Ahhhhhh, we’re home!!! Kyle and I arrived at our parent’s house late last night and slept in this morning- hello vacation!!
This year I have 3 weeks off- one in September, one in December, and one in May. Kyle and I drove from Rochester Minnesota to Chicago to see some friends, Indianapolis to see more friends yesterday, and now we’re finally home for the rest of the week.
Isn’t this view of my parent’s backyard stunning?
I could sit, drink coffee, and watch the little froggies in the pond all day.
Today I want to talk a topic that has been in the news a lot lately:
A new study from the Annals of Internal Medicine is shaking up traditional views on the long touted low-fat diet.
For lots of people in the health community, this might be old news. In fact, a study from 10 years ago had similar findings:
The population as a whole is always being dragged in different diet directions: eat this not that, high fiber, low sodium, low fat, no trans-fats, low sugar, all natural, organic, non-GMO… it’s exhausting!
Again I have to come back to my absolute favorite mantra of all times from the incredible Michael Pollan:
I have so much to say about this topic, I don’t even know where to begin.
- First, I think that the “low-fat” craze has gotten us into a lot of trouble. I think that ever since the dawn of SnackWell low-fat cookies we’ve been headed down a path that ends in central obesity, fatigue, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. (No offense to SnackWell cookies- those things are so tasty!)
- “Low-fat” processed foods are often packed with other things, mainly sugar, to replace the fat that’s been taken out. Not only does this extra sugar lead to increased insulin spikes, increased cravings, overeating, and food addictions, but so many of these low-fat foods are nutritionally void once the fats are removed.
- We over-eat low fat foods and wonder why we are gaining weight as a population.
- We are vitamin deficient and are losing out on the incredible neuro-protective properties that good fats have.
Okay wait, I just said a big buzz word.
Everyone seems to be talking about “Good fats.” And while to most healthy-living bloggers and blog readers this term is one we are very comfortable with, it’s not something that is easy to simplify for the population at-large.
So now I’m going to try to simplify it:
- Good fats come in their natural form: nuts, seeds, avocados, butter, full fat dairy, and unprocessed, unadulterated oils.
- Bad fats come in unnatural forms. If it had to be made in a lab, it’s a bad fat. Crisco, margarine, semi-hydrogenated soy/corn/canola/sunflower/whatever oil- those are all bad.
- If it comes in the form of fried, breaded food, it’s bad (albeit delicious).
- We are targeted every day when we watch TV and go to the grocery store. We see a box that reads “46g of whole grains!” and are lead to believe that is healthy. Doesn’t it sound healthy? What that really means is “1/2 cup will give you 1/3 of your daily carbohydrates, leave you hungry, with cravings, and extra body fat!”
Even I, someone who loves fat and never shies away from butter, have been influenced by the “low-fat” craze. I buy fat free greek yogurt. Why? I guess I think it’s better for me- but when I think about it more, I don’t know why having some extra fat in my greek yogurt in the morning would do anything but leave me feeling more satiated and probably keep me more full until lunch. And, it would probably help me digest the vitamins from the berries I throw on top of my yogurt. Next grocery store trip- I’m buying full fat dairy!!
Anyways, I think this study is helping to pave a new road that leaves behind the carb-loving trend of the past 50 years.
As a healthcare professional, I want my patients to eat vegetables and stay away from refined carbs. If putting some butter on broccoli gets them there- I am all for it.
What do you think? Are you pro low-fat? Or are you more of a low-carb advocate?
Or do you just want to skip all this talk and go get some froyo?