Two out of three Americans are overweight. The primary cause is that we eat more and exercise less. There is no doubt that the more advances we make that enhance our lifestyle the heavier we become. Wait a minute! What about all those low-fat foods that we eat now? How come I reduced fat in my diet but I’m still gaining weight?
It’s a simple answer. A few years ago we all became aware of the detrimental effects of fat in our diet. What did we do? We began to concentrate on lowering cholesterol and taking fat out of our diets. This is a good thing. However, The National Center for Health Statistics studied eating habits of 8,260 adult American between 1988 and 1991. Their research showed that Americans had significantly reduced their fat intake but still packed on the pounds. How can this happen? There is no mystery. In the process of counting fat grams, we stopped counting calories! Many of us bought in to the theory that if it is “low-fat” it won’t make us fat.
You can’t forget about counting calories. If you eat more calories than you need the body will store them as fat. It doesn’t matter whether the calories are from fat or carbohydrates. One school of thought believes that eating small amounts of fat can actually keep you from over indulging on total calories. The theory is that dietary fat causes our bodies to produce a hormone that tells the intestines to slow down the emptying process. You feel full and therefore are less likely to overeat. Adding a little peanut butter to your rice cake may satisfy your hunger for a longer period of time, thus preventing you from eating more than you need. Here’s more news that is surprising. Tufts University scientists put 11 middle aged men and women volunteers on a variety of average, reduced and low-fat diets. What were the results? Extremely low-fat diets which provided only 15 percent fat from calories (this is a diet near impossible in real life) did have a positive effect on blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
However, a reduced-fat diet (much more realistic) only affected those levels if accompanied by weight loss. In fact, they concluded, cutting fat without losing weight actually increased triglyceride levels and decreased high density lipoproteins (HDLs), the “good” cholesterol that helps protect again heart disease.
So try this little trick and add a little fat to your diet and see what it does for you. You will be surprised by the results.
Glenn Freiboth is a Certified Health Advisor lives in Illinois and has helped many overweight and obese people lose weight and keep it off.
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