Two trains are about to arrive at the platform, the low fat train and the full fat train. Which train do you choose?
Up until a 40 years ago there was no such thing as the low fat train and everybody travelled full fat. But since the 70’s and 80’s there has been a shift towards the low fat bandwagon. The full fat that we eat naturally in animal foods (that humans have been eating for millions of years) suddenly became the culprit for heart disease and obesity. Some studies including ‘The seven Countries Study’ which have since been disproven seemed to suggest that it was the fat and the cholesterol in our food that was causing these problems. In 1977 the ‘McGovern Committee’ in America gave the first clear guidelines to the American government that the ‘low fat, high carb’ was the way to go despite protests from others who stated that sugar was the problem not the fat. The governments of the world and many food companies soon realised that there was a lot of money to be made from this ‘low fat movement’ and within a few years fat was enemy number one and grain food were the golden child. But did everyone get healthier and leaner following the new food pyramid which promoted grains and demonised fats?
Check out this short video on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8WA5wcaHp4 which explains how fat is not a problem.
Take a look at the chart below and see for yourself, although correlation does not prove causation it does make a good argument.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar. Chartbook.
Nowadays we have a situation where we are being told from an early age to eat according to the government issued food pyramid. Children are being indoctrinated with the notion that fat is bad and that eating loads of bread/pasta/cereals are good. Doctors who do not get very much nutrition coaching in medical school advise patients to eat ‘healthy’- to follow the food pyramid. Unfortunately we as a nation are seeing a continued rise in obesity, cancer, diabetes and other diseases.
When I talk about fat, I am referring to naturally occurring fats that are in all animal products. In butter, meats, eggs, dairy, fish, nuts, seeds, olive, coconut and palm oil. Processed oils and trans fats are very dangerous to the body and should not be eaten.
If you are not convinced, here are some reasons why you should full fat foods.
1. Low fat foods are full of sugar and other chemicals
When the low fat movement came out and the manufacturers decided to remove the fat from the various products, they discovered that they tasted crap. They replaced the fat with lots of sugar and flavourings and other crap to make them palatable. These made the product taste good but now the original food has became a processed piece of garbage. Low fat foods are basically foods with the goodness removed and extra rubbish put in.
2. Low fat can raise chances of getting heart disease and other autoimmune disease
Heart disease is the most common form of death in the western world. Traditional population who ate diets high in fat had near minimum levels of heart disease. Once these people were exposed to western low fat type diets, their levels of disease soared. They got obese, became diabetic and levels of heart disease rose. Read more about the work of Weston Price in my article here.
3. Low fat foods make us fat
A low fat diet is pretty much a high carb diet. Many people in this modern world live sedentary lives and have jobs and lifestyles which have a low energy output. These carbs that are consumed by the body are turned into glucose. Glucose is stored as glycogen in the muscle and liver cells and becomes available for energy whenever required. If this glycogen store does not get used up then the cells , then the additional glucose consumed cannot fit into the cells and gets put into fat storage. Alternatively consuming a diet with a higher percentage of fats can make us less likely to overeat as fat and protein consumption regulate hormones which make us feel full and reduce hunger.
4. Low fat can mean higher cholesterol
For years consumption of dietary fat and cholesterol were considered the number one cause of high cholesterol in our body. We were told to lower our intake of saturated fats in eggs, red meat and butter. We were also told to eat lots of whole grains, and eat heart healthy vegetable spreads. Again the information was wrong!
In actual fact eating more fat will lead to an increase in ‘HDL’ cholesterol which is the good cholesterol and shows an decreased risk of heart disease. Also a higher fat diet can change the particle size of ‘LDL’ cholesterol from small dense particles (which are dangerous) to dense fluffy ones (which are nice and friendly)!
5. Low fat can lead to brain disfunction
Low levels of DHA, a fat found in omega 3 fatty acids has been associated with memory loss, difficulty concentrating, Alzheimer’s disease and other mood problems.
To wrap up, we need to get back to basics regarding our fat intake. Food should be there to enjoy as nature intended. Fat is not meant to be removed from milk or yogurt, real butter is not going to make you fat, eggs will not give you high cholesterol. Stay away from anything marketed as ‘low fat’ as it is more than likely a Frankenstein food with a multitude of other crap thrown in. Eat real, unprocessed, locally produced, real, whole foods as much as possible and you will not go wrong.
You are back standing on the platform at the train station. The man on the loudspeaker shouts out: “the low fat train will be departing Platform 2 in 5 minutes and Is stopping at Low energy, Obesity, High Triglycerides, High Cholesterol, Sickness, and Heart Disease”
“The full fat train is departing Platform 1 and is going express to Optimal Health”
…I know where I want to go!