Let me get this straight - now saturated fat is good for me? And I shouldn't forget the cholesterol and salt?
Nothing stirs up full-bore dumbfounding befuddlement like nutritional information. What was killing me last week is saving my life this week. Next week, it will cause warts.
It's crazy. As Mark Twain once wrote, ''Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.''
So I don't. But my wife, a connoisseur of caloric conundrums, does.
The other day, she tossed the latest on my lap. A herd of researchers now claim that saturated fat doesn't cause heart disease, and that it's better for our bodies than ''heart-healthy'' vegetable oils. Plus, half our brains are built from cholesterol and saturated fats.
That's right, we're not just fatheads. We're sat-fatheads.
I flipped the newspaper aside. ''There's not time to lose, woman. If we want to keep our brains intact, we need to rustle up some bacon and eggs immediately. And fry 'em in butter.''
When I was a kid, eggs were healthy, but butter wasn't. If you loved your family, you bought margarine. We slathered on the oleo.
A few years later, another flock of researchers discovered that eggs were full of cholesterol and bacon full of saturated fats. Every time they tried to describe the horrors of fat and cholesterol, they broke down in tears. It was too awful to contemplate.
But butter was healthy again, and the healthy alternative of oleo was dangerous.
The next street gang of researchers cooked up a tales of good cholesterol rumbling with bad cholesterol, and good fats duking it out with bad fats.
Suddenly, bad eggs were good again because they had the good kind of bad stuff.
''Look at this one,'' my wife said. ''People aren't eating enough salt.''
''That was last week, when fruit juice was good.''
''Fruit juice is bad now?''
''Lots of calories and hardly any fiber.''
I scratched my sat-fathead. ''So let's eat ice cream for breakfast. Dairy's good again, right? There's sat fat, and less sugar than juice.''
''OK, but hurry while chocolate syrup's still healthy.''
It's enough to make my sat-fathead explode. As near as I can figure, the packs of scientific researchers roaming about are either guessing or pulling practical jokes.
Let's run a little experiment. Let's invent our own healthy eating food craze. Here goes:
Say, did you hear? Research proves that jump ropes and steel triangles are wonder food!
Jump ropes are great sources of good woven fiber. And most Americans get very little steel in their diets.
Jump ropes and steel triangles help you lose weight, pack on muscle and lower cootie levels (the bad kind of cooties) while enhancing your complexion, lumbago and ability to calculate square roots.
Sound wacky? Illogical? Too outlandish to be believed?
Yeah, well, bet you didn't think they'd tell you to eat saturated fats again, either. So pass this article around and let's see how long before it's heralded in the next healthy nutrition reports.
Then we'll sit back with a big bowl of biscuits and laugh until sausage gravy snorts out our noses. Because this week, sausage gravy is good for noses.
---- Share nutrition tips with Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.