Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Fat: Friend or foe?

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Myth 25: If a food is low in fat or fat-free, it must be healthy.
What Dietitians of Canada says:
“Just because a food is low in fat or fat-free doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, a lot of foods that are low in fat are definitely not healthy choices, such as candy, pop, low-fat cookies and fat-free frozen treats… There are, however, some foods that are higher in fat and a healthy choice, such as fish, avocados, nuts, seeds and nut butters. Choose foods wisely: Read food labels and consider a food’s overall nutrient content. Don’t judge a food by fat alone!”
What I say:
I think DC’s got this one right. Taking the fat our of foods and replacing it with something else does not make an unhealthy food any healthier. In our efforts to fight obesity we’ve become far too eager to vilify single nutrients. Fat has been unfairly targeted because it provides more calories than other macronutrients. In addition, certain types of fat have been implicated in chronic diseases such as dyslipidemia and heart disease. The truth is that anything in excess is bad for you. The healthiest thing you can do is to eat a predominantly plant-based diet (this means you won’t need to interpret many nutrition labels) and eat a variety of foods, not too much of any one thing. Fats are needed for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), they also provide many foods with flavour.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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