago I encouraged Workout Partner Pam to paint her door red (she had a gray home with black trim). It wasn't at all how we envisioned. No matter how many coats, the door just didn't get the right shade and so it looked more orange (sorry to the commenter above, but orange is a bad idea!) and theirs became the Halloween House. If it's the right shade of blue, it could be bliss… but get it wrong and you'll want to park in your neighbor's driveway.

On to fats–I've been up on this research, although you've said it better than anyone so far, and having been a fat-free gal in the 90s myself it was hard to swallow. But I've been doing it ever so slowly. Butter in the oatmeal instead of marg, half-in-half in the coffee, drinking 2 % milk now, and loving my whole milk yogurt. This has been over the course of the year and I was sure my weight would go up. Even since weaning The Boy these last few months I've been thinking, I'll have to go back to lower fat, but those last five pounds are gone without giving up my butter and cream. So… why would I do that? Start with one thing and see for yourself!


Jen May 1, 2010 at 11:53 am

/agree about Heidi Montag

I'm sure that she was thrilled just to have her name in print.


kateoak May 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I think a cobalt door sounds awesome, but it does depend what color your house is.

The first time I tracked my calories on a website that broke them down by source, I was surprised to see what a low percentage of my calories were coming from fat. I'm not a fat-phobe, and I don't buy highly processed, reduced fat "health" foods, but I hate butter, milk, olive oil, fatty cuts of meat, and pretty much anything with creamy in the name. I hate the taste, I hate the way they feel on my tongue and when I chew them – they just gross me out. Since I noticed this, however, I've been eating nuts, nut butters and avocados like they're going out of style.


foodiemom May 1, 2010 at 7:04 pm

i spent almost 2 decades struggling with my weight on low-fat, high-carb diets.

i'm now 40 and have 3 small children, and i weigh 110lbs at 5ft4. my diet is rich in good-quality saturated fats, lots of coconut oil, butter from grass-fed cows, full-fat yogurt, grass-fed beef, local lamb and poultry (i eat the chicken skin!), and occasional wild fish. lots of fruits & veggies, too, of course.

i have never been healthier, leaner or more energetic, and my whole family is thriving on this diet. i will never buy anything "low fat" again. i do urge anyone who is interesting in improving the quality of their nutrition to read up on michael pollan and gary taubes. finally the science is catching up to the conventional wisdom of yesteryear.

cobalt sounds beautiful.


freetoday May 1, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I fully believe that being raised in a house where Snackwells and Country Crock were easier to find than bananas and butter fully contributed to my reaching 280 lbs (on a 5'2" frame btw) by the time I was 21. I was raised by a woman who thought diet soda was a good replacement for water, and seemed to think that even children should be fed predominately chicken breast and fat free processed packaged "goodies". I just grew up with a skewed idea of what was healthy.

About a year ago (after everything from wight watchers, twice, to atkins to some disgusting cleanse drink thing) I learned how to cook, and stopped counting every calorie that went in, and stopped stressing about it at all. I love fats, and as of right now, after eating for a year on anything as long as I can pronounce it or it comes from the "outside U" of the grocery store I'm down 40 lbs, and no longer feel like food is an enemy.

This research is great, and thanks for sharing it. Its wonderful to have something to back up what I have been doing for myself, and it is great that there is someone out there wanting to get this information out to people.


schalmers12 May 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Great article. You're bang on … at least my research not too long ago concurs with your article. I too was surprised. Since then I drink homogenized milk, enjoy bacon, am generous with butter. I minimize processed foods as much as possible. I am not averse to animal fats. I was vegetarian for two years and I don't think I ever felt satiated. That's not to say vegetarianism is bad; I believe we all have our own optimal dietary needs and that being vegetarian is great for some people.

Thanks again for the terrific article. I like the style of your blog also.


Geosomin May 3, 2010 at 9:22 pm

PS – YES on the blue door.

I have a purple one. Love it.

Besides, if you ever sell, just paint it again…


chariander May 4, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Oooh – now I want purple!  I LOVE purple.

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
The Great Fitness Experiment Pilates: May's Great Fitness Experiment Plus Experiment Results

— @ WiseStamp Signature. Get it now


cheekypinky May 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm

purple door!
blue door!
red door!

oooo, what about a tiffany blue door? :)

i grew up on the processed-low-fat-no-fat-tastless-sawdust-additives crap.
no surprise that i was heavy in high school,
and that i was ALWAYS HUNGRY.

the best thing i ever did for my body was to begin eating real food,
with real ingredients that i could identify and pronounce.
i drink whole milk,
put butter on my whole grain toast every morning,
and use olive oil liberally–
guess who weighs 30 pounds less than she did in high school?


my doc said i have the best cholesterol levels she's ever seen.

so take THAT, diet nazis!!!


julie May 6, 2010 at 7:19 am

I eat full fat yogurt, cheese, butter, bacon, but 1% milk, just because I'm used to it. Maybe next time I'll buy 2%. Low-fat eating was nothing but bad news for me, I gained so much weight. I was never satisfied, I like fat. Bugs my parents, who look in my fridge and shake their heads in confusion at my weight loss while whispering about how I must somehow think I'm immune to heart disease, etc. Whatever.


Kelly May 8, 2010 at 4:14 am

You should check out the documentary "Fat Head". It's funny and so interesting and, according to my scientist husband, the science is right on. Basically, the documentary explains how politics were behind the initial low-fat advice we were given in the 70s, as well as the science behind why fat won't make you fat but carbs will.

I have embraced butter and I have to tell you, it's fabulous!


projectlady May 8, 2010 at 4:51 am

We used 'spray butter' because at some point, I thought the 0 calorie thing was a good idea. After reading Pollan's books and learning more, we switched back to real butter. Charlotte, I think I read you're in MN. You need to try Hope Butter… your local co-op may carry it, and if you venture toward southern MN (where it is made in a tiny little town), you can find it in a Hy-Vee grocery store. It is the best butter you can find.


chariander May 9, 2010 at 2:04 am

Oh thank you!  Am looking it up on Netflix right now!!


chariander May 9, 2010 at 2:05 am

Thanks for the rec!  I added it to my \”health foods to look for\” list!


Georgia May 10, 2010 at 11:21 am

Bring on the saturated fat! I am lucky enough to be living in England and can get organic raw milk, cheese, and butter and organic, pastured meat from a local farm for less than store bought. We are totally spoiled! I have NEVER trusted margarine even in the 80's and 90's so I feel totally vindicated now.

Even though I knew saturated fat was not the problem, I also knew about all of the man-made toxins in conventional dairy and meat. Because of this, I still limited the amount of these products my children ate. We have been eating much more saturated fat now that we have access to the organic farm products and we have suffered no weight gain (except normal gains for the kids) over the past year.


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