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Don’t be fooled by low-fat

November 1st, 2018 | no comments

Plus:

  • Mel’s weekly product pick: 
    Kalona Supernatural Organic Whole Milk Cottage Cheese 
  • Mel’s weekly recipe pick: 
    Whipped Cheese, Fruit & Nut Breakfast Bowl

Back in the 90’s it was a common belief that dietary fat made you fat. That’s what all of the popular diet books led you to believe, and of course it was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid, which encouraged you to eat six to eleven servings of grains every day, while minimizing fat. Naturally, being a follower of “sound” nutrition advice, I followed the guidance. But I took it to the extreme.

Every piece of food that passed my lips had to have no more than one or two grams of fat inside. I paid no attention to sugar, preservatives or any other substance that were harmful to my health, only fat. Cookies, ice cream, candy, yogurt, breads, crackers, salad dressings, cakes, frostings and peanut butter (yes, peanut butter) were all either fat-free or very low-fat. 

When WOW chips hit the grocery shelves, I just knew there was a God. They were a line of snack chips made with a fat replacement called olestra. It had all of the properties of fat, including mouthfeel and taste, but it went through the body undigested, so you didn’t have to worry about the calories. There was one downside—a potential side effect of eating olestra was loose bowel movements. And do you think that stopped me? Hell no! They were fat-free, they had to be good for you, I reasoned. We won’t even go into how my body “handled” those WOW chips :). 

If you’re stuck in the antiquated mentality that dietary fat is no good, you may actually be doing your body more harm than good.

Of course you want to stay away from trans fats (also known as partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil) and refined vegetable oils like canola, soybean and corn, but when it comes to choosing between a naturally full-fat food and low-or-non-fat, 99.999999% of the time, you are better off with full-fat. 

Why? First, not only does dietary fat help you burn fat, it is essential for proper brain and hormone function, nutrient absorption and blood sugar regulation. Ever eat a meal and still feel hungry afterwards? Most likely your meal lacked enough healthy dietary fat.

Nuts and seeds, coconut and extra virgin olive oil, and avocados are healthy fats that will do your body good. And as I mentioned above, aim for full-fat versions of naturally full-fat foods when possible. For example, the difference between full-fat cottage cheese and fat-free cottage cheese is a big one. Take a look at the ingredient list of a well-known brand of fat-free cottage cheese:

Cultured nonfat milk, contains less than 2% of whey, salt, maltodexrin, artificial color, guar gum, citric acid, carrageenan, mono and diglycerides, polysorbate 80, locust bean gum, natural and artificial flavor, potassium sorbate (preservative), vitamin A palmitate, enzyme.

Compare it to the ingredients of Kalona Supernatural Organic Whole Milk Cottage Cheese:

Certified Organic Grade A Nonfat Milk, Organic Grade A Whole Milk, Organic Grade A Cream, Celtic Sea Salt®, Cultures

You don’t need a four-year nutrition degree to realize the better choice. This rule holds true for milk, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, and salad dressings. Plus…full-fat tastes damn good! You can’t argue with that. 

Listen, when they remove the fat, they usually add other “things”, such as sugar, salt, preservatives and emulsifiers. When in doubt, ask yourself: WWGD?

What would grandma do? 

 

Mel’s weekly food pick:
Kalona Supernatural Organic Whole Milk Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is traditionally thought of as diet food. In the 1980’s and 90’s, you couldn’t find a weight loss diet without it on the menu. Truth be told, I burned myself out on cottage cheese and then avoided it for quite some time for two reasons:

  1. It reminded me of hellish starvation diet days gone terribly wrong.
  2. Who in their right mind would choose to eat something reminiscent of chunky spackling paste?

This all changed when I (reluctantly) tried whole milk cottage cheese. You see, up until that point, I always thought low-fat and fat-free were the way to go. Bleck! Boy was I wrong.

If you have a rocky history with cottage cheese, give it another shot…but go for the 4% milk fat. It’s a great source of fat and protein and makes a great:

  • Vegetable dip
  • Base for a low sugar fruit parfait
  • Topping for your salad
  • Mayonnaise replacement
  • Addition to overnight oats 
  • Base for a breakfast bowl

Are you turned off by the chunky texture of cottage cheese? Check out my weekly recipe pick below…you just might change your mind. 

Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Whipped Cheese, Fruit & Nut Breakfast Bowl

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