Low fat, non-fat, fat fat fat. We always hear about fat as though it is the enemy. The logic is if you eat fat it gets added on to your body like adding clay to a sculpture. People think “low fat” means healthy. But even with all this propaganda and clever labeling of foods, the world gets fatter. 65% of the population are overweight in this country, and 30% obese! People are less healthy, including the ones on the “lowfat” diets. Why? How could a lowfat diet make you fat?
WHEN LOWFAT ISN’T
There are a few reasons. First of all, when fat is taken out of foods there is usual a tendency to replace that part of the foods makeup and flavor with something else….sugar. So much is added that when eaten, the body secretes high amounts of insulin, the hormone which helps the body regulate sugars in the system. Strangely this increased insulin signals greater hunger, and the additional sugars are stored as fat! Yes fat. So “lowfat” but high sugar actually is worse than the original fat contained in the product you thought was helping you lose weight. When you start your day with a high glycemic index (GI) food, it will serve to increase your hunger for the remainder of the day making you eat more “lowfat” food and creating a cycle of weight gain. Doesn’t it just make you angry? It is really criminal that food producers can claim as healthy, foods that are actually worse for you, but that is the magic of marketing. It does not matter what the truth is if it sells better by saying something else.
WHAT YOU NEED
Another factor is that we actually need fat in our diet. Not just any fat of course, but the right kind. This proper fat actually makes you eat less by filling you up faster, and it is a low GI food. Red meat and dairy have what you call “saturated fats”. These are not the ones you want. So if you eat red meat, make it lean, and dairy is not only a bad fat, but is also highly inflammatory, so is to be strictly limited. These fats actually worsen insulin resistance which is the bodies resistance to the proper function of insulin to allow sugars into the cells for use as energy. This is due to the cycle of too much insulin being produced as a result of high blood sugar brought about by high GI food intake. The body senses the high insulin, and the cells start to shut the door, recognizing this as a problem.
So what fat do we need? To start with cold water fish and flaxseed have these fats, nuts, seeds, safflower, soybean, and olive oil, avocados, all possess these fats as well. You may have heard of them. Omega 6 and Omega 3 oils. Our diet should have a 1-1 ratio of these fatty acids, and in years gone by they used to. Grass fed beef has a 1-1 ratio of these oils, but corn fed, which is most of todays beef, does not. Also we used to eat more oils and fish, nuts and seeds, and so forth. Now we think we are doing ourselves a favor by eating low fat foods and diet meals processed and prepared for us for speed, and what we think is food prepared by health professionals for our benefit. Not always true. The more a food is pre-processed, the less your body has to work to digest, the faster the food is assimilated and the faster the blood sugar spikes after a meal, which as we already stated is bad news. The fiber content in whole foods is a regulatory material which helps keep the speed of assimilation at a proper level, which keep the sugar levels at a good constant rate. We will also discuss meal spacing and snacks (the good kind) later too which is part of the issue.
WE ALL HAVE FAT ON THE BRAIN, LITERALLY
Now, to cap it off, we need certain fats. Your brain is actually mostly fat. But, don’t think this means that you should go on a fat binge. There is still a need for balance. Avoid things like potato chips and snack foods since these have the bad fats. Cakes, cookies and donuts too are no good. Lard, Margarine, palm and kernel oil, cheese, shortening, poultry skin, deep fried foods and any trans fats, or hydrogenated oils.
Next time we’ll talk about the use of protein, carbohydrates, and sugars in the right way for a balance diet. Happy eating!