As a health care practitioner with a strong focus on diet, I can honestly say that nutritional guidelines are less than ideal. Often, these guidelines are influenced by industries such as the dairy, beef and sugar industry. The biggest issue I have with nutritional guidelines is their recommendation to keep dietary fat to a minimum. If we look back to the late 80's and early 90's we can recall the "low fat craze." At this time, many foods were deprived of fat and loaded up with carbs (and not very high quality ones). This is when diabetes and heart disease sky rocketed. Those people told to eat a low fat diet for heart health are actually fueling the issue in many situations.
The Disadvantage of low fat Diets
Study after study confirms the true disadvantage of low fat diets. In 2013, there was a Spanish trial in which nearly 7500 participants between the ages of 55 and 80 were studied. One group ate a Mediterranean style diet which was low in processed foods and high in healthy fats, legumes, vegetables, fruits and seafood. This group ate either 30 grams of nuts per day or 50 ml olive oil. The control group ate a diet low in fat. Five years later, the study was stopped for ethical and health reasons. In statistical analysis, the group eating the healthier diet had less myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular issues than the control by 49%.
Healthy Fats are in Real Food
We do not have to create low fat foods to eat. In fact, foods that are created to be "low fat" are really not food at all. They are more like processed chemicals that are boxed up as "food like products." Nature makes low fat food in the form of most fruits, vegetables, high quality grains and proteins.
Foods such as coconut, olives, avocado, butter (from organic, raw milk), oily fish and beef are high in fats that are actually good for your body. Our bodies need fat for energy. Fats are crucial for hormone production, brain cell function, nerve cell function, conversion of vitamins into useful forms, absorption of many minerals and many other cellular reactions and physiological processes. As a general rule of thumb ... if a fat comes from a real food it can be labeled as "good" (in most cases).
The problem with many fats in todays diet is due to the processing of them. Trans fats are made when a vegetable oil is caused to harden. This is called hydrogenation. Trans fats cause elevated cholesterol levels (high LDL and lower HDL), atherosclerosis, heart disease and other health issues.
I encourage all of my HCG Diet patients heading into phase III of the protocol to enjoy fats. Healthy fats are a wonderful addition to a clean, healthy diet. Of course, like anything in life ... moderation is the key!