The Current

Nina Teicholz's big surprise: 'Fat doesn't make you fat'

Bring on the bacon, butter, cheese, and cream. Today, we look at why the fattiest, and most delicious of foods, may have been unfairly maligned for generations. Journalist Nina Teicholz says it's time to end the fat-shaming in our diets.... for our health's sake.
Author Nina Teicholz says: "Eat butter; drink milk whole, and feed it to the whole family. Stock up on creamy cheeses, offal, and sausage, and yes, bacon". (Not On Display/Flickr)
'Fat does not make you fat. Fat does not make you diseased... including saturated fat. The evidence for that was never strong.' - Nina Teicholz, author of "Big Fat Surprise" (CBC)

If you're like many Canadians, then you likely make an effort to avoid saturated fats. It's all in keeping with the long-standing dietary law of the land: Avoid those fats to keep cholesterol down, and ensure a healthy heart.       

But now science journalist Nina Teicholz is cutting through that received wisdom, like a hot knife through forbidden butter. Her new book is called, "The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet." 

Nina Teicholz spoke with Anna Maria Tremonti in January of this year.

Nina Teicholz's findings put into question some of the thinking behind Canada's Food Guide. So we turned to Health Canada for its response. Hasan Hutchinson is the Director General of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion at Health Canada.

Hasan Hutchinson spoke with Anna Maria just a few days after our interview with Nina Teicholz. 

Following our interview with Nina Tiecholz, we hear from Health Canada about what they say we should eat according to the Canada Food Guide, especially when it comes to the amount and types of fat.

We asked Health Canada if there have been any developments in its review of its dietary guidelines. None so far.

Tell us what you think!

Help shape the future of CBC article pages by taking a quick survey.

An update:  

Since we recorded those interviews Nina Teicholz was invited to speak to the Senate committee on social affairs, science and technology. Ms. Teicholz had an hour-long session in the Red Chamber explaining the findings of her book.

Do you avoid fat in your diet? Or is it part of your own personal food guide?

Send us your thoughts on Twitter @TheCurrentCBC Post on Facebook. Or send us an email.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson and Ines Colabrese.


♦ Does Canada's Food Guide Promote Weight Gain? - Weighty Matters
♦ 'There's No Doubt' - Limiting Saturated Fats Helps Heart - Huffington Post