If you've been playing the dieting game for any length of time (a game I hope you've given up), you can remember food trends. One year, a food is deemed good for us. A few years later, we're told to avoid it. Do you remember when margarine was supposed to be better for us than butter? Later, because of trans-fats in margarine, we were encouraged to avoid it. Eggs, at one point, were bad for us because of their high cholesterol. Now, many experts tell us that eggs are an excellent source of protein and should be a part of our diet.
For years, fat has been on the do-not-eat list and has been systematically removed from food. Many items labeled nonfat or low-fat did not exist 20 years ago―today they number in the hundreds, if not thousands. Yet during this period of fat removal, adults and children kept getting heavier.
Along comes more research that contradicts the notion that fat is bad for us. Studies suggest that fats are good for us―at least some of them are―and that we should include modest amounts of healthy fats in our diet.
I have wondered about this issue for some time. Since moving to France, my son has eaten fat as part of his diet, and yet he has lost 30 pounds. He's in the best shape ever. My son was always a pudgy American child until he began eating the typical French diet, which does not include nonfat or low-fat products. (I can't even find nonfat or low-fat cottage cheese in the grocery store when I visit him.)
And a friend of mine (now in his mid-seventies) who moved to China has lost at least 40 pounds if not more. He recently returned to the United States for his annual physical, and his tests were perfect. My friend sent me a photograph of his typical breakfast―two fried eggs slathered with peanut butter (not a dish I found appealing but one he seemed to relish). The combination would send many a cardiologist into a frenzy, yet my friend is more fit than ever.
Of course, this information is anecdotal information but researchers are starting to rethink the notion of fat in our diet. If you are interested in the topic, read this article in the Boston Globe and tell me what you think. I hasten to add, however, that independent of the latest food trends, you and I ultimately have to be the judge of what is best for bodies.
Photo Courtesy of Brybs