Tristan Ben Mahjoub/PhotoSpin
I've loved the recent research coming out vindicating saturated fats as a healthy part of eating. This could be the beginning of a huge shift in how people look at their diets leading to a reduction in many illnesses like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
For me that shift began in 2002. I read Gary Taube's article on fat at a time when I was dealing with serious health problems related to ME/CFS and a mysterious weight gain that I hadn't been able to tame.
More reading turned me towards the Atkin's diet which led to a loss of about 60 lbs. and a significant decrease in ME/CFS symptoms. These improvements made a deep impression on me and I haven't looked back.
I remember the big changes in the '70s and '80s which introduced the low fat regimen that has been so pervasive in North America. I remember saying goodbye to butter and hello to margarine.
Full-fat foods were replaced with low-fat. Carbohydrates gained a new high status in the way most of us looked at meal-planning. Saturated fats were frowned on, and vegetable oils took their place.
When I began to change my diet in 2002, the paradigm shift from low fat to low carb was dizzying. I remember the first time I walked through the grocery store looking for full-fat cheese and sour cream instead of reduced fat. If I'd been wearing a trench coat I'd have turned up the collar and tried to hide my face.
I'd been so indoctrinated I had to fight the feeling that the Fat Police might appear beside me, taking me to task for picking up the full-fat versions.
I felt apologetic when I put my fatty groceries on the checkout counter. Nobody confronted me about my food choices, though, and after awhile I got over feeling self-conscious about what I was buying.
And as pound after pound continued to fall off without a great struggle, and as my brain fog and shakiness from ME/CFS began to diminish and my hair stopped falling out, I got over the enormous misgivings I'd had when I began this grand experiment.
I've since tweaked my eating habits, majoring less on meat and increasing healthy fats. But keeping carbohydrates low has continued to be a great thing all along.