DailyDirt: Don't Eat Fat. Or Sugar. How About Just Less Of Everything?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Everything in moderation. Somehow that adage seems to get lost in the media coverage of diets that claim near miraculous health results from totally eliminating X from a person’s diet. Sure, there are things that you don’t need even moderate amounts of, such as arsenic, lead and other toxins. But just less gluttony could go a long way.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Don't Eat Fat. Or Sugar. How About Just Less Of Everything?”

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Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Hooray for unintended consequences! You know what they recently found out? Fat (especially saturated fat) is actually GOOD FOR YOU (in moderation of course) for one simple reason: it’s an important part of the body’s satiety mechanism. If you eat fatty foods, you start feeling full sooner, which means you end up actually eating less.

When we started trying to cut fat out of our diets, we ended up feeling hungrier, eating more (but it’s OK because it’s low-fat food!) and growing heavier.

Anusser (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If you eat fatty foods, you start feeling full sooner, which means you end up actually eating less.

When we started trying to cut fat out of our diets, we ended up feeling hungrier, eating more

That is a bullsh*t excuse to support the argument that “Fat is GOOD FOR YOU”.

That’s the kind of excuse fat people use to make themselves feel happier when eating lard.

You might as well say that eating cyanide is good for you because you get sick so you eat less which helps you lose weight.

Colonel Panic says:

Re: Re: Re:

probably replying to a troll but lol.

It is though. Ever heard of trans fatty acids? Without them, you’d die.

Fat is just a macronutrient, and there’s a lot of different kinds of fats. Some of them are bad for you, a few of them are good for you, but for the most part they just get a bad rap because:
a) misinformed people who still believe all of the bad anti-fat anti-cholesterol hype of the 90s
b) It has a very high caloric density, so it adds on calories easily
c) people don’t understand that dietary fat != body fat.

All macronutrients are alike in that if you eat more than you burn, you gain weight, and if you burn more than you eat, you lose weight. It’s all just chemical energy in different forms.

Dietary fat IS NOT BAD FOR YOU. period. You can get more than a third of your calories from fat and be perfectly healthy and thin. It doesn’t magically make you a lardass.

Even carbs aren’t bad for you. Simple carbs aren’t great, and sugar is terrible, but carbs in general are fine.

If you’re trying to lose weight though, cutting carbs is the effective way to do it, not cutting fat. Fats and proteins contain all of the trans fatty and amino acids your body needs to prevent smooth muscle wasting while losing body fat.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Ever heard of trans fatty acids? Without them, you’d die.”

This is not entirely correct and could be considered a lie by omission. The term “trans fat” is used in reference to many different sources of several different types of “fat”.

In the recent past, media exposure predominately talked about a human created version otherwise known as partially hydrogenating plant fats. The debate continues as to how bad these particular forms of trans fat are for human physiology but one can certainly do without them and not suffer any health issues as a result. Food conglomerates do not put that in their product for your benefit, it is there to extend shelf life regardless of any detrimental effects.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The term Essential Fatty Acids is not the same as Trans Fat.
Perhaps this would explain why there are separate wikipedia entries, you should read them – both.

First, “trans fatty acids are not essential and provide no known benefit to human health”,[2] whether of animal or plant origin.[49] Second, while both saturated and trans fats increase levels of LDL, trans fats also lower levels of HDL;[3] thus increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. The NAS is concerned “that dietary trans fatty acids are more deleterious with respect to coronary heart disease than saturated fatty acids”.[3] This analysis is supported by a 2006 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) scientific review that states “from a nutritional standpoint, the consumption of trans fatty acids results in considerable potential harm but no apparent benefit.”

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Then why are there so many obese people who eat low fat diets? Seriously, there are a lot of them.

The provable fact is that eating fats are critical to maintaining good health. Overeating anything at all, including fats, can lead to an imbalance that can lead to obesity. The key is what we’ve been taught for generations: be physically active and eat reasonable amounts of a wide variety of foods. Including fats.

Anonymous Coward says:

Because Science....

Is mostly a political or social tool.

You can’t move a single decade across any landscape without some bullshit “pseudoscience” getting in the fucking way.

Transfats, fake sugars, the false link of high cholesterol to heart disease, FDA and the pasteurize everything bullshit, global cooling, global warming, and the the stupid sheeple are led by their little noses.

Science was never meant to be, but had because exactly a religion!

Dustin (profile) says:

Re: Because Science....

Sorry to tell you, but both trans fats and unpasteurized foods are bad for you. Can you survive without pasteurization? Sure, but to act like you’re not playing roulette every time you do is a fallacy.

As for the “global cooling, global warming” but… Sorry, but the science is pretty much completely decided on that one. The fact that politicians and industry lobbyists are trying to muddy the waters and keep the status quo around doesn’t negate the fact that global warming is a reality.

Angel (profile) says:

The husband and myself have been doing no more than 25 grams of carbs a day for the last 172 days. We’ve both lost over 30 lbs each, If I didn’t already have other health issues I might have lost even more in that time. In any case cutting out carbs has really helped me clear up a whole host of symptoms I was dealing with due to graves disease. Even if I never lost another pound I would continue this lifestyle just for that reason alone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I have had a similar experience. I started living very low carb over a year ago and I will never go back to any other way of eating. Just this year alone I have lost over 50 pounds and feel healthier than I have in my entire life. Like you I said I would never turn back even if I never lost the weight.

I don’t know if you have had the same experience that I have had, but for me it has been so easy to maintain. I don’t count calories. I don’t even think about how much I eat or when I eat. I just make sure it has as few carbs as possible and I only eat when I’m hungry. I’ve adapted a pretty light exercise routine, too: breathing. If I didn’t look in the mirror every day I would have thought it was magic.

Most people I talk to about this express concerns over cholesterol and heart health. I keep tabs on my triglycerides because that’s the primary (non-inflammation) marker for men in terms of heart health. My doctor told me that mine are “non-existent” (his words). So not only do I have complete weight management and overwhelming feelings of being healthy, I have empirical evidence to support it.

I highly recommend everyone do more research in this area, especially for high-fat, low-carb diets. I think it would open some eyes.

Colonel Panic says:

Well, actually...

Dietary science is a constantly evolving field, and there have been a few (highly egregious in my opinion) mistakes in the past with things like our misunderstanding of dietary vs blood cholesterol, demonization of fat, etc…

That said, we’ve known for a very long time now just how damaging and completely unnecessary sugar is in the diet, and it’s really been an uphill battle against big holders in the food industry for years to try and raise awareness and start making progress toward reducing our nation’s sugar dependency.

Portion control is actually affected by sugar intake, and the metabolic syndrome (a.k.a., “why Americans are fat”) has been demonstrated to be largely, if not entirely, the result of the body attempting to process an excess of fructose, the primary ingredient of refined sugar. Sugar impairs the body’s satiety response, causing hunger and an inability to tell when to stop eating. Fructose, like alcohol, can only be metabolized by the liver, and involves virtually all of the same biochemical processes as metabolizing alcohol, resulting in all of the same health problems as excessive prolonged alcohol use.

And that’s really only the tip of the iceberg. There’s all kinds of other ill effects of a diet high in sugar, such as glycemic load, diabetes, etc… while it supplies no benefit whatsoever to your body. It’s effectively poison. I could go into a whole spiel on all the reasons you should avoid sugar, but it would be long and boring, and I’m not really fully qualified to discuss all of the biochem aspects anyway… but let’s just say that while it seems unrealistic to try and eliminate sugar entirely from the western diet (It’s everywhere), it is highly advised to reduce your intake as much as possible, as the less of it you consume, the better. As a former smoker, I consider sugar more hazardous to public health than smoking.

Colonel Panic says:

Re: Re:

It’s true, and we’ve known about that for a while, too. We’ve known saccharin was a carcinogen since the 50s, and there’s a lot of studies linking aspartame to diseases like alzhimers.

The best substitute for sugar is to not use sugar. Just stop eating sweet things, and you’ll lose the taste for it eventually. Americans only started incorporating sugars and sweets into their diets in the last 100 years. The healthiest option is to simply go back to not using it. Stick to unprocessed, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains, home cooked meats, and just don’t drink soda, diet or otherwise.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

The thing that bothers me most...

…about nutrition in the US is the stupid food ‘pyramids’ put out by the Department of Agriculture, and the thing about those pyramids that bothers me most is the concept of ‘portions’. The portions they list have absolutely no bearing on what the rest of the world does. Almost anything one buys, even if it is a ‘single’ serving package, is categorized by them as something more than a ‘portion’. There is no way to practically translate their concept of ‘portion’ into what one cooks, or receives as a ‘meal’ in a restaurant. While they may be well intentioned (what is the implication of this coming from the Agriculture department rather than say the FDA, or the CDC or some other?) the usability of their pyramids is close to zero. Then there is the fact that they keep telling us it is ‘right’ and then change their minds. 1992, 2005, 2011 each have ‘new’ versions of this monstrosity, and they are all ‘right’, at least until they change their minds again. When will the next one come out?


I remember another stupid government PR campaign, Smokey the Bear saying ‘only you can prevent forest fires’. Right, only you can stop lightening.

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