USDA Report: We Eat Less Fat, But Fat Is Killing Us

A new report from the USDA says Americans are eating less fat than we did 30 years ago.  Here’s the opening from an online article about the report:

On average, Americans are eating 10g less fat per day today than they were in the late 1970s, according to new research.  In a report comparing food consumption patterns in 1977-78 versus 2005-2008, Biing-Hwan Lin and Joanne Guthrie from USDA’s Economic Research Service found that on average, Americans consumed 75.2g of fat in 2005-08 compared with 85.6g in 1977-78.

Meanwhile, the percentage of total calories derived from fat also declined substantially from 39.7% to 33.4% between 1977 and 2008, said the authors.

Hallelujah!  Now that USDA itself is admitting we’re eating less fat, surely they’ll finally also admit that the rise we’ve seen in obesity and metabolic syndrome in the past 30 years can’t be blamed on fat.  I can just hear the press conference where they announce they’re allowing whole milk back in schools …

However, with more Americans eating out than ever before, a growing proportion of the fat that they do consume is the unhealthy, saturated, variety, said the authors, noting that almost a third (31.6%) of calories were from foods consumed outside the home in 2005-8 compared with just 17.7% in the late 1970s.

“Food consumed away from home is higher in saturated fat than foods consumed at home [in the 2005-8 data set].  The higher percent of calories from saturated fat in fast-foods was especially noteworthy at 13.5%, compared with 11.9% in restaurant foods, 12.3% in school foods, and 10.7% in foods consumed at home.”

Similarly, foods consumed away from home in 2005-8 contained significantly more sodium (1,820mg of sodium per 1,000 calories), than foods consumed at home (1,369mg sodium per 1,000 calories); with foods from restaurants and fast-food outlets particularly sodium-dense at 2,151mg and 1,864mg of sodium per 1,000 calories, respectively.

Head.  Bang.  On.  Desk.

Faced with their own evidence that fat didn’t commit the crime, the USDA researchers nonetheless rounded up the usual suspects:  Saturated Fat and his evil sidekick Sodium.  I wondered if perhaps the news story missed the point of the USDA report, so I looked it up online.

Nope, the report is full of hand-wringing about how much more often Americans these days eat in restaurants, where (egads!) the meals are higher in saturated fat.  Here are some pieces of the report:

Food prepared away from home (FAFH)—whether from table-service restaurants, fast-food establishments and other locations, or from a take-out or delivery meal eaten at home—is now a routine part of the diets of most Americans. Previous Economic Research Service (ERS) research found that FAFH tends to be lower in nutritional quality than food prepared at home (FAH), increases caloric intake, and reduces diet quality among adults and children. This study updates previous research by examining dietary guidance and the nutritional quality of FAH versus FAFH in 2005-08, compared with 1977-78.

Poor diets contribute to obesity, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and other health conditions that impose substantial economic burden on Americans (USDA/USDHHS, 2011; USDHHS, 2010). The medical costs associated with overweight and obesity have been estimated as high as $147 billion, or 10 percent of all medical costs in 2008 (Finkelstein et al., 2009; O’Grady and Capretta, 2012; Tsai et al., 2011). These enormous costs are one reason that USDA and other public and private entities place a high priority on improving Americans’ diets.

Well, we’re all grateful beyond belief that the USDA is dedicated to improving our diets and putting the country on sound financial footing as a result.  So what’s the “poor diet” that’s contributing to all those problems?

As the share of food expenditures spent on FAFH has risen over the past 30 years, so has the share of calories and nutrients consumed from such food. Previous ERS research found that FAFH in the 1990s contained less of the food components Americans underconsume, such as calcium and dietary fiber, and more of those overconsumed, such as fat, compared with FAH.

So there’s the problem:  we eat out more than we did 30 years ago, and restaurant food is higher in saturated fat (and sodium, as the researchers note several times in the report).  Case closed.

Except we somehow manage to consume less fat than we did 30 years ago, despite a higher calorie intake.  Are we actually eating a lot more saturated fat than our grandparents did, despite eating less fat overall?  How can that be?

If you suspect the USDA decided to toss around some accusatory percentages in order to frame their favorite suspect, you’d be right. I can almost imagine the conversation in the hallowed halls of USDA research:

“Did you finish crunching the numbers, Jenkins?”

“Yes, sir.  Good news:  people are eating less fat than they did in 1978.”

“Whew!  For a minute there, I thought you were going to say people are eating less fat.”

“I did say that, sir.  But rates of obesity and diabetes are clearly–”

“Great.  There you have it, then.  We should continue telling people to cut back on fat.”

“But sir, they have cut back on fat, almost to the level we’ve been recommending.”

@#$%!! Okay, here’s what you do, Jenkins.  Figure out how much more saturated fat is in restaurant food.  Then let’s roll those figures together with the data on how much more often people eat in restaurants these days.  Use percentages, because that makes the numbers look bigger.”

“One step ahead of you, sir.  I already crunched those numbers, and in terms of total saturated fat intake, the difference is only—”

“Jenkins, I don’t think you understand what I’m saying, so let me explain it this way:  shut up.”

The report mentions using surveys for collecting data, so the numbers are suspect.  But the USDA based a study on the data and reached conclusions about what’s causing our health issues, so let’s go along for the ride.

According to the report, we consumed an average of 1,875 calories per day in 1978 and 2,002 calories per day in 2008.  I thought those figures sounded ridiculously low until I realized the data is for Americans ages 2 and up.  I don’t know how many calories my daughters consume in a day, but it’s nowhere close to 2,000.  Kids obviously bring down the averages.

Now, let’s suppose we heed the USDA’s warnings about the higher saturated-fat content in restaurant meals and decide we shouldn’t be consuming 31.6% of our total calories in restaurants.  Let’s go back to consuming just 17.7% percent of our calories in restaurants, like in the good ol’ days of 1978.  (You may dig out your leisure suit and pull up KC and the Sunshine Band in iTunes if it helps you get in the mood.)

The report tells us that meals at home average 10.7% saturated fat by calories, restaurant meals average 11.9% saturated fat by calories, and fast-food meals average 13.5% saturated fat by calories.  Well, heck, just to tip the scales in favor of the USDA’s argument, I’m going to assume all restaurant meals are fast-food meals.  So using the 2008 average of 2,002 calories per day, here’s how our saturated-fat intake is affected by consuming 31.6% of our calories in restaurants instead of 17.7%  — I’ll listen to Sara’s math teacher and show my work:

31.6% calories consumed in restaurants:

Restaurant: (2,002 calories) x (13.5% sat-fat) x (31.6%) = 85.4
Home: (2,002 calories) x (10.7% sat-fat) x (68.4%) = 146.5

Add our home and restaurant meals together, and we’re averaging 231.9 calories per day from saturated fat.  I’ll do the USDA a favor and round up to 232 calories.  Now let’s heed the USDA’s advice.

17.7% calories consumed in restaurants:

Restaurant: (2,002 calories) x (13.5% sat-fat) x (17.7%) = 47.8
Home: (2,002 calories) x (10.7% sat-fat) x (82.3%) = 176.3

Add them together, we get an average of 224.1 calories per day from saturated fat.  I’ll do the USDA a favor and round down to 224 calories.

So here’s what we’re looking at if we do the math the USDA either didn’t do or chose not to share, opting instead for big, scary-sounding percentages so they could continue placing the blame on saturated fat:

Based on their own data, the difference between consuming 31.6% vs. 17.7% of our meals in fast-food joints works out to (hold your breath!) … 8 calories of saturated fat per day. Or you could calculate it as 25.8 grams per day vs.  24.9 grams per day.

Since I’m feeling generous, I’ll forget that we consume less fat now than in 1978 and run the numbers assuming we reduced both our total calorie intake and the percentage of calories consumed in restaurants to 1978 levels:

Restaurant: (1,875 calories) x (13.5% sat-fat) x (17.7%) = 44.8
Home: (1,875 calories) x (10.7% sat-fat) x (82.3%) = 165.1

The combined daily average is 209.9 calories from saturated fat.  Let’s call it 210.  So if we reduced our calorie consumption and percent of calories consumed in restaurants to 1978 levels, we’d be talking about 23.3 grams per day of saturated fat instead of 25.8 — a difference of 2.5 grams per day.  And to repeat, I ran those numbers assuming all restaurant meals are fast-food meals — which they aren’t.

Yup, I’d say the USDA has found the cause of all of our health problems.  We eat out more often, and we’re clearly loading up saturated fat as a result.

By the way, the term saturated fat appeared in the report 19 times.  The word sugar appeared once.  Thank goodness they’re focusing their efforts on the real culprit.

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104 thoughts on “USDA Report: We Eat Less Fat, But Fat Is Killing Us

  1. Jill

    Today I read a study in the Journal of Physiology about pregnant mice on a high fat diet. The conclusion said there was a negative effect on fetal genes. Looking closely at the diet, the control diet had 102 grams of sucrose. The high fat diet had 172.8 grams of sucrose. I sent an email to one of the researchers asking why the high fat diet had more sucrose. No reply yet. The fat was blamed, of course.

    Yup, they pull that trick all the time. Or they feed mice a “high-fat” diet of Crisco and corn oil, then decide they can apply the results to humans eating burgers and bacon.

    Reply
  2. Jo

    The government data here in NZ says that we are eating less saturated fat and fewer calories than 10 years ago but we are 12% heavier. The conclusion. We’ve all got lazy! Yep, science at work.

    Okay, that’s actually funny … I mean, in a pathetic sort of way.

    Reply
  3. Jill

    Today I read a study in the Journal of Physiology about pregnant mice on a high fat diet. The conclusion said there was a negative effect on fetal genes. Looking closely at the diet, the control diet had 102 grams of sucrose. The high fat diet had 172.8 grams of sucrose. I sent an email to one of the researchers asking why the high fat diet had more sucrose. No reply yet. The fat was blamed, of course.

    Yup, they pull that trick all the time. Or they feed mice a “high-fat” diet of Crisco and corn oil, then decide they can apply the results to humans eating burgers and bacon.

    Reply
  4. Jo

    The government data here in NZ says that we are eating less saturated fat and fewer calories than 10 years ago but we are 12% heavier. The conclusion. We’ve all got lazy! Yep, science at work.

    Okay, that’s actually funny … I mean, in a pathetic sort of way.

    Reply
  5. Jesrad

    Here in France we went down from 40% fat calories in 2000 to 37% in 2012, meanwhile obesity, diabetes and hypertension progressed at the same rate as before (except diabetes which actually accelerated). Saturated fat content has got lower too, but I don’t have the precise number. We’re eating more starch and more fruits, too, and exercizing just as much.

    ARGH! Tell your fellow citizens to keep eating all that fat! We need the French Paradox to stay alive.

    Reply
  6. Beowulf

    I think part of the problem is that many people (government officials and scientists among them) are so conditioned at this point to believe certain “truths” about obesity that they’re blind to everything else. Thankfully the world of the internet is starting to change that, at least for people who’s job isn’t dependent on believing the government dogma.

    Indeed. I like the cover of Uffe Ravnskov’s most recent book — a picture of a scientist wearing blinders.

    Reply
  7. Nathan

    I go crazy on the fat and salt. Last time I had my blood checked, my triglycerides, sodium, and blood pressure were all deep in the healthy zone. I must be a witch!

    You must be an outlier … just like millions of other outliers.

    Reply
  8. Janknitz

    In the 70’s fast food fries were fried in tallow, restaurants cooked with real butter, cream, and didn’t trim meat. In 2006, fries were made in vegetable oil and other restaurant cooking is done with “heart healthy” (and dirt cheap) oils–not saturated fats. Try getting real butter at most chain restaurants–you get some sort of “healthy” spread. Low fat entrees abound. So how exactly do we get more SATURATED fat eating out?? We get more PUFAS instead.

    Yup, I’m sure we’re eating less saturated fat now, not more.

    Reply
  9. Phyllis Mueller

    Head. Bang. On. Desk. Indeed! Let us also not forget that McDonald’s (and perhaps other chain restaurants) used beef tallow in their fryers in 1978, not trans-fat and PUFA-laden “vegetable” oils. So the “more saturated fat” claims seem even more tenuous and contrived.

    Since I’m allergic to soy, I’m always questioning wait staff in restaurants about what the food is cooked in or with, and what’s in the salad dressings. Most often it’s soy oil or a “vegetable oil blend” (some bottles say “olive oil blend”) that contains soy. Most restaurants, even traditional-style ethnic restaurants, are NOT preparing food with (saturated) butter or ghee or coconut oil or lard, and NOT with olive oil, either. Most commercial mayonnaise is also soy-oil based.

    And, of course, many home cooks have been brainwashed into using “neutral-flavored vegetable oil” as well. So sad.

    I haven’t been eating salads because of the soybean-oil dressings. So I finally got motivated to make the bleu cheese dressing recipe from “The Art and Science of Low-Carb Peformance.” Very tasty, made with olive oil and full-fat yogurt.

    Reply
  10. CathyN

    Oh, well done (as always).

    Just before reading the above, I was re-reading “In the Face of Contradictory Evidence: Report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee” article by Hite et al. This is a very thoughtful analysis with lots of cited studies that asks important questions about the recommendations. But so far the DGAC will hang on to it’s very bad dietary advice no matter what. I guess they have the power (not brainpower, it seems) to control the message.

    I just completed studies to become a certified personal trainer, and was disgusted at the control the DGAC has over the food recommendations. Personal trainers cannot recommend anything that is not within the USDA guidelines except vegetarian or vegan lifestyles. One can’t even recommend a book that gives a different message. So they really do control the message in many ways.

    Thank you for your thoughtful, sharp (and humorous – love the humor) articles and information. Good stuff!

    The article you referenced gives the USDA the spanking it so richly deserves. My friend Dr. Feinman was an author on that one too.

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2010/10/04/the-dietary-guidelines-committee-receives-the-spanking-it-deserves/

    Reply
  11. Exceptionally Brash

    Great work here! It looks like the USDA is continuing to practice insanity by recommending even more of what hasn’t been working. Similar to the argument in favor of tightening cholesterol rules, based on the evidence that cholesterol numbers don’t seem that much related to heart disease events.
    At least one good thing there, and that is, a report from the experts that doesn’t blame Woo for everything.

    I say we only blame Woo for the troubles in Greece.

    Reply
  12. Pierce

    Do they lack actual data on the amount of saturated fat consumed, forcing them to “extrapolate” from the restaurant data? Or do they have that data and ignore them in favor of the restaurant data because the actual numbers undermine their point?

    I think it’s the latter.

    Reply
  13. Phil J

    @Nathan
    Love it, I’m doing exactly the same thing, bring me my sea salt grinder! I love extreme stories that give results exactly the opposite of what the USDA says should happen. Mark Daily Apple has a success story from a mixed martial arts fighter that switched to the primal blueprint lifestyle and it cleared up his congestion and a host of other problems he was dealing with. The funny thing is that he had to get around 5k calories to keep his body mass up for fights so he would eat a stick of butter and a couple of pounds of hamburger regularly. Strangely enough he is in better condition than he was before when he ate the recommended way for someone in his line of work (of course we all knew that was gonna happen).

    Reply
  14. Jesrad

    Here in France we went down from 40% fat calories in 2000 to 37% in 2012, meanwhile obesity, diabetes and hypertension progressed at the same rate as before (except diabetes which actually accelerated). Saturated fat content has got lower too, but I don’t have the precise number. We’re eating more starch and more fruits, too, and exercizing just as much.

    ARGH! Tell your fellow citizens to keep eating all that fat! We need the French Paradox to stay alive.

    Reply
  15. Beowulf

    I think part of the problem is that many people (government officials and scientists among them) are so conditioned at this point to believe certain “truths” about obesity that they’re blind to everything else. Thankfully the world of the internet is starting to change that, at least for people who’s job isn’t dependent on believing the government dogma.

    Indeed. I like the cover of Uffe Ravnskov’s most recent book — a picture of a scientist wearing blinders.

    Reply
  16. Tuck

    “The USDA assumes we are stupid and can be bamboozled with irrelevant numbers and percentages.”

    Judging from these numbers, the USDA is right. Most of us are diligently doing what we’re told, regardless of how it’s working out. I’m eating less fat and I’m getting fatter? Need to eat even less fat!

    Reply
  17. Nathan

    I go crazy on the fat and salt. Last time I had my blood checked, my triglycerides, sodium, and blood pressure were all deep in the healthy zone. I must be a witch!

    You must be an outlier … just like millions of other outliers.

    Reply
  18. Linda R

    Full fat yogurt? Seriously? Where on earth do you find it?
    I would love to get my hands on some but have had no luck here in Iowa…..

    Chareva finds it at Kroger and Harris Teeter around these parts. The brand is Greek Gods. She tells me she’s also found it at Wal-Mart, but it’s not with the other yogurts. Go figure.

    Reply
  19. Janknitz

    In the 70’s fast food fries were fried in tallow, restaurants cooked with real butter, cream, and didn’t trim meat. In 2006, fries were made in vegetable oil and other restaurant cooking is done with “heart healthy” (and dirt cheap) oils–not saturated fats. Try getting real butter at most chain restaurants–you get some sort of “healthy” spread. Low fat entrees abound. So how exactly do we get more SATURATED fat eating out?? We get more PUFAS instead.

    Yup, I’m sure we’re eating less saturated fat now, not more.

    Reply
  20. Phyllis Mueller

    Head. Bang. On. Desk. Indeed! Let us also not forget that McDonald’s (and perhaps other chain restaurants) used beef tallow in their fryers in 1978, not trans-fat and PUFA-laden “vegetable” oils. So the “more saturated fat” claims seem even more tenuous and contrived.

    Since I’m allergic to soy, I’m always questioning wait staff in restaurants about what the food is cooked in or with, and what’s in the salad dressings. Most often it’s soy oil or a “vegetable oil blend” (some bottles say “olive oil blend”) that contains soy. Most restaurants, even traditional-style ethnic restaurants, are NOT preparing food with (saturated) butter or ghee or coconut oil or lard, and NOT with olive oil, either. Most commercial mayonnaise is also soy-oil based.

    And, of course, many home cooks have been brainwashed into using “neutral-flavored vegetable oil” as well. So sad.

    I haven’t been eating salads because of the soybean-oil dressings. So I finally got motivated to make the bleu cheese dressing recipe from “The Art and Science of Low-Carb Peformance.” Very tasty, made with olive oil and full-fat yogurt.

    Reply
  21. CathyN

    Oh, well done (as always).

    Just before reading the above, I was re-reading “In the Face of Contradictory Evidence: Report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee” article by Hite et al. This is a very thoughtful analysis with lots of cited studies that asks important questions about the recommendations. But so far the DGAC will hang on to it’s very bad dietary advice no matter what. I guess they have the power (not brainpower, it seems) to control the message.

    I just completed studies to become a certified personal trainer, and was disgusted at the control the DGAC has over the food recommendations. Personal trainers cannot recommend anything that is not within the USDA guidelines except vegetarian or vegan lifestyles. One can’t even recommend a book that gives a different message. So they really do control the message in many ways.

    Thank you for your thoughtful, sharp (and humorous – love the humor) articles and information. Good stuff!

    The article you referenced gives the USDA the spanking it so richly deserves. My friend Dr. Feinman was an author on that one too.

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2010/10/04/the-dietary-guidelines-committee-receives-the-spanking-it-deserves/

    Reply
  22. Exceptionally Brash

    Great work here! It looks like the USDA is continuing to practice insanity by recommending even more of what hasn’t been working. Similar to the argument in favor of tightening cholesterol rules, based on the evidence that cholesterol numbers don’t seem that much related to heart disease events.
    At least one good thing there, and that is, a report from the experts that doesn’t blame Woo for everything.

    I say we only blame Woo for the troubles in Greece.

    Reply
  23. Pierce

    Do they lack actual data on the amount of saturated fat consumed, forcing them to “extrapolate” from the restaurant data? Or do they have that data and ignore them in favor of the restaurant data because the actual numbers undermine their point?

    I think it’s the latter.

    Reply
  24. Phil J

    @Nathan
    Love it, I’m doing exactly the same thing, bring me my sea salt grinder! I love extreme stories that give results exactly the opposite of what the USDA says should happen. Mark Daily Apple has a success story from a mixed martial arts fighter that switched to the primal blueprint lifestyle and it cleared up his congestion and a host of other problems he was dealing with. The funny thing is that he had to get around 5k calories to keep his body mass up for fights so he would eat a stick of butter and a couple of pounds of hamburger regularly. Strangely enough he is in better condition than he was before when he ate the recommended way for someone in his line of work (of course we all knew that was gonna happen).

    Reply
  25. S. Andrei Ostric

    I always thought the deal with low-fat yogurt was that they skimmed the cream to make ice cream. That’s what I think is happening. Anyway, fat is a complex substance, especially saturated fat. There are so many kinds. Short chain fatty acids are so different than long chain fatty acids, so it’s kind of calling a little terrier a Hippo. Yes, they are saturated, but it’s not simply one thing. Sugar is way more homogeneous a substance, glucose and fructose. Bam. You are done. It just amazes me how upside-down things are sometimes.

    The USDA simplifies the issue by demonizing all the saturated fats.

    Reply
  26. Mirva

    I just had a patient who was very sick with DM2. He got his ½ portion evening insulin (before operation), that was 52 units. He is very fat 174cm/140kg. He told me that he (and wife) follows strick DM-diet with lots of ryebread and potatoes etc (you know) and allmost no fat at all. Poor guy, he has no future as so many like him. The worst part is that I can not tell these people that there is an other way to treat DM2. I just feel sad……and authorities only say eat more sugar….

    Thanks again for good work you do.

    Thank you for reading.

    Reply
  27. Tuck

    “The USDA assumes we are stupid and can be bamboozled with irrelevant numbers and percentages.”

    Judging from these numbers, the USDA is right. Most of us are diligently doing what we’re told, regardless of how it’s working out. I’m eating less fat and I’m getting fatter? Need to eat even less fat!

    Reply
  28. Lobstah

    And speaking of all this, today I had my annual physical.
    My numbers are:
    Glucose: 100mg/dl, rated as high, acceptable range is 77-99
    Sodium: 138 mmol/L, acceptable is 135-145

    And for Cholesterol:
    CFR was 206, up slightly from 197 a year ago, also rated as high, acceptable is <200
    Triglycerice-CFR was 94
    HDL was 40
    Non-HDL was 166
    LDL was 147
    VLDL was 19
    and my HDL Ratio was 5.2, also high, as acceptable is <5.0

    The discussion with the doctor went like this:

    Doc: "Your cholesterol isn&#039t TOO bad, you seem to be doing a good job of managing it, but we need to keep an eye on it, because if it gets up to 220, we&#039ll need to start treatemant with statins.

    Me: I won&#039t take them, because I&#039m not worried about my cholesterol level.

    Doc: There was a very detailed study done right here in Framingham that assigns &#039risk factors&#039 to people. That&#039s what we base our treatment on.

    Me: Oh…is that the study that was done in the late 80&#039s?

    Doc: Ummm…errr…yes, I think probably…(surprised look due to me being aware of the study)

    Me: That was the same study that after 11yrs, they abandoned, because they couldn&#039t find an actual link between cholesterol and heart disease?

    Doc: Well…ummmm…I don&#039t think THAT was actually the case…ummmmm…(clearly shocked that anyone had any knowledge of any of the medical studies) A lot of really good data came from that study!

    Me: Such as what?

    Doc: (Clearly getting a bit frustrated now…) We could talk about this all day, but the bott….

    Me: I think we probably should talk about it all day, because the dogma just isn&#039t backed up by any science I can find anywhere, and if you HAVE actual science to back up any of the claims, I&#039d really like to read about it.

    And so on and so on…

    Then, while talking about calcium heart scans, he refreneces his "mentor", and says: "And if you were dealing with HIM, statins would be NON-negotionable!"

    Me: Sorry, but anything I&#039m putting in my body?…is ABSOLUTELY &#039negotiable&#039

    🙂 🙂

    Now that I have some relevant numbers, I will go back and re-read Don’t Die Early and some of the other literature I’ve read over the past year.

    Btw…there was one quick mention of the fact that I’d lost 40lbs, he said I’d done a good job, then it was off to the DOGma track 😉

    Jim

    Statins are non-negotiable? In that case, I’d be leaving and it wouldn’t be negotiable.

    Reply
  29. Linda R

    Full fat yogurt? Seriously? Where on earth do you find it?
    I would love to get my hands on some but have had no luck here in Iowa…..

    Chareva finds it at Kroger and Harris Teeter around these parts. The brand is Greek Gods. She tells me she’s also found it at Wal-Mart, but it’s not with the other yogurts. Go figure.

    Reply
  30. Kathy

    @ Linda R

    Fage greek yogurt is available in full fat, but I have to buy it at Whole Foods, which has a better price than most of our “regular” grocery stores. Everyone else around here (Texas) sells the non-fat and 2%. I also buy Stonyfield Farm full fat for my husband. He hasn’t developed a taste for plain, so he gets vanilla full fat from Stonyfield.

    Reply
  31. DJ

    I was able to find Astro Greek yogurt where I am… 11% fat. However, the disturbing trend I see now is that it’s mostly the same brand on the shelf… but a “fat free” version. *Sigh*

    Another grocery store 1.5 hours away from me does have their own brand of Greek yogurt (President’s Choice) that has 9% fat. The thing that really surprise me though was the lack of usual ingredients you get in so many other yogurts. I was quite impressed and will probably get that brand whenever I can.

    The yogurt Chareva buys is 130 calories for a half-cup, with 11 g fat, 5 g carbohydrate and 4 g protein. It worked quite well in the dressing.

    Reply
  32. emi11n

    Linda R: You might check any natural/health food stores in your area. I found several interesting new brands at a small local store. You can also buy some yogurt culture and make your own! I plan to try that soon.

    Reply
  33. S. Andrei Ostric

    I always thought the deal with low-fat yogurt was that they skimmed the cream to make ice cream. That’s what I think is happening. Anyway, fat is a complex substance, especially saturated fat. There are so many kinds. Short chain fatty acids are so different than long chain fatty acids, so it’s kind of calling a little terrier a Hippo. Yes, they are saturated, but it’s not simply one thing. Sugar is way more homogeneous a substance, glucose and fructose. Bam. You are done. It just amazes me how upside-down things are sometimes.

    The USDA simplifies the issue by demonizing all the saturated fats.

    Reply
  34. Mirva

    I just had a patient who was very sick with DM2. He got his ½ portion evening insulin (before operation), that was 52 units. He is very fat 174cm/140kg. He told me that he (and wife) follows strick DM-diet with lots of ryebread and potatoes etc (you know) and allmost no fat at all. Poor guy, he has no future as so many like him. The worst part is that I can not tell these people that there is an other way to treat DM2. I just feel sad……and authorities only say eat more sugar….

    Thanks again for good work you do.

    Thank you for reading.

    Reply
  35. Lobstah

    And speaking of all this, today I had my annual physical.
    My numbers are:
    Glucose: 100mg/dl, rated as high, acceptable range is 77-99
    Sodium: 138 mmol/L, acceptable is 135-145

    And for Cholesterol:
    CFR was 206, up slightly from 197 a year ago, also rated as high, acceptable is <200
    Triglycerice-CFR was 94
    HDL was 40
    Non-HDL was 166
    LDL was 147
    VLDL was 19
    and my HDL Ratio was 5.2, also high, as acceptable is <5.0

    The discussion with the doctor went like this:

    Doc: "Your cholesterol isn't TOO bad, you seem to be doing a good job of managing it, but we need to keep an eye on it, because if it gets up to 220, we'll need to start treatemant with statins.

    Me: I won't take them, because I'm not worried about my cholesterol level.

    Doc: There was a very detailed study done right here in Framingham that assigns 'risk factors' to people. That's what we base our treatment on.

    Me: Oh…is that the study that was done in the late 80's?

    Doc: Ummm…errr…yes, I think probably…(surprised look due to me being aware of the study)

    Me: That was the same study that after 11yrs, they abandoned, because they couldn't find an actual link between cholesterol and heart disease?

    Doc: Well…ummmm…I don't think THAT was actually the case…ummmmm…(clearly shocked that anyone had any knowledge of any of the medical studies) A lot of really good data came from that study!

    Me: Such as what?

    Doc: (Clearly getting a bit frustrated now…) We could talk about this all day, but the bott….

    Me: I think we probably should talk about it all day, because the dogma just isn't backed up by any science I can find anywhere, and if you HAVE actual science to back up any of the claims, I'd really like to read about it.

    And so on and so on…

    Then, while talking about calcium heart scans, he refreneces his "mentor", and says: "And if you were dealing with HIM, statins would be NON-negotionable!"

    Me: Sorry, but anything I'm putting in my body?…is ABSOLUTELY 'negotiable'

    🙂 🙂

    Now that I have some relevant numbers, I will go back and re-read Don’t Die Early and some of the other literature I’ve read over the past year.

    Btw…there was one quick mention of the fact that I’d lost 40lbs, he said I’d done a good job, then it was off to the DOGma track 😉

    Jim

    Statins are non-negotiable? In that case, I’d be leaving and it wouldn’t be negotiable.

    Reply
  36. Kathy

    @ Linda R

    Fage greek yogurt is available in full fat, but I have to buy it at Whole Foods, which has a better price than most of our “regular” grocery stores. Everyone else around here (Texas) sells the non-fat and 2%. I also buy Stonyfield Farm full fat for my husband. He hasn’t developed a taste for plain, so he gets vanilla full fat from Stonyfield.

    Reply
  37. DJ

    I was able to find Astro Greek yogurt where I am… 11% fat. However, the disturbing trend I see now is that it’s mostly the same brand on the shelf… but a “fat free” version. *Sigh*

    Another grocery store 1.5 hours away from me does have their own brand of Greek yogurt (President’s Choice) that has 9% fat. The thing that really surprise me though was the lack of usual ingredients you get in so many other yogurts. I was quite impressed and will probably get that brand whenever I can.

    The yogurt Chareva buys is 130 calories for a half-cup, with 11 g fat, 5 g carbohydrate and 4 g protein. It worked quite well in the dressing.

    Reply
  38. emi11n

    Linda R: You might check any natural/health food stores in your area. I found several interesting new brands at a small local store. You can also buy some yogurt culture and make your own! I plan to try that soon.

    Reply
  39. Ulfric M Douglas

    What if the truth NEVER SINKS IN?
    What if all the official advice stays “low fat” forever : does our preferred eating become illegal bit by bit?
    And why do they keep replacing the word “salt” with “sodium”?

    Beffling.

    Bit by bit is how the statists take away freedom. They know trying to snap off large chunks of it tends to get the population riled.

    Reply
  40. Tammy

    Tom – I hope you keep up with the commentary for a long time to come. It seems never ending but I do enjoy getting a good laugh every now and then. I couldn’t even make this stuff up if I wanted to. Thanks!

    We have to laugh for our own mental health.

    Reply
  41. Firebird

    Tom, what section of Wal-Mart is Chareva finding full fat yogurt? Their yogurt section consists of Chobani, Stonybrook and Fage, all excellent brands, but they only sell the fat free versions.

    My local Shoprite carries full fat Fage and Cabot. I prefer the Fage but Cabot is an excellent alternative.

    She said it was in a different refrigerated section. Doesn’t makes sense, but that’s what she found.

    Reply
  42. Elenor

    “We need the French Paradox to stay alive.”

    What a delightful (to stay French) “double entrendre.” Well done, smart as…. er…. wise fellow! {wink}

    Reply
  43. Lauren Paparone

    Sugar is what is killing us – not fat. I eat a LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) diet – it is my lifestyle with wonderful results. Read The New Atkins Diet Book, The Art and Science of Low Carb Living, and Good Calories Bad Calories. The public has been getting mis-information for 40 years!

    Reply
  44. Galina L.

    Why so many people have a problem with their yogurt? Just add some heavy whipping cream to a high quality Greek yogurt. I use the Land-of-the-lakes organic grass-fed cream for that. Probably it is even better than buying a full-fat yogurt.

    Reply

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