Hello there my friends! I hope you are treating life well!
I wanted to touch on a topic that really gained traction back in the 80’s. Fortunately it is fading in popularity but still carries with is a certain mythological clout that affects millions of Americans each and every day. Let me ask you a question that I would like you to answer honestly. When is the last time you indulged in a product that claimed to be fat-free and felt “less guilty” as a result? Chances are good that most of us have! I think that the vast majority of us intuitively know that fat-free does not literally mean fat-free on our body, but I am convinced that the majority still take comfort in this convenient little lie that food manufactures would like us to believe. For starters let’s dig into the basic nutritional facts about fat and then explain the consequences of going, “fat-free”.
One fat gram carries with it 9 calories. This is in contrast to carbohydrates and protein that carry with them 4 calories to their respective gram. So YES there are more calories to a gram of fat than there are to a gram of protein or carbohydrate, but this only scratches the surface of the whole picture. Carbohydrates, protein and fat are collectively known as the “Macronutrients” and they each play a specific role in the body. Protein has primary roles in building and repairing your body. Fat is used in a number of hormonal, catalytic, and metabolic reactions in the body that are necessary. Carbohydrate is the human bodies preferred source of energy. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that has a very unique physiological property that NO other macronutrient possesses. Sugar has the ability to elicit an insulin response (or secretion) from the pancreas. Insulin in and of itself is not toxic, dangerous or injurious….but excess insulin is all three! Insulin’s primary purpose is that of a storage hormone! In other words its job is to take calories and put them somewhere in your body! In your body you only have three places (or containers as I call them) where you can store calories.
The first container is in your blood stream which is known as “blood-sugar”. This is your body’s immediate source of energy. The problem is that this “container” is very small in its storage capacity.
Your second container is your “glycogen container”, which is housed in your muscles and liver. This is your “medium” container. It has a larger, but still very limited capacity to store calories if you are not exercising at very high levels. This leads up to the third and final container…the FAT container!
The main problem with these so called “fat-free” foods is that they are LOADED with added/processed SUGAR! Remember that sugar is the instigator of insulin when it hit’s your blood stream! To make a very long and complex story short, if you are constantly eating these types of food you are constantly taking a tour through the land of elevated insulin! When insulin is elevated, it latches onto the sugar calories that you just ingested and it TRYS to store them in your second container…glycogen. This is all fine and dandy if you are a super marathoner who is burning 10,000 calories per day because you will be depleting this crucial container of its contents and making room for the sugar that you just wolfed down! The problem for the rest of us American’s is that we continue to fall for the fat-free myth and we overload our glycogen container and make it impossible to store calories there. So where is our last recourse for storage? FAT OF COURSE! By virtue of keeping our insulin levels in a state of chronic elevation we essentially force our body to store fat…yes, unsightly fat that makes us cringe when we look in the mirror and see the cute little dimples that it makes on our bums!
So the next time you take comfort in the fact that you are eating “fat-free”, just remember what you are forcing your body to do…store fat at a faster rate than you ever dreamed possible. In reality the labeling of “fat-free” should in reality say, “fat-spree”.
Life is good!