Wednesday, May 12, 2010


According to some commentators of modern food eating concepts, fats contained in foods one eats are unnecessarily and illogically being blamed for all the ills man faces to day. Though this is contrary to the present knowledge of human nutrition as exemplified by modern nutrition science, a patient hearing to the view point of antagonists will provide a right perspective to the issue. The publishers of Readers Digest have the following advice to its Diabetes Advisory Service subscribers which is interesting.

"It's rare for the world of medical research to get something so wrong. But for nearly 30 years, one of the most pervasive "truisms" about healthy eating—that dietary fat is your enemy—has been incorrect. In the last five years, a wide breadth of research has proven conclusively that dietary fat is not the demon we've made it out to be. It's an amazing about-face—one with extraordinary implications for how we eat for good health. To understand the significance of this, take a look at your cookbook shelf. How many books have "Low-Fat" in their titles? The idea was that by removing fat from your diet, you'd automatically lose weight. But for many, the opposite has proven true: By replacing the fats in our diets with so many refined carbs, we've not only gained weight, but also launched a diabetes epidemic!" "Today, we're kicking off the first part of a week-long series on that three-letter word we've inappropriately come to abhor. There are so many misconceptions about fat, it's time to set the record straight. Over the course of the week, we'll tell you why you need it and which kinds to eat, as well as the types that are indeed dangerous for your health. Why did fat get such a bad rap for so long? For starters, when physicians began recommending the low-fat diet a generation ago, they simply assumed it would work. Population studies had shown that people who eat high-fat diets tend to have more heart attacks, so the low-fat concept seemed to make sense". "Still, the low-fat diet had never been formally tested on a large scale in humans. Years later, when researchers finally conducted clinical trials with people who adopted the "eat less fat" approach, it flopped. In a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association—the first long-term study of its kind—scientists followed almost 49,000 women for eight years and found that eating a low-fat diet did not protect against heart attacks, strokes, or any other form of cardiovascular disease. The same kind of flawed thinking was applied to the weight aspects of eating fat. While carbohydrates and proteins each deliver 4 calories for every gram you consume, fat is more than double that amount, at 9 calories per gram. So it makes sense that by eating fat rather than protein or carbs, you'll consume far more calories and will gain weight". But nothing is quite that simple. As it turns out, fat breaks down in your body very similar to the way protein does, which has implications both for weight gain and blood sugar control. For example, fat doesn't raise blood sugar, and it doesn't require any insulin in order to be metabolized (its Glycemic Load is zero). It also takes a while to digest, and therefore slows the rate at which food leaves your stomach. The upshot? Not only does fat fill you up longer, but it also blunts the blood-sugar-spike effect of a meal, even if that meal includes carbs. So why does fat still get such a bad rap? Because people confuse the different types. Some forms of dietary fat are extremely healthy for you—these good fats protect your heart, lower your cholesterol, and keep blood sugar swings in check. Other forms are as unhealthy as doctors have been saying all along. These types clog arteries, contribute to heart attacks and weight gain, and hinder blood sugar management".

If one is to go by this recommendation, taking mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated fats and avoiding saturated and trans fats, as part of one's diet would not do any harm at all. Probably there is some truth in such a statement, though even unsaturated fats, if consumed in excess can do harm to the human body. Also not to be forgotten is the fact that many cooking oils do contain significant proportions of saturated fats along with unsaturated ones and consumers have no choice but to use them in their day to day food preparations. If 100% unsaturated fats are to be consumed such fats will have to be made by suitable fractionating techniques but whether they will be acceptable from sensory perception is a matter of conjecture.


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