So many of my clients are afraid to eat an avocado because it is high in fat, but at the same time they reach for a bag of pretzels without realizing that they made a terrible choice. Yes, avocados contain fat, but it is the kind of fat our bodies need to survive. What people should really be afraid is sugar.
Sugar is terrible and it is everywhere!
Many people believe a low-fat diet to be a healthy diet, but it’s not true. Often when fats are taken out of your favorite packaged foods, they are replaced with sugar and other unhealthy additives. Fat is a primary source of flavor and they must add something to make the food taste good in its absence. There is up to 42 grams of sugar in many of the processed foods that Americans eat on a daily basis. I’m not talking about candy and soda, this much sugar can be found in foods that you may consider healthy, such as low-fat yogurt, wheat bread, cereals, frozen yogurt, pasta sauce, orange juice, and iced tea.
The quintessential American breakfast of whole wheat cereal, low-fat yogurt and a glass of orange juice easily adds up to 20 teaspoons of sugar. 1 teaspoon = 4g.; so this “healthy” breakfast actually contains 80 grams of sugar!! Bottled ice tea is also a sneaky place for extreme amounts of sugar to hide. One serving of some bottled ice teas contain up to 9 teaspoons of sugar, which exceeds the daily allowance by a long shot. According to the FDA, the recommend daily allowance for women is less than 25g sugar or 6 teaspoons per day, men are allowed up to 37.8g or 9 teaspoons.
How is it possible for sugar to make you fat?
After sugar enters the body it splits into two parts, fructose and glucose. Both enter the liver and glucose is used for energy or stored for later. The fructose gets stored as fat because the liver isn’t able to regulate it. The imbalance releases insulin which tells the body to keep their fat cells, so when this fat enters into the bloodstream it causes weight gain.
According to the wonderful exposé “That Sugar Film,” sugar has become so popular that if you remove all added sugar from the items in a super market, only 20% of the products would remain on the shelves.
Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, it is so much better to consume healthy fats.
Eating small portions that are a solid combination of fat and protein will help you stay full throughout the day, whereas if you eat foods that are low in fat and high in sugar, you will be reaching for more snacks and likely crashing by midday.
What exactly is a ‘healthy fat’?
Simply, you should basically steer clear of saturated fats and opt for the monunsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in the food items below. Polyunsaturated fats provide us with Omega-3 Fatty Acids which are important to maintaining health and disease prevention.
My favorite healthy fats include avocados, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, wild fish and nuts.