Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Low Fat? How About No.

When I look at food, I don't think about low fat or low carb. I think about calories and if this is something worth spending calories from my calorie budget on. Yup, I think of calories like a budget, because that's exactly how it behaves ... mostly. The nuances of some types of calories and the overall benefits of exercise are for different posts.

Low fat diets are garbage unless they are also low calorie.
I like fat. Fat is good. You need fat. Fat is also filling.
You don't need it to excess, but you don't need anything to excess.

Contrary to what is probably a common misconception, when you eat fat it is not auto-stored as is. Your body actually breaks it down and restores the excess energy just like it does with carbohydrates.

Fat is not why anyone is fat. Sugar is the real enemy there.
Anything advertising itself as "low-fat" often has sugar added to it in order to make it taste better.

A low fat diet often turns into a high sugar diet and a high sugar diet equals a high fat diet. If you understand nothing else about dieting, understand that.
Low Fat = High Sugar = High Fat.

I have found that usually there is some but not much caloric difference between a food and it's low-fat variant. It's something to be mindful of when shopping or deciding what to eat. More often than not I go with the regular version.

It's much more important to be mindful of portion size and caloric value vs. benefit than calorie sources such as fat or carbs. I don't pick on protein much because things that are high in protein tend to be good for you. But be weary of energy bars that advertise being high in protein. They are also high in sugar.

The only two things I will advise watching out for are sugar (which is bad for you in more ways than it's beneficial) and trans fats (which are nothing but bad for you). The latter, we've become much more conscious about reducing. Even in McDonald's, you will only find trans fat in limited quantities where you would expect to find it: in burgers and shakes.

Why I don't like sugar can be attributed to a lecture on youtube.

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