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Letters: Carbohydrate clarification

Carbohydrate clarification

“I am on board with much of what you say. But sometimes it seems you are against all carbohydrates, even of the whole grain kind. I certainly think that the fiber and B-vitamins we get from whole grains add to a healthy diet of fats and protein. Am I right?

Also, do you see a difference between the saturated fat of an egg and that of ordinary animal fat? Do you trim the fat on cuts of beef you eat? Do you eat this fat if you cook the meat with it?”

–B.B., via e-mail

WCD: I know I sometimes seem “against” something when I am only trying to make a point. I enjoy many fruits and vegetables, but I’m tired of hearing and reading that old mantra: “Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.” So I always try to emphasize that you can live perfectly well without them. People are obsessed with the “magic” of fruits and vegetables due to 50 years of bad nutritional advice.

You never hear: “Eat a healthy diet with a lot of pig fat, cream and butter.” So I’ve made it my personal mission to get that message out there. To answer your question, whole grains are OK as a supplement to your diet. I especially like Scottish oats for breakfast. Just don’t count on them to provide you with all the nutrition you need.

Now for your next question: Saturated fat is saturated fat, and, contrary to what you have been taught, almost all of the saturated fats are good for you, not bad for you. I always ask for the fattiest cuts of meat. (Butchers usually think I’m crazy or smart. I can usually tell which by their expression.) A steak carefully trimmed of the fat around it is not a healthy steak. It’s no healthier than skim milk. Milk is balanced by nature with a cream layer. A nice ring of fat, as well as fat in the interior, balances a good steak.

Regarding eggs, they’re actually a low-fat food. The fat they do contain is good for you, since there are no trans fats formed by cooking. But they are healthier raw or lightly cooked. The more you eat per day, the better.

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