Have you been told by society or Weight Watchers or someone that eating low-fat will help you lose weight? Are you counting calories in your low-fat snack pack wondering when this is actually going to help your health? If so, let's chat.
First let's address the word FAT. It really is an unfortunate name for this compound as it doesn't make you FAT at all, it actually does the opposite.
1). Every Single Cell in your body is made up of Fat. Your Cells use saturated fats to build cell walls and mucus membranes. If you give your body lots of good quality fats (which are different than what the American Heart Association will tell you is healthy) the cells are happy and function as they were designed and all is well.
If you starve the body of fat or replace it with low quality fats like vegetable oils or hydrogenated oils your cells are made out of the same. They can't operate properly and this leads to inflammation and other issues as cells struggle to perform their duties.
2).When a food manufacture takes an item and makes a fat free version they take out all the tasty parts. That’s why they have to make up for it with added carbohydrates which are usually sugar. So to avoid the fat they swapped it out with the exact compound that spikes your insulin and causes fat storage. I think of it this way. Before agriculture we basically only got sugar from fruits in the spring and summer. This was an indication to our body that "hey there will be lots of food around for a while. Better Stock up!" So our bodies did that in preparation for winter when food was a little harder to come by.
It's not only the Fat-Free version of foods that cause issues. By educating the public that fat should be avoided this pushed the public towards other alternatives which were also mostly carbohydrates. Pastas, Potatoes, Breads are all full of complex carbohydrates. The thing your coach used to tell you to pack in before the big game so you had plenty of energy. The reason you have so much energy is because these are quickly converted to Glucose by your body. This can be OK if you doing something physical which depletes muscle glycogen and we'll talk more about exercise and keto in future. But if your just hitting the olive garden 4 nights a week you're really telling your body that it’s the peak of summer and it's time to put on some emergency pounds for winter.
3). Fat-Free foods are often low in nutrients and minerals. If you think of healthy fats you usually think of meats and oils. If you are staying far away from those you usually end up in the middle of the store looking at a box of something which has been heavily processed and lost the bulk of its nutritional value. Not to mention many vitamins are poorly absorbed unless paired with a fat. Fat soluble vitamins require a fat present to be carried through the cell wall. So your nutrients are stuck on the other side and simply pass through instead of being welcomed into your body.
On top of that many grains and seeds contain Phytic acid and Lectins which are a plants defense mechanism to prevent us from eating them. Unlike animals, Plants can't run away so they don't have the choice of flight or fight. They could only fight and phytic acid is one of the ways that they do that. This compound binds with critical nutrients like calcium and magnesium, vitamin D and K. So when you eat your enriched bread you think you're getting the vitamins too but just because it's in the loaf doesn't mean it's entering your body. Lectins are inflammation-causing compounds that plants devised to wreak havoc on our systems. Surely an animal wouldn’t eat something that made them sick?? We do all the time.
I hope this video and post was helpful and taught you a bit about the Low fat and Fat-Free myths and why you need to be careful about falling prey to the general media when it comes to education. I think the majority of people in the health space have only the best intentions but they were taught wrong and in turn taught others incorrectly. The world is coming around to the side of science now that more and more studies are being done on Keto, Paleo, and other primal diets.