Did the Federal Government Help Make us Fat?
Obesity has been a problem in a America for years and has become one of their primary health concerns. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 1/3 of American adults are obese and among them are middle age adults who represent almost 40% of the obese population. Let’s focus on that for a moment.
Why is it that 40% of the obese population are people aged 40-59 years old?
The answer might lie with the fact that from 1980 to early 2000, the Federal Government did its best to make sure Americans, and maybe the rest of the world, feared fat.
This article by Dariush Mozaffarian and David S. Ludwig highlights the way the U.S. government made sure every American gets a high-carb, low-fat diet. Their dietary guidelines were developed with the assumption that fats, in whatever form, are bad for you and caused you to get “fat” while carbs, on the other hand, are what you should be feasting on. To quote:
In place of fat, we were told to eat more carbohydrates. Indeed, carbohydrates were positioned as the foundation of a healthy diet: The 1992 edition of the food pyramid, assembled by the Department of Agriculture, recommended up to 11 daily servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta. Americans, and food companies and restaurants, listened — our consumption of fat went down and carbs, way up.
Fast forward to today and you can actually connect the dots regarding the obesity trend in America and why it’s focused on middle aged people. They were the ones who grew up thinking this fallacy was absolute truth. Not to mention how mainstream media has flooded their minds with the notion that any food without fat is healthy and those that have fat are bad.
Fat is good
Contrary to popular belief, fat doesn’t exactly make you “fat”. It’s in the name but it’s not how it functions. A high fat diet promotes fat consumption since fat is a good source of energy for the body. A high fat diet works best with low-carb intake specially when it comes to weight loss. In fact, a low-fat diet isn’t effective when it comes to weight loss and evidence suggests that it may even contribute to unnecessary weight gain.
Try it the other way
One such diet called the Ketogenic Diet puts emphasis on a low-carb, high fat diet. What happens in a ketogenic diet is that when the body feels like it’s out of carbohydrates, it goes into a metabolic state known as ketosis, a process the body undergoes that enables the liver to produce ketones from the breakdown of fats to convert them into energy. This reduces unhealthy weight gain and improves the body’s metabolism at the same time.
Not everything is absolute
Just because science has proven high-fat diets are healthy most of the time doesn’t mean they’re healthy all the time. The same goes with low-fat diets. It’s rather important to determine what type of diet works for each individual.
This is not to say that high-fat diets are always healthy, or low-fat diets always harmful. But rather than focusing on total fat or other numbers on the back of the package, the emphasis should be on eating more minimally processed fruits, nuts, vegetables, beans, fish, yogurt, vegetable oils and whole grains in place of refined grains, white potatoes, added sugars and processed meats.
Read the full article here