*If I (Dr. John McDougall) were publicly referred to as “Dr. Potato” or “Dr. Vegetable,” I would consider this reference to be a compliment. I would not be offended. Such a descriptive title would mean that I have accurately communicated my beliefs about good nutrition. Thus, Dr. Krauss shall be known as “Dr. Lard.”
Ronald M. Krauss, MD is a well-publicized author in both the lay press and medical journals. He is a UCSF Adjuvant Professor, Endocrinologist, and the Director of Atherosclerosis Research at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Dr. Krauss’ work has provided one of the most important foundations for popular discussions about how eating meat, dairy, and eggs are not health hazards for people. Even though it may not have been a direct intention of Dr. Krauss, lard is back on the dinner table thanks in part to his publications.
Dr. Krauss has not acted alone in turning nutrition wisdom on its head. Robert Atkins, MD of the Atkins Diet fame, Gary Taubes (science-writer) and best-selling authors William Davis, MD (Wheat Belly), and David Perlmutter, MD (Grain Brain) have made valuable contributions to this latest trend.
(Saturated fat in everyday terms, in other words, the foods on your plate, means beef, pork, lamb, chicken, cheese, milk, lard, and eggs.)
Articles like these that offer “nuggets of proof” that saturated fat-laden foods can be eaten guiltlessly have created a feeding frenzy within the meat, dairy, and egg industries. As a direct result, hundreds of millions of people worldwide—especially those who are looking to “hear good news about their bad habits”—will die of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity, and if left unchallenged, resulting increases in livestock production will accelerate global warming even faster than the current rate.
The lay press has gone wild with advice to eat more saturated fat. NPR stories question “fat as a villain,” and famous food and cooking writers, like Mark Bittman, tell us, “Butter is Back.” Even rotund physician Andrew Weil, MD recommends eating lard.
Dr. Krauss, however, has not always been in favor of eating animal flesh and fat. His research in 1986, before he started working for the beef and dairy industries, clearly explains that the high consumption of animal foods and low intake of plant foods promotes atherosclerosis (heart disease and strokes).
His opinions and writings changed after he started working for the National Cattleman’s Beef Association and the National Dairy Council (as early as 1990).
His most famous publication was in March of 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (research funded by The National Dairy Council).
This paper is the key research that is cited to argue that eating all that saturated fat and cholesterol, along with big doses of people-poisoning environmental chemicals and loads of infection-causing bacteria, parasites, and viruses is good for you and your family.
Unfortunately, the popular press is rarely inclined to publicize the criticism of this original publication by Dr. Krauss and associates. To be specific, I have never read in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal any comment on the editorial in this same issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Jeremiah Stamler, MD criticizing this flawed paper: the exact research that has received so much attention in the lay press.
Nor have I seen any writer or reporter from any newspaper, TV, radio, or website do an in-depth investigative reporting on the criticisms found in not one, but several letters to the editor that followed in the same journal, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
An outside observer might think that the press was in cahoots with the meat, dairy, and egg industries—but who would ever believe such nonsense? Likely, they are just too busy with stories about movies stars’ divorces, etc. to trouble themselves with these multibillion-dollar medical and food problems.
I am not surprised that you are confused when there is so much money available to publicize the meat, dairy, and egg industries’ viewpoints: One that also condemns you and your family to poor health and the possibility of financial ruin. Maybe a little name-calling and a few facts will challenge the “lard experts” to share a public platform with me. But this is unlikely since ignoring the truth has worked so well and so far.
On a personal note: I am getting so tired from punching them that my arms are weak.
Photo of oil by Dan-Cristian Paduret on Unsplash.