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Show 966: The Benefits of Butter

Show 966: The Benefits of Butter

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Learn how the recommendations to follow a low-fat diet were based on shaky science.

For decades, Americans have been warned to step away from the cheese and leave the butter untouched. Saturated fat was believed to clog the arteries and lead to heart attacks and early death.

But what was the basis for those admonitions? The science of the popular prescriptions for a low-fat diet is surprisingly slim. Many of the recommendations that have become policy drew as much on politics as on research.

Are there unintended consequences of following a low-fat diet? What role should vegetable oil play in a heart-healthy approach to eating? We discuss Mediterranean, low-fat and Atkins-type diets, learn about some interesting early research on nutrition and consider how dietary recommendations can become so emotionally charged.

This Week’s Guest
Nina Teicholz is an investigational reporter who has written on food and nutrition science for Men’s Health and Gourmet. She has also written for the New Yorker, the Washington Post and The New York Times. Her bestselling book is The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.

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