Dr. Eades Explains How Bad Oils Increase Our Appetite For Carbs

I just watched this speech by Dr. Mike Eades while putting in my time on the treadmill. You’ll want to watch this — even if you’re not on a treadmill.  Dr. Eades explains why he believes crappy vegetable oils act like a super-carbohydrate and increase our appetites for more carbs.  He gets into some complicated biochemistry here and there, but you don’t need to understand every bit of it.  Just pay attention to how different fats affect our fat cells.

I’ve pointed out many times that back when most kids were lean, they weren’t on ketogenic or strict low-carb diets.  They ate sandwiches and potatoes, but not as many carbs overall as we eat now.  The difference in appetite and the tendency to store calories as body fat may come down to the fats we consumed then vs. now.  Enjoy.

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The Farm Report: Reclaiming The Chicken Yards

I haven’t put in much farm work this summer. Much of my weekend time has been devoted to putting together all the various and sundry items required by the distributor of the Fat Head Kids film. To name just one example, they need a script that is 1) word-for-word accurate on all dialog, and 2) has the timecode noted next to every change in dialog. For those of you who don’t know, timecode tells us where we’re at in the film in hours, minutes, seconds and frames. A script with timecode is necessary for producing accurate subtitles. So I’m going through each and every bit of dialog and putting timecode in like this:

[00:12:21.09]          MR. SPOT
That’s correct, Captain. We know The Nautilus depends on a super-computer we call The Brain.

I’ve also had insurance forms to fill out, releases to send out and chase down, etc., etc. We’ll just refer to this as the less-than-fun portion of producing a film.

There’s more film work to do, but Chareva and I nonetheless decided to spend much of the weekend laboring outdoors. Ninety degrees and humid both days … heck, what’s not to like?

We were motivated partly by the arrival of the new chickens. After Rocky Raccoon VII and Rocky Racoon VIII relieved her of chicken duties, Chareva elected to take a break. But the break was brief. We now have 25 chicks living in a horse trough in the newest of the chicken yards, the one we built last summer.

The chicks are in that particular coop in that particular yard because it’s the most secure. We didn’t lose any chickens to predators in that yard. The only problem is that over the course of a few months, chickens can peck a mini-jungle down to the dirt. When the yard was bare, Chareva moved the flock to an older yard we thought was secure enough. Rocky VII and Rocky VIII taught us otherwise.

We want both of the older yards to be like the newest one: secure, and with a second level of fencing to keep the nets way above our heads. I don’t like ducking under a net whenever I enter a chicken yard. This is much more pleasant:

On Saturday, we tackled the worst of the two yards. I say worst because we had to remove the old net, which had gotten torn in some places and was brittle enough in other places for Rocky VIII to chew a hole in it. Removing a net may not sound difficult, but trust me, it is when the net has fallen down off the poles and you’ve allowed a jungle to grow up and poke through it.

Working in a mini-jungle is practically begging to become a blood donor for ticks. I’ve never liked ticks, but I only started seeing them as a major hazard when the meat-allergy tick made its way to Tennessee. If I become allergic to red meat, my life will have no meaning.

So I finally followed the advice a reader left in comments long ago and bought some knee-high boots, then tucked my jeans into them. Then I sprayed the boots with a tick repellent. I also sprayed my sleeves, the area around my collar, and all around my waist – pretty much everywhere a tick might make an entrance.

We spent most of Saturday yanking and cutting and cutting and yanking and uttering ancient curses known only to small-time farmers. Little by little, we managed to tear the net away from the thick weeds. Then I ran The Beast through the yard to shred the jungle.

On Sunday, the second yard presented a different problem. We had the good sense to remove the net months ago before the jungle could grow into it. But as you can see, it was quite a jungle:

There’s a gate on the downhill side of the fence, but the jungle was so thick, I couldn’t find the chains holding it in place to remove them and open the damned thing. The door on the uphill side of the fence was clear of the jungle, but too narrow for The Beast.

Well, to heck with this, I thought. I’ll just take down this jungle using the weed-whacker with the blade attachment.

That plan lasted, oh, I don’t know, maybe 10 minutes. Yes, the weed-whacker blade was capable of knocking down the weeds. But that’s all. I was ending up with piles of fallen weeds three feet high. The Beast, by contrast, doesn’t just knock them down. It knocks them down, chews them up, and spits them out.

After uttering some ancient curses known only to small-time farmers, it occurred to me that I could use the weed-whacker to clear a path to the downhill gate. Once I knocked weeds away from the gate, I could finally find the chain and carabiner holding it in place. The carabiner was jammed and didn’t want to move, so Chareva used wire cutters to release it from the fence. The gate still wouldn’t move because the base was buried in soil. So Chareva used to spade to dig it out.

Bingo. We were able to crank and yank the gate open. That’s when we noticed soil had built up enough inside the fence to create quite a drop to the ground outside the fence. The Beast weighs a ton, and lifting it isn’t really an option. Fortunately, we had the good sense to buy a portable ramp a couple of years ago.

So I pushed The Beast up the ramp (which made me realize I wasn’t missing anything by skipping my usual Sunday workout at the gym) and got to work. Dang, that is one fine machine. The weeds were so tall and thick in places, I thought, This is going to be too much. The Beast is going to lock up or something.

Nope. Knocked ’em down, chewed ’em up, spit ’em out. With that work done, I used the weed-whacker to finish up areas too tight for the Beast to enter.

It was two long afternoons of hot, heavy, dirty, sweaty work. And it left me feeling Dog-Tired Satisfied.

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From The News …

      60 Comments on From The News …

Interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere:

Kiwi cows are changing color for the butter … er, better

How’s this for a sign that sanity about fats is finally prevailing? As you’ll recall, a recent study concluded that dairy fat doesn’t cause heart disease and may even protect against strokes. According to an article in NewsHub, the public in New Zealand already knows as much:

The colour of New Zealand’s cattle herds is changing, and it’s all because of fat.

Fawn-coloured Jersey cows produce more fat in their milk than black and white Holstein Friesians, and farmers are getting paid more for fat because consumers no longer believe it’s so bad.

What have I been saying for nine years? Change won’t happen because governments change their dietary advice; it will happen because people no longer believe that advice.

“All cows produce fat in their milk, but Jerseys do produce more – that’s what they’re renowned for,” says Alison Gibb, the president of Jersey NZ.

Ms Gibb been farming Jerseys since they were last in vogue, roughly 40 years ago.

Let’s see, that would be around 1978. And of course, we all remember what a problem we had with childhood obesity and diabetes before then.

Then came the 1950s and 1960s, when saturated fat was established as an enemy of public health. Consumers didn’t want fat in their milk and farmers were paid more for protein.

Actually, they were paid for less fat.

Now consumers want fat again, on the back of recent trends such as the paleo diet – and dairy companies are responding.

Uh … strict paleo dieters don’t consume dairy products, but we’ll let that one slide.

Professor Keith Woodford says there’ll be a gradual transition of farmers choosing to introduce more Jersey into their bloodlines.

This trend is all down to the consumer.

“Consumers have said rightly or wrongly that butter’s back in favour, so the price of butter is at an all-time record,” Professor Woodford says.

And now let’s hear from one of the usual idiots … uh, I mean experts.

But health experts say consumers are wrong, and not all fat is good.

“Butter is pure, unadulterated saturated fat – and saturated fat is the main cause of heart disease,” Rodney Jackson says.

Hey professor, did you happen to hear about the latest study concluding that saturated dairy fat has nothing to do with heart disease?

This one of the many ways media reports annoy the hell out of me.  They’ll write experts say this, or scientists say that.  Ladies and gentlemen, we will now set the record straight by quoting THE EXPERTS AND THE SCIENTISTS.  As if they all agree — which they almost never do.  The accurate statement would be some experts say this, or some scientists say that.  Anyway …

The University of Auckland health science professor believes the fat fad won’t last.

No, it will last.  Humans ate saturated fat without harm or guilt for hundreds of thousands of years.  What won’t last is the true fad diet – the one that requires people to remove perfectly healthy fats from foods.

Keto dieters are a menace to diabetics?

Boy, doncha just hate it when demand for your product shoots up? I know if we saw a sudden spike in sales for the Fat Head DVD, I’d be all in a panic. I mean, how do we know we’ll have enough copies for the people who really need it?

That’s the apparent logic behind an article from ABC in Australia:

Diabetics across Australia are struggling to source an essential piece of equipment used to monitor their health, as urine-testing strips that measure the level of ketones in the body are being purchased in bulk by followers of the ketogenic diet.

Dang, if only there were an economic system that allowed production to rise when demand rises.

They measure their ketones by using urine or blood-testing strips available in most pharmacies.

However the testing strips are also used by diabetics like Craig Johnson who can slip into a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis when their ketone levels are too high.

Mr Johnson was recently hospitalised with ketoacidosis, which he believes he could have detected earlier with keto strips.

However, there were no strips available at his local pharmacist in the northern New South Wales town of Byron Bay.

South Grafton pharmacist, Michael Troy, who is also a member of the Pharmaceutical Society and Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said the shortage of ketone-testing strips had become widespread since the keto diet returned to popularity.

Mr Troy said he had been unable to buy keto strips in bulk for almost six months.

“It’s a supply issue. We just cannot physically get our hands on the stock from any of our wholesalers, so we’ve not been able to get the products to keep them in stock on the shelves,” Mr Troy said.

He is urging other pharmacists to follow his lead and keep keto strips aside only for diabetics.

I certainly don’t want diabetics to run short of keto strips. But blaming other people for buying them seems a bit odd. Normally, selling more of a product is considered a positive development. So someone from Down Under tell me: are these things regulated? Are they purchased and distributed by a branch of government? Because when supply and demand get all out of whack and stay out of whack for months, it’s a good bet government regulators are involved somewhere.

Kellogg’s exposed for cereal bribery

You ever wonder why “experts” recommend cereal as a healthy breakfast? Other than pure ignorance, I mean? Turns out being paid helps, as recounted in a Daily Mail article:

Breakfast cereal giant Kellogg’s paid ‘independent experts’ to praise the nutritional value and taste of the company’s products on social media, it has emerged.

On its website, Kellogg’s touted a distinguished-sounding ‘Breakfast Council’ of ‘independent experts’ who helped guide its nutritional efforts.

And of course, those independent experts would let Kellogg’s know if they did some research and found that starting the morning with a big bowl of refined carbohydrates is a lousy idea.

However a contract and emails obtained by the Associated Press show that the maker of Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies paid the experts to engage in ‘nutrition influencer outreach’ and avoid offering their services to products that were ‘competitive or negative to cereal.’

Hmmm, not so independent after all. Wonder how much it costs to buy praise from “experts” on nutrition.

The company paid the experts an average of $13,000 a year to claim that Kellogg’s was their favorite brand on social media, or so they would tout the cereal during TV or other public appearances.

Goodness. What kind of “expert” would sell out like that?

‘I’m still feeling great from my bowl of cereal & milk this morning! Mini-Wheats are my fave,’ said Sylvia Klinger, a dietitian and council member who shared a photo of the cereal during a Twitter chat with Kellogg about the benefits of its product. Kellogg introduced the dietitian as a ‘Breakfast Council Member.’

Without noting her relationship with the company, another council member and dietitian chimed in to say Mini-Wheats were her favorite, too. She included a photo of Frosted Mini-Wheats.

The company used the council to teach a continuing education class for dietitians, publish an academic paper on breakfast, and try to influence the government’s dietary guidelines.

The Kellogg’s Breakfast Council included a professor of nutrition, a pediatrician and dietitians.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up what I think of dietitians – most of them, anyway.

Are you threatened by vegetarianism?

You know how it is … you’re sitting at a restaurant, enjoying a steak, and then you hear some guy at the next table order the vegetarian special. Your mouth goes dry. Your heart begins to pound. The hand holding your fork begins to quiver. Why? Because you feel threatened by vegetarianism. That’s why meat-eaters are constantly picketing in front of vegetarian restaurants and occasionally invade grocery stores to trash the vegetable counter.

Fortunately, someone is studying the reasons behind this pervasive fear of vegetarianism, as reported by the University of Kent:

Researchers from the University’s School of Psychology and Brock University in Canada studied the impact of human supremacy beliefs and vegetarianism on whether people feel moral concern for animals, ranging from those normally considered to be pets, such as cats and dogs, through to those reared for eating, such as pigs and cows, and wild animals.

The study, involving participants in the US, found that both human supremacy beliefs and a perceived vegetarianism threat are important in explaining why some people morally exclude animals.

The results demonstrated that stronger human supremacy beliefs and vegetarianism threat predicted the inclusion of fewer animals in individuals’ moral circles over a reasonably large time interval.

Boy, it’s like they were studying me personally. I include few animals in my individual moral circle over a reasonably large time interval. Now I know it’s because I’m threatened by vegetarianism.

However, the effects of vegetarianism threat were more specific and only emerged for certain animal categories. Stronger vegetarianism threat predicted lesser moral inclusion of food animals, but not of companion animals and unappealing animals.

I take that to mean that even if I’m really threatened by vegetarianism, I won’t eat dogs even if they’re not attractive. Yeah, I guess that makes sense. But I’m glad my Rottweilers are adorable, just in case.

Why people really feel ‘threatened’ by vegetarianism

Meat-eaters don’t give a rat’s ass if some people choose not to eat meat.  That leaves more for us.  We only feel “threatened” when they decide we shouldn’t eat meat either. Take the doofuses running this company – please.

Co-working giant WeWork Cos. thinks it can save the environment quicker than Elon Musk.

The startup has told its 6,000 global staff that they will no longer be able to expense meals including meat, and that it won’t pay for any red meat, poultry or pork at WeWork events. In an email to employees this week outlining the new policy, co-founder Miguel McKelvey said the firm’s upcoming internal “Summer Camp” retreat would offer no meat options for attendees.

WeWork is a private company, and if the bigwigs choose to adopt that policy, that’s their business. But the policy ranks high on the dumbassery scale. No expensing meals that include meat? What if you’re taking a potential client out to dinner and client happens to order chicken?

“Uh, no, sorry. If you order that, I’ll have to pay for this meal out of my own pocket. Boy, doesn’t that spinach pie look delicious?”

“New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact,” said McKelvey in the memo, “even more than switching to a hybrid car.”

Yeah, because raising corn, wheat and soybeans in the same fields year after year by pumping the soil full of fossil-fuel fertilizers and then spraying the crops with Monstanto’s herbicides is so good for the planet.

Individuals requiring “medical or religious” allowances are being referred to the company’s policy team to discuss options.

And then they’re never heard from again.

Although the anti-meat stance is significant for the New York-based company, it’s far from the first startup to promote alternatives to animals. Juicero, a failed maker of high-priced juice machines, had instituted a similar ban on reimbursing employee expenses for meals at non-vegan restaurants.

Well, sure, when I’m searching for policies to emulate, I always look to failed companies for inspiration.

I guess if the employees don’t want to give up meat, WeWork can always bribe some dietitians to come in and discuss the health benefits of eating Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats.

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Fat In Your Diet vs. Fat In Your Blood

I received this email from a reader:

Hey Boss!

I hope things are well on the farm. I wrote you several years ago letting you know Fat Head was my entree to LCHF and I ended up losing 300 lbs. and not dying!

So thanks for that.

I wanted to write to share with you a recent real-world refutation of lipophobia. I donate blood plasma twice a week and recently had a diet related issue. As happens for various reasons I haven’t been able to do a low carb diet full on. Recently my father and I went out to a Chinese restaurant and ordered the General Tso’s chicken drenched in sugary sauce, which came on a platter which should have fed a small to medium sized family. Needless to say, I ate the whole thing.

The next day while donating, my blood was thick and goopy with fat to the point where I was nearly unable to even donate. I received several stern lectures on the need to cut back on fat in my diet. I managed to bite my tongue, but I requested their dietary handout (attached) and skeedaddled.

So you have to wait forty eight hours before you can donate again. In the interim I made sure to limit my carbs and up my fats. When the day arrived, I made sure I was well hydrated and went in.

Long story not terribly short my blood composition was excellent. I’m sure this doesn’t shock you, it didn’t shock me, but it is good to rap this bad dietary advice on the knuckles every time it rears its ugly head.

All the best,
Brian

Here are quotes from the handout Brian received:

As we performed pre-donation screening tests, or during your donation, we found that your plasma was lipemic. Lipemic plasma contains a high amount of fat. Sometimes the foods you eat may cause excess fats to be present in your blood stream. Lipemic plasma can prolong your donation times and possibly cause you to be deferred from donating.
These are some dietary suggestions to help you avoid lipemic plasma and enjoy a timelier donation.

  • Reduce intake of or avoid high fat dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, egg yolks, cream and butter.

  • Reduce intake of or avoid high fat meats such as organ meats (e.g., liver), ham, sausage, and bacon.

There was further advice to avoid junk foods like potato chips and pizza, and to eat a low-fat meal before the next donation.

Same old, same old. They think saturated fat gives us fatty blood, but the science says otherwise.

In this study from 2011, researchers found that it’s processed carbs that raise the level of saturated fatty acids in the bloodstream, not eating saturated fat:

High CHO [carbohydrate] intakes stimulate hepatic SAFA [saturated fatty acids] synthesis and conservation of dietary SAFA. Hepatic de novo lipogenesis from CHO is also stimulated during eucaloric dietary substitution of SAFA by CHO with high glycaemic index in normo-insulinaemic subjects and during hypocaloric high-CHO/low-fat diets in subjects with the metabolic syndrome.

We conclude that avoidance of SAFA accumulation by reducing the intake of CHO with high glycaemic index is more effective in the prevention of CVD than reducing SAFA intake per se.

Jeff Volek and other researchers reported similar results in this study. Here are some quotes from an article about the study in Tech Times:

People who consciously cut down their intake of saturated fats may be surprised to read the results of a recent study. Carbohydrates had a higher risk for increasing levels of fatty acids in a person’s blood than saturated fats in a small study, recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The participants in this study each were given a diet that had the same number of calories — 2,500 — and the same amount of protein. The diets started with higher levels of saturated fats, but every three weeks, the researchers progressively replaced saturated fats with carbs. They found that as the 16 participants ate more carbs and fewer saturated fats, they had increased levels of palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid which is associated with diabetes and heart disease. When the participants ate a diet high in saturated fat and lower in carbohydrates, levels of palmitoleic acid actually decreased.

Brian passed his next screening by eating fat and avoiding carbs. The handout told him to avoid fats, but he knew better. The shame of it is that the supposed professionals don’t know better as well.

p.s. — And in other news … after years of swearing he’d never open a social-media account, The Older Brother has suddenly started popping up regularly on Twitter.  He mostly tweets his libertarian/conservative take on things, so if you’re one of those “I like your posts about nutrition, but I don’t like your politics” types, you’ve been warned.  For the rest of you, check him out at @genaughton57.

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Back To The Future: A 1985 Article Praises Americans For Switching To ‘Healthier’ Diets

The movie Back to the Future came out in 1985. I had my own back to the future moment recently when I stumbled an across a New York Times Magazine article written the same year. Reading this article was a bit like going back in time and seeing the happy faces of people boarding the Titanic.  You know the disaster is coming, but there’s nothing you can do about it.

I wasn’t surprised to see the author was Jane Brody, who’s been on the arterycloggingsaturatedfat! and hearthealthywholegrains! bandwagon for decades. She was, unfortunately, one of the most influential food writers in the mass media. You can get a sense of her capacity for critical thinking by reading one of the first posts I wrote back in 2009, which was titled Jane Brody’s Cholesterol Headache.

Before we get to the 1985 article, it’s worth mentioning that yet another study exonerating saturated fat came out last week. Here are some quotes from an article in Newsweek:

Consuming dairy products such as milk and cheese could cut the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a study that challenged the commonly held belief that dairy is harmful.

Marcia Otto, lead author of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology, human genetics and environmental sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health, said in a statement: “Our findings not only support, but also significantly strengthen, the growing body of evidence which suggests that dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase risk of heart disease or overall mortality in older adults.”

One fatty acid present in dairy was actually found to potentially lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, particularly stroke, she said.

When you see that the lead author is a professor of epidemiology, you might be tempted to write this one off as another lousy observational study that depended on food questionnaires. Nope, that’s not the case.

To arrive at their conclusion, the researchers evaluated 3,000 adults 65 years old and older. At the start of the study in 1992, the levels of three different fatty acids found in dairy products were measured in their blood, and again six and 13 years later.

No surveys or guesswork involved. The investigators measured the actual fatty acids in their blood to determine who consumed how much dairy fat.

The team found none of the fatty acids were linked to a higher risk of dying. And one was linked to a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. In addition, people with higher levels of fatty acids, which the researchers believe may have stemmed from their consumption of dairy products, had a 42 percent lower risk of dying from stroke.

A study conducted in 2011 that also measured biomarkers for dairy fat consumption found the same thing: no relationship between dairy fat consumption and heart disease. And of course, there have been several studies since then showing no relationship between saturated fat — whether from meat, eggs or milk — and heart disease.

So with that in mind, let’s go back to the future and look at some quotes from Jane Brody’s 1985 article titled America Leans To A Healthier Diet:

JIMMY JOHNSON USED to wake up to the smell of bacon in the pan and coffee in the pot. ”And,” his wife, Laura, recalls, ”I’d save the bacon grease to fry the eggs.”

Now, Mr. Johnson says just a bit ruefully: ”The smells are gone from breakfast, but we’re all a lot better off for it.”

You can imagine what they started eating to become better off. If you have tendency to bang your head on your desk, I’d suggest donning a helmet before continuing.

Only once every two or three weeks does the Johnson family – which includes 20-year-old Todd, a college student, and 14-year-old Maclaren – sit down to a breakfast of eggs. The bacon and sausage are even rarer and the saltshaker stands unused.

At 6:30 on a typical morning in their home in Marine on St. Croix, Minn., a picturesque country town overlooking the scenic St. Croix River, the Johnsons dined on orange juice, cantaloupe, blueberries and buckwheat pancakes, fried without grease on a nonstick griddle, and sweetened with a dab of pure maple syrup and lemon yogurt.

On busier mornings, the Johnsons breakfast on juice, fresh fruit and large bowls of a whole-grain cereal, such as shredded wheat, Grape Nuts or bran flakes, garnished with a sprinkle of granola.

Mmmm, sugar and processed grains! Industrial food saves the day.

Their lean, muscular physiques attest to their longstanding devotion to the human body as a physically active machine, and their recent switch to premium dietary fuel.

Let’s see, they’re lean and muscular, but only recently made the switch from bacon and eggs to Grape Nuts, shredded wheat and other “premium fuels”?  Helloooo! McFly!

Should the elder Johnsons slip from dietary grace, the younger ones pull them up short. ”We still eat more meat than we should,” Todd complains, and at the last family barbecue, his sister, Maclaren, fresh from a stint in wilderness camp, shunned the sausages and dined instead on bread and vegetables.

I wonder how much bread young Maclaren found out there in the wilderness?

The Johnsons are part of a movement that is changing the nature of food in America. With millions of Americans getting ”into nutrition,” the nation’s food producers and purveyors are undergoing the greatest upheaval since the advent of frozen and fast foods in the 1950’s and 60’s. Everyone – from farmers, food technologists and Government regulators to supermarket managers and restaurateurs – agrees that significant changes in diet and nutrition are here to stay, and increasingly become the norm.

I don’t know about you, but this article has me feeling wildly optimistic. With food technologists and government regulators leading the charge on significant changes in diet that are here to stay, I predict we’ll be a nation of virtual supermen by – oh, I don’t know – the year 2000.

No longer relegated to long-haired ascetics dining delightedly on brown rice and sunflower seeds, healthy eating has become fashionably chic as it has moved into the mainstream, transforming the word ”nutrition” from a consumer turnoff into a potent selling force.

Yeah, I tried living on brown rice and vegetables for a few years. I don’t think the term dining delightedly is how I would describe the experience.

For those who think the government’s advice was just hunky-dory and the problem is that Americans didn’t follow that advice, look at some of the statistics Ms. Brody quotes in her ain’t-it-all-so-swell article:

Perhaps the most telling change has been the declining consumption of red meats, the universal symbol of plenty and the nemesis of heart-healthy eaters. Beef took the sharpest cut, from a peak of 94.4 pounds per capita in 1976 to 78.8 pounds in 1983, and is still dropping.

Along with the drop in meat consumption, healthy changes in eating habits in the two decades ending in 1982 include a per capita decline in the consumption of eggs from 326 to 263 per year; in lard, from 7.1 to 2.4 pounds; in butter, from 7.3 to 4.5 pounds; in coffee, from 11.8 to 7.5 pounds; in whole milk, from 252.4 to 133.3 pounds, and in sugar, from 97.9 to 75.2 pounds. At the same time, Americans significantly increased their consumption of low-fat milk from 32 to 100.2 pounds; of canned apple juice, from 1.1 to 7.2 pounds; of broccoli, from 0.6 to 1.5 pounds; of chicken, from 29.8 to 52.9 pounds, and of rice, from 7.4 to 11.8 pounds. More fresh fruits, potatoes, pasta and slightly more fish than even a decade ago are also being consumed.

Red meat, eggs, lard, butter and whole milk all way down. Low-fat milk, apple juice, chicken, rice, pasta and potatoes all way up. Yessir, Americans must’ve gotten way healthier in the next few decades.

Changes are even apparent in America’s leading glossy cooking magazine, Gourmet. The emphasis in recent years has been gradually shifting from dishes based on eggs, butter and cream to those featuring grains, beans, fruits and vegetables.

The outlook for the future just keeps getting better and better. Let’s not forget to thank the people who made it happen:

THE NUTRITION movement was sparked in the late 1960’s, when a growing body of scientific evidence prompted public-health experts, starting with the American Heart Association, to launch an attack on the fat-and-cholesterol-rich American diet as a major cause of the nation’s epidemic of coronary heart disease. More recently, fat and cholesterol have been indicted in a third of the nation’s cancers as well.

The highly publicized Dietary Guidelines issued jointly in 1980 by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services in effect made nutritious eating Government policy by advising America to eat less fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt, eat more starches and fiber, and be moderate in the use of alcohol. With fitness the new national passion, many would come to see for themselves the incongruity of a bacon-and-eggs breakfast after a three-mile jog.

Even in 1985, the picture wasn’t quite as rosy as Ms. Brody wanted us to believe:

WHAT EFFECT, IF any, is this new concern for nutrition having on the health of Americans? Reports from the nation’s health statisticians thus far are mixed. Deaths from cardiovascular diseases dropped 30 percent from 1972 to 1983, due at least in part to the lowering of blood cholesterol through dietary changes.

Deaths from cardiovascular diseases dropped because smoking rates began plummeting in the 1960s.

But despite diet mania and reduced per capita caloric intake, average weights are up as machines continue to make human effort superfluous.

Head. Bang. On. Desk.

Like the Johnsons, families that are eating better find the payoff in renewed energy and feelings of well-being. As Mr. Clausi of General Foods put it, ”The emphasis on nutrition is not a passing fancy. We’re into a generation of people who will continue to live on the basis of the belief that they are what they eat. Now that we’ve got their attention, we’ve got to be sure that they get the right message.”

Yup, you got our attention. Too bad the message was very, very wrong.

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