After years of enduring a poor reputation, fat has been redeemed with new research that suggests fat should actually have a prominent place in your diet. This abrupt about-face has caused significant confusion, especially because the government has long discouraged the intake of fat. Since 1980, when the food pyramid was first introduced, Americans have suffered an explosion of obesity. At least 55 percent of the population is currently considered to be obese, and this number is expected to increase. Chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle have also dramatically increased, surpassing infectious diseases as the main cause of death.
These patterns can be linked to the widespread removal of fat from many different foods. Fats were replaced with sugar and vegetable oils, both of which have negative impacts on the body but help food taste good. Sugar doesn’t ever signal your body that it is full, but it does signal insulin to store excess calories as fat. This shift in the composition of our diet has been associated with the rise in obesity and chronic diseases that currently plague our modern-day culture.
The Truth About Fat
Fat is not the dangerous enemy that so many people believe it is. The truth is that fat not only helps food taste great, but it nourishes the body in many important ways and helps keep you satiated. In fact, fat is the only macronutrient that does not trigger an insulin response. This is crucial, because insulin is the hormone responsible for fat storage. Fat consumed does not become the fat in your body! Carbohydrates, particularly high glycemic, processed carbohydrates, are the real enemy. In other words, take the 1980 Food Pyramid and turn it upside down! The next time you need a little snack to carry you over to your next meal, put down those pretzels and instead reach for nuts, seeds, olives, or an avocado.
The final take away is simple: Food should taste good and be good for us. Forget the “diet.” A diet is something that is done temporarily, usually leaving people in worse shape than they were before! Instead, look to adopt a long-term, healthy lifestyle that doesn’t require disguising the taste of your food. Let us learn from the Mediterranean diet, the most well-researched diet on the planet, which has been proven to decrease inflammation and associated chronic diseases. It includes moderate amounts of cheese, chocolate, and red wine. The Mediterranean diet also happens to include a healthy amount of fat, including olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fish. What’s not to enjoy about that?
To gain more insight about the best nutrition choices to improve your health and wellbeing, reach out to London Wellness in Sarasota, Florida. Registered dietitian nutritionist Bonni London is dedicated to using nutrition to help you achieve your goals, alleviate your illnesses, and improve your overall quality of life. Call (941) 584-8487 to learn more.