If you’ve been following the latest debates in nutrition over the last few years, you’ll probably notice that among the debated topics is the “great fat debate” which questioned whether or not food saturated fat content has an effect on your heart health or related chronic diseases. In 2011, the American Dietetic Association published latest information from those debates and some of the explanations behind why saturated fat’s role in increasing heart disease risk has been questioned.
According to the summary of the debate, saturated fat might be wrongly accused of increasing heart risks. For the last thirty years, fat and saturated fat have been emphasized as the components of food that are dangerous and should be limited. One might think that if people were taught to avoid those foods, the population would decrease their overall saturated fat intake and lower their risk of chronic disease. That doesn’t seem to be the case, and over those same decades the incidence of obesity and diabetes have increased markedly. Apparently, the reduction of overall saturated fat has led to the increased consumption of refined carbohydrates. This, the debate hosts suggest, is more likely the culprit for the obesity and chronic disease issues in America.
This theory has been supported for a while with natural and alternative medicine advocates. When I worked at the Vitamin Cottage, many of the customers I met and many of the health professionals with whom I worked agreed: we need to eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and less fat.
As a current culinary student and intern at a food lab, it’s really hard to say no to fat. When I’m preparing a dish, and it seems to lack just a touch of something, I’m learning that we should first reach for the salt crock or the butter dish. I used to briefly cringe when I did that, but I’m started to get desensitized to it. That’s probably not actually a good thing.
Well, if restaurant food isn’t going to be my source of healthy food, then I need to plan to eat more healthfully when I’m not in the lab. Lately, I’ve been sort of lazy at maintaining my healthier eating. Back to eating oatmeal for breakfast (and not hitting the snack bar at work).