THE "LOW-FAT" MYTH

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Eating a low fat diet can help you lose weight – but that''s only HALF the story. Most people trying to lower their fat intake go to the store looking for processed foods whose labels show low-fat or no fat. There are processed fat-free chips, processed fat-free cookies, processed fat-free ice cream, and the list goes on and on. Let''s face it – sales of low fat processed foods have "skyrocketed" over the last 20 years and so has the number of Americans who are overweight.

The problem is that processed fat-free, or low-fat foods contain no real nutrition and are very low in fiber. As you eat these foods the acid in your stomach begins to dissolve the foods and digest them very quickly so you must eat more to feel full. On top of that, processed low-fat foods are loaded with MSG which lowers your blood sugar levels making you hungry an hour later. The result is that you eat more of the processed foods, you take in excess empty calories, and your body stores the extra calories as fat.

Healthy fats are not the enemy. Fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, & K are worthless without fat. Whole foods like nuts and seeds contain the essential fatty acids that your body needs to be healthy. Nutritional fiber is only found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and berries. The acid in your stomach will not completely dissolve these natural fibers, so eating them fills you up faster and keeps you full longer. Processed foods contain large amounts of Omega-6 oils which interfere with the body''s use of the healthy Omega-3 oils.

The fats to avoid are trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, and excess amounts of animal fats. These are the fats found in fast foods, junk foods, and processed foods.