Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Fat-Free Fraud

Ever since I was born, I grew up learning that you should avoid fat.  "Better" alternatives were foods that were low in fat or "fat-free".

I just finished analyzing another food log for one of my athletes this morning.  I've been surprised this year by the "fat-free" foods these teenage athletes are consuming.  Can't say I blame them though ... it's what they're taught. Remember sitting around the dinner table with a nice steak in front of you, and your parents cutting off the fat?  I sure do.

Let's go back in time for a minute:  When our ancestors lived for survival purposes, as a part of nature, we hunted, fished, trapped and foraged.  When those early humans made a big kill do you think when they were cutting up the animal to bring back to their camp that they said, "make sure you cut the fat off before we bring it back!"????  I don't think so.  Fat was the energy source and nutrient that kept us going until that next big hunt.  It's a necessity.  Even carnivores in the wild, eat the animal without worrying about the fat because that's what helps sustain them until the next meal (which who knows when that could be in the wild?)

Our bodies have not changed after millions of years.  We still need fat, and should not be against it. Yes there are some fats that are bad, such as trans fats/hydrogenated oils.  But when you eat a healthy diet full of natural foods (meats, nuts, eggs etc)... these are the good fats that our body doesn't shun;  it actually needs them.  I'm not saying go and eat fats like crazy. We have to remember that we also have complete access to basically anything we want, at any given time now.  So just like everything, we need do so in moderation.... BUT WITHOUT FEAR!

*Next time you're in the grocery store, take a look at the ingredients label of one of your "fat-free foods".  They are filled with artificial sweetners, man-made ingredients and are usually the complete opposite of what our body actually needs to run efficiently and healthy.  Not to mention... it's just NOT REAL FOOD!