Day 7: No low-fat, lite or nonfat food products -Do not eat any food products that are labeled as “low-fat,” “lite,” “light,” “reduced fat,” or “nonfat.”
Today's Challenge is to avoid all low-fat, lite/light, and nonfat food products. And if my prediction is correct there are quite a few of you who need some explanation on why low-fat products are not considered to be “real food”, "Clean" or Yes "Healthy" in my definition. When I first learned that the whole low-fat campaign was pretty much a hoax I was absolutely shocked as well. For years I was right there on that bandwagon bingeing on everything from low-fat 100 calories cookies bags to fat-free flavored yogurt and low-fat ice cream. And as it turns out, according to Michael Pollan, “We’ve gotten fat on low-fat products.”
Here’s a quote from Pollan’s book Food Rules that explains it all:
The forty-year-old campaign to create low-fat and nonfat versions of traditional foods has been a failure: We’ve gotten fat on low-fat products. Why? Because removing the fat from foods doesn’t necessarily make them nonfattening. Carbohydrates can also make you fat, and many low- and nonfat foods boost the sugars to make up for the loss of flavor … You’re better off eating the real thing in moderation than bingeing on “lite” food products packed with sugars and salt.
Another New York Times bestselling author, Mark Bittman, agrees in his book Food Matters. He says, “The low-fat craze caused millions, maybe tens of millions, of Americans actually to gain weight, because they were reaching for ‘low-fat’ but high-calorie carbs.” And right on cue directly from Pollan’s In Defense of Food:
At this point you’re probably saying to yourself, Hold on just a minute. Are you really saying the whole low-fat deal was bogus? But my supermarket is still packed with low-fat this and no-cholesterol that! My doctor is still on me about my cholesterol and telling me to switch to low-fat everything. I was flabbergasted at the news too, because no one in charge – not in government, not in the public health community – has dared to come out and announce: Um, you know everything we’ve been telling you for the last thirty years about the links between dietary fat and heart disease? And fat and cancer? And fat and fat? Well, this just in: It now appears that none of it was true. We sincerely regret the error.
So let’s put the low-fat craze behind us and move forward by embracing the right portions of real food and real food only. No more fake low-fat products where according to Pollan, “fats in things like sour cream and yogurt [are] replaced with hydrogenated oils” and “the cream in ‘whipped cream’ and ‘coffee creamer’ [are] replaced with corn starch.” So for this challenge we will stay away from all reduced fat products including milk. Because when the fat is removed from dairy products like milk some of the beneficial nutrients are lost with the fat as well.
We switched to whole milk 4 years ago ourselves, and I can honestly say I wasn't sure we would stick to it. I am not a milk drinker but in my occasional cereal I liked the 1% milk! Gord and I both went through the Jenny Craig program (which recommended low-fat, no-fat etc) and although we lost weight we also gained again and really just struggled to maintain any loss we had. Plus we always felt like we were dieting! We tried several diets like the South beach diet but none of them had long term lifestyle changing benefits. When we made the switch to clean eating and started eating full fat instead of low fat like the Jenny Craig program recommended we both lost weight and were able to maintain it for years without feeling like we were dieting. Lets face it full fat tastes better and so does making all your own meals from real food instead of buying processed junk! After learning the shocking truth behind what we’ve been told for so many years…I’ve never looked at another low-fat product the same again.