Fat has been blamed for making us fat for as long as this serial dieter can remember and long before that. Low-fat diets took over from low calorie diets in the ‘popularity’ stakes when dieters everywhere ran open armed towards diets that consisted of skimmed milk, skimmed of everything including its flavor but at least it made their coffee look less black and low-fat yogurts which again resembled full-fat yogurts in everything except taste, in the hope that they would be able to reach their goal of slimness. No one ever seems to question why if dairy and meat products are beneficial and natural for human beings to consume, is it necessary to rape them of their fat content, rendering them tasteless and unsatisfying. But that’s another story. [adsense]So we all commenced our low-fat or no-fat diets consisting aforementioned insipid dairy products raped of flavor by extreme and unnecessary processing and miniscule portions of lean meat and fish. Seeing cheese on a diary counter was akin to spotting a sharkfin whilst skinny dipping alone at night and finding avocado in our green salad was like discovering we’ve been sharing the marital bed with Satan’s role model. And what happened was we all lost a bit of weight. But that was generally down to the fact that we were consuming less calories. People who don’t eat adequate quantities of fat become bad tempered amongst other things. Food tastes bland without it. Cutting out the fact was not the magic bullet that the diet experts promised us. Low fat diets are not particularly effective. Not in the long run. Because human beings – like other animals – need fat to live. Wooden spoon-fuls of lard licked from the spoon or double deep fried chicken – no, but we do need certain quantities of what is now referred to as good fat.
So once the ‘experts’ realised that the low fat diet wasn’t entirely successful, even though they had been touting it as being the quick fix end to overweightness – obesitydidn’t really exist back then. (It was invented in America in the late 80s and then once one person became obese, lots of other people seemed to jump on board. Well not jump exactly.) Anyway after some umming and aahing about what the course of all this disgusting over fatness was all about it eventually turned out that it wasn’t fat that was making fat people fat but sugar. Many diet foods eg low fat meals were augmenting their boring fatless products with sugar to give the dieter something to taste to compensate for the lack of filling fatness. Sugar is very high in calories but unfortunately is also very high in not being good for you. One tablespoon of sugar contains 55 calories and has no nutritional value at all. It is also so addictive that it might as well be labelled smack. The average soft drink per can contains three tablespoons of sugar and again, nothing in the way of nutrients. The World Health Organization recommends that we restrict our sugar consumption to a maximum of 10 percent of our daily calories. Those already suffering with obesity or with type II diabetes should limit their intake even further.
Unfortunately, simply reducing your intake of sugar – unless you are eating a very healthy diet that consists mainly of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds – is more difficult than it seems. Manufacturers of processed foods eg non-wholefoods, like nothing more than to add sugar to their products. It makes their bland overprocessed crud taste better and makes them more addictive. And sugar is cheap. Hidden sugars can be found in sauces, breakfast cereals, bread, baked beans baby food , potato chips, oven fries and countless other products where you wouldn’t expect to find sweeteners. Sugar is also the master of disguise, appearing under pseudonyms such as dextrose, sucrose, corn syrup and fructose. When you first ‘come off’ sugar you might feel miserable at first and like you are missing out on the white stuff. Much like an alcoholic when they quit booze or a smoker quitting nicotine. However, the more healthy nutritious foods you eat, the easier the transition will be and once you quit you will lose the ‘taste’ for oversweet food. The best way to lose weight is to re-educate your tastes buds and change the way you look and think about food. Think of the health benefits of what you are eating rather than the quick sugar fix you are getting. A chocolate donut may taste great for the 30 seconds it takes to ram it down your throat but a fruit salad will assist with digestion, help flush cellulite, give you energy, hydrate you, improve your skin and your mood. Think of sugar like it is sweet heroin and avoid both at all costs. If you would like to comment on this article, please use the comments box below. You can ‘like’ or share using the social network icons below. Images: fanpop.com, bigoo.ws