Does Fat Make You Fat?
If You Eat No Fat, Can You Still Get Fat?
If you listen to most commercials or read ads in magazines, you’d presume that the way to avoid getting fat is to avoid eating fat. It makes intuitive sense.
As clinical nutritionists, however, we’ve learned that the body doesn’t always work in a manner that is intuitive. Twenty plus years ago we went on a nationwide “experiment” focused on making America less fat. Low-fat and non-fat versions of many foods were produced with the intent of making Americans not only less obese but there was also the hope that it would reduce heart disease, our number one leading killer.
Why Did Our “Low Fat” Experiment Fail?
What did we find after almost twenty years of dutifully eschewing fat at (almost) every turn? We were fatter, heart disease risk had risen and diabetes risk had skyrocketed. What went wrong? It turns out that fat doesn’t make you fat – simple carbohydrates, however, do.
When you remove the fat from a food, like cookies for instance, you have to still keep them palatable somehow. That is done by raising their sugar content. Sugar and simple carbohydrates such as refined grain products, cause the body to produce an insulin release.
While it’s normal to produce some insulin in response to a meal, those meals that are very high in simple carbohydrates (imagine a few slices of white bread or a sweet muffin) cause a large release of insulin. Insulin has many jobs, and one of them is that it’s a fat storage hormone.
Simple Carbohydrates Are the Culprit
Therefore eating high simple carbohydrate meals (even if they are low in fat), over time, induces the body to store fat! Counterintuitive perhaps, but true nonetheless.
Insulin is so efficient at storing carbohydrates that blood sugar tends to plummet rather quickly after a high carbohydrate meal, leaving you unsatisfied and craving more carbohydrates rather quickly. This is one of the reasons that we actually NEED good fat in our diet.
Nutritionists will tell you that foods like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and fresh nuts all have a high (good) fat content that, among other things, causes the food to enter the bloodstream nice and slowly. The result? You feel satisfied from your meal rather than looking for another sugar fix in a couple of hours.
Why Do You Not Feel Satisfied After Eating?
The hallmark of a nutritious meal is that you feel satisfied with good energy and mental clarity for at least 4 hours. If that isn’t occurring for you a few problems are likely occurring:
• You are consuming too many simple carbohydrates resulting in a sharp decline of your blood sugar after eating,
• You have a food sensitivity (e.g. gluten, dairy, corn, soy) and your food is not becoming good fuel but is instead treated more as a toxin by your body,
• You have other stressors to your system that must be identified including infections, toxins and hormonal imbalance.
Due to these situations you can find yourself on the carb craving, insulin and fat producing merry-go-round! It’s not fun – the cravings can run your life, not to mention making losing weight an impossibility, and increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Plus, with the advent of low fat diets we also saw more depression and anxiety. Why? We’ll save that for a future post.
The Solution is Not Difficult
The good news is that utilizing clinical nutrition makes such problems very able to be solved, without the use of surgery or dangerous drugs. Diagnosing food sensitivities, hormonal imbalance and the presence of toxins is exactly what we do for our patients. We are here to help. Please let us know how we can assist you, your friends and family.
Do You Want To Lose Weight?
If you want to lose weight and stay healthy inside and out—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (408) 733-0400 to schedule. Our medical center is located in Sunnyvale, CA. If you are not local to us, our DESTINATION CLINIC treats patients from across the country and internationally. We will help you find the underlying root cause!
To your health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”