Monday, February 13, 2006

Low-Fat Foods May Be Finally Finished

This USA Today story shows that low-fat foods are still a multi-billion dollar industry, but I believe it is high time for that to change in light of last week's release of a landmark 8-year study proving the low-fat diet is a complete and utter failure in terms of disease prevention and weight management.

"Low-fat foods are not on their death bed," this story states.

In the immortal words of Judge Joe Brown, "Well they SHOULLLLLD!" The basis for the low-fat, reduced fat, and fat-free products has been the MISTAKEN notion that these foods are somehow miraculously healthier for you to consume than their full-fat counterparts. But with the damning results of the low-fat diet study that included nearly 50,000 women over an eight-year time frame has, in essence, negated the purpose of having low-fat foods forever.

FINALLY, the low-fat food industry just might be on its last leg. We can hope anyway.

The story notes that the low-fat food industry still has a very "powerful marketing machine" behind it with the big guns in the food industry still seeing dollar signs in their bottom line with low-fat foods, despite their purposely devious and deliberate schemes to milk the public out of their money under the guise of providing them with "healthy" products.

"Low-fat" has become as American as apple pie. Unfortunately, both of those are making the people of this country fatter and fatter while doing nothing to help them get their weight under control and prevent the onset of a variety of diseases. Some people are asking "what now" regarding the low-fat study. How are we supposed to eat so that we live a long, healthy life if cutting our fat isn't the answer?

There are other more effective ways to lose weight, keep it off, and make your health the best it can be. As you know, the low-carb lifestyle has made an incredible turnaround in my health helping me shed over 180 pounds, lowering my triglycerides, raising my HDL "good" cholesterol, dramatically lowering my body fat percentage, getting me off of breathing, cholesterol, and blood pressure medications, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, helped me keep my weight steady for over a year for the first time in my entire life! This is BIG NEWS and I won't stop shouting about what livin' la vida low-carb has done for me.

And the best part of my weight loss success has been that I will NEVER EVER EVER have to put another nasty-tasting low-fat or fat-free garbage food product in my mouth EVER AGAIN!

But, apparently, there are people out there who like eating cheese that tastes like plastic (the cellaphane they wrap it in tastes better)! Or the crackers that have the consistency and taste of cardboard. And don't get me started on fat-free milk, ice cream, or lunch meats! In a word -- EWWWW!

But, believe it or not, there must be at least SOME people out there who like this stuff because it racked up an eye-popping $35.6 billion in the United States alone in 2005. That BILLION with a "B!" One statistic that shocked me was that 3 out of every four Americans had either a low-fat or fat-free food product at least once every two weeks last year. I guess they mean the packaged low-fat or fat-free foods because water is fat-free as are most drinks, including sugary sodas. That number floored me because I almost NEVER buy any product that claims to be fat-free anymore. NEVER!

In all, there are over 21,500 products that have been put on grocery store shelves since 1996 that claim to be low, lower or free of fat, including another 1,877 in 2005 alone. But how much longer can this market be sustained in the face of solid scientific evidence that has been found showing reducing your fat intake has no unique health benefits?

Industry insiders are already trying to stem the tide of any backlash they may receive from the low-fat diet study by marketing their low-fat products as "low-calorie" instead, adding the "good fats" like olive and fish oil back into their products, highlight the fact that the products are "low in trans fats," and underscore that these products are still "healthy" food options.

Clearly, the gig is up now, though.

While I agree there won't be an overnight abandonment of the low-fat foods people have been eating, you might see people start slowly gravitating back to some of the full-fat versions of their favorite foods again in the coming years. Especially as more and more people discover that the low-fat diet is not what they expected it to be, people will return to the great-tasting full-fat foods that will not only taste better but also give them a better way to control their weight (unlike the low-fat diet which another recent study showed it produced no measurable weight loss over a 7-year period!).

I have just one message to deliver to the American people regarding these low-fat products: STOP BUYING THEM!!! If you keep buying them, then the only people who benefit are the food companies who continue to pull the wool over your eyes and laugh all the way to the bank. It's time for people to wise up and realize those products aren't going to make you healthy. For that matter, the so-called "low-carb" products aren't going to make you healthy either. We need to start making wise choices about what we stick in our mouths without relying on a food company claim to do make the decision for us.

Invest in high-quality, great-tasting, nutritious foods instead of the slick packaging and marketing of products that literally flood grocery store shelves today. The only people who benefit from this are the food companies.

In fact, I have a fun education assignment for you over the next month (aw, man!). No, seriously, this will be a thrilling experience especially for people who are used to buying ANYTHING with a low-fat label on it.

When you go to the grocery store, refuse to purchase ANY food product that makes a claim on it about fat. Whether it is "low-fat," "reduced fat," "fat free," "no fat," or whatever, immediately place it back on the shelf where you got it from if it has any verbage to that effect. I KNOW this will be difficult, but you can do it! You will be amazed by what you can find!

It is possible to eat healthy without eating low-fat. Now it's time for you to learn how. I'd love to know how your "low-fat"-free grocery shopping experience goes. Click on the comment section below to share you thoughts!


Blogger Newbirth said...

One statistic that shocked me was that 3 out of every four Americans had either a low-fat or fat-free food product at least once every two weeks last year....That number floored me because I almost NEVER buy any product that claims to be fat-free anymore.

I buy lowfat cottage cheese. Safeway's 2% cottage cheese has the same number of carbs as the full fat, fewer calories (which I do have to count), and is fortified with extra calcium, something very important to me. The 2% has 60% of daily calcium in one cup; the full fat had only 16%.

And with cheese I'll buy darn near anything natural, be it low fat or full fat. I actually prefer the low fat because again, calories count and tend to add up quickly.

I have to watch carbs AND calories, and at 9 calories a gram, lowfat foods have a place in my eating program.

They are not the be all and end all that they used to be, but they still have their place.

2/13/2006 8:20 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Calcium is only effectively absorbed when consumed with adequate quantities of fat. Otherwise, over 92% of it is not absorbed at all. Skim milk, for example, is utterly worthless for these reasons, even if "fortified". Same goes for fat-soluble vitamins. It does make sense to buy full-fat foods, not just for superior taste!

When making a smoothie, I always add full-fat cream and a few spoonfuls of virgin coconut oil. Tastes (much) better too and has a higher satiety value as well.

Don't forget that although calories do count, comsuming high-fat foods also has the added value of the metabolic advantage (better glycemic control and superior weight loss and maintenance) but also do many fats provide us with anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. I would avoid low-fat products as much as I can.

2/13/2006 8:42 PM  
Blogger Spider63 said...

Low-Fat foods are usually a lot higher in sugar and calories. What a fraud!

2/15/2006 5:30 AM  

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