The truth about Low Fat produce.

 With the growth of the amount of obese people in America and across the world food producers started to look for solutions. The low fat produce revolution started in the mid 80‘ offering the consumers more and more varieties, 30% less fat, 35% less fat. Today you can find in grocery stores a turkey breast ham with 97% less fat. How is that even possible? I would like to present you what are the actual results of following such a diet.

Besides ham, nowadays in american supermarkets you can find any kind of products that have less fat: butter, chips, ham, cheese, hummus, soda, turkey, orange juice or any other product you can think of. Most of us think that what makes us fat is actually fat. Even the word is the same, however from a nutritional point of view it is quite different. People tend to forget that fat is one of the three essential macronutrients. Moreover we have to remember that there are different kinds of fat, some are healthy others are less. Annemarie Colbin, founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts said:

“Together with protein and carbohydrate, fat is an important source of calories. We need essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acid, or Omega 6 and Omega 3 for many important functions, namely:

1. To keep us warm, especially in the winter, as the breakdown of fats creates heat. The diet of the Eskimos gets about 60% of its calories from fat, and on their native diets they don’t have heart disease.

2. For proper hormone function, especially for women.

3. To keep our cell walls strong.

4. To absorb and store the fat-soluble vitamins, especially Vitamin D, needed to help absorb calcium from the intestines. Women who don’t get enough good quality fatty acids may end up with low Vitamin D stores and therefore bone thinning.”

Eating products with less fat, creates a danger that we will end up consuming much more products because the lack of fat oils makes us feel less full. It is much healthier to eat a spoon of real peanut butter than a fake one. I mentioned before that some fats are unhealthy, but are there any good ones? Annemarie Colbin has a response:

“Among the best are extra virgin olive oil, unrefined sesame and sunflower oil, unrefined flax seed oil, walnut oil, organic butter and clarified butter or ghee. Omega 3 fatty acids are in fresh dark cold water fish like salmon and mackerel, as well as in flax seed oil. Omega 6’s are in the sesame and sunflower oil. Fresh organic butter from healthy cows fed green grass can be an excellent source of natural Vitamin A.”

Moreover, a lot of scientists believe that low fat produce may increase the risk of heart disease. Nutritionist Natasha Campbell-McBride, who runs the Cambridge Nutrition Clinic, believes that “The whole notion of saturated fat as some kind of bete noire is simply wrong, as is the existence of so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol. Fats and cholesterol help create and protect the white blood cells and millions of other cells that repair the wall linings when damaged.”

When you remove fat from food you need to replace it with other substances. Often producers of such food add sugars or salt. They don’t contain fat, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have calories and that they don’t make us fat. Moreover some of the sugars that are added might be a little bit addictive. For example diet soda contains NutraSweet “which is often found in different types of diet sodas, is known to cause excessive hunger or thirst. Another reason that you will probably find yourself feeling thirsty after you have drank diet soda is because it contains so much sodium, which is known to cause constant thirst.”

I believe that we need to come back to what our grandparents called food (which now is called bio or eco food), when all the produce contained real fat, sugar and proteins. In some cases low fat food can actually lead to obesity, which is a kind of a paradox. Unfortunately it is one of thousands of paradoxes we are surrounded with.

References:

1. http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/27/are-sugar-substitutes-worse-than-the-real-thing/

2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1375687/Low-fat-foods-INCREASE-risk-heart-disease-nutritionist-says.html

3. http://voices.yahoo.com/is-diet-soda-worse-than-regular-soda-281525.html?cat=5

Posted by Piotr Wielezynski

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