By Colleen Brunner

“What is someone like me doing talking to a bunch of cattle ranchers?” asked Nina Teicholz, the New York Times best-selling author of “The Big Fat Surprise.”
Teicholz is an investigative journalist, and over the past nine years has done her due diligence to be able to speak to those gathered at the 10th Annual Grassfed Exchange Conference recently in Rapid City. Her book was named “Best Book” by the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Forbes, Mother Jones, and Library Journal.
“It was amazing and shocking how we’ve come to believe for over 25 years that a (primarily) vegetarian, low-fat diet is good for us,” says Teicholz. Her book debunks the theories of the government’s Food Pyramid guideline wisdom on dietary fat and has challenged the very core of our nutrition policy.
“It took nine years of research and I started with an event in 1955 when President Eisenhower had his heart attack,” says Teicholz. “We started listening to the diet-heart health hype telling us to eat 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta, 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-3 servings of dairy, 2-4 servings of fruits, 2-3 servings of poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts, as well as meat, and a tiny bit of fats, oils and sweets.”
Teicholz said basically we were told to eat carbs, while eating no red meat. That is still the case today says the author. She also said that flies in the face of what this gathered group of beef and dairy ranchers pride themselves on -- their grass-fed products.
Teicholz gave a brief history of dietary recommendations, and said that for decades we have been told that we should cut back on fat; and that, if we are not getting healthier or thinner, we must not be trying hard enough.
“Everything we’ve been told is wrong,” said Teicholz. She provided information on documentation by overzealous researchers and how they allowed weak science to take hold in the public imagination and become dietary dogma.
“It’s the ‘big bang’ of nutritional science,” says Teicholz. “They selected countries that they knew didn’t have a high rate of heart disease, took their findings during seasons like Lent when people were avoiding meat and cheese, used selection bias, and promoted myths.”
Of those myths she noted that these researches said people were fat and sick because they didn’t follow the guidelines, didn’t exercise and ate more calories. Teicholz states that red meat and fats are mainstays of good health and nutrition.
“We have a generation of livestock producers made to feel bad because their products were said to be bad for us,” says Teicholz. She says the exact opposite is true and can be proved by those like South Dakota Team Beef members who eat large amounts of fats and red meat, while getting a good amount of exercise and are very healthy.
Her list to live by is: 1.Saturated fats don’t cause heart disease. 2. Eating cholesterol doesn’t worsen blood cholesterol. 3. Low fat diets don’t work. 4. Fat does not make you fat. 5. Fat doesn’t cause cancer.
“My new hypothesis is that carbs equal insulin production, which increases obesity,” says Teicholz.
Teicholz has testified before both the Canadian Senate and the U. S. Government on her research and has appeared on national media to critique the science behind the low-fat diet. She studied biology at Yale and Stanford Universities and earned a master’s degree from Oxford University. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons.