• Taylor Messina
  • Mar 3, 2017

The Low-Fat Trend: How The Sugar Industry Was Behind The Blame

Did you know that the sugar industry placed the blame on fats? For so long, we’ve been told that fats are bad. Low-fat this, non-fat that. But why?

According to an article in the New York Times by Anahad O’Connor, the sugar industry paid scientists to downplay the link between sugar and heart disease. Instead, the blame was placed on saturated fats. “The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. Since these falsified findings were published, low fat diets have been the recommendation of healthcare professionals.

You can read more about O’Connor’s article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html?_r=0

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Today, grocery store shelves are so full of “low-fat” products that it’s hard to not think of these as the healthier alternative. Creative marketing tactics and grocery packaging makes it seem as though “reduced fat” items are healthier but they forget to mention how they actually reduce the fat.  When companies take out the fat, they need to replace it with something else. What do they replace it with, sugar!

Blaming recent weight-gain trends on fat created a bad name surrounding all fats, even the fats which are seen to be healthy, essential aspects of our diets. These “healthy fats” include olive oil, butter, avocados, and nuts. These healthy fats are never heated, denatured, or pressed and they keep us feeling full, are rich in nutrients and increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals from our food.

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I like to add avocados to my smoothies, have almonds for a snack, and add olive oil to my salads. Don’t be afraid to add healthy fats into your diet! Your body will thank you!