Did the Low-Fat era make us fat?

If you were born between 1950 and 1990, you are most likely a victim of the ‘low-fat era’.

It all started in 1977 when the New Zealander government started telling people to eat less fat, and soon other countries followed suit. By the mid-80’s low-fat diets were gaining in popularity, with enough interest to fuel the birth of an entire ‘low-fat’ industry. By the 90’s, eating full fat products was frowned upon almost as much as smoking cigarettes.

The idea behind this mass marketing was that an excess of dietary FAT was causing obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Therefore it was hypothesized that a reduction in FAT would reverse these problems.

The interesting thing is that up until 1980, obesity rates were around 13%. By the late 1980’s, they had shot up to 25%. Today it’s 35%. And the heart disease and diabetes statistics show the same increasing trend.

Even a lay person should be able to conclude that FAT is not the problem. Why didn’t it work? Because just like our bodies need water, they also need FAT.

Did you know that your brain is about 60% fat? It is our brain that organises the 75 Trillion (75,000,000,000,000) cells in our body, and it’s our BRAIN that controls every thought, feeling and action.  So when we deprive ourselves of fat, our brain literally breaks down and our physical and mental abilities wane. You can read study after study that confirm this fact. FAT is also essential for healthy nerve function, hormone production, vibrant skin, optimal heart function and so much more.

Where does the confusion come from? One industry tells us to eat a low fat diet to reduce heart disease, while the research shows fat is required for optimal heart function. The fact is that NOT ALL FATS ARE EQUAL.

But how do I know which FAT’s are good and which are not so good? I use the same method that I do for all of my nutrition, which is based on the logic that the many programs that run your body, were written 50,000 years ago. So the types of fat we are designed to eat are the ones that our paleolithic ancestors would have eaten.

To keep it simple, it is actually the type of fat that matters, not so much the amount. 

As a general rule of thumb, FAT (saturated, mono/polyunsaturated) should be included with every meal. However TRANS FATS (hydrogenated vegetable oil) have been linked to all sorts of health problems and should be avoided as much as possible.

If you want to understand more about good and bad fats as well as a whole lot more on eating right, book in for Chiropractic Balance’s ‘Eat Right for Life’ 30 minute Seminar on Wednesday July 3rd from 7pm.  Find out how to include the best foods in your life to ensure you reach and maintain your ideal weight, and never diet again!

Remember better health is just one choice away.