If you believe the propaganda spoken by the medical establishment and the large food conglomerates, you are at risk. "Food technology" has given us more low-fat or fat-free foods than ever before, and we have more people carrying extra weight than at any time in human history. Something's wrong with this picture.
Obviously, if you are an over-eater, weight gain usually results, but it doesn't explain the number of women who don't understand how they could have gained weight, because they don't eat that much. Women pay too much attention to media regurgitation, driven by advertising revenues, that too many calories or too much fat causes weight gain. This leads to voluntary calorie and fat deprivation and eating patterns that involve meals with only lean protein sources, limited or no fat or the skipping of meals.
As these women age, they wake up at 45 or 55 having gained 20 to 100 pounds and believe it's just a part of getting older. It's not; it's simply poor food choices.
If you are eating low-fat foods and minimal lean proteins, by definition you must eat mostly carbohydrates. If a food is not an animal product or a fat or oil, it's a carbohydrate. Breads, grains, pasta, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruits and salads are examples of carbohydrates. So is a candy bar.
If you complain of weight gain and all you eat are candy bars (no one does this, it's just an absurd example to make a point), we would blame the sugar in the candy bars. The sucrose used to sweeten a candy bar is broken down in the body to another sugar called glucose. Guess what the carbohydrates in your diet are broken down into? The same sugar called glucose.
That's right. A carrot, a bagel, those big salads for lunch and your favorite vegetarian dish all break down into sugar. When glucose enters the bloodstream, your pancreas responds with the secretion of insulin to manage your blood sugar. Insulin shuttles the glucose into tissue for later use. If you eat too many carbohydrates that break down into excessive amounts of glucose, the insulin will signal the body to convert the excess sugar into fat and deposit it onto the body.
It's not the fat, it's the insulin. The biochemistry of the carbohydrate-glucose-insulin connection is well-known; and unless you have a detailed understanding of it, you can only dispute this argument by quoting emotionally based misinformation that you have heard over many decades.
This same connection is also now being shown to be responsible for high blood pressure, high cholesterol (dietary cholesterol has no impact at all), heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
If you are lucky enough to have a metabolism that doesn't gain weight, you are still at risk for these chronic conditions. This also explains why diabetics are at risk for circulatory problems and heart disease. The scientific, peer-reviewed, double blind studies are astonishing.
Dr. William Castelli, the director of the Framingham study (the study most used to support low fat diets), said in 1992 that the study actually showed that those eating more cholesterol, fats and calories had lower cholesterol levels and weighed less. We've been fed misinformation from that study for decades.
In 1997, the European Heart Journal reviewed all major studies of diet and heart disease from the past 20 years, finding that a low fat, low cholesterol diet was ineffective. In 1999, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied 238 men and found that high fat diets improve cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL and LDL levels. The low fat diets had exactly the opposite effect. I could fill this newspaper with more examples.
The answer to your health is to not fear good fats, only bad fats. The bad ones are mostly fried foods and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils that contain trans-fatty acids and include margarine (read labels looking for hydrogenated oils).
The best fats are from olive or canola oils, fish and nuts. Your body also needs the fats found in animal products. Consuming a high percentage of healthy fats allows you to eat between 30 and 45 percent fat each day, with no negative health consequences. Fats make foods taste better and are more satisfying. Enjoy!
From the 'No Kidding' Department
Our local Fortune 100 company reported this week it will severely cut back on production of the fake fat olestra, marketed as Olean and found in fat-free Pringles and Frito-Lay's WOW potato chips. Products containing the fake fat bear labels saying, "Olestra may cause abdominal cramping and loose stools. Olestra inhibits the absorption of some vitamins and other nutrients." Wow! Could I have a case for everybody I don't like?
Projections of annual sales of $1 billion have fallen short. No kidding.
Of one thing you can be sure: If man has created or altered a food product, stay away from it. This includes fake fat, hydrogenated fat, margarine, Nutrasweet (also known as aspartame and Equal), saccharine and processed foods, particularly white flour.
The innate intelligence of this miracle we call the human body recognizes molecules found in nature. Anything that is synthetic or altered confuses your biochemistry. Throw them all out. Your health might depend on it.