We’ve all thought it, most still believe it, and many even make daily choices by the mantra: “I can’t eat that, it’s too fattening!” While the belief is founded on good intentions to stay trim and healthy, the focus on total fat grams to positively impact weight management has been grossly misdirected, and should have had us all laser focused instead on the sugar content.
Starting in the early 1980’s, the belief that “fat makes you fat” led to a massive increase in low fat foods available, however this shift has actually been one of the primary causes of the obesity epidemic in America. As people demanded lowered the fat content of their meals, they replaced, and prompted food producers to replace, the fat with more and more carbohydrates in the form of refined starches (like bread and pasta) and sugars (added to cereals and other prepared foods) to make up for the lack of flavor that the fats provided. When carbohydrates are eaten, insulin gets summoned to break them all down into their component parts – simple sugars like glucose – for the body to use as energy. Since the body, however, can only use a finite amount of the energy on the spot, insulin converts the rest of the glucose into triglycerides aka fat, and stores it for a rainy day in the adipose tissue, which are made up of fat cells just beneath the skin.
The problem is that most Americans ingest a constant stream of these refined carbohydrates all day, everyday, even rainy days, and insulin just keeps converting the excess sugar into triglycerides, causing people to become more and more unhealthy and overweight. Eventually, excess sugar in the bloodstream over long periods of time can cause the receptors on the cells that receive the insulin, to become compromised, so they can’t even use it for energy, and instead fast track converting the simple sugars into more triglycerides, causing, you guessed it, more obesity.
What you can do is to cut the foods that quickly break down into simple sugars like refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and of course the massive amounts of sugar in most of the prepared foods on the market. Don’t be afraid of fat, our bodies need fat to make strong cells, to absorb key vitamins, building healthy bile, supporting proper liver function, detoxifying our bodies and to slow digestion, preventing insulin spikes!