Since the 80’s, the so-called ‘low-fat’ and ‘light’ labelled foods became the norm for many who were looking to eat healthier or lose weight. I’m from Brazil and over there, there are light versions for almost every food product. The feeling you get from the packaging is almost like it instantly makes you healthier and skinnier. Even my nutritionist back then advised me to eat only those.
But having a diet based on 'skinny' and 'fit' products made me always feel hungry; which led me to overeat. I was constantly snacking and feeling miserable, all at the same time. In the end, I thought that dieting was not for me and I was destined to be 'unhealthy' for the rest of my life. Until I discovered that, in reality, some low-fat foods are not what it seems to be. And that changed everything.
The truth is that these products sell. Manufacturers (and in my case, even my doctor) convinced us that products labelled fat-free are better than the original full-fat versions. Low-fat foods are usually lower in calories, creating that illusion that is healthier. But a recent study showed that foods labelled low-fat leads consumers to eat in excess, and more often. In the end, calories become the same. Another UK study found that 10% of low-fat foods contain the same or even more calories than the regular versions. But shocking: 40% had more sugar.
This idea that fat needs to be cut out of everything, caused manufacturers to add not only sugars but also flavour enhancers, vegetable oils and all kinds of crap to make those products edible. Loss of fat meant total loss of taste and texture in these products, so they had to make up for it somehow. In the end, by avoiding fat, people end up consuming more sugar and chemical ingredients. But where is this crazy nonsense about fat coming from anyway?
There is a demonization of fat going around for years. It almost felt like reading or saying the word fat itself made people fat. Fat was our worst feared enemy and seen as the one single thing we should be cutting from our diet. It was also claimed to clog blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease and a bunch of other scary things. It's been only recently discovered that this obsession with low fat has “paradoxically increased” the risk of heart disease and led to overmedication of millions.
Other studies have shown that a low-fat diet does not reduce the risk of heart diseases and replacing saturated fat with vegetable oil is far worse. Eating real food was much better after all. Foods high in saturated fat are actually healthy and nutritious, as long as they are of good quality and unprocessed. Good examples are meats and dairy from natural and grass-fed animals, dark chocolate, and coconuts.
Eating healthy fats is far more beneficial for your health and body than opting for low-fat products and a low-fat diet. It makes you satisfied, gives more energy and in my case, makes me happier than eating tasteless food. There are plenty of healthy fats out there that you shouldn’t be running away from.
Wanna learn more?
Check the amazing healthy fats you can start eating today and more details on the myth behind saturated fats.
Article written by Laís Oliveira
from Funky Fat Foods
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