Growing up, we were always told that fat is bad for you and causes a wide variety of diseases including cancer, heart ailments and obviously also makes you very very fat. Call me foolish, but if you use a statement “fats make you fat” my feeble mind would easily say hell yeah! Before I miscommunicate, it is important to emphasise that given your nutritional requirement of say 2000 Calories a day, if you eat more than your balanced meal requirement, which means a certain amount of carbs, proteins and fat, chances are that it will harm you. So when we were told to eat low fat, by default we would load up on other food, for a vegetarian, inevitably carbohydrates.
Recent studies done on over 50,000 women over a long term shows that a reduction in fat consumption does not significantly reduce the risk of cancer, heart or other ailments. Barring a minor reduction in breast cancer, which was not statistically significant, meaning it could have been caused by other factors, there was no major impact at all. Increasingly experts are therefore advocating ensuring sufficient fat in your diet, just ensuring that you are eating the right kind of fats because all fats are not made equal and ensuring that the total fat consumption in your daily meal is within prescribed limits.
It is no surprise that if you research any subject, there is first a ton of information out there and a lot of it is contradictory. With over 7 billion people, most of whom eat everyday, the food industry is large. Barring religion, food could easily rank up there as one of the most discussed topics in the world and everybody has an opinion. From scientists and professors to you and me, its amazing to witness the intensity of the opinion on all issues ranging from whether fat is good for you, supplements should or should not be taken, whether genetically modified foods are good or bad and whether your favourite brand is trying to kill you or delight you. Its hard for a lay person to discern truth from fiction. What I have learnt is the following
- Eating in moderation, just short of your daily requirement is probably best
- Eating quality over taste is undoubtedly good for you for example capsicum over cake
- Balancing your diet and ensuring you get adequate carbs, fats and protein but also sufficient Vitamins and Minerals is important
- Food free from pesticide etc is probably safer
- Research, research research the nutrients in your food, read the labels, and understand what you are eating
This is by no means some magic formula or based on any expertise but only an aggregation of my understanding over the last two years. At the end, trust your own judgement after you have applied your mind.