Guess What’s Back?
By now, we should be pretty used to the ups and downs in popular diets. The trends come and go, the common ingredients in the food on the supermarket shelves go through streaks of popularity (and regulation), and every few years, there’s a big shift in what dietary needs stand out in pop culture – even though what your body needs doesn’t really change.
So, what’s the latest trend?
The triumphant return of FAT!
You might wonder what I mean by that – and I’m glad to explain!
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a joint publication of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released every 5 years, has officially removed the “upper limit” recommendations for fat intake.
According to the guidelines:
- Eggs and butter are back on our plates – this good cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern
- Artificial trans fats are being banned from processed foods – the FDA says trans fats raise LDL cholesterol levels while lowering HDL cholesterol levels
- Healthy fats like nuts, fish, and vegetable oils have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease
One of the authors of the guidelines, Dariush Mozaffarian, says, “Placing limits on total fat intake has no basis in science and leads to all sorts of wrong industry and consumer decisions… It’s the food that matters, not its fat content.”
For years now, people have been caught up with the idea that “fat is bad” – and because of it, we’ve been producing and consuming all kinds of low-fat and reduced-fat chips, salad dressings, dairy, and other foods. In reality, many of these alternatives are no better for you (and in some cases, worse) than the “full fat” versions of the same.
This shift in the recommendations is a big step forward, and may very well pave the way for better regulation, new food laws, and best of all, a more accurate public perception of what a healthy diet really is!
Let’s get butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados back onto our plates, and ditch the margarine, low-fat yogurt, and reduced fat salad dressing. Let’s make a point to look for high quality products that contain these good, heart healthy fats and stop buying into the “low fat” hype.
Fat is back, and that’s excellent news!