Yo! You can officially toss out your yellow-flavored aerosol spray-margarine! New meta-analysis indicates that, contrary to decades of not-at-all disingenuous hyperventilation by the diet industry, consumption of saturated fats does not actually increase a person's risk of heart disease. Fat in reasonable amounts, in fact, is essential to proper nutrition. So eat your butter. Normal amounts. Not, like, off the stick. Come on. I know you can handle this.
Via Mark Bittman in the Times:
Since the 1970s almost everyone in this country has been subjected to a barrage of propaganda about saturated fat. It was bad for you; it would kill you. Never mind that much of the nonsaturated fat was in the form of trans fats, now demonstrated to be harmful. Never mind that many polyunsaturated fats are chemically extracted oils that may also, in the long run, be shown to be problematic.
Never mind, too, that the industry's idea of "low fat" became the emblematic SnackWell's and other highly processed "low-fat" carbs (a substitution that is probably the single most important factor in our overweight/obesity problem), as well as reduced fat and even fat-free dairy, on which it made billions of dollars. (How you could produce fat-free "sour cream" is something worth contemplating.)
But let's not cry over the chicharrones or even nicely buttered toast we passed up. And let's not think about the literally millions of people who are repelled by fat, not because it doesn't taste good (any chef will tell you that "fat is flavor") but because they have been brainwashed.
Bittman's full essay is worth a read, though I wouldn't be me if I didn't lodge a small dissent to the classist condescension inherent in labeling some foods "real" and some foods "fake." Some people just have to eat the foods they can afford, literally and figuratively—foods that they can access in the time available to them at the stores available to them with the money available to them. Stigmatizing those people is not helping them.
Anyway, I didn't realize that people had abandoned butter in such numbers that they could be described as now "coming back" en masse. WELCOME BACK, FRIENDS. IT'S DELICIOUS OVER HERE.
Lede image via phasinphoto/Shutterstock.