Three Facts About Fat Foods, Sugar Fat And Fatty Foods
1. If sugar-free foods help to lose weight, why do most US consumers of these foods have the highest incidence of obesity?
2. If low-fat and fat-free products help to lose weight, why does the US market the largest low-fat food chain have the fattest population?
3. If people are fat because of their genetic heritage, why are people now fatter than others in history?
1. When sugar is removed from a 'diet' or 'healthy' choice to make it less calories, it is replaced with an artificial sweetener. These chemicals do not contain calories but are many times sweeter than sugar. Strong sweetness deceives the brain; flavored snacks provide fewer calories, and may crave other foods high in natural sugars Snack-free snacks can encourage the person to eat more; studies show that individuals who choose beverages containing artificial sweeteners continue to consume more food than usual at subsequent meals. It is also argued that a strong taste moistens the sense of taste until a snack like a piece of fruit becomes less 'tasty' and satisfying; the body begins to crave the stronger flavors found in processed and high-calorie foods. Studies show that children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of sweeteners; it is healthier to give small amounts of natural sweet foods to children, and discard everything (including drinks) with artificial sweeteners.
2. Fat makes a glass of food taste good; the dining experience was even more exhilarating. Think of the difference between dry crackers, and crackers that are thickly spread with butter or cheese. Low-fat foods are depleted of fat, and therefore less palatable. Do you want to spend money on foods that are less palatable than others? No, so food companies butter sugar, salt, additives, flavor enhancers and artificial flavors with buckets full of low-fat products. Not only is this an unhealthy choice, but people almost always eat more low-fat foods than their fat-rich counterparts (oh that’s low-fat, I might as well have others ... and others ...). People who choose low-fat foods consume about 28% more calories than those who choose regular fatty foods. It is important to remember that a fat-rich diet is very important for health; it is the type of fat you eat that is important; look for olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds and oily fish.
3. Many people believe that their weight is determined by their genetic heritage (I have been moaning about this in the past, while entertaining myself with a packet of custard cream). Over time research will emerge about ‘fat genes’, and there is no doubt that your genetic profile will affect your size and shape. This however does not explain the recent obesity problem. The fattest country is the US where genetic heritage is taken from most countries in the world; common denominators are poor diet and decreased activity levels. A study was made on the Pima Indians; a genetic group of which half live in Arizona and have adopted western lifestyles and diets, and half of them maintain traditional agricultural lifestyles and diets in the Sierra Madre mountains. This will not surprise you when you find out that groups with a Western lifestyle have suffered from the epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes where as their cousins who still work on land and eat traditional foods have low incidence of obesity and related problems. The message is that some people have a genetic risk that has been determined to be overweight and suffer from related diseases when exposed to unhealthy eating and inactive lifestyles. For this group, they must reject processed foods, and exercise regularly (rather than crying a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows).
Wanting to maintain a healthy and balanced weight is about making choices according to your lifestyle; eat fresh, healthy and balanced food; discard processed foods and increase activity levels. Replacing 'bad' foods with diet foods will not change the body and mind from the need to eat, give appreciation and 'pamper oneself.' Eating low-sugar and low-fat foods can make us feel very virtuous, so we let Toblerone jumbo slip (well I've been so good all week) or eat a little too good at meals.