Managing your weight can be a tricky thing, everyone is different and everyone needs to do different things to be healthy depending on what their body does and how it works. Consulting a doctor about the best course of action is the always the best way to go and if you’re worried about your weight, you should always go to them first.
A supposed shortcut that a lot of people take is the route of the low-fat diet. This is great, as long as you’re actually choosing foods that are low fat. However, the emergence of this trend has meant that brands and companies have jumped on board and starting artificially manufacturing low fat foods to try and make a quick buck.
In essence, these sound great. All your favourite products but infinitely healthier! What could possibly be wrong? Well, actually, a lot.
Saturated fat is the type of fat that is bad for you and clogs up arteries and increase cholesterol levels. The food industry has manufactured un-saturated vegetable oils by altering the structure of the core oil to make it more solid. However, these manufactured oils were found to have dangerous levels of trans-fats which are in fact even worse for arteries and cholesterol than saturated fat.
As well as changing the core oil in these low fat foods, manufacturers also found they had to increase the amount of sugar in these products to make the taster and texture as close to the original product as possible.
All of these factors mean that low fat products tend to be high in carbohydrates, may contain trans-fats and because of this, it actually had a very similar calorie count to the original products.
As there is a higher carbohydrate count, our bodies actually digest the calories faster which can lead to blood sugar swings and cravings which makes it difficult to control cravings and can lead to overeating overall.
A diet that is high in refined carbohydrates and sugars increases the risk of diabetes, heart diseases and can, like a high fat diet, increase cholesterol levels.
That being said, we do still need some fat in our diet to have a balanced diet. But there are good fats and bad fats and it’s important to know the difference. NAtural fats that are found in the likes of nuts, seeds and some fish can provide essential fatty acids which help maintain healthy blood vessels, assist in the creation of hormones and overall help us to function well.
Fat in a diet also helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K which are also essential to keep immune systems and bone health at the top of their game. Focus on including these good fats in your diet rather than cutting it out altogether. Eat more oily fish, nuts and seeds and trim any visible fat from meat cuts.
Remember to always keep an eye on food labels so you know exactly what is in your food and you’re aware of what you are putting in your body.