I have said this before, but just to reiterate, I am not a nutritionist or a dietician, so this will not be a technical scientific post. I am by no means an expert, but I have learned a good bit about nutrition and diet from my years training clients and my lifetime of working with my own body. Until recently, I was of the mindset: everything must be low-fat/non-fat. After delving into all of the research, reading multiple nutrition labels, and experimenting with my own diet, I now know that thinking everything must be low-fat/non-fat, is the completely wrong mindset. Healthy fats (avocados, almonds, salmon, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, etc.) are great in moderation and essential to a healthy diet (yes, even a fat loss diet!). It’s not fat we should be concerned about (not healthy fats in moderation), it’s SUGAR. Healthy fat doesn’t make us fat, excess SUGAR does.
Not only is sugar a major contributor to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, sugar is also detrimental to many other areas of our health. 141 Reasons Sugar Ruins Your Health, is very enlightening….and a little scary.
Here’s a fun game….next time you are in the grocery and you reach for a low-fat or fat-free product (or really any processed product for that matter), turn it over and read the nutrition label. How many grams of sugar does it have? My guess is probably a lot. In most low-fat/non-fat foods, the fat is removed and replaced with ridiculous amounts of sugar—duh, why do you think it tastes so delicious? I would also recommend getting away from processed foods, but that’s a topic for another post. The American Heart Association recommends that women eat no more than 30 grams of sugar per day and men no more than 45 grams per day. Most people have nearly reached their daily limit after their morning bowl of cereal. Sugar hides in so many products, even those products considered “healthy”—Vitamin Water, yogurt, milk, cereal, protein bars, salad dressings, etc. etc.
Now that I am truly aware of sugar and the harm it causes, I focus on eating whole, natural foods and keep the processed crap to a minimum. I wish I could say that I never eat processed foods, but some things are just easier already made.
My challenge to you: If you are on the low-fat/fat-free train, HOP OFF and start looking at the amount of sugar you consume daily. You will be astonished, I know I was!
If you try to HOP OFF the train and realize you are addicted to sugar (so many people are!), Beating Your Sugar Addiction, has some great tips to help you get on the right track.