The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

Exploring fat's role in health, nutrition science, public policy and food and drug manufacturing, this book asks readers to reconsider commonly accepted information about dietary fat. Suggesting that low-fat diets may have negative health consequences, the author explores whether foods such as dairy, butter and meat could actually improve health.

Taking a critical eye to the Mediterranean diet, the author claims that while olive oil and vegetable oils became household staples, lard, tallow and saturated fats such as coconut oil, were demonized. According to the author, LDLs became the targeted biomarker for dietary and drug interventions to prevent heart disease, and the fear of trans fats pushed Americans toward sugary, fat-free foods and increased obesity rates.

Raising questions about the validity of established nutrition and health knowledge, The Big Fat Surprise reminds readers of the importance of reviewing research, asking fresh questions, testing new hypotheses and making health recommendations based on empirical evidence. But the book lacks solid nutrition studies showing that a diet rich in saturated fats causes weight loss, a reduction in heart disease, blood pressure and lower risk of diabetes and cancer. This book is a challenging and informative read for critical thinkers, but it may leave readers confused about what they should or shouldn't eat to maintain good health.

Libby Mills