These days, just about everywhere you look you can find scientists, dietitians, and popular celebrities that are advocating that we all eat less processed foods and care less about eating fats. Today I read in the New York Times that a new study has studied the effects of eating carbs but not highly processed carbs, eating fats, but not processed ‘transfats’. One study group was on a low fat diet, one group was to eat a diet low in processed carbs.
…those on the low-carbohydrate diet ultimately did so well that they managed to lower their Framingham risk scores, which calculate the likelihood of a heart attack within the next 10 years. The low-fat group on average had no improvement in their scores.
The recent documentary movie “Fed Up”, about low-sugar eating to bend the curve on US diabetes and obesity is being released on DVD. Katie Couric is behind this initiative and later this month people will be hosting watch parties and on the 22d there will be an internet event where the film crew from the documentary will be answering questions for people hosting their parties on that day. Here are the details of that event and the DVD launch.
This article from the New York Times has some great information on dietary fats. Read it after you read the above-cited article, though, because then it makes more sense. A sample of the information in it:
Trans fats are typically found in highly processed and packaged foods, like cookies, potato chips, pastries and some fried foods. If you pick up a package of food in the grocery store and its list of ingredients contains the words “partially hydrogenated,” then it contains trans fats, which are heavily processed, manufactured oils.
Saturated fats and unsaturated fats are found throughout nature. And often they are found together in varying combinations in different foods. Fish, olive oil, nuts, avocado and plant sources of fat contain a lot of unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). Meat and dairy naturally contain some unsaturated fat but a higher proportion of saturated fat as well.
We already know all of that, as long time readers, but like I said, the good word is everywhere now. You can still more easily find the bad old advice to eat ‘low fat’. You can’t find the great advice to ‘stay on the outside wall of the grocery’, but the media is catching on that there is better advice out there these days than what they are used to shouting from the rooftops.
I just went in and weighed myself, which is something that I do not do regularly. The last time I did it I was just a bit above 140. I am short, so 140 puts me just at the edge of normal weight for a man my age and height. This morning I weigh in at just about 138. That news made me surprisingly happy, because I have not been religiously keeping my own advice about not eating sugar or processed foods. I have bought potato chips, which contain trans-fats. I have made home made ice cream and ate it until it was all gone. We went out to eat and shared a desert. I have detailed these days here in the blog, and like I said then, I felt no shame for making those choices. I am not in a religion, or questing for a sobriety token, so when I decide to enjoy a treat, that is what it is…a treat. There are no guilty feelings, I experience no shame, I hide nothing from myself or the world. I am having a good time changing my eating habits, and that is easier to do if you change things that are easy to change. No sugar in my coffee or tea was the easiest. Just having the free water at the restaurant was also an easy and inexpensive choice to make. Not turning down any of the aisles at the store was a little bit harder habit to form, and I am still tempted to do it, but that temptation is easy to turn away from.
When I do succeed in recognizing and avoiding a temptation, one brought up by an unexpected trigger in my day, I quietly have quite the internal celebration. I recognize the urge, I contemplate it, I feel what that temptation is like and I mindfully turn away from it. I am then swept by a joyous emotion as the moment passes and I cheer myself for doing the right thing. Pay attention to your victories, they are truly yours.