A few people I follow have been gushing over the article Scapegoats, Saints, and Saturated Fats: Old Mistakes in New Directions by Dr. David L. Katz. The article was a response to the latest admission by medical journals that saturated fat is not the unhealthy fat. Our good doctor says it was wrong to demonize saturated fat, but we would be wrong to canonize it (his words).
I found the tone of the article to be condescending. This passage especially.
So, the idea that you should liberalize your intake of saturated fat is more conjectural and less based in epidemiology than the argument to cut it ever was. Perhaps we can eat a lot of saturated fat and live a long, healthy life, but there is no real-world experience to validate the claim; it’s just a hypothesis. If you choose to test it, you are casting yourself as guinea pig in your own research. If you’re still here and I’ve checked out, I guess you get the last laugh- but I won’t be around to hear you chuckle. On the other hand, if you check out and I keep going, I guess I get to say I told you so. But you won’t be around to hear me pontificate.
I did a quick search of Dr. Katz on Amazon. He has written numerous diet books over the last decade. A quick look inside shows he was one of the very doctors that was preaching against the evils of saturated fats. Now Dr. Katz has found himself on the wrong side of science, so his defense is two fold. First preach moderation and then take a jab at those of us in the traditional food camp that welcome saturated fats as eating “a lot”. A term he doesn’t define.
Dr. Katz insults those eating diets rich in saturated fats as “guinea pigs”. I disagree. I think the guinea pigs were the fools following the advice of medical professionals like Dr. Katz that were consuming industrial seed oils, low-fat dairy and “heart-healthy” grains. Below is a recipe from Dr. Katz’s 2007 book.
And this pompous fool thinks he will outlive people like me? You can have your shitty canola oil fiber muffins, I’ll be eating ice cream. Yummy saturated fat!
Dr. Katz is a classic example of the “Now I Know Better” fallacy. He was wrong and now because he changed his view, we must listen to him. By preaching moderation, he can present himself as wise. The reality is whenever our fitness and nutrition gurus get caught making errors, they always run back to the simplistic moderation arguments. It is a false defense, because moderation has both a vague and ever changing meaning.
Despite Dr. Katz’s implied warning that he will outlive all of us liberally consuming saturated fat, I’ll continue to eat foods rich in saturated fats, just like humans have since the very beginning. I have found the pro-saturated fat arguments from Paleo, WAPF, Perfect Health Diet, and Ray Peat far more compelling than the “we just don’t know” message from Dr. Katz.
UPDATE 2019: My confidence in the pro-SF argument has dropped a lot in recent years. I’m currently favoring a lower fat in total approach, which has the effect of reducing SF levels in total.