Pursuing nutritional paths, is a healthy endeavor! But we need to educate ourselves to be discerning and critical of this category of information as it is also prey to marketing methods that twist truth and, often, completely lie. Just as our body needs “REAL FOOD” and “WHOLE FOOD,” so too does our mind need REAL INFORMATION, TRUE INFORMATION, and CONTEXTUAL INFORMATION about nutrition and the foods we are eating.
I recommend reading the noted article here as just one example of long term nutritional marketing methods that lull us into reliance on “publication credentials” to change our eating habits over common sense and historical food to guide the way.
“…..because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion.”
If we know someone named John, and this person was tall, super-organized and shy, would that mean all people named John are going to be tall, super-organized and shy? Of course not!
So WHY WHY WHY do we see “Fat” in a food or on a food label and presume all fat to be the same? For most of us raised in western society, especially with Standard American Diet (SAD) we have been indoctrinated with the idea that fat is bad for us. This is simply not true.
Mary G. Enig, Ph.D and author of the book Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol, says that due to many articles and books written by so many who have no background or scientific training in fats and oils, much incorrect or completely inaccurate information has been accepted as truth about fats.
“ When these mistakes are repeated over generations of students, they lead to scientifically unsupported dogma generating dietary recommendations that are false and potentially harmful…..[we] inherit the health problems generated by this misinformation. “
Eating fat will not make you fat anymore than eating sugar will make you sweet. In fact, sugar has more fat making qualities than fat! (more on that in another post)
Ignorance is NOT bliss… In fact, with regard to understanding what fat is, what processing has done to it, how it is critical to our health and development…. Well, we just need to become better educated about Real Food. Whole Food.
There has been a statistical abnormality present over the last several decades. As the grocery store shelves increase in low fat food options, our national obesity rate has soared! How is it that a population that has become so inundated with fat free and low fat options, struggles more than before with not just a few extra pounds, but severe obesity? And at epidemic levels among our children? Well here’s the skinny on our increasing obesity rate:
As our low fat and fat free food markets emerged, the increase in sugar content to those fat reduced products grew. You see, fat carries flavor beautifully, naturally. It also provides satiation. It triggers our digestive system to know the feeling of being full. When you extract the fat, the flavor plummets. But by adding sugar, the flavor is restored. Unfortunately sugar, doesn’t provide the trigger for natural satiation the body was programmed to recognize. So this is just one piece of the sugar/fat puzzle.
Our bodies only need a certain amount of energy that sugar(glucose) provides. And when the cellular work is done that requires energy from glucose, it has to convert any excess sugar (glucose) to fat for storage. Our blood can only have a very limited amount of sugar floating around in it at one time. Diabetics know all about this topic. Sugar can kill us, if present in excess. So our bodies send messages out to insulin to be release from our pancreas. Insulin converts any excess glucose (sugar) into fat to be stored in our fatty tissue for a rainy day. (We can only hope we have enough rainy days to use up all the excess sugar storage).
As we can deduce from this very brief explanation, our low fat food selections have more sugar than the naturally occurring food. We eat more low fat food because we are less satiated (not to mention, seriously addicted to sugar in general…more on that later). We ingest more sugar than we need. The excess sugar is stored as fat. And here we have one of today’s serious health epidemics, obesity….
Sugar a.k.a Fat
Fat is not the enemy our current dietary ideology has made it out to be. Yes, too much fat, physiologically present in our tissue and organs can pose serious problems, but so can too much water, or too much salt, or too much sugar, etc….
Fat is an essential element in the healthy function of our bodies and minds. Lipid (fat) layers are what each cell membrane is made of. It provides the flexible strength to the cell membrane. If we don’t consume good quality dietary fat, the membrane of every cell in our body is compromised. And compromised cellular structure gives way to real enemies…dysfunction and disease.
Learn more about why fat is important. Don’t be afraid of fat. Be picky about the kind of fat you consume and choose fats that our bodies know what to do with. Those are friendly fats! And they have been around for thousands of years. Some examples: Pure, cold pressed nut and seed oils, butter from grass fed cows, pure high quality olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, just to name a few.
Never eat margarine or spreads. There are chemically created and highly processed. No fake butter out there is good for you. And get rid of your shortening while you’re at it. Again, highly processed and highly toxic to your body.
Rule of thumb: the further from nature something is through stages of processing to get it on the grocery store shelf, the more of an enemy it is to your body.