Deceptions in the Food Industry: Low-Fat Foods

www.mypicshares.com

In this new series, I’m going to show you the fallacies of processed foods, and the claims made on the labels of many foods you will find in the grocery store.

One by one, I’ll go through various types of packaged foods you may recognize and eat, and may even be under the false assumption that these foods have worthwhile health benefits.

In this post, I’ll talk about one of the darlings of the processed food world: low-fat foods. These foods are the craze of the mainstream health community. For decades, doctors, health “experts”, personal trainers, and dietitians have touted the benefits of eating low-fat and low-calorie foods.

Experts repeatedly warn us about fat and cholesterol being bad for our health and that these foods will contribute to weight gain, heart disease, stoke, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Here are some things you may not know about low-fat foods:

  • Most low-fat foods are highly processed and full of chemicals and other artificial ingredients which contribute to health problems, including GMOs, additives, preservatives, modern, rancid vegetable oils, soy-by-products, gluten, and others
  • Removing fat always means adding sugar
  • These foods don’t help you lose weight because they have been altered from their original state found in nature, and no longer have co-factors, enzymes, and amino acids necessary for digestion. Your body won’t know what to do with these substances that don’t quite resemble food. They’ll make you fat much quicker than they’ll slim you down
  • Some foods that don’t say low-fat on the front of the label reveal otherwise when you read the ingredients. A good example are many dairy products such as milk, sour cream, and cheese. Check labels of many dairy products in the grocery store and you’ll see this to be true. Check the information on these foods (some are organic) and notice the inclusion of fat-free, non-fat and other skim or low-fat ingredients
  • Some of the so-called “heart healthy” foods on the market contain polyunsaturated fats such as canola oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and others which are unstable when heated and are often already rancid on the shelf. Did you know that “75% of arterial plaque is made up of unsaturated fat, of which 50% is polyunsaturated”? According to Chris Kresser, only 25% is saturated! “The greater the concentration of polyunsaturated fat in the plaque, the more likely it is to rupture. Such ruptures, and the ensuing blood clots that form, are a primary cause of heart attacks.” Polyunsaturated vegetable oils are also high inĀ Omega 6s which contribute to inflammation.

Instead of low-fat, non-fat, and fat-free foods, eat real foods that contain critical fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 for health:

  • Plenty of real, healthy fats like butter, lard & tallow from healthy animals on pasture, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, and fermented cod liver oil
  • Dairy products that are preferably raw, and whole-fat like milk, cheese, cream, sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, and cream cheese from healthy cows on pasture without preservatives, additives, hormones, or antibiotics
  • Meats and poultry from grass-fed animals, and don’t trim the fat off. Meat from grassfed animals has 2 to 4 times more Omega 3 essential fatty acids than its conventional counterparts (grain-fed meat). Fat from healthy animals on pasture contains the correct ratios of enzymes and nutrients your body can recognize, absorb, and use for health

Health benefits of fats and fat-soluble vitamins:

  • Foods with fat contain more nutrients than those without, and especially fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K which are necessary to absorb other nutrients in the foods you eat.
  • Essential for brain health
  • Enhances our immune system performance
  • Supports eyes and moistens mucous membranes and skin
  • Are critical to cell and skin health
  • Strengthen our digestive tract and protect against harmful microorganisms found there
  • Provide an easily absorbed source of energy for the body, which will keep you full longer and provide the staying power to keep you going
  • Are essential to nervous system, brain, and cardiovascular function
  • Vital to blood, pancreas, and bone-building and maintenance. Vitamin K deficiency has been linked to diabetes and other auto-immune disorders

Dr. Weston A. Price who studied traditional diets of people living all over the world discovered that all populations who ate animal fats and animal products containing fat and cholesterol had superior health and were largely free from disease and illness. Ditch toxic, processed foods and eat foods containing healthy fat with abandon and watch your health soar!

Suggested reading:

Know Your FatsMary G. Enig, PhD.

The Great Cholesterol Con:- The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid ItDr. Malcolm Kendrick

More information:

Does dietary fat increase blood cholesterol? An informal review of observational studies – Whole Health Source, Stephan Guyenet

The definitive guide to saturated fat – Mark’s Daily Apple

Don’t be a calorie counter – eat fat and lose weight!

Fat-free, low-fat, and non-fat do not equal health

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday Carnival.

9 Comments

  • June 20, 2011 - 9:33 AM | Permalink

    Yet Another terrific post. These horrid low fat artificial foods are very cheap to manufacture, and have a long(in some cases, eternal) shelf life. It is all about money for the food industry.

    And the Medical profession does well too, as avoiding real food to eat this factory stuff results in many more sick people to be cut, poisoned, and burned for profit.

    At this point, we avoid just about all processed foods, eat a Weston A Price style real food diet, and have never been as healthy.

    • July 9, 2011 - 10:05 PM | Permalink

      Hi Stanley – I just realized I had not responded to your post from several weeks ago! I am so sorry! Yes, if you are eating well and supporting local farms, you are much better off, and of course I know you and Keren have good habits and don’t buy garbage like this. But, it’s so difficult to see all those I know (and there are many) eating these foods and not realizing how bad they are on so many levels. This is what motivated me to start this series, and I sincerely hope that people who read this who are still eating processed foods will hear the message, take it seriously, and make changes in their lives. I worry so much about others who are supporting these horrible companies and are ruining their health by consuming these products. Thanks again for your comments and for reading my blog. I really appreciate you and Keren, and all you do! :)

  • June 27, 2011 - 9:09 PM | Permalink

    Great post! Looking forward to this series. Love your site!

  • Vic of New York
    February 28, 2012 - 12:44 PM | Permalink

    You must be nuts!

    Are you simply being cynical when you suggest to eat “Plenty of real, healthy fats like butter, lard & tallow from healthy animals on pasture, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, and fermented cod liver oil”?

    ALL fats contain saturated fat. Saturated fat is processed by your body to produce Cholesterol. Coconut oil is 97% saturated, Olive oil is 17% saturated. None is “good” for you. Olive oil is just less bad – that’s all.

    The idea of decieving people into thinking they are eating “healthy” just because the fat is closer to the farm is unconscienable.

    If you want to eat healthy, eliminate ALL fat from your diet (<30 gr/day). Eliminate all animal products (except skim milk and egg whites). Base your diet on variated plant foods (grains, legumes, and vegetable produce) to ensure your getting complete protien,

    Yes it's tough to do that – it requires a lifestyle change. No you don't have too. But don't kid yourself by trying to convince yourself you are eating healthy otherwise. Unless you are among the lucky few who have geneticlly impervious arteries. The final judge of "healthy eating" that is when you take that inevitable trip into the operating room for your first stent.

  • February 28, 2012 - 2:39 PM | Permalink

    Vic of New York – If you have spent any time at all reading this blog, you will know that I don’t buy the low-fat b.s. of the mainstream medical community. So, no, I’m not being cynical. It’s pretty obvious that you have done no reading nor research on this subject, and are towing the party line of hating fats.

    Did you know that people all over the world have eaten real, traditional animal fats since the beginning of time? Those foods contain the most nutrient-value, are easiest to digest, and are energy and life-sustaining. Dr. Weston A. Price, who conducted some of the most thorough research on the diets of traditional people around the world discovered that all the healthiest societies consumed large amounts of animal fats in their diet, and that no traditional societies existed that were successfully living off a plant-based diet.

    Here’s a link showing the high nutrient content of fats compared to plant foods:

    http://nourishedkitchen.com/best-sources-vitamins-minerals/

    There are many reasons we are taught to fear fats. One is that it is not profitable to the drug nor conventional medical communities for us to consume real fats, that would put them out of business. Another reason is that the food industry makes its living off of selling processed, artificial foods. It is in their best interest to label their products healthy and get the endorsement of dietitians, doctors, health coaches, personal trainers, and other “professionals” representing the health community.

    If fats are so unhealthy for us, why is it that in a country where fat is criticized, feared, and avoided, we have some of the highest disease rates in the whole world? Everything is related. and heart disease is not the only issue caused by avoiding fats. Other diseases happen as well including thyroid and hormonal problems, infertility, learning and brain disorders, depression, schizophrenia, osteoporosis, food allergies, auto-immune disorders such as Lupus, M.S., diabetes, and many others.

    Industrial, modern fats which are abundant in our food supply such as canola oil, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn, and peanut oil are harmful to our health. Traditional fats from healthy animals and birds on pasture, as well as other fats like olive oil and canola oil are healthy for us to eat.

    Here is a good resource for information on healthy fats:

    http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats

    Did you know our brains are almost completely made of fat? Studies show that human beings deprived of fats develop mental and emotional issues such as depression, anxiety and panic disorders, learning disabilities, ADD, hyperactivity, and other related problems. We actually need cholesterol too. Cholesterol is the body’s response to disease and inflammation. Blaming cholesterol is like blaming a fire-fighter sent to extinguish a fire. High cholesterol is not caused by eating fats, it’s caused by the consumption of white flour, white sugar, and modern, artificially produced vegetable oils. These three ingredients are found in almost every modern food you can buy. Processed foods and a lack of proper nutrients (found in real foods) contributes to a build-up of calcium in the wrong places, such as in our arteries, and leads to high blood pressure, heart disease, and other related issues, which are all part of metabolic disorder.

    Here is another one which explains why we need fats for our health:

    http://agriculturesociety.com/healthy-living/the-importance-of-dietary-fats/

    • nat
      June 26, 2014 - 3:16 PM | Permalink

      Completely agree with you Raine. Thanks for all this precious information.

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