When Was the ‘Low-Fat’ Diet Introduced
On the morning of September 24th, 1955, our president at the time, Dwight Eisenhower, suffered a heart attack. Desperation grew among the ranks of government and scientific establishment to get to the bottom of this seemingly indiscriminate disease.
Fortunately, or so it seemed, elite nutritional scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health had an explanation: The culprit was dietary fat, and thus the key to preventing heart disease would be to put the American public on a low-fat diet.
Since the implementation of producing low fat or non-fat foods, obesity is higher than it has ever been. Why are Americans getting so overweight when their food is supposed to be non-fat and healthier for you?
Well, what American food producers realized when they removed fat from food, it took out some important flavors of the food and did not taste good. To offset this, food manufactures replaced the loss of fat with sugar! This would not only supplement the loss of taste, but also be healthier, right?
Because of this, the average American consumes 17 teaspoons (71.14 grams) every day. That translates into about 57 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the following guidelines: 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day = 100 calories per day for women.
So we are consuming 3 times as much sugar as we should be, 3 times!!!
Consuming a diet high in added sugars, such as those found in sweetened beverages, candy, baked goods, and sugary cereals, is a contributing factor in weight gain and chronic health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Real World Example
There was a study performed which looked a variety of foods and compared their regular versions to their ‘low-fat’ and/or ‘Non-fat’ version’ measuring the amount of sugar present in each. When conducting this study, the researchers found, that on average, foods that were labeled as ‘Non-fat’ or ‘Low-fat’ typically led to foods with high concentrations of sugar content.
Although the increase in added sugar per serving appears to be small, the cumulative effect of consuming ‘empty calories’ over several years could have important health consequences. Refer to the chart below to see ‘Low-fat’ and/or ‘Non-fat’ versions of foods are compared to the regular version.
Next time you are in the store, be mindful of what you are buying. Just because something is advertised as being healthier doesn’t always mean it is. And remember that moderation is key!