- A Low-Fat Diet is High in Harmful foods
Do you know that when the low-fat guidelines hit the scene our sugar consumption spiked? Why, because low-fat foods taste terrible! Once the fat is stripped away you’re left with very bland food. What was the food industry’s response? Add more sugar of course! Sugar is not a fat, it’s a carbohydrate. Which means a label that reads low-fat gives a deceiving assurance that you are consuming a “healthy” food.
A low-fat diet also promotes an increase in vegetable oils. With an innocent sounding name like “vegetable” in front of oils, we have the potential to be fooled. The problem with manufactured vegetable oils is that although they may reduce cholesterol in the short term, long term they have been linked with heart disease and inflammation.
Low-fat diets recommend a high consumption of whole wheat. Once again we are led to believe that the word “whole” implies health. The main problem with this advice is that a large portion of our population is sensitive to wheat gluten and may not even now why they are experiencing symptoms like fatigue, pain, gut issues that stem from the gluten.
- A Low-Fat Diet Can Lower HDL, Our “Good” Cholesterol and Raise Triglycerides
Study after study points to the benefits of having high levels of HDL in the prevention of heart disease. How do we raise our HDL levels? By consuming more fat. However, a high carb diet lowers our good cholesterol.
A low-fat diet elevates our triglycerides because it’s high in carbohydrates. What’s going on in our body to produce this response? The high levels of triglycerides in our blood causes the liver to turn excess carbs especially fructose into fat.
What’s the best way to lower blood triglycerides? By doing the exact opposite of what a low-fat diet advises and eat a low-carb diet high in good fats.
- Consuming A Low-Fat Diet Can Crowd Out Healthy Foods
With all the fear mongering tactics brought on by the low-fat diet, it has caused our consumption of animal foods to lower. Unfortunately, lowering our animal food intake put’s us at a disadvantage when it comes to getting enough healthy fats. Do you know our bodies actually need fat to function properly?
No one is arguing that factory farmed, grain-fed animal products aren’t ideal choices. However, when animals are raised and fed properly the result is healthy nutritious food.What about my vegan friends? Not a problem, just get your healthy fats via high fat plant foods and oils.
Are you saying we should embrace saturated fats Hilda? Oh I’m sorry you didn’t get the memo that we have no need to fear saturated fat and cholesterol? Well, as it turns out we’ve been fed a big fat lie, that was based on a myth. In fact, they have now proven that it’s actually the opposite we need these fats. Want more reassurance? Check out these studies.
It’s important to remember that not all fats are created equal and that they do not affect the body the same way. While processed and refined fats found in pre-packaged foods and food establishments can be harmful, other types of natural fats have beneficial, and even life-extending properties. When we don’t get the healthy fats we need in our diets, we find ourselves feeling tired, moody, hungry, and unable to deal with cravings.
So why are we blaming the rise in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease on saturated fat? Beats me, because these diseases are relatively new, while these foods have been with us for thousands of years. In fact, populations throughout the world, like the Inuit and the Masai, have consumed almost all of their calories from animal foods and remained in excellent health. Makes you stop and think what went wrong.
Because of the unfair stigma on saturated fats, foods like meats, eggs, dairy, and coconut products have been avoided because of their high fat content. Unfortunately, doing so makes it harder to get Omega-3 fatty acids, CLA, vitamins minerals, and antioxidants naturally.
The truth is foods that are naturally high in saturated fat and cholesterol tend to be highly nutritious and perfectly healthy. However, a low-fat diet discourages consumption of these foods.
One of the biggest benefits of including more fat in our diet, is fat’s ability to help control hormones, especially insulin. While in contrast a low-fat diet causes hormone imbalances and insulin resistance which is linked to diabetes, weight gain, cognitive issues and much, much more.
Dr. David Perlmutter, MD, does a fantastic job eloquently explaining this in his book “Brain Maker”
For the greater part of the past 2.6 million years, our ancestors’ diets consisted of wild animals and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Today most people’s diets are centered on grains and carbs — many of which contain gut-blasting, microbiome-damaging gluten whose downstream effects reach the brain. Even setting aside the gluten factor, one of the main reasons that consuming too many grains and carbs is so harmful is that they spike blood sugar in ways other foods, such as fats, meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables, do not.
All this bad dietary advice caused us to swap fat for foods high in sugar. What came with this swap? Astronomical rates of diabetes and obesity. “It’s now about time to realize that the low-fat diet just didn’t work”, Dr. David Ludwig, Harvard.
It appears like the official low-fat dietary guidelines have swayed us wrong, so why do we keep trusting government agencies and massively lobbied food industries for food recommendations?
The latest 2015 USDA guidelines did remove the former advice to cut down on fat. However, decades of bad advice continue to have a negative effect on people’s health. Unfortunately, the low-fat diet has been a massive public health failure that is still causing significant harm. Why? Well, because eating a high-carb low fat diet has been hard-wired in the minds of many. It’s challenging to undo the damage of this way of thinking in a short amount of time.
Waiting till the research catches up with this paradigm shift in order to change our way of eating, may prove to be disastrous for those who are already suffering the effects of a low-fat diet.
A diet high in carbohydrates, which includes whole grains, has been the foundation of a healthy diet for decades with a recommendation of 11 daily servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta, but in reality, this high consumption of carbs has been a big contributor of many diseases.
According to Dr. Ludwig, “we now need a frank accounting of past and current dietary recommendations and comprehensive measures to mitigate persisting harms from the low-fat diet era”.
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