A New York Times bestseller
Named one of The Economist’s Books of the Year 2014
Named one of The Wall Street Journal’s Top Ten Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
Forbes’s Most Memorable Healthcare Book of 2014
Named a Best Food Book of 2014 by Mother Jones
Named one of Library Journal's Best Books of 2014
In The Big Fat Surprise, investigative journalist Nina Teicholz reveals the unthinkable: that everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong. She documents how the low-fat nutrition advice of the past sixty years has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment on the entire population, with disastrous consequences for our health.
For decades, we have been told that the best possible diet involves cutting back on fat, especially saturated fat, and that if we are not getting healthier or thinner it must be because we are not trying hard enough. But what if the low-fat diet is itself the problem? What if the very foods we’ve been denying ourselves—the creamy cheeses, the sizzling steaks—are themselves the key to reversing the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease?
In this captivating, vibrant, and convincing narrative, based on a nine-year-long investigation, Teicholz shows how the misinformation about saturated fats took hold in the scientific community and the public imagination, and how recent findings have overturned these beliefs. She explains why the Mediterranean Diet is not the healthiest, and how we might be replacing trans fats with something even worse. This startling history demonstrates how nutrition science has gotten it so wrong: how overzealous researchers, through a combination of ego, bias, and premature institutional consensus, have allowed dangerous misrepresentations to become dietary dogma.
With eye-opening scientific rigor, The Big Fat Surprise upends the conventional wisdom about all fats with the groundbreaking claim that more, not less, dietary fat—including saturated fat—is what leads to better health and wellness. Science shows that we have been needlessly avoiding meat, cheese, whole milk, and eggs for decades and that we can now, guilt-free, welcome these delicious foods back into our lives.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This books clearly outlines (in great detail) how science was manipulated in the early 50's and 60's to make saturated fat the culprit for heart disease. This conventional wisdom is completely false and fabricated, and recent evidence has since proved it - including a meta-analysis of over 200,000 people that found no link whatsoever to saturated fat and heart disease.
This book might make you angry for two reasons. First, if you have believed that the benefits of a low fat, high carb diet - the food pyramid - is fact-based, you are in for a surprise. There are no facts supporting this diet. The food pyramid is based on false and misleading evidence and is potentially harmful to your health.
Second, it is aggravating to see how science is manipulated to prove something that scientists want to be true. This happens all too often in medicine when studies are either intentionally or unintentionally designed to prove conventional wisdom. It is even more aggravating when real evidence that is counter to conventional wisdom is presented and ignored or scuttled. Such is the case with saturated fat, and it is analagous to H. pylori and ulcers, salt restriction, breast feeding, global warming, etc. When the stongest evidence is contrary to conventional wisdom, the scientific community often seems to reject it outright, oftentimes with anger and disdain.
Ms. Teicholz does a very thorough and excellent job outlining the history of the saturated fat myth. The objective reader will find themselves mesmerized as they learn how this myth was woven into current culture and the real facts about diet and health.
Everyone should read this book
Ms. Teicholz researched this topic for 9 years. She has done an amazing job pulling together an enormous amount of information that has previously been pushed down and ignored by a lot of people in both science and nutrition for their own egotistical and financial desires. I am grateful to the author and I hope that everyone reads this book. You will be glad that you did.
The big fat surprise
This was a great follow up to good calories bad calories. We need more truthful information like this.