In the post written by guest blogger Jessica Bosari we can see that there is evidence that suggests saturated fat is not the main culprit in the fight against heart disease and obesity.
According to Dr. Arne Astrup, who heads the Department of Human Nutrition at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates may increase cardiovascular risk.
Why would anyone replace fat with sugar, you may be asking. Remember back in the 90’s when the low fat trend was taking off? Companies like Snackwell’s often advertised low fat cookies and other processed snack foods. How did they keep the flavour when they took out the fat? They replaced it with sugar. So there you have it. We became a nation addicted to sugar eating low fat muffins high in sugar and white pastas and breads and pastry and white rice, oh yeah and potatoes. This trend continues today.
Think about it. Let’s say you need only 6 servings of grain products a day. That’s 3 cups. You have 1 cup of cereal for breakfast, a sandwich on two slices of bread and a cup of pasta for dinner. Do you really only have 1 cup of pasta for dinner or do you have more like 2 or even 4 cups? Go measure it out and see. What about the bread at lunch? Does each slice weigh 35 grams because that is how much one portion size weighs. Go check the nutrition label to see how much a slice of your bread weighs. When you are hungry in between meals do you grab a granola bar or a muffin instead of a low fat piece of cheese and an apple? You could have just added another 250 calories, most of it from sugar, to your diet. What about your Starbuck’s special at 4pm? How much extra sugar is in that?
Fat and protein make us feel full. If you meal plan properly and spread out the fat and protein through out the day you will feel satiated. Understand that too much fat is an issue of calories. Too much fat will make you fat due to the caloric density of a fat molecule. Carbs and protein carry less calories per gram. You also need to consider the type of fat you consume. We are now learning that trans fat truly is unhealthy and was likely confounding the results of earlier studies done on saturated fats. (Hu et al Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:1001-8)
Build a healthy meal plan by reducing your consumption of simple sugars. Cut out plain old sugar, white bread, white pasta, white rice and switch to sweet potatoes. Include healthy amounts of fats and proteins and choose whole grains all the time. Don’t forget to eat your veggies and remember that cheese, milk and yogurt make excellent snacks coupled with fruit. Of course there is always room for a nice piece of dark chocolate!