Fat common sense

In today’s Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet Dr. Annika Dahlqvist, who has her own blog on eating healthy argues in an open letter that children are stumped in their growth and intelligence development by a lack of natural fats in their diet. The Swedish public food authority Livsmedelsverket, retaliates on her standpoint, saying that Dahlqvist has no scientific grounds making such claims. Dahlqvist naturally retaliates right back and will do so on national live television later today.

The general standpoint that natural fats are good for the body and in fact help maintain weight, is a continuation of a more and more pronounced public opinion in Sweden, that questions the goodness of low fat products and a low fat diet.

But even in the USA, where the low-fat craze began, Gary Taubes has raised consciousness to what could be a food industry conspiracy in upping sales and branding when he wrote What if it’s all been a big fat lie? (2002). He then raised consciousness again on low fat products and good fats in his book, Good Fats, Bad Fats in 2007.

Low-fat was really all the rage with me as little as eight years ago. I would have skim milk if possible, coupled with sugar free cookies and 0.5% fat yogurt. A non-fat frying pan was a must in the household. Needless to say, the sugar free cookies and ‘healthy’ yogurt were filled with aspartame and saccharine, and the food cooked in the non-fat frying pan tasted bleak at best.

The turning point however was in Sweden, when it was pointed out to me that the older generation in Sweden do not in general suffer from obesity, nor as I have observed, are the elderly in Sweden generally frail or ill. And it is this generation of persons, born between the 1920s and 1930s who have lived with butter frying, butter on bread and whole fat milk goodness, who seemed to independently move from tram stop to tram stop and do their own grocery shopping unaided, well into their 80s. Therein laid for me, the ‘fat commonsense’. Everything in moderation and listen to what the body tells, what it craves. If butter and whole milk are what it craves simply because they taste good, then why not feed that craving?

I’ve lived with eating full fat natural products now for about two years and with the food philosophy of ‘everything in moderation’, coupled with regular exercise. And where I once struggled to maintain a steady weight, I now find it easier to maintain the base weight that I desire. That, and I’m absolutely enjoying the taste of food these days, everything to my heart’s desires!

References

  • Taubes, Gary, 2002. What if it’s all been a big fat lie? New York Times, July 7, 2002.
  • Taubes, Gary, 2007. Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control and Disease.

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