Despite studies, evidence to the contrary, traditional cultures and plain old common sense, low-fat foods are societally accepted as healthy. People are often shocked to find out the majority of the calories I consume come from fat. And despite what you’ve heard about cholesterol and saturated fats, both are absolutely essential for the body to properly function. Not only are low-fat foods processed, they are robbing your body of essential fats, vitamins and minerals.
To make naturally fatty foods like dairy products low-fat, they undergo a lot of processing and the fat is often replaced with unhealthy additives like canola oil, soy oil, skim milk powder and artificial sweeteners. Let’s compare butter with margarine. I buy Kerrygold butter, which is grass-fed butter that is full of vitamins and healthy fats. Here is the ingredient list for a popular margarine, Earth Balance:
It contains genetically modified ingredients, trans and hydrogenated fats and other processed ingredients. At least it’s lower in fat, right?
Or take yogurt for example. Full-fat, grass-fed yogurt is a great, healthy option. Here is the ingredient list for Yoplait’s strawberry yogurt:
Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt (cultured pasteurized grade A reduced fat milk, sugar, nonfat milk, high fructose corn syrup, strawberry puree, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, natural flavor, potassium sorbate added to maintain freshness, colored with carmine, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3), Lactic Acid Esters Of Mono And Diglycerides, Nitrogen.
Just because something is low in fat, does not make it healthy. In fact, if you encounter something labeled as “low-fat” you should not eat it (unless of course it’s a whole food). It’s safe to assume that low-fat foods as a whole are processed and full of chemicals. They should be avoided at all costs.
Fat Contains Vitamins, Minerals, Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Saturated fats from healthy animals are some of the best foods you can eat, like wild salmon, liver, fish eggs and butter. Choline is a micronutrient found is egg yolks, it is great for pregnant woman and protects the liver. Butter is rich in vitamin K2 which prevents arterial calcification. Grass-fed beef and butter are rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which prevents tumors and can even shrink them. One of the best sources of vitamin D is cod liver oil, one of the richest sources of vitamin A is liver.
Fat Stablizes Blood Sugar
Fat is a slow burning fuel for the body. When you eat carbs or sugars in conjunction with fat, it stabilizes blood glucose levels, ensuring that you don’t get a spike in blood sugar. In fact, eating carbs or sugars with fat can cut their glycemic index by half. Since blood glucose levels are stabilized, your cravings will also be reduced.
Fat Keeps You Full and Improves Cravings
When your body need nutrients, it sends signals to your brain letting you know that you are hungry. When you eat a nutrient poor meal, you do two things. First, you overeat to compensate for the lack of nutrients. Second, you are hungrier faster because your body is signaling that it needs nutrients. When you eat a nutrient dense meal, you do not need to eat as much food, and you will not have cravings shortly after.
To learn how to eat well, lose weight and quell cravings, check out my 21 Day Lifestyle Transformation.
To learn more about fat, health and nutrition, I suggest these books: