If you’ve followed the rollercoaster of weight loss fads, you’ve heard it all. First we were told that fat was bad and food producers rushed to replace high fat items with low and no fat versions, often bolstered with additional sugar to improve the taste. Then we heard that it was the influx of carbs and sugar that we were eating that was the true demon and masses breathed a sign of relief as they proceeded to the nearest steak house for a salad with blue cheese dressing and the prime rib special (recipes).
The truth of the matter is, there is no bad guy here. Healthy fats and carbs are an essential part of the food pyramid. Fat is used by the body in many ways, such as conducting fat-soluble vitamins into the blood stream and cushioning joints and neurons. Carbs, in addition to being a quick source of energy, are also the main component which helps the body absorb water. If the body can’t absorb water, it becomes dehydrated and can’t absorb water soluble vitamins. (Incidentally, the inability to absorb water and consequential dehydration is generally the source of the drastic weight loss that occurs at the beginning of many diets. You haven’t lost fat, you’re just dehydrated.)
While it makes many of us feel better to be able to point the finger at a scapegoat such as fat or carbs, the reality is that it is up to us to learn to include all of the essentials of nutrition into Five Balanced Meals a day to provide our bodies with the food that they need.