Nonfat Nonsense

Low fat diet leads to obesity

Fifty years ago, only a small percentage of the population had problems with their weight.  Now it’s an epidemic!  How is obesity increasing, while the percentage fat in our diets is decreasing?

Taken from September/October 2011 addition of Select

Written by: Karen Pijuan


Are you still caught up in the low-fat mantra of the past couple decades?  Do you think that you cannot eat fatty foods if you are trying to lose weight?  These ideas continue to prevail in our media and in the low-fat products you see everywhere so it is no wonder you may still believe this.  In fact, even many doctors still believe this.


According to a study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control in 2000, it is estimated that 64% of adults in the United States were either obese or overweight.  That is almost two thirds of the adult population, and one third of our children are now overweight as well.  In the past 30 years, the number of overweight children has doubled.  In the past decade, the number of obese people in the U.S. has more than doubled.


How is obesity increasing while the percentage fat in our diets is decreasing?


Fifty years ago, only a small percentage of the population had problems with their weight.  Now it’s an epidemic!  All this has happened while we have cut back from 40 to around 32 percent fat in our diets.  Hmm, perhaps a low fat diet is not what we need in order to lose weight!


Are low fat diets unhealthy?


Low-fat diets not only do not work, but they can be low in vitamins A and D and they tend to promote weight gain!  Research confirms this statement.  The famous Framingham Study that started in 1948 is still going on, and it shows that the more saturated fat, the more calories, and the more cholesterol a person ate, the lower their serum cholesterol!  The results also show that the more fat they ate, the less they weighed!  In addition fats, including saturated fats, are essential for good health.  Fat-soluble vitamins A and D are found in large quantities only in saturated fat-containing foods like egg yolks, butter, cream, whole milk and liver.  Minerals also need fats and fat-soluble vitamin A, in order to be properly absorbed and utilized by the body.  Calcium needs fat-soluble vitamin D in order to be used properly by the body.  So, we are eating less fat as a nation, getting far less of the fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin D, and we continue to gain weight. 


Where there is less fat there is more MSG.


Perhaps another reason that the low fat diet does not work is that fat gives food flavor and when manufacturers cut out the fat, they often add sugar, MSG and other chemicals to the good to enhance taste.  These can all have adverse effects on both our weight and our health.  Many researchers believe that the addition of copious amounts of sugar to our diets is also causing our weight gain.  MSG has weight gaining properties and it is fed to laboratory animals in order to fatten them up for experiments in which they need obese rats, so it is no surprise that when we eat a lot of MSG, we gain weight.  Watch out, MSG does not have to be labeled as MSG in order to be in your food.  In fact, it is used in packaged and restaurants foods today, especially in fast foods.


Eating a low fat diet will not help you to lose weight, but instead, it may add to your weight gain, so start seeking our healthy types of fats to eat in your diet.  Don’t forget to include some of the saturated fats that contain vitamins A and D, as long as you look for meat and dairy products from healthy animals that are out in the pasture eating their natural diets.  One resource for pastured animal products is www.eatwild.com.


About the Author:

Karen Pijuan is the owner of several health-related websites and has written numerous articles about nutrition, vitamins, healthy living, whole food supplements, natural body care and cleaning products, natural weight loss, and more. 

















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