The Low-Fat, No-Fat Myth

There are a million different studies on fats and whether they are good for you or not. I have ton a great deal of my own research. I have read everything from ‘never eat any fat’ to ‘the only good fat comes from meat’ (yes, I about passed out when I read that one too).

I am posting an article from Harvard School of Public Health. This article adequately says my personal beliefs on the issue. I eat nuts in my oatmeal in the mornings or put avocados in my smoothies. Not only are both rich in ‘healthy fats’ they also stick with you and help curb your appetite. As a matter of fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight. They also aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, as well as feed the brain, heart, liver, lungs, bones, cells and nervous system the nutrients they need to function properly.

I think this article also does a great job at stating why I chose to eat as little processed foods as possible. Read the labels, do you really know what the ingredients are?

THE BOTTOM LINE

Choose foods with healthy fats, limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid foods with trans fat.

It’s time to end the low-fat myth. That’s because the percentage of calories from fat that you eat, whether high or low, isn’t really linked with disease. What really matters is the type of fat you eat.

“Good” fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—lower disease risk. “Bad” fats—saturated and, especially, trans fats—increase disease risk. Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils (such as olive, sunflower, and safflower) nuts, and seeds. Foods high in bad fats include red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream, as well as processed foods made with trans fat from partially hydrogenated oil. The key to a healthy diet is to choose foods that have more good fats than bad fats—vegetable oils instead of butter, salmon (avocados and nuts for vegans and vegetarians) instead of steak—and that don’t contain any trans fat.

“Low-fat,” “reduced fat,” or “fat-free” processed foods are not necessarily “healthy,” nor is it automatically healthier to follow a low-fat diet. One problem with a generic lower-fat diet is that it prompts most people to stop eating fats that are good for the heart along with those that are bad for it. And low-fat diets are often higher in refined carbohydrates and starches from foods like white rice, white bread, potatoes, and sugary drinks. Similarly, when food manufacturers take out fat, they often replace it with carbohydrates from sugar, refined grains, or starch. Our bodies digest these refined carbohydrates and starches very quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike and then dip, which in turn leads to hunger, overeating, and weight gain. Over time, eating lots of “fast carbs” can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes as much as—or more than—eating too much saturated fat.

So when you cut back on foods like red meat and butter, replace them with beans, nuts, and healthy oils—not with white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugary drinks, or other refined carbohydrates.

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