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Full Fat or Non-Fat: That is the Question

Posted Sep 18 2012 10:09pm

Guess who is in the October issue of Clean Eating Magazine??

I love clean Eating Magazine because they were the first magazine that really helped me to learn how to “clean” up recipes and make unhealthy foods more healthy. Some of the recipes call for ingredients that I no longer use, but that doesn’t mean I can’t modify recipes. One of my clients pointed out the other day that they called for reduced fat milk in one of the recipes. She was conflicted because she has heard me say to go for the full fat goodness. So, that’s what we will discuss today.

The skinny on reduced/low/non-fat

In the ’90′s, a lot of people were having heart issues like hypertension, strokes and heart attacks. The FDA got involved and started working with the USDA to solve this growing problem. Their solution was to cut fat out the diet and replace it with a reduced/low/no fat alternative. Of course, major food manufacturers jumped on board and we saw a huge title wave of new products sweep the supermarket store shelves.

People naturally associate lower fat with lower calories, which may be true if you are having a single serving, but at what cost to you? In order to make the reduced fat product taste good (because let’s be honest, fat is yummy!) they have to increase the sodium or sugar content!! But, here’s the trick- according to the FDA, manufacturers do not have to put an ingredient on the label if it is less than .5 grams per serving. That means that if your chosen food item has sugar listed in the ingredients but says 0 grams of sugar on the label, it still has sugar!! That’s how they get away with it!

Notice the 2nd ingredient in the Skippy PB- Corn Syrup!! Look at the difference in sodium!

That’s why companies like Walden Farms can make calorie free foods. I promise you there is no such thing!!

Just because it contains less than the .5 grams, they can tote that it is calorie free! Ridiculous!
So, when the reduced fat products were being consumed, people were becoming hungry more often and a whole era of “snacking” became popular. Why? Because you NEED fat in your diet!! It is one of three macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats) which is the key to unlocking your body’s satiety (fullness) hormones and keeping your blood sugar stable.
But when you take the fat out, you have to eat more protein and carbs to feel full. This led to the revision of the food pyramid.
 They increased grains and all but eliminated fat!! According to this, one would be consuming a ton of starches!! It is no wonder that there is a Type 2 diabetes epidemic!! I will write another post on this food pyramid because there is way to much to cover here.
Bottom line- The more “reduced” the product, the more processing it had to go through and the less nutrients it contains. Always opt for full fat products and consume a little less of them. You will not feel the need to overeat on full fat products like you do on non-fat products.
How do you feel about the new food pyramid?
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