Do you avoid fat?
Well then you as so many others have been mis-informed for years. We don’t get fat from fat, we get fat from sugar! Unfortunately the fat-free message has been carved into the consciousness of dieters for so long that now it is like a “truth” that is hard to get rid of. Especially since most product manufacturers follow what consumers want in order to sell more product, instead of what health dictates. So even if the consensus is wrong, it is still that common misconception that is being spread by advertising that boosts fat free products. If we don’t also hear the opposing message (fat is healthy), the assumption is that fat-free is the way to go. We are unfortunately the most mis-informed, mis-fed, and malnourished nation and we are the biggest in more ways that one. Obesity is continuing to climb and it is not because of fat; it is because of sugar.
So the skinny on fat is that you need it and if you do not incorporate GOOD fats into your food choices you will probably end up eating more sugar. And sugar is how we get fat.
There are a couple of traps to fall into when avoiding fat:
- Sugar cravings; because when you eat fat-free you are not feeling satisfied from the food. Fat is part of what helps us feel satiated
- Extra sugar added to fat-free products; because otherwise they would not taste very good.
- Over-eating; partly because of not feeling satiated, but also because many vitamins and nutrients are fat-soluble so when you eat fat free you are not absorbing them and the body sends out craving signals to try to get them in. The body is far wiser when it comes to our food choices.
There are three main reasons that we need to eat fat with every meal.
(This is even more important if you are vegan.)
- Without fat, we simply cannot absorb nutrients and vitamins from our food. Certain vitamins are water-soluble, and others are fat-soluble. If you don’t eat fat with your meal, you could be losing the benefit of half of the vitamins you’re consuming.
- Fat (along with protein) helps slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, allowing for a longer and steadier supply of energy.
- Fat is part of what you use for energy, which is one of the reasons why people who go for low-fat or fat-free foods end up eating more simple carbs and sugar — they need to get energy from something.
Now I did say good fat.
Good fat means unsaturated and saturated fat from plant-based foods. Recent studies have come out to say that saturated animal fat is not a problem for you and this is where the “sticky point” is right now. A little goes a long way so some saturated fat from animal foods might be ok -if you eat the meat of an animal that has been grass-fed. But most get their meat from factory farms, where the animal has been fed GMO grain and corn as well as antibiotics. Antibiotics are just now coming into the discussion for regulation but for years a daily dose of antibiotics to factory farmed animals gave farmers and increase of about 3% in weight-gain. And we are not talking about healthy weight grain here from muscles. We are talking pure fat deposits, like the ones you are hoping to avoid.
So I would still say: stick to plant-based sources for your healthy fats and limit saturated fat from animal sources. Make sure as much as you can please, that these are animals that are well cared for, well fed, free grazing and not abused before they become your food. And that is not just because I care about animal welfare, it is also because it is affecting your health.
Trans-fat is the fat to avoid!
Trans fat is a whole different issues. That is what you want to avoid. This is what look for on the label! If there is any trans-fat in your food, don’t eat it. It is a processed fat that your body does not know what to do with. It does indeed raise cholesterol and inflammation and it does cause you to gain weight. And to loose your health.
Fat-free is NOT better. It is a MYTH!
As long as you get your fat from real foods and remember that more is not better, less is.
You can learn a lot more about the different fats and how they affects you, your health, your body, your satiation and get recipes that incorporate a balanced use of good fats in the online program.