Fat

I've finally come to terms with fat. Eating it that is. When I was first diagnosed the plan was to follow the standard ADA pyramid diet with the majority of calories at the bottom of the pyramid coming from breads and grains and the least at the top from fat and sweets. Saturated fat was as bad for you as inhaling uranium and to be avoided at all costs. Margarine or low fat butter(an oxymoron if I ever heard one) was highly recommended. Lean meat such as chicken and fish were encouraged. Bacon and sausage would make the devil thrive in your right ventricle. Drink skim milk only. 2% will create slugde in your arteries. No cream cheese. Eggs should be limited--oh and don't eat the yolk, the devil will lurk. Very little fat is acceptable. After all, diabetics are at a higher risk of heart disease. As a 15 year old, I listened thoroughly, took the medical advice and tried to be a good patient.

In the last few years I have eaten real butter. Do you know what real butter tastes like? It's AHHH....MAAA...ZING. I snack on nuts sometimes, mostly almonds. I eat sausage, bacon and steak. I eat eggs, yolk included. I eat things on the top of the pyramid. If you go on the ADA's website and search for the food pyramid you will find a short blurb stating that it is no longer in use as a meal planning tool. I find this disturbing, not only because I followed medical advice that didn't put me at an advantage against this disease, but because I don't know what kind of advice I am following now or in the future that could be detrimental to my health. So I have adopted my own philosophy for food, it's not original, but that its something I can live with, enjoy and feel confident that I'm supporting my body. I stay away from processed food, such as sugar-free cookies. What are those things made of anyways? I shop at farmer's markets in season and buy organically when I can. I focus on lots of fruits, vegetables and protein. I limit carbs, I don't avoid them. I've decided that eating real food, fat or no fat, is better than eating something that has been synthetically produced. People need fat. Even diabetics. If complimented with exercise, fat is your friend. It should be enjoyed.

My fat-loving ways were recently validated by my new endocrinologist. She suggested that I drink whole milk instead of 2% with my morning oatmeal or eat eggs every morning to decrease post prandial spikes. Drink whole milk? I gasped. And then I said, I like you.

Sounds like you’ve got it figured out. My favorite is sugar free fudge. Really, lol.

Yes, whole milk makes things like cereal and oatmeal possible… in moderation, of course :slight_smile: The fat really does help curb the HUGE spikes. Now I get more modest spikes if I really can’t resist.

My mom is convinced that her high-carb low-fat diet is “heart healthy” since she’s managed to last 10 years since her heart attack - she has no clue that it’s not and fat isn’t evil, but I can’t argue with her… it’s very annoying.

Great blog! Agree with you. I eat a fairly high fat diet, never felt better & my lipid profile improved. So much for the food pyramid. Unusual to find an endo who’s supportive of your diet. Mine shakes his head at my low carb/high fat ways. I can’t handle milk without spikes & oatmeal would send me soaring.

After decades of brainwashing, we’ve become a fat phobic culture. Low-fat everything has been a successful marketing tool. Never mind that the flavor & texture of fats is replaced by chemical additives, as long as it’s low fat it’s healthy–ha! I never understood why anyone would think something like Egg Beaters is a better choice than a real egg, or any other Franken food filled with soy & a laundry list of chemicals.

You’re right, Gerrie, we are fat aphobic yet our society is fatter then ever!

I wonder how much of the current T2 diabetes epidemic has been caused by the food pyramid. Not so sure about T1 though.

The food pyramid was something that was made up in the 1980s, by the AHA… who had really flawed research and studies form a man who cherry picked his data, to try to show that fat caused high cholesterol and heart disease… So, ever since then, we’ve strayed from a normal diet where fat played a key role, to this low fat/high carb situation that is incredibly increasing the amount of obesity and actual hearth disease incidents. Unfortunately, it is VERY hard to stop bad information once it’s out there, and now almost all nutritionists and the medical establishment will tell people that they have to stay way from fat, and eat tons of carbs and grains… You can’t even bring them proof about how that’s flawed, because that’s what they learned in college, and college could never be wrong… right? lol Now, a few nutrition experts are switching instead to Intuitive Eating – which is just a fancy way of simply saying ‘eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re sated, and eat whatever you want.’ That has FAR worked better for me, through the years, at losing weight… than labeling any one food as bad, or good. Granted, I have to cut back on carbs now, a lot more than regular Joes would, because of the Diabetes (I don’t take medications or insulin)… but it’s FAR easier to live healthy this way, eating what I want… than what some outdated/flawed eating plan would try to restrict me to eat. Good on you for realizing these things. Some people NEVER get it, and sometimes it takes YEARS for some folks to get it at all…

An entire dietary belief system based on one flawed study–staggering. Don’t know why I’m surprised when the same thing is happening with people being told that lowered A1cs put them at risk for heart diease thanks to the flawed ACCORD study.

I went back to real butter years ago after hearing some of the stuff about margarine. I eat real eggs every day and don’t buy the low-fat garbage.

Here is an interesting article that someone posted on another board. It is a long read, but interesting and certainly fits in with the topic of your blog.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html?pagewanted=1

The last time I evaluated my diet I found that I ate 20% carbs, 20% protein and 60% fat. Saturated fat was 12% of my total diet. A little high, but ok. I try and keep the saturated fat under 10% of total diet. My cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar have all been normal for over a year and a half now. When I was eating a high carb low fat diet my numbers were all very high.

I never thought that butter substitutes were very good. The amount of butter I actually consume is very low. I figure it wouldn’t be there if we didn’t need it in some quantity. I do low fat cottage cheese and 2% milk. If you aren’t eating scoops of lard, it should be okay. My lipid panels are stellar. The ADA pyramid and meal plan never appealed to me. Their meal plans seems somewhat punitive. Who eats 1/2 of an English muffin? For me it was a lot easier to figure out what I needed to eat and then work those things into the meal plan. We know so much more about food these days that it is entirely do-able. The less processed the better is a good rule of thumb. Doing this I don’t feel like I’m being denied anything. My diet is varied and there’s room for things that the uneducated think I can’t have.

I disagree with you, Lisa. The US is NOT a fat-phobic nation. The plain fact of the matter is that we in the US eat the most grams of fat per person, per day – 164g on average – along with Luxembourg and France. That’s more than twice the fat grams the rest of the world eats, on average, and more than 130 grams over and above what the country with the least consumption of fat eats! BTW, that 164 g of fat/day means that the average American is eating anywhere between 1,467-1640 calories in the form of fat. That’s about 16 tablespoons of margarine – 2 sticks of the stuff per day, in addition to the 1,722 calories from carbs and the 464 calories from protein.

The data comes from the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, which is a group devoted to finding the causes of world hunger and how to end it. So, can we agree that this is a more neutral organization than other organizations and one with reliable data?

Therefore, as a society (NOT as individuals or as small groups), this data provides strong support for the assertion that we are not afraid of eating fat.

The US may indeed be eating a ton of fat, but all the food manufacturers hawking low fat everything are selling their wares to a public who has gotten the message. Clearly, consumers are consuming 2% milk, margarine, low fat cheese, egg substitues, faux meat & many other reduced fat & lower fat products by the millions or the products wouldn’t exist. You can’t walk down a supermarket aisle without seeing packages stating they’re low fat. I saw jelly candies with fat free written in red on the front. Duh. My guess is that while people have gotten the message, are purchasing low fat items & yet still eating fast food.

I think she means when it comes to dieting, and healthful eating, we are a fat phobic society… Not as the rest of society as a whole… Just watch the Today Show, and you’ll see some anorexic looking broad telling you how you need to eat everything low fat and fat free…

Another bad thing about all these “low fat” diet products is that to make them that way they have to add chemicals and god knows what to alter a product that is naturally supposed to have fat in it. All those chemicals and strange additions they add to chemically alter this product to have low or no fat - your body doesn’t recognize these things and views them as toxic, they can’t be processed and get stored in the fat/tissues in your body. These things build up in your body - who knows what they do to you in the long run?

@KimKat Ever had low fat shredded cheese go bad in the fridge? At some point in your life? It smells very, very chemically… Like some kind of epoxy, or Elmer’s Glue. lol

I don’t think I have ever had the low fat cheese. But I tried low fat cream cheese and it was just gross - not to mention low fat youghart with aspartme - that stuff just kills the taste of it. Not to mention all the bad stuff they have found out about aspartame.

I wouldn’t doubt that it smells like that. The basically cut the product in half but in order to HAVE a substantial amount of product they add additives and preservatives for “filler” (plus they are cheaper than the REAL thing which is the cheese). Take a look at the ingredients in that stuff - I am sure there will be some stuff you can’t pronounce and no idea what it is. Look it up online. I am surprised how often I see things in foods that are by-products of the petroleum industry or things that are processed with petroleum byproduct chemicals. So basically you are eating gas. GMOs scare me too.

I keep thinking about the movie “Kate and Leopold” where he is in commercial for her and it is for diet butter and he eats it and says “This tastes like saddle soap!” And she says “It’s diet. It’s supposed to taste bad.” Ugh. I would rather take my chances with the regular fat version - or better yet if one is trying to lose weight just don’t eat it.

Gerri, that still does not negate the simple fact that per capita, we consume more meat and fat according to the U.N. than any other nation on the planet. I am not sure why you mention margarine, since it has the same amount of fat per serving as butter – no difference in as much as it is regular margarine. As for soy substitute meats (I presume that is what you are calling “faux meat”), Morningstar Farms is a brand of Kellogg’s, and I am fairly certain it is not their primary product, while Boca Burgers (the other big name in vegetarian meat substitutes) is a subsidiary of megahuge giant Kraft Foods and it’s NOT listed as one of their largest brands. As for “reduced fat and lower fat products by the millions”, I would submit to you to count the number of reduced fat products on the shelves. Take dressings, for instance. Ken’s Foods, which produces Ken’s Steakhouse Dressings, produces 15 different reduced fat dressings and 21 versions of regular fat dressings. Kraft produces 61 different varieties of dressings, and less then half are low fat. Ball Park Franks come in a variety of styles, including fat free, but I sincerely doubt that fat free and reduced fat hot dogs constitute a large portion of the market. If that were the case, I would think you would be able to find these styles at Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJs, and I haven’t. I will grant you that there has been a decline in people actually drinking whole milk, but sales of whole milk products have continued to be strong, according to data from the University of Wisconsin. Where’s that whole milk going? I suspect it’s being made into cheeses that people are consuming more and more frequently.

I don’t believe the data from the UN support assertion that people have gotten the low fat message. In 1994-1996 (when low-fat was at its peak), people in the US had 3,580 calories/day available to them to eat and 140 grams (1260 calories) from fat. That’s 35% daily calories in the form of fat. In 2003-2005, we ate 3,826 calories and 164 grams (1476 calories) from fat. That is 38% daily calories from fat. If the “low fat message” were getting through, then I would think our percentage of daily calories from fat would have gone down. Yet, not only has sheer amount of fat consumed on a daily basis increased, but fat is now a larger portion of the average American diet. BTW, if you do the calculations, you will notice the percentage of calories from protein has remained relatively constant over the same time period. Therefore, what have people been giving up in order to make room for more fat? In a word, carbohydrates. While we are eating more carbohydrates (current approximate: 471 grams; 1990s: 465 grams), we’re eating fewer carbs as a percentage of our diet (49% vs 52%). Looking at the data, I think it is fairly clear that as a society as a whole, we have not taken any healthy eating message, be it low-fat, low-carb, or whatever message you would like to promote.

I mentioned margarine because people use it because it doesn’t contain saturated fat. It’s saturated fat that’s the big no-no.

Thanks. I had no idea what percentage of sales Morningstar garners, or St. Yves or that of any other food manufacturer. But there’s enough of a market for many less saturated fat alternatives to exist & for more to be developed constanly & heavily advertised. Heart health red hearts appear on some restaurant menu items. Fat free, reduced fat & low fat are hot marketing buttons, along with high fiber.

But, as you said, in the US we’re still high fat consumers. Do you know if this stat has changed over the last 10 years? Perhaps it’s as Queen suggests that these products are geared to a health conscious market.

Lizzy, I went to the Today show website and searched for articles on low-fat cooking, foods, etc. I found one video featuring the author of Eat This, Not That, another discussing lower calorie summer treat options with Elizabeth Somers, and lower calorie salads wtih Joy Bauer, just to name a few. I also saw Dr. Nancy Snyderman, their chief medical correspondent, saying “Low carb beats low fat in a diet duel!”. While I am not going to say that The Today Show is “fair and balanced” or even appropriate for diabetes (Nancy Snyderman has made egregious errors when reporting on type 1, for instance), I am saying that they do not focus only on low fat.

Coming from someone who has battled sub-clinical anorexia for the past 15 years, though, you might not want to listen to this “anorexic broad”.