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Embracing Saturated Fat in a Low-Fat World

By HERWriter
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embrace saturated fat in this low-fat world 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.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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