Eat Right, Pay Up: Government Gets It Wrong Again

October 11, 2011
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good-oils

“Fat taxes” are tariffs on what governments feel are unhealthy foods. If only they had an inkling about which foods are truly unhealthy!

Denmark has just started imposing a tax on all foods containing saturated fats. Other countries have also started taxing food and drink they think are unhealthy, hoping to reduce cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. In the process, they are totally ignoring the latest scientific research.

The law that went into effect this month specifically targets saturated fats—the fats found most commonly in animal products like butter, cream, and meat, though the legislation makes no distinction between a McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and milk from an organic farm.

The big problem is that the scientific evidence, honestly evaluated, simply does not support the assertion that saturated fats cause heart disease or are generally bad for us. In fact, as Joseph M. Mercola, MD, recently wrote on his website, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a number of important health benefits—and our body actually cannot function without saturated fats!

As Mary Enig, PhD, and Sally Fallon point out in “The Skinny on Fats,”  published on the Weston Price website and reprinted as “The Truth about Saturated Fat” on Mercola.com, saturated fats play many important roles in the body’s chemistry:

  • Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50% of cell membranes, giving cells their necessary stiffness and integrity.
  • For calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, at least 50% of the dietary fats should be saturated.
  • Saturated fats lower Lp(a), a substance in the blood that indicates proneness to heart disease, and protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins such as Tylenol.
  • They enhance the immune system, and have important antimicrobial properties.
  • Healthful omega-3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats.
  • The heart is most directly nourished by saturated fats; in fact, the body creates reserves of highly saturated fats around the heart muscle, so the heart can draw on it in times of stress.

And as we reported previously, coconut oil is a saturated fat that is extremely important for good health, and may prove effective in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.

Note that it’s not just the Danish government that can’t seem to grasp the science about saturated fats—the US government similarly demonizes saturated fat in its dietary guidelines (while simultaneously subsidizing the sale of cheese). And France, in imposing a tax on sugary sodas, apparently has no problem with diet drinks filled with demonstrably unhealthy artificial sweeteners.

It’s bad enough that governments wish to control what we put into our mouths. It’s even worse when they ignore sound scientific research and make laws based on fear, hype, and ignorance.

25 Responses to “Eat Right, Pay Up: Government Gets It Wrong Again”

  1. Please leave my right of choice in tact and guaranteed by the USA Constitution! Need I say more!

       3 likes

  2. Julimar Castro says:

    I strongly disagree with this measure. Not only because it doesn’t consider scientific findings, but because I think people should have the right to eat what they want. Many people know how bad fast food is for them but they don’t care. That is their problem. I think it is far more important to invest in good education and make accessible these scientific findings so that people learn true facts about nutrition. If they’re going to tax someone, tax companies that put harmful additives and all that crap into things we’re supposed to eat.

       4 likes

  3. Donna Marquart says:

    Greetings,
    Thanks for your reporting on some of the foolishness of governmental websites and information esp. when it comes to eating and health.
    A week or so ago when the news media was reporting on a number of deaths caused by listeria found in Colorado cantelopes, I did a Google to find out more about listeria. Below is what I found on the NIH Medline site.

    “Listeriosis is a foodborne illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria found in soil and water. It can be in a variety of raw foods as well as in processed foods and foods made from unpasteurized milk. Listeria is unlike many other germs because it can grow even in the cold temperature of the refrigerator.

    Symptoms include fever and chills, headache, upset stomach and vomiting. Anyone can get the illness. But it is most likely to affect pregnant women and unborn babies, older adults, and people with weak immune systems. To reduce your risk

    1. Use precooked and ready-to-eat foods as soon as you can
    2. Avoid raw milk and raw milk products
    3. Heat ready-to-eat foods and leftovers until they are steaming hot
    4. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables
    5. Avoid rare meat and seafood

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    I think they have their priorities mixed up. I’m glad they mention washing fruits and vegetables, but to put using precooked and ready-to-eat foods as number 1 and avoid raw milk and raw milk products as #2 and then again mention ready-to-eat foods as number 3 and put washing fruits and veggies down as number 4 ??
    Maybe we should just forget about fresh fruits and vegetables all together and just eat pre-packaged and ready-to-eat stuff. Isn’t that devoid of good nutrition? I asked them that question and they suggested in a response to go to several other NIH sites. hmmmm.

    Thanks again.

       2 likes

  4. Jen says:

    So if we have all this science about how good saturated fats are (and I whole heartedly agree with your blog here) why would anyone want to tax that? Are they so ignorant and oblivious to good saturated fats? Why not just tax the person selling junk fast food? McD’s, BK, Taco Bell, etc.. Why not tax Bill Gates for inventing a computer that we all sit around 24/7 and get no exercise… he has billions upon billions. Heck, just go and tax everyone for anything is what this sounds like to me. A bunch of garbage and a way to get more money out of people. How priceless, I love how you put on here that:

    “the US government similarly demonizes saturated fat in its dietary guidelines (while simultaneously subsidizing the sale of cheese). ”

    Does the word hypocrite come to mind. Yes, it usually does when you speak of the US Government. If they want to get into the good graces of their people, they might want to start doing their homework. Just another way to get the small guy to pay for the BIG economic mistakes!

       1 likes

  5. I have seen this phenomenon before, and especially in recent years, as governments, corporations and other institutions have gained authority at the expense of individual freedom and professedly inalienable rights. It is the arrogance of power, and the only cure is to remove the power.

    This is precisely the sort of “coercive correctness” that my family and I met in a minor official of our acquaintance several days ago. Meeting our overweight Maine Coon/tabby mix, the official proclaimed (solely on the evidence of the cat’s ear tufts, which are characteristic of her breed) that she must be partly Siamese; the official then went on to assert that the cat did well to eat what we consider too much dry food because “It’s better for their teeth” and amplifying that “A fat cat is a healthy cat.”

    Meanwhile, of course, Athena has not a trace of Siamese, a fat cat is an obese animal, obesity is not healthy, and dry food is ill-formulated for optimal feline nutrition. But not a word of these facts made its way into the official’s head; her ears were too obstructed with her sense of importance, and the facts presented by a mere layman could make no dent in the fantasies that filled her head. With a smug smile, she blithely waved off everything we told her, and will doubtless go on to kill her own cat with a surfeit of lousy food.

    Of course, the foregoing is trivial. But it illustrates rather nicely the perils of conferring too much power, and I think it thematically explains such behavior as is described in this article.

       1 likes

  6. Cheryl says:

    Yeah, they promote the “sugar free” campaign to sell the product and folks think they are doing a good thing for their bodies by purchasing that over the sugar laden product, only to find out the sugar replacement wreaks havoc on their bodies. I am allergic to Splenda…we wont go into detail on the results of ingesting splenda…suffice it to say I miss work when I forget to check the ingredients.

       1 likes

  7. Tricia says:

    Mercola and Fallon are funded in part by the diary industry, so you have to take anything they say about meat and dairy with a big grain of salt. Recently Mercola attacked soy, which hundreds of studies have demonstrated is very beneficial to human health. He did this in a disengenuous manner, discussing genetically modified soy, not organic. Genetically modified anything is bad, but the article was written in such a way as to imply that the negatives of genetic modification apply mainly/especially to soy. Mercola is not a reliable source because of his pro-meat, pro-dairy bais, and willingness to engage in subterfuge to promote them.

       1 likes

    • mix says:

      You are so right. I have noticed that too, abour Mercola, etc.

         1 likes

    • Janina says:

      If you think Fallon and Mercola are bought off, consider the analysis of Chris Masterjohn, Petro Dobromylskyj, and Dr. Kurt Harris. If those sources are too pithy for you, an easier read is Dr. Micheal R. Eades. There are lots of people, none of whom are ‘bought off’ by an industry who think that saturated fat and animal fat is good for humans.

         1 likes

    • Jennifer K says:

      I don’t know what makes you think Dr. Mercola is sold out to the dairy or meat industry, he actually is very critical of most modern dairy and meat. He has repeatedly told about how bad pasteurized dairy and CAFO beef is for your health. And “hundreds of studies” doesn’t prove something true, since most studies are ultimately paid for, and skewed for, the company or industry at stake.

         1 likes

    • michelle says:

      He’s pretty clear about saying that fermented soy (non-gmo) is OK. And I’m not sure why you are anti-meat & dairy? I think the stuff in grocery stores is just wrong, but if you get your meat grass-fed and your dairy raw from grass-fed sources, I think they are important parts of anyone’s diet. I hold in suspicion anyone who thinks we should cut out a whole food group. The fact is, not everyone does well on a largely plant-based diet, and vegans have to be very careful or they will end up malnurished.

         1 likes

    • Duke says:

      In adding to Janina’s suggestion, I highly recommend the book, Life Without Bread, by Wolfgang Lutz, M.D. and Christian Allan, Ph.D. This book summarizes 40 years of Dr. Lutz’s patient case histories in Austria, and his success in treating the causal factor in most chronic disease today. He did this by changing the patient’s diets to very low carbohydrates and very high saturated fats, the most desirable fats being from animal sources (vegans will cringe). It convincingly demolishes the flawed logic behind the USDA food pyramid. The irony is that the patients on this regimen received the added benefit of impressive weight loss in the process, which low fat diets had failed to deliver.

         1 likes

    • Lou says:

      “Imply that the negatives of genetic modification apply mainly/especially to soy”

      As you say ANYTHING GMO is BAD. Unfermented Soy was bad IMO long before it was GMO. Yes there is some evidence that soy can be beneficial in certain situations but the OVERWHELMING evidence is that unfermented soy is a net VERY negative for humans.

      “Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders. Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D, needed for strong bones and normal growth. Phytic acid in soy foods results in reduced bioavailabilty of iron and zinc which are required for the health and development of the brain and nervous system. Soy also lacks cholesterol, likewise essential for the development of the brain and nervous system. Megadoses of phytoestrogens in soy formula have been implicated in the current trend toward increasingly premature sexual development in girls and delayed or retarded sexual development in boys.” Myths & Truths About Soy

      “Tofu is reported to contribute to accelerated brain aging resulting in dementia.” J Am Coll Nutr 129:758-767 1999

      “It is not a comfort to me to know that we are eating a small amount of Roundup herbicide every time we eat US soybeans as Monsanto’s Roundup tolerant GMO soybeans are widely grown. Previous to this new GMO product, soybeans promptly died when sprayed with Roundup. Eating Roundup herbicide can not be good for human beings.” Doctor James Howenstine, MD

      “Soy supplements should be avoided by hypothyroid patients because they increase the amount of thyroxine needed to attain clinical effect.” Bell et al, Note perhaps half of us over 50 are at least somewhat hypothyroid

      “The first effect I usually see in midlife women ingesting a lot of soy is decreased thyroid function. This often manifests as symptoms of weight gain, lethargy, malaise, fatigue, hair loss and loss of libido. They are told by their doctors this is normal for menopause.” Doctor Kaayla Daniel Soy Specialist

      ”Infants fed soy infant formula are ingesting the equivalent of 2 to 5 birth control pills daily. This is certainly one of the factors in premature sexual puberty in many of our young girls. Soy is one of the factors in premature sexual puberty we can control the most. ” Doctor Kaayla Daniel Soy Specialist

      http://healthyprotocols.com/2_soy.htm

         1 likes

      • Lou says:

        “In a study of 99 fertility challenged men conducted over six years men who regularly ate two or more ounces of soy-based foods per day had 41 million fewer sperm per milliliter than men who didn’t.” Harvard School of Public Health, Note IMO this is the politically DESIRED effect

        Soy introduced into the US human diet after WWIi was a powerful and effective covert birth control method introduced by Rockefeller et al.

           1 likes

  8. Sonia says:

    Not only that but the reason why all those real crap-for-foods are so cheap is because we subsidize the corn and seed oil growers.

       1 likes

  9. Shaniqua says:

    Though I also enjoy his articles, Dr. Joseph Mercola is an osteopath, NOT an MD.

       1 likes

  10. Silver Fang says:

    Maybe there’s a corporate government conspiracy to make us all weak and sick so we’ll be more easily controlled.

       1 likes

    • Ian MacLeod says:

      It’s called the “Depopulation Agenda,” formulated by Dr. Kissinger’s group in 1974 (the year the old Nazi won the worthless Nobel Peace Prize); it’s been National Policy ever since. It was supposedly to be applied to Third World countries that had resources or strategic locations we might want some day, but what we carefully HAVEN’T been told is that it’s being applied to the population of the U.S. as well, and has been for at least a couple of decades. There are all sorts of acknowledgments by people like David Rockefeller, and there’s a video somewhere on YouTube that has a meeting being secretly taped with the Baron du Rothschild talking about it. If you sit down and make a list of toxic substances being applied to foods, water, and the ecosphere in general, the list is appalling! Now with Obama’s newest appointee, a Monsanto lobbyist in the second most powerful position in the FDA, you can’t help but reach the conclusion that the ‘elites’ are trying to kill us off and make a profit into the bargain.

      Ian

         1 likes

  11. Iloverabbits says:

    If you think milk is healthy, I’m not listening to anything else you have to say. I will no longer be subscribed.

       1 likes

    • mix says:

      Milk (I assume you mean cow’s) is only for calves. the dairy industry has long brainwashed the gullible.

         1 likes

    • michelle says:

      I think if it’s raw and from grass-fed cows, it’s probably OK. I personally drink almond or coconut milk.

         1 likes

  12. Pat Haas says:

    This article is right on. The so-called “health experts” are always pushing the low-fat, high carb diets in the U.S., and we see the results of their stupidity. Our body is only designed to handle a small amount of carbs at one time in the bloodstream, and the excess will be removed by insulin (the fat storing hormone) and stored as fat.

       1 likes

  13. Judith says:

    Here we go again another tax and more lose of your freedoms. Still want the right to chose what I put in my stomach. Even Grass fed Beef or Buffalo. Already sent a letter to one Senator on this subject matter.

       1 likes

    • Thank you Judith. They are lieing right and left to figure out how to get more of the American taxpayer monies. This stealing by the government has to be stopped if we are to have some standard of living and not become serfs to the Government. This is a sick body of legistatiors. They are doing this for their own gain.

         1 likes

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