This morning I had the pleasure of listening to a podcast about fat, from a recent ABC radio broadcast.
It was a pleasure because it celebrated fat. Duck fat, butter, lard, bread and dripping, and suet were all discussed.
There was an interview with a veteran Italian-Australian butcher whose pet hate was customers asking for fat to be trimmed from the meat, despite knowing it would diminish the flavour.
That's because, over the past 50 years or so, most of the developed world has, it seems, been brainwashed into thinking that fat is bad for us.
Recently I've also watched That Sugar Film on SBS, which traces the history of the tarnishing of fat's public image, to the heart attack suffered by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1955.
This event thrust the issue of heart disease into the public domain, with two theories emerging. One, from US physiologist Ancel Keys, declared that fat was the problem. The other was from British physician John Yudkin, who believed sugar was to blame.
Over the next two decades, the discussion brought fierce arguments from both camps. Keys won out, fat became the villain, sugar was exonnerated, and 'low fat' was institutionalised as the only healthy diet.
Not surprisingly, sugar industry lobbyists played a major role in demonising fat, which was systematically removed from otherwise healthy foods and replaced by sugar and carbohydrates.
One of my greatest sources of pleasure this year has been cheeses and sausages and other high fat foods including nuts, offal and full-fat Greek yoghurt. I have embraced these at the expense of sugar and carbs, and received very favourable blood test results from the GP earlier this month.
I was a healthy weight and receiving good test results for several years before I made the change in my diet. Friends wondered about my motivation, and sometimes I did as well. I guess my best explanation was that I did it 'for the love of fat'.
If there's a lesson for all of us at this time of new year's resolution making, it's that it's better to choose a positive lifestyle change that seems more like an indulgence, and to forget about 'giving up' something that is supposed to be not good for us.
Links: Podcast | That Sugar Film