Hmmmm......the "low-fat" recommendation of the 1990's was that we reduce our fat consumption from 45% of our daily calories to 30% of our calories from fat. 45% was considered "normal" then and 30% was "low-fat".
So, when we talk about the low-fat craze of the 90's, we are really talking about a recommendation to lower our consumption to 30% of calories from fat, which is considered "moderate" now!
Part of the problem in the 1990's is that people started eating "low-fat" food that still had plenty of calories, much of them from sweeteners. I remember the Snackwell phase - my husband and I both noted at the time, though, that they may have been low-fat but they were still high calorie.
People were believing that they could eat as many calories as they wanted and not gain weight as long as they ate a low-fat diet that did not consider calories and the type of food they were eating. Ridiculous! How could people believe that consuming lots of chocolate syrup would *not* add to their waistlines? Sure it has 0 fat, but it has 100 calories per 2 TBSP serving!
Eating whole, unprocessed food is ideal. When we eat processed food, we need to read the nutrition labels intelligently (serving size, order & type of ingredients, etc). Look for articles online that can teach this because, in general, the manufacturers will do what it takes to sell as much of their product as possible and can sometimes be a bit sneaky in the way they present their products. (There is so much psychology involved in selling products. I read an interesting article that said green used to be a taboo color in food packaging because it implied mold. Snackwells was one of the first food products to be packaged in a green box, and the industry discovered that consumers perceived the product as natural & healthy. Because of that, many more products now are packaged in green!)
I agree with most of this article. It does bother me some the # of people who are still convinced they must eat low fat/no fat all of the time. In the article, it suggests if you're trying to lose weight, you should still watch your fat content. However fat in foods does not equal fat on the body. I finally switched to eating whole foods, which includes full fat butter, whole milk, full-fat cheese and many other no-nos for a low fat diet. And guess what? I lost more weight, more quickly! And how? It's because I was feeling full much more quickly than with the low fat substitutes, which meant smaller portions. And the other thing that showed me that eating fats is healthy, all my blood work came back with better numbers than when I was eating the supposed healthy stuff. It's sugar that causes all these problems. Most of the processed low fat/no fat foods contain high amounts of sugar, way more than we should ever consume. Sugar causes weight gain, sugar feeds cancer cells and causese many more medical issues either as a direct result of eating sugar, or from being overweight from eating too much sugar. I'm happy for this article, but I still see plenty more articles and recipes on SP stating to limit your fat intake and eat the low fat/no fat varieties of foods. Hard to see those things and then see this article and know what one to follow.
Sparkpeople's guidelines are low-fat and high-carb though too, compared to other low carb diets like paleo and ketogenic. I don't worry too much if I go over my fat guideline as long as my calories are in line because I believe healthy fats are good for you.
I'm glad to see sparkpeople is coming out against the low fat processed junk...however their preplanned meals still call for stuff like low fat mayo. I keep my fat down rather then my carbs (I average 60 a day) because I have a nut allergy. I tried eating low carb but in the end since I do not like eating much meat and cannot eat nuts (I am deathly allergic to almonds and walnuts), I'm happier watching my calories even if low carb is healthier.
8/4/2012 2:17:30 AM
K. Renee - not sure why this article would cause you to question vegan diets. I often eat vegan and always vegetarian with no eggs and limited dairy due to allergies. Even eating vegan, I have no trouble getting plenty of good fats including omegas. Sometimes people have trouble with a switch to vegan because they aren't including enough fat, having been brainwashed about the horrors of fat. My fat intake is usually around 35% with no special effort, sometimes above on avocado days and sometimes less. But it's safe to be at the higher end of the range if you're eating fats from plant sources. In other words - an avocado is not to be avoided! Nuts and seeds are excellent sources also. Hempseed is especially a nutritional powerhouse, including omegas, for instance. I would caution you non-veggies about tuna, though, I even limit it for the cats because of the contamination problem. Anyway- I have never felt good with low fat, so at least for me any low fat eating plan is not a good idea. But I've been vegetarian almost vegan for decades, so I'm not overdosing on animal fats.
I went on a low-fat diet in the 90's when it first became popular. VERY LOW - no more than 10 grams a day. Yes, I lost the weight and kept it off for more than 5 years. I also lost my gall bladder and developed colon cancer. With information now coming out, I just have to wonder.....
I have a question about vegan diets. I know that vegan diets are not always fat free, but it kind of makes me wonder if they are all that good for you after reading this article. I don't doubt that it's better to eat more plant based diet than a meat focus.ed diet, but I guess as long as you get enough of the "good fats" you should be okay
The key is to eat the RIGHT kinds of fat. Even vegans can eat sufficient fat if they regularly incorporate nuts, avocado, olive oil, etc. in their diets. About 35 years ago I started eating in a low-fat, low-sodium, less sugar way. I lost 90+ lbs and by keeping to this way of eating I have kept the weight off. But, I should say it is more of a "controlled fat" way of eating as I keep my fat intake @ 30% and that almost always is made up of the "healthy fats." I eat very little red meat and/or fried foods--I do have to admit that about 2X a year I enjoy a good cheeseburger, but after I eat about 1/2 of it I feel like the inside of my mouth is coated with fat! The same thing happens when I eat foods like fried chicken--I taste the fat more than the chicken, etc. (I'm so glad KFC started serving the grilled chicken--love it!) Eating a balanced diet, with the right kinds of fat, carbohydrates and protein, is the key to healthy eating. .
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