First of all, I have a somewhat big announcement to make. As of the first of October I am now a self-employed trainer. I have made the move from an employee of Fit for Life Health Club to a sole proprieter. And within the month I will have an LLC (my own company). I am really excited about this and kind of blown away that I’m at the place professionally where I can do this. The guys I have worked for at the gym have been great to work with through this process and it’s actually a situation that will be beneficial for both me and the club owners. I will still be training out of Fit for Life and virtually nothing will change for my clients (except who they write their checks too), but it will bring some pretty big changes for me. I feel like I’m putting my big boy pants on. Anyway, just wanted to let all of you know.
(And if anyone has any good ideas for a business name, let me know.)
Low fat diets have been all the rage for a while. They have become so popular in fact, that almost every aisle in the grocery has some form of “low fat” or “fat free” food available for people who are trying to adhere to a diet that is low in fat. People steer clear of red meat due to it’s higher saturated fat content and they exchange butter for margarine and butter substitutes. For a long time, people have thought that fat was making them fat. Giving them heart disease. And in general, keeping them very unhealthy.
Turns out they’re wrong.
At least in part. There are definitely some fats that need to be avoided. For example, the oil your french fries are cooked in is not a healthy fat option. But on the whole, we’ve taken this “low fat” thing waaaay too far.
Fat actually has a very important purpose in our diet such as, disease prevention, absorbing certain vitamins, it provides essential fatty acids, keeps skin and hair healthy, it protects organs and helps maintain body temperature. So yeah…it’s kind of important.
The whole low fat crazy kicked off with a study claiming that saturated fats were very detrimintal to the body. These are fats that are derived from meat, butter and other dairy products and certain oils. Since then, the accuracy of that study and the subsequent guidleines formed from that study have pretty much been shot down…repeatedly. Here’s one abstract laying out the problems with the guidelines.
The problem with this kind of thing is that when “news” like “saturated fat is bad for you…eat a low fat diet” gets out, it’s really hard to undue. So-called experts would have to eat a lot of crow admitting they were wrong, companies are making a ton of money off of “low fat” and “fat free” foods, etc.
Without trying to get too “conspiracy theory” on everyone, there’s a lot at stake if we all stop following a low fat diet.
My vote is: do it anyway. Having a diet that consits of healthy, natural fat is good for the body and good for your body fat percentage. Intaking healthy fats helps the body shed its own body fat. Plus think about this, everyone has been following a low fat diet for years. They’ve been cutting out red meat, eggs yolks, they’ve been using butter substitutes, drinking skim milk, etc. The problem is obesity is at an all time high, heart disease is still on the rise and America is more unhealthy than it’s ever been. Wasn’t less dietary fat supposed to fix all these things? Whoops…
My biggest problem with a low fat diet is 1.) It’s not a very healthy way to live, and 2.) It forces people to eat food that’s not really food. Butter substitutes and most low fat food are processed and manufactured instead of being natural. Think chemicals rather than nutrients.
I encourage my clients to eat healthy, natural fats throughout the day. This includes thing like:
-Lean meats (including red meat)
-Olive and coconut oils
And I would strongly encourage you to avoid these foods:
-Any type of butter substitute or margerine
-Low fat or fat free foods
-Anything with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
Don’t be afraid of fat. It really is your friend in a lot of ways. It has a host of benefits to your health and your physique. So eat up!