Big Fat Food Lies: Nutrition Lie #1 - Eating Fat Makes You Fat
This has got to be one of the most pervasive nutrition myths of our time. Since the 1980s, when the whole “low-fat” and “diet” craze began, we’ve seen our population get fatter and sicker. What gives?
If eating fat is supposed to make us fat, then eating less of it should be a good thing – at least for our waistlines - right?
Sounds ok in theory but the problem is that this entire “low-fat” movement hit the ground running based on ONE suspicious study. The truth of the matter is that eating fat isn’t the problem as is shown by the following graph....
The REAL culprit to why our waistlines have continued to expand is because of the alarming increase in consumption of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and refined carbohydrates over the last 50 years. The following graph shows this quite clearly.
But why are sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and refined carbs making us fatter than dietary fat itself?
There are a few reasons, but the one I’ll discuss right now is the fact that fat DOES NOT stimulate the release of insulin. In fact, a rise in blood sugar (from sugar and carbohydrates ingestion) is what causes insulin to be released. Insulin is produced in and secreted from your pancreas when the level of sugar in your blood rises. Its role is to “escort” excess sugar (glucose) out of the blood and into your muscle, liver, and fat cells for storage. Otherwise, too much sugar in the blood would cause severe damage to your arteries and capillaries, leading to conditions like retinopathy, neuropathy, and heightened free radical damage.
Hold on a minute…
That’s exactly what happens to those with advanced Type 2 Diabetes, since their bodies no longer respond to insulin. As a result, they have dangerously elevated levels of blood sugar. From a weight management perspective, chronically elevated levels of insulin are not good.
Look at it this way…
The more insulin you have roaming around in your blood, the more sugar you’re eventually going to store as fat. And the only way insulin levels rise is when there is an increase in sugar/carbohydrate intake. Thus, the more sugar you eat, the more fat your body will end up storing.
Obviously, there are better carbohydrates just as there are healthier fats. The key is to understand which carbohydrates are good for you, while minimizing/avoiding the rest.
To help you out, here’s a brief list of carbohydrates you definitely want to avoid:
• Baked goods/pastries/candy
• White bread
• Soda pop
• Table sugar
But let’s not forget that “good” carbohydrates are essential for life-long health. It has actually been shown that the countries that consume the MOST healthy carbohydrates (up to 80% of their diet) such as Japan, have the longest life span with the least disease.
So what are these “good, healthy” carbohydrates?
Well, it’s not rocket science. Here’s a brief list:
• Root vegetables (ie. Sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, etc…)
• All other vegetables
• Non-glutenous grains (ie. Quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat)
So without going into all the science or physiology just yet, suffice it to say that FAT is not the enemy. Unhealthy fats are terrible for your health and good fats are essential but neither one will make you fat.
Rather, it’s the rise in sugar consumption that is to blame.