Within the last year, attention has been brought to a break-through study that suggests fats are not as bad for us as we thought.  More specifically, researchers have suggested that saturated fats are not the reason so many of us are obese and suffer from diabetes and heart disease.   Instead, they point to regular carbohydrates and empty calories as the real culprits.

Whats that all about?

Put simply, what we eat affects our cholesterol levels.  We have two kinds: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.  The first is bad.  The second is good and encouraged.  Up until now, prevalent thought said that eating too much fat (i.e. burgers, fries, shakes) led to an increase in LDL and a greater risk for problems such as heart disease.  It turns out that we actually have two kinds of LDL:  A small and dense kind and a larger, fluffy kind.  The first one is bad.  The second?  Harmless.

Now, believe it or not, saturated fats do NOT raise the first kind of LDL.  They increase the amount of the harmless LDL and carbohydrates increase the bad kind.

And all this time we thought we had to go low-fat.

So, according to this science, it is not the amount and type of fat in our food that is hurting our waistlines and our hearts.  It is the carbohydrates, the sugars, and the empty calories.  With simple carbohydrate foods, such as white bread, the carbs we consume are converted into sugar and quickly trigger insulin release, which leads to fat storage.  This happens quickly with simple carbs and leaves us hungry more quickly.  As a result, we eat more, and the cycle continues.  The more simple carbs and empty calories we consume, the more this happens and the more weight we gain.  Why?  We’re eating too much!  And before you think about the low-fat foods that might keep your waist in check, know that low-fat actually means more sugar and more empty calories.  Fats actually fill you up more than carbohydrates do.

Of course, there is a more detailed explanation than the one above.  It’s not just that we’re eating too much.  Its that were eating the wrong foods.  Instead of filling ourselves with complex carbs, fruits, vegetables, and MEAT, we consume more of the processed simplified stuff that contains minimal nutrients and too much sodium.  The makeup of our foods is more responsible for expanding our waistlines than are the fries we eat every week.  And although our diet and understanding of weight control is much more complex than a simple picture, we stand to gain something from this study.

Our focus, in losing and maintaining weight, should be on eating right.  What this means is consuming a balanced diet that is as natural as possible.  The real deal.  Without stuffing ourselves and without cutting out a certain member of the food chain.  Take it a little easy on yourself with the fat conscience, but don’t take that to mean that every day is pizza day!  If you’d like to hear more about this study, talk to your weight coach at Florida Aesthetics today!