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Welcome to The Vitality Project!
For decades now, various health authorities, governmental agencies, health care providers and health experts have extolled the virtues of the low fat diet.
The claim was that higher fat consumption was an independent risk factor in the development of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and premature death. As a community at large, we were becoming increasingly unhealthy because we ate too much fat.
Ok…so this was the nutritional jargon that most people listened to for years….it seemed to make sense because the standard North American diet was high in fat, cholesterol and calories…right?
This was the reason why we were all getting sicker and sicker…aging poorly and dying before our time? Some of the poorly-done clinical studies seemed to indicate that replacing carbohydrates with fat in the diet was beneficial, caused weight-loss and lowered caloric consumption.
Over the last two decades, despite the fact that people were eating less fat, the actual incidence of most of the chronic diseases the low-fat diet was to prevent was actually increasing!
We had lowered our daily fat intake from 40-30%….yet we were worse-off…what gives??
Why were we getting sicker, gaining more weight and developing type-2 diabetes at alarming rates?
Could it have anything to do with the other foods we could also be eating on a regular basis?
Some researchers understood that it was the tremendous amounts of sugar, refined carbohydrates and high fructose corn syrup we were consuming (instead of fat) that actually was responsible for this rather curious change in the health status of our population.
There were some rather famous experts have also suggested that substituting fat with 12 servings of grain products per day as per the previous food guide was a catastrophic mistake. The food and sugar/corn industry really profited well by this as they developed many low-fat, high carbohydrate foods full of sugar and refined carbohydrates which drove-up insulin levels, caused large amounts of fat storage, high levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, low levels of HDL cholesterol and high blood sugar…..oh and a fatty liver as well.
Not to mention what this also did to the hunger and reward centers of the brain. It literally turned us into sugarholics! Yes…sugar is very addictive!
The recent evidence has indicated that not only do low-fat diets do not fulfill their mandate at preventing disease and keeping us healthy, compared with diet’s higher in healthy types of fat and lower in sugar, corn syrup and flour (such as the Mediterranean diet) people who consume this type of diet have a better metabolic profile and develop less risk factors for chronic disease.
Of all the diet’s that have been seriously researched, the Mediterranean diet has the best evidence backing it’s use….period!
What is causing us to become obese and die prematurely is the continued consumption of sugar, soda, candy, bread products, noodles, frozen dinners, refined carbohydrates, cereals and snack foods laden with sugar and empty calories.
When you also combine this with low levels of daily physical activity…it becomes very clear where we going wrong….and all ages are involved in this case!
Low fat….yes, include vegetables, whole grains, legumes, whole fruits, yogurt and soy in this list.
Ditch the sugar and refined carbohydrates!
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
The Vitality Project