I”m so over the “f” word getting a bad rap… Get your mind out the gutter, I’m talking about FAT.
For years I’ve consumed thinks like 1/3 fat cream cheese, low-fat milk, reduced fat salad dressing, reduced fat grains, and I shudder to think about the amount of margarine I’ve eaten in my short 29 years. I picked canola oil over butter. I ate chicken in place of steak. Heck, I even went the vegetarian route for a hot minute. All the while trying to figure out what is the best way to nourish this machine God gave me.
Then someone introduced me to a wonderful book by Gary Taubes PhD, titled “Why We Get Fat, and What to Do About It.” This book changed my entire thinking about nutrition and the garbage (literal and figurative) we’ve been fed since the 1950s.
Here’s a run down, then I want you to read it for yourself – don’t trust me, make your own conclusions!
In the 1950s a lovely little man by the name of Ancel Keys introduced what we now know as the “low-fat diet.” The long and short is, he conducted the largest nutritional study, of 7 countries and 13,000 men. He concluded that eating fats (specifically saturated animal fat) leads to heart disease. His research was erroneous, but even still he was then appointed a position with the American Heart Association, and bing, bang, boom – some of the most recommended nutritional guidelines were born.
While low-fat isn’t necessarily bad (there are some bad fats including trans fats and vegetable oils), we’ve exploited this recommendation. When fat is removed from foods, it is disgusting and flavorless, so naturally, a flavor replacement has to occur. Often this replacement is sugar, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) or sugar substitutes.
So why are we still buying into the big fat lie?
Mainly, it’s been fed to us (pardon the pun) for so long, that we just accepted it. Secondly, food marketing! For many decades, commercials, packaging and weight loss programs touted the “low-fat” diet as a way to lose weight, and finally it was recommended by the American Heart Association to recommend low-fat diets. However, new research is coming out (article sourced below) about fat being our friend.
So how is fat our friend…
Our bodies need fat for the p of vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat is also great for your skin and your body uses it for fuel when you perform aerobic activity. It is also recommended by the USDA that we get 20%-35% of our nutrition from fat.
In parting, it may be best to think twice about those 100 calorie snack packs in exchange for a sliced avocado or tree nut. Please don’t buy margarine, and for the sake of Pete, order a steak every once in a while. Just remember that fat is not the “f” word. Our bodies need it. Our bodies don’t need prepackaged junk foods. I find that when I eat clean, whole, natural foods – the fat argument is a moot point. If we eat what God intends for us to eat and designed our bodies to eat, we could save a whole lot of time and money on pointless research and just live healthier lives.
*I have a challenge for my readers – next time you visit the grocery store, check the labels on a few “low-fat” or “non fat” foods, then notice the sugar content. If for some odd reason, the sugar content is 0g, look in the ingredients for hidden sugars and sugar alcohols.
Questions or comments email JadaDanos@gmail.com
I believe is the power of whole food nutrition, but I also supplement my diet. If you’re interested in learning more about supplements click here.
Articles used for this post about fat being our friend:
Taubes, PhD, Gary. “How We Get Fat and What to Do About It”
Other Sources used for this post: