Monday, April 11, 2011

Staffan Lindeberg Literally Afraid to Embrace Animal Fat

Staffan Lindeberg - The other Swedish Chef
Over at Ramblings of a Carnivore, Pål Jåbekk is disheartened to read Staffan Lindeberg's apparently excellent book, only to find that he still toes the party line on SFAs.
I finally finished Lindebergs “Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective." Despite the joy of finally reading this exiting book, at closing the book after reading its last page I felt a strong sense of disappointment. Lean meat! LEAN MEAT! Come on, Staffan.
I was talking about Lindeberg with a Swedish friend of mine who is trying to switch to Lindeberg as his doctor under a new portal Sweden has where one can choose their own doctor via the internet. Lindeberg is overbooked, of course.

We were discussing Lindeberg's stance on fat, and my friend pointed to a quote by Lindeberg he came across on a Swedish blog which he translated as:
My rejection of fat has been for pragmatical reasons. I have not wanted to take the battle with nutritionists, because I have so many other battles to fight.
So this was apparently done for practicality.

I don't know much about Lindeberg but I tend to come down on the side of the pragmatic. The un-demonization of SFAs is crucial to a healthy approach to nutrition, of course. On the other hand he's been quite influential. Sometimes it is better to compromise rather than to preach from the wilderness.

The fact that the lipid hypothesis is so entrenched in the Church of Nutrition (especially in Sweden, apparently) that Lindeberg feels it necessary to try and change things from the inside certainly says something, though, and not about Lindeberg's lack of courage, in my opinion.

There was the Swedish doctor who had her license challenged a few years back for recommending a low carb diet (sorry, too busy lazy to look for the link). I mean, what a shocking proposal, that diabetics might be better off avoiding simple and complex sugars, dogs and cats living together, etc.

Addendum: The Lindeberg quote comes from Annika Dahlqvist's blog, who is the Swedish VLC doctor I was thinking of (hey, I'm not a frickin' encyclopedia), and who was apparently critical of Lindeberg on this issue. The fact that she was willing to challenge the Swedish Church of Nutrition certainly gives her plenty of street cred and weakens the argument for having to toe the party line. She is also critical of Lindeberg's promotion of fruits. I get all this second-hand from my flaky busy Swedish friend.

I think Dr Dahlqvist owes it to the world to write her blog in English. Perhaps she does and I'm not aware of it, I'm swimming in a sea of ignorance here. (Kateryna points out there is a poorly translated version here)

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