‘Debunking Nutritional Myths’.
Around about the mid-70’s (when the no-fat Pritikin diet was all the rage), campaigns by health organisations such as National Heart Foundation focussed on targeting fat as public enemy number one. Yes, fat was evil and its consumption would clog up your arteries and eventually kill you. In response to fat fear mongering, food manufacturers started making low fat alternatives to everyday supermarket foods: dairy-products, biscuits & muesli bars, sauces & dressings. cereals…basically everything. As the consumer was ‘scared’ of fat, sales of low-fat products went through the roof – and so did obesity levels!
Why did people gain weight eating low fat foods? Quite simply because to make a low-fat food, the fat ‘removed’ from the food needs to be replaced with something – so sugar was considered to be a healthier option. So while the fat levels were non-existent, sugar levels in food increased significantly, creating the blood sugar/insulin levels imbalance problem (see Myth #1 from last week).
You see, excess fat doesn’t make you fat – in fact, it is vital for good health. Adequate fat intake assists with proper brain function, energy production and processing important fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K. It is true that some fats are better than others, but good ones (like monounsaturated fats) need to be part of your daily diet.