While shopping at Walmart last week, I overheard another shopper tell her husband, "I usually don't buy this because it is so bad for you. It's just so full of fat!"
Having finally lost weight myself due to eating low carb and INCREASING my fat intake, I was really curious to see what this evil fat-ladened product was. I tried to inconspicuously peep over at her cart, but I could not see the particular disparaged product. However, what I DID see really shocked me. Big bags of cereal, boxes of baking mixes, juice, a stack of frozen pizzas and other various prepackaged frozen diners. Basically sugar, starch, carbs, salt, more carbs, and a side order of high fructose corn syrup...Yikes!
But how do you tell someone you never met before in a grocery store that the fat content of one particular product wasn't her problem? How do you inform a stranger that her and her family would be better off buying a gallon jug of olive oil and sipping it through a straw than eating the carb laden crap she was planning to serve? I am pretty sure my input would have been as welcomed as a BBQ cart at a P.E.T.A. convention.
The sad thing is my shopping cart used to look a lot like hers. I believed the "Fats are Bad" mantra. I bought in to "Fat makes you fat. Fat clogs your arteries and makes your heart explode. Eat what you want as long as it is fat-free." This is what has been drilled in to the brains of the American public over the past decade or two, and sadly, it looks like it has really sunk in. Heck, I used to be one of the anti-fat believers!
Too bad the concept that ingesting fat causes you to BE fat is entirely wrong. Low-carb gurus like Dr. Atkins, Dr. Barry Groves, and Drs Mike and Mary Eades (among others) have shown time and time again how wrong this thinking is. They have analyzed the data, and they have seen it themselves through their own research and patients. Fat DOES NOT make you fat, and, as Barry Groves has pointed out, the decline in the amount of fat eaten can be directly tied to the RISE in obesity numbers. That's right people, the LESS FAT Americans and Brits eat, the FATTER they are getting!
Humans are designed to eat and burn fat. Ingesting fat doesn't produce an insulin release, which is a FAT STORING hormone. Fat is even the preferred fuel for your brain. Sugar and carbs are the things that cause you to store fat and gain weight and the American diet is awash with them. I followed the recommendations of the food pyramid, I switched to whole grains long before it became fashionable. Heck, I even went vegetarian for a while and I tried to follow a low-fat diet. All of these things caused me to GAIN WEIGHT and hop on the fast train towards type 2 diabetes. Fortunately I did some reading, learned about low carb, and saved myself from certain disaster. I am now working to reverse the damage I have done (60lbs of damage to be precise), and my success so far is due to me understanding and eating healthy fats.
Even though I am getting healthier, I guess I am not quite ready to be a low-carb-witness or raving fatologist, accosting people at random and asking in a cult-conditioned voice "Can I talk to you about your carbohydrate intake?" as I try to hand them a beat-up copy of The Atkins New Diet Revolution.
For now I will have to settle with documenting my weight loss journey, further educating myself, posting on forums, and showing my friends and family the benefits of eating low carb AND high fat by continuing to lose weight. Hopefully that misinformed woman from the grocery store will stumble on the facts about fat before she screws up her metabolism, her husband becomes diabetic, or she is tempted to ship her kids off to a fat camp. Meanwhile, I will enjoy my extra virgin olive oil drenched salads, eat my eggs fried in coconut oil, and put REAL butter all over my steamed veggies. Then I will think of this woman and try to send some positive vibes her way. The poor thing is really going to need them.