Categorized | Opinion

Who Is Right About Fats?

By Thelma Ledford

Good Eats LedfordI have had to stand alone for many years with the things I have learned. Maybe I am one of the revolutionaries of today.
More than 48 years ago in my first book about nutrition I read that the nutritionist of today would be the doctor of tomorrow. Is it coming to pass? Are we curing heart disease, diabetes, or cancer with drugs? Are the present remedies working?
Jever wonder why not?  Instead, it seems to me the number of new “diseases” are exploding on the scene. And they are increasingly difficult to diagnose. This brings us to a “guessing” procedure. In l995, a doctor tried to give me a prescription. I said “No! You have not discovered the problem.”
On the other hand, we hear testimonies about people changing their eating and lifestyles and getting well. Listen up! Don’t take what you hear hook, line, and sinker! Be wise! I am not trying to convince you of anything. What I want to do is challenge you to evaluate what you hear—to think for yourselves.
There are “many” voices out there today. It is confusing!
We tend to follow the authority figures or media when common sense is better. I tell people that if I could bottle “common sense” I’d be rich. The system does not like folks to do their own thinking. Sometimes what a substance, like fat, does in a test tube is different from what it does in the body.
For example, one issue is about “no fat.” Fat is a nutrient. *…“Most people think that the less fat you have on your body, and the less you eat, the better.” This is not true. Surprised? Like all the nutrients, fat is beneficial in appropriate quantities—and it is harmful to ingest either too much or too little of it. It is true, though, that in our society of abundance, people are more likely to encounter too much fat than too little. Fat is actually a subser of the class of compounds known as lipids. The lipids include triglycerides (fats and oils), phospholipids, and sterols, each important to nutrition. Fat is also needed to absorb certain fat soluble nutrients.
Now let us look at the “no” fat approach. Here are some signs and symptoms which can occur as a result of depriving your body of fat: Brittle nails; infertility; constipation, insomnia; carbohydrate, and stimulant craving; dry, limp, thinning hair; loss of lean body mass and fat gain around the middle; mood disorders; and scaly, itchy skin. I said that it “can” occur. You may be using fat and have these symptoms. Does fat really put weight on people? Think! Evaluate! Some people never have a weight problem and eat lots of fat. Some leave off fat and gain weight.
Sometimes even I get caught up subconsciously in the system of “no fat” and have to stop myself. For two or three years I put on weight around the middle doing that.
Also, I lost muscle. It didn’t work for me, or for my nutritionist. If fat does what they say, wouldn’t it affect everyone the same way? I even add a couple of tablespoons of high-grade, cold-pressed olive oil daily. I do not have a weight problem. Think about it?  Who is right?
Fat also satisfies hunger. Do this test, and check for yourself. Eat a simple, carbohydrate meal of flakes with skim milk, or fruit juice (or fruit), with white toast. You will crave food and grab a sweet roll or soda very shortly. Jever wonder why?
Next, eat eggs and bacon with whole wheat toast (not colored-wheat bread), and note the difference. Protein and fat holds me longer and they are more satisfying. After a plate of biscuits and gravy, I would become ravenous.
Don’t just take my word for it! You’re smart! Learn to think for yourself about your own body. Sometimes we want to get a “quick-fix” to solve our problem. We are each very unique in our use of food and must get to understand how our own body works. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. You can make a good decision, but if you do not, your taste buds will decide for you. Who is right about fats?
— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.

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