Friday, 16 August 2013

5 Common Nutrition Myths Debunked Series Part 2 "LowFat Is Good"

Modern society has become obsessed with eating low fat. Starting in the 1980s, when the US government published reports highlighting a flawed correlation between cholesterol and heart disease, the media as a whole soon followed suit with now infamous publications of articles such as THAT "Times" magazine article. The fat fear had officially been ingrained in the conscience of society.

Butter and egg sales fell dramatically and people opted for the "healthier" options of vegetable oils and breakfast cereals to keep their fat intake down.

No one could have imagined the rate at which the food industry corrupted the general nutritional profile of our food. In an effort to meet the demands of fat fearing consumers, food producers began removing the fat from their foods by processing. Except without the fat the food tasted bad. So they had to add something to make it taste palatable - namely sugar, artificial sweeteners, flour and salt. The sad reality is that although these nasty extras were being added to the food,  the only thing people looked at was the fat content of their foods, not its overall nutritional profile. We had lost the point.

Fat Is Not The Problem 

Consider this - if low fat eating is the most healthy way to eat then why has society's health got WORSE since the emergence of the low fat diet phenomena? Obesity is higher than it has ever been in our history and chronic disease is on the up rise with diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancers on the rise.

The supermarkets are full of low fat biscuits, low fat crisps and low fat juices - guilt free eating at its best. However our waistlines are not getting smaller.

If the low fat diet is so good for us, why are we still so fat?!

All Fats Are Not Created Equally 

The things about fats is they are not all the same. It is not necessary the amount of fat that matters, but rather the TYPE.

Fats are an important component in a proper functioning body. It has a role in hormone synthesis and nerve health. It is therefore crucial that you include sources of good fats in your diet.

They also play a very important role in reducing inflammation.

Good fats help to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Think of them as "mopper uppers" of bad cholesterol as they guide it to the liver to be synthesized.

Fats To Avoid

  • Vegetable Oils (eg canola oil, sunflower oil) 
  • Margarine
  • Transfats (found in processed foods) 
  • Cooking with easy damaged oils like extra virgin olive oil 
Fats to Increase
  • Avocados
  • Coconut Oil
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Olive Oil (dressings, cold uses) 
  • Saturated Fats like lard, tallow, duck fat etc

Risks To Eating Low Fat

The truth is that by constantly focusing on low fat in your diet, you may be inadvertently eliminating crucial  nutrients from your diet.

During processing low fats foods have all the fat removed from them. Of course removing this fat also eliminates the fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, D, E, K. Many producers add synthetic vitamins back into the food to make up for this, but these vitamins are just that; synthetic. They do not work in the body the same way as their natural counterparts. Fat soluble vitamins are also designed to work with fat. By eliminating the fat they should be soluble in, the vitamins are unable to be absorbed in the way they should be.

Signs and Symptoms Of Insufficient Essential Fatty Acid Intake

  • Dry skin
  • Cracking/peeling fingertips
  • Patchy dullness/skin discolouration
  • Small bumps on the back of arms
  • Combination skin
  • Dull nails 
  • Dry eyes
  • Lack of vaginal lubrication
  • Menstrual cramps 
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Stiff/painful joints
If you are suffering 3 or more of the above symptoms you may benefit from including more essential fatty acids in your diet. 

Despite the common hype, low fat diets are not the healthy lifestyle many suggest, nor are they the gold standard in weight-loss many believe. 

A more healthy approach to a good lifestyle is to eat real food and to include the good sources of fat outlined above. 

A lifestyle like Paleo contains a good ratio of protein, fats and natural carbohydrates. 

Eat Real Food, Eat Paleo. 


  1. You made great good points on food & nutrition! Excellent share

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