Posted by: dietingnow | May 2, 2007

Lower Fat Means Higher Carbs

Over the last thirty years, food nutritionists and the food industry as a whole have embraced the idea of lowering our fat intake.  This was a direct result of the information published by the government that encouraged less egg consumption because of the cholesterol found in eggs.  After that particular piece of information, doctors began to discover that when we consume fat, we have higher incidences of cholesterol problems.  The logical conclusion: fat must be bad for you.  And so, an entire generation as grown up with fat-free foods.  A whole generation grew up believing that fat was what made us fat, clogged our arteries, and generally caused ill-health.

Now, what many of you do not realize is that fat flavors our foods, when you remove the fat; you remove much of the good taste. So what did we do? We turned to carbs to make up for the loss in taste in the food.  When you remove the fat, the taste must be artificially injected into the food.  The end result is a food that is higher in carbohydrate content, but lower in fat.  Hence, all the wonderful labels displaying the claim of “fat free” but neglect to mention the higher level of carbohydrates.

Now, we have a whole food industry formed around low or no-fat food alternatives. These companies have large amounts of money invested in the production of these foods, and is not going to be able or willing to turn around on a dime.  It’s because of corporate investment that current knowledge about the “good” fat has been suppressed as long as it has.  It is a very expensive piece of knowledge that is being passed on to the public today.  So expensive, that some companies would be out of business were they to try and reverse their food processing.

So what is the trade off for foods higher in carbohydrates?  Well, part of the trade off is that carbohydrates turn into sugar fast during the digestive process.  What happens when sugar levels become too high too fast?  Diabetes would be the number one bad effect.  Others can include insulin related problems with the pancreas, and hyperactivity in young and old.  Diabetes has been on the rise for the last twenty-five years, and can probably be traced directly to our increased level of carbohydrate intake.

When you combine the fact that food lobbyists and pharmaceutical lobbyists are two of the largest lobby groups in existence, it is astonishment that this news ever made it to the general public.  But it has, and it will continue to be a source of research and concern as many of the baby boomers continue to age and experience health problems thanks to the high levels of carbohydrate consumption.

Lower fat was not the answer many thought it to be.  As it turns out, we would have been much better off to have left our food as it was, and spent billions of dollars in the exercise industry.  Now, there is an area that would have benefited all of the population, more exercise.

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