Most of us remember the days when low-fat dieting was all the rage. I certainly was a believer and remember being a teenager and thinking, “How great is this? I can eat cheese and crackers with half the fat so I don’t have to feel bad eating more of them! Awesome!” Low-fat versions of food seemed like magic – I tricked myself into believing they tasted just as good as the originals and felt better about eating them because I believed that less fat was better.

Now in my third decade of life I have a very different take on low-fat food versus full fat. As those of you who read my posts regularly know, I strive to fill my body with whole foods found naturally on the planet, while limiting the amount of packaged and processed foods I eat. Since becoming pregnant, this way of eating has been even more important because I know that what I am eating is affecting more than just myself and have been learning just how important it is to eat the real version – the one that comes with all of the fat and the calories. It is definitely true that there are fats that make people fat and plenty of them. But I promise that if you are eating healthy fats – nuts, seeds, avocados, fish, cheese, milk, etc… those aren’t the things that will make you and your family fat. It’s the other stuff that you just can’t live without – the sugars, fried foods, fast foods, sodas, etc…

If you think about the way food used to be made in our grandparents’ and great grandparents’ time, it was done very simply. Milk came straight from the cows into glass bottles and onto your doorstep (if you were so lucky to get it delivered to you).  Nowadays, it’s hard to say exactly what happens between what the cows are fed, how the milk is extracted and pasteurized, and how it travels from the factory to you. You can have your milk any way you like it – 1 %, 2% nonfat, low-fat, reduced fat, chocolate, strawberry, etc… the possibilities are endless! But in order to get milk the way you like it, it must undergo several extra steps of processing, further losing its nutrients. I know that I would prefer my baby and I to have the most nutrient rich dairy possible and therefore swore off all low-fat dairy months ago.

Notice on the label below for reduced fat milk that it says, “Not suitable for children under 2 years of age”:

I figure, if it isn’t suitable for a young, growing person, it isn’t any more suitable for me.  I promise your children will not get fat from the full fat version of their favorite foods. In fact, if you are someone who fills your daily meals with healthy fats, you may notice how much more full and satisfied you feel at the end of each meal! I know for myself, it definitely has helped cut the sugar cravings for sure.

If you are eating things out of the package (cereals, crackers, etc…) though always better to eat whole, fresh foods instead, don’t buy the low-fat ones. Chances are sugar, salt, or soy have probably been added to it to make up for the loss of the fat.  If the experts had it right two decades ago when they told us to cut the fats and replace them with carbohydrates, why the epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes that has taken over our country today?

The National Institute of Health published a great article this month on the importance of good fats versus bad fats and is worth reading while Livestrong also wrote a similar article going into more details on the importance of fat for brain development.

I know the holidays are here and there will be plenty of unhealthy fats for all of us to enjoy so try to make sure you do incorporate the healthy fats, too, and get rid of the old mindset that fat makes you fat. Because the healthy ones DON’T!

Happy Holidays!

Written by, Lana House

Studio Owner, House Pilates