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The Harm of Low-fat Foods or What Diseases Are Caused by the Fear of Fatty Foods

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  • The Harm of Low-fat Foods or What Diseases Are Caused by the Fear of Fatty Foods

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    Fear of fatty foods as a socially acceptable eating disorder

    Fatphobia (Lipophobia) – fear of fatty foods and their deliberate avoidance. This phenomenon is not given much importance.

    I would even say that in modern society, it is simply customary to be careful when it comes to fatty foods and strive for low-fat products. Animal fats are a particular subject of fear.


    For example, we are afraid to fry in butter or lard. Therefore, we replace them with sunflower oil. No one will have any questions if you refuse to eat fatty meat at a party.


    But everyone will wonder why you don't eat fruit or salads. Lean meat is in high demand in stores and markets. And fat meat is usually given to dogs or just thrown out.

    Among those who are actively involved in fitness, it is fat-free cottage cheese that is very popular. On the shelves of ordinary stores, the most skimmed milk, yogurts, sour cream are sold.


    In general, it is believed that aiming for a low-fat diet is normal health and nutritional management strategy.


    Let's discover in DETAIL how the body reacts to this strategy. And what consequences for human health and quality of life it can lead to. Let me warn you that this is not a psychiatric case (lipophobia) when the fear of fatty foods is caused by organic causes in the brain.

    We are interested in fatphobia as a socially imposed fear of fatty foods. That is, as a false belief.






    When did the fear of fat in food arise?

    The generation of people born after the 50s of the last century has been absorbing the strategy of avoiding fatty foods since childhood. Because around that time, the campaign against animal fats began.

    At that time, the American physiologist Ancel Keys conducted a study that allegedly showed a link between the use of fatty foods and heart and vascular diseases. He was the founder of the lipid hypothesis of heart disease.



    According to his findings:

    1. Eating saturated fat increases cholesterol in the blood

    2. Cholesterol clogs the blood vessels. This leads to atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes



    His theory looked good at that time and was accepted as the basis for new dietary recommendations. This is how fatphobia got its start. Since then, we have learned to be afraid to eat fat.


    At the moment, it is already known that the work of Keys has a number of drawbacks. This is why we consider the fat-avoiding trend caused by this study to be an absurd fatphobia, rather than a strategy for improving the quality of life and health.


    First of all, this was not a clinical trial. This was a statistical epidemiological study. In this type of research, it is impossible to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. Therefore, they have little evidential weight.

    Second, he deliberately misinterpreted the data so that the link between fat in food and heart and vascular diseases was obvious.

    Besides, politics, money, and power were involved in this situation.


    In general, since the 50s of the last century, the West began to reduce fat in their diet. For obvious reasons, the rest of the world has picked up the trend.


    Until recently, the harm of fatty foods was considered obvious and known even to a child. Actually, the fear of cholesterol also grew from there, giving rise to cholesterol phobia.






    Why is fatphobia about animal fats

    Since Ansel Keys declared animal fats and cholesterol to be dangerous, animal food was automatically restricted. Because meat, eggs, fish, and milk are sources of saturated fat and cholesterol.

    There is no cholesterol in plant foods at all.

    And saturated fats are less common, with some exceptions like coconut and palm products






    Skim world: What replaced animal fats?

    Before the launch of the campaign against animal fats, they occupied a prominent place in human life. Both as food and cosmetics.

    For example, whale oil before the start of oil production was real gold and was valued in many areas of human life.

    The trend to reduce animal fat has affected people's lives in several ways.






    What replaced animal fats in cooking

    Before these changes, people actively used animal fats for high-temperature processing. For example, fried in lard, beef fat, or butter. Then the audience was spooked by new recommendations. Immediately, the so-called “safe alternatives” came to the fore.

    They turned out to be vegetable oil. I'm not talking about the relatively stable olive oil that has long been used in Europe. We are talking about industrial vegetable oils obtained from seeds.


    Many of them had never been used for food before. These include cottonseed, rapeseed, canola, soy, corn oil, and so on. High heat instability and an abundance of pro-inflammatory omega-6s didn't bother anyone back then.


    Therefore, people gradually began to wean themselves from animal fats and switch to vegetable oils. Also, the consumption of margarine has increased. Back then, we didn't know much about the dangers of trans fats.






    What replaced animal fats in the diet

    If you are told every day that fat is bad for your health, you will eventually believe it. Especially if it comes from doctors.

    So, you can't help but remember it when you buy groceries at the store. By reducing the amount of fat in your diet, you will inevitably eat more carbohydrates.

    The same doctors who are “friends” with fatphobia recommend that most of the diet is performed with the help of slow carbohydrates. This includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and bread. Overall, it looks like a healthy recommendation.


    However, in fact, this has led to chronic abuse of carbohydrates and sugar.


    Concerning meat, lean meat has become in great demand. Fitness fans, who are addicted to trends, began to throw out the yolks of eggs. Fat-free fillets and chicken breasts have also become popular.

    They have increased in price several times, although the actual valuable nutrition there is less than in the thighs with skin.

    Because of the switch to vegetable fats, we are now overwhelmed with unstable pro-inflammatory omega-6s.






    What replaced animal fats in the food industry

    After the attack on animal fats, store windows also changed. Manufacturers sensed the benefits, so stores were flooded with low-fat products. Immediately there were many low-fat versions of dairy products.

    This could not affect the taste.


    So, dairy products with reduced fat content are very modest in taste. To restore their attractiveness, manufacturers had to increase amount of carbohydrates at the expense of sugar and fillers.


    This is how low-fat sweet yogurts came into fashion. Instant breakfast boxes (cornflakes) were labeled as being fat-free and healthy.

    Vegetable oils began to actively replace animal fats in products. This is especially evident in dairy products. The abundance of products with "milk fat substitute" is off the scale. It's cheaper.

    And by luck [or not?] it turned out to be “more useful” for consumers according to those who are afraid of fats.

    As a result, the food industry got the hang of creating real frankensteins! For example, 100% fat-free cream… Is it food in principle? Everyone will decide for themselves.






    How does fatphobia affect physiology?

    Now let's move on to physiology and the laws by which the body works.


    Fortunately, when a person has sufficient knowledge, it is harder to fall for the bait of myths and stereotypes.


    So what is the place of saturated fat in the life of the body? And what are the consequences of fatphobia?






    Saturated fat and fat-soluble vitamins

    Fat-soluble vitamins cannot be absorbed from the gut without fat. Although this is facilitated by any fat, even vegetable, maximum absorption is possible only in the presence of saturated fat.

    Moreover, dietary sources of saturated fat are a natural source of fat-soluble vitamins. Among them, you need to calculate vitamins A, D, and K2.

    Vitamin E is also fat-soluble, but it is abundant in vegetable fats. But with the first three, the situation is more complicated. Their bioactive forms can be found exclusively in animal food.


    And animal fats, respectively! Plant foods and fats contain the wrong forms of these vitamins that are needed in human metabolism.


    This suggests a simple conclusion - fatphobia puts a person at risk for a deficiency of these vitamins. For example, the problem with vitamin D becomes epidemic.

    Of course, we get it not only with food. But for regions with a lack of sun, it is critical to have bioavailable vitamin D in the diet.






    Saturated fat in the body structure

    If you subtract water, minerals, and vitamins from the human body, then only proteins and fats will remain, as the basis of any organ. As well as the residual amount of carbohydrates in some connective tissues (glucosaminoglycans, for example).


    So, fats are part of the membrane of each cell. It is saturated fat that allows proteins (receptors, etc.) to be fixed in cell membranes. The most important organ, the brain, consists of 60% fat (a combination of saturated fat + DHA). it


    Turns out that a person has a lot of fat. It ranks second after protein.

    I wonder how something that takes up so much space in our structure can become harmful at one point?






    Saturated fats in the metabolism

    Of course, the most prominent function of fat in metabolism is energy.

    They supply much more energy than carbohydrates. But not all saturated fats are “burned” in the same way.






    Long-chain saturated fats

    They are designed to feed muscle tissue, the heart, and other organs of the body. In the presence of high blood insulin (if you eat a dish with carbohydrates and fats at the same time), they are not used as energy.

    Therefore, they are immediately sent to stocks. And they stay there until the body eats up free carbohydrates and insulin drops to a level that allows them to be burned.






    Medium-chain saturated fats (MCT)

    They are needed to nourish the liver. From their remnants, it then makes ketones, which are intended for the brain.

    These saturated fats are notable for the fact that they practically do not fall under the regulation of insulin. Because the liver burns them regardless of whether there are still carbohydrates in the blood.


    Also, the brain receives an additional portion of ketone bodies, which earlier includes satiety in it. Therefore, medium-chain saturated fat leads to early satiation, which means a reduction in the total amount of food per day.


    Adding food with such fats to meals leads to the fact that a person eats faster, feels less hungry until the next meal, and also eats less food in the next meal.

    Besides, they slightly increase metabolism, as they act bypassing the regulation of insulin. Some of these fats are involved in regulating the body's immune function.






    Short-chain saturated fats

    They are destined to become food for intestinal cells. And only then do they feed the liver and brain.

    The intestines are first in line to eat these fats, so the rest of the body gets only the leftovers. Therefore, these fats are also not regulated by insulin. Also, a sufficient concentration of these fats “tells " the body about sufficient nutrition.

    To which the body responds by reducing the feeling of hunger. These fats are only found in animal foods. Especially a lot of them are found in dairy products, for example, in butter.






    Fats and oxidative stress

    Energy production in the human body is always accompanied by oxidative stress. You can compare this to the exhaust gases in an internal combustion engine. Only in the body, instead of gases, reactive particles (free radicals) are formed.

    They are bad because they tend to react with everything in the body. This damages mitochondria, DNA, blood vessels, and so on.


    The greatest oxidative stress occurs when carbohydrates are burned as energy. When burning fat, this stress is formed many times less. Therefore, using them as energy leads to less damage and inflammation inside the body.


    In addition, it reduces the need for antioxidants, which are needed to neutralize oxidative stress. Roughly speaking, fats “smoke" less when burned in the furnace of metabolism than carbohydrates.


    Also, saturated fats are more stable and resistant to oxidation by themselves. This is probably why the body prefers to build tissues from saturated animal fats rather than polyunsaturated vegetable fats.


    After all, the latter are easily oxidized, damaged, and become toxic.

    These are the most interesting roles of saturated animal fats in human metabolism. Therefore, fatphobia, as a phenomenon, sabotages a variety of mechanisms in the human body.






    Fatty foods and detoxification

    Among all the toxic evils that our body faces, fat-soluble toxins occupy a special place. As a rule, they are industrial poisons. They tend to accumulate in adipose tissue. In the process of weight loss, they leave the cells in the blood and have their toxic effect.


    They are detoxified by the entire body, but mainly by the liver, bile system, and intestines. When these toxins are mobilized from fat stores, extra fat from food can help a lot.


    Roughly speaking, they will help pull more toxins into the intestines and these toxins will be removed along with bile and feces.

    Without an adequate amount of fat in the diet, the period of intoxication against the background of weight loss will last longer and be worse tolerated.






    How does the body create saturated fats?

    The body has a special metabolic pathway in which the body produces all the necessary fats from carbohydrates.

    This process is called De novo lipogenesis (DNL). It is believed that the average body need for saturated fat to perform a structural function is about ~40 g. per day. Usually, this metabolic pathway works at the level of 10 g. per day.


    But its performance depends on the diet and the body's need for fat. So, the less fat in the diet and the more carbohydrates, the more actively the body uses De novo lipogenesis.


    Yes, even if fatphobia helps to successfully avoid fat in food, it does not mean that the body will not get it.

    It will create them itself. The problem is that saturated fat molecules are quite long compared to carbohydrate molecules. Therefore, their production is a very demanding process. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is central to it.

    With active, constantly working De novo lipogenesis (DNL) (against the background of a lack of fat from food), this vitamin is quickly depleted. This slows down the other processes in which it is needed.


    For example, the synthesis of neurotransmitters and nucleotides. As well as the production of antioxidants and detoxification process. And finally, metabolism of vitamins K and B9. All of them require Niacin.


    Therefore, fatphobia puts additional, unnecessary stress on the body, which distracts the body from more important concerns. Blood tests can be used to assess how active the process of De novo lipogenesis is.

    The more actively the body creates fat, the higher the blood triglyceride index will be. Studies have shown that, with the same caloric content, a diet high in saturated fat reduces blood triglycerides better than high-carb diets.

    Taking into account these aspects of physiology, we can conclude that our body is not characterized by fatphobia.






    Diseases that are caused by fatphobia

    In fact, fats are so important in the human diet that we have special organs and enzymes to digest them. Among them are bile, gall bladder, lipases. We are most interested in bile and the bile system.

    Bile is a special liquid necessary for the digestion of fats and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.


    These are its most important functions. It is produced in the liver around the clock. To avoid wasting bile between meals, it is stored in the gallbladder. This organ has two roles.


    First, it stores bile until the next meal. Second, it concentrates it. When we eat, the gallbladder contracts and throws out a portion of bile. It is believed that it is reduced during any meal reflexively, but there are some details.

    This organ contracts the most and releases bile in response to fatty foods.

    All fats stimulate it, but saturated fats maximize it. Therefore, they are important to empty the gallbladder as completely as possible at every meal. Good contraction of the gallbladder and complete emptying of the gallbladder are important for the prevention of gallstones.

    What effect does avoiding fatty animal foods have on the bile system?






    Fatphobia and cholelithiasis

    On the one hand, the bile system remains without work. Since the diet becomes low in fat, and even more saturated, the need for bile decreases. Then the gallbladder begins to contract weaker. Therefore, there is always a residual amount of bile in it.

    This is called bile stasis. Over time, these residues become more viscous and this is called biliary sludge. Gradually, the stagnant bile concentrates so much that it crystallizes into stones.


    As a result, the stones grow in size until they begin to make themselves felt symptomatically in the form of pain in the right hypochondrium (hepatic colic). At this point, the person learns that he/she has cholelithiasis.


    A doctor prescribes antispasmodics, bile acids, and a very low-fat diet. This doctor can also advise vegetable choleretics, forgetting to say that the best choleretic is saturated fat. Or maybe he/she doesn't know.

    Now that gallstones are big enough to hurt, every extra drop of fat will trigger flare-ups. At this point, fatphobia has not only a cognitive stimulus (everyone says that fat is bad) but also a physical pain stimulus.

    And it becomes for a person a weighty confirmation of the correctness of those who say that fatty foods are harmful.


    Now it seems to him/her that it is fatty foods that are the cause of stones. But in fact, fatty food is not to blame and only reveals this problem, which has imperceptibly progressed all this time.


    Doctors and scientists call cholelithiasis a complex multifactorial disease. However, the formation of gallstones can be considered as a phenomenon of atrophy.

    Why should the body turn an organ into stone, except when it is not needed? Therefore, this disease is not even a disease in its meaning. How about thinking of it as a normal consequence of chronically low fat intake?

    Yes, avoiding fatty animal foods is the main reason for the formation of gallstones.






    Insulin resistance and cholelithiasis

    In addition to the sequestration of the gallbladder, fatphobia is involved in gallstones and carbohydrate metabolism.

    Fear of fats in food has led to more than just avoiding them. But also to increasing carbohydrates in the diet. Because something had to replace the lost power source. In general, since the manifestation of fatphobia, we began to eat more carbohydrates unconsciously.

    Thanks to this castling, we now have an increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes worldwide.


    Both diseases have one remarkable property — insulin resistance. In short, this is when insulin, the main storage hormone, is chronically elevated in a person's blood.


    This is a manifestation of quantitatively overloaded carbohydrate metabolism. Insulin resistance is a potent risk factor for developing gallstones. It affects more than age, weight, and gender.

    It turns out that, avoiding fatty foods, we pounce on carbohydrates. This leads to their abuse in most cases. Over time, insulin resistance (IR) develops, and excess weight increases.

    So, we not only stopped exercising the gallbladder with fats but also gained an additional powerful risk factor for the development of this disease. By the way, the risk of gallbladder cancer is also increased in IR.


    As a result, those who have been diagnosed with this problem are doomed to have their gallbladder removed over time. Especially if they are moving towards low-fat fractional nutrition. But problems may not end there.


    Over time, this pathology can affect the liver and pancreas, especially against the background of excess weight and IR. If you look at those who have already lost their gallbladder, then, as a rule, these are people with IR, overweight, and cravings for carbohydrate foods.

    We hope that the relationship between the fear of fatty foods and the development of cholelithiasis is now more obvious.






    Fat diets and weight loss

    Interestingly, the dawn of fitness and bodybuilding coincided with the beginning of fatphobia. Low-fat diets have long been in fashion for weight loss.

    Quite a lot of overweight wrestlers have been burned trying to lose weight by reducing fat in the diet.

    And if the male body is relatively hardy to reduce fat, then for female physiology this will not pass without a trace. Many women in an effort to lose weight still reduce fat. Well, it seems logical that fat makes a person fat?


    Their body responds by shutting down the menstrual cycle. This is true for many modern fitness women.


    Especially if a male mentor leads them to the performance. However, an ordinary lover of group aerobics classes gets no less when she begins to cook chicken breast and seize it with cucumbers.


    In fact, the constant consumption of low-fat foods increases the risk of hormonal disorders in women. In the long term, a lack of fatty foods in both sexes leads to anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies.


    But back to the weight loss process. It is natural that when losing weight on low-fat diets, the risk of developing cholelithiasis increases by 50-60%. This is because weight loss itself is a risk factor for gallstone disease. Especially if it happens very quickly.






    Why do stones form when you lose weight?

    The fact is that during weight loss, the bile viscosity increases. It becomes more lithogenic, that is, it is easier to crystallize into stones. To prevent the formation of stones in this situation, you need to ensure that the gallbladder is emptied as completely as possible.

    If you try to lose weight with a restriction of saturated animal fats, then this becomes an unattainable task. How quickly do rocks form? 3 months on a low-calorie, low-fat diet is enough to form gallstones in the gallbladder.

    You can also imagine the situation in which most of the eternally losing weight people revolve.


    They are in a so-called vicious dietary cycle. This is when a person's entire life consists of cycles of hard weight loss to some event, followed by periods of gluttony and eating the lost pounds back.


    Thus, they are "deflated and inflated". In this case, the risk of stone formation is even higher.

    It turns out that no one who is always losing weight is immune to stones.

    And the only way to prevent this trouble is to maintain an adequate amount of fat in the diet during active weight loss. Well, fatphobia at the time of weight loss most often leads to "stone consequences".

    In general, at the moment, the desire for everything fat-free remains in the trend among most people around the world.


    Those who do not pay attention to it at all and do not strive for low-fat products will be recorded in the risk groups for all diseases.


    And there are those who are unaccustomed to fatphobia and, on the contrary, seek to make up for lost time with the help of more than is accepted in society, the amount of fat food. Such people are considered completely mad.

    This is what happens with the ketogenic diet. In the eyes of the modern public, it is still somewhere on the same level as homeopathy. "Eat fat to lose weight and become healthier” - say supporters of the keto diet and they are completely right.






    Adequate attitude to fatty foods

    This article should not be interpreted as a call to gluttony with fats. You just need to not be afraid to eat foods that contain fat. For example, dairy products with reduced fat content are not only meaningless in nature but also highly processed products.


    For example, most commercial milk is recovered from powdered milk powder. This a priori dramatically reduces the biological value and usefulness of the product.


    It is useless to choke on fresh chicken fillets, expecting that they are more useful than all other parts of the chicken.

    There is no reason to believe that this is a healthier choice than chicken shins, wings, thighs. In addition, it is now clear that fat-soluble vitamins are found in fats, and not in naked protein.

    In general, the idea that fatty foods are harmful in themselves can be dismissed with peace. But when fat meets carbohydrates, it turns out the most deadly combination for health.






    The harm of low-fat products

    To artificially reduce the fat content of food, it must be subjected to industrial processing.

    Original cow milk has a fat content of 4.5-6%. And commercial pasteurized milk is 0-3.8%. By pulling natural fats out of milk, we also lose micronutrients. That leaves bare protein, fat, and carbohydrates.


    Also, during the industrial process, the structure of food changes, which can unpredictably affect metabolism. Almost all commercial milk at the moment is artificially reduced skim milk powder, diluted in water.


    This is no longer food, but an entertaining constructor. Therefore, it is not surprising that modern milk, especially industrial milk, causes so many problems for people.

    Staying away from industrial skim milk products is more effective for many diseases than being afraid of original whole unpasteurized milk.






    Let's sum up

    Striving for a low-fat diet has no benefits in most cases. Because it can bring on other problems: IR, overweight, gallstone disease, vitamin deficiencies, and cognitive impairment.

    Losing weight on a low-fat diet seriously increases your risk of gallstones. The faster a person loses weight, the more fat must be in the diet to adequately remove bile. Animal saturated fats have the most effective choleretic effect.

    If you are counting calories, then you should not go below 20% in fat intake. A higher dietary fat content reduces the risk of stone formation. This is especially important if a very low-calorie macro is used.

    Everyone will decide for themselves, but we strongly do not recommend eating foods with artificially low-fat content. This is especially true for dairy products. In general, read labels carefully.






    References

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/17950329/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9665682
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2669662
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...ijo201383a.pdf
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...nihms59164.pdf
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2526403/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...jc2011363a.pdf
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24321208

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      At first, however, immunity was understood as the body's immunity to infectious diseases.

      But already from the middle of the 20th century, as a result of research work, it was proved that immunity protects the body not only from microbes but also from any other genetically foreign
      ...
      02-04-2021, 09:20 AM
    • A History of the Study of Life Extension Products
      by David Glick





      Life extension is a problem of all times and peoples.

      In evolution, this problem appears namely in humans. Realizing the immortality of living nature due to the reproduction of mortal organisms and possessing the instinct of self-preservation and survival, man has always tried to resolve this contradiction between life and death.

      Mankind in all epochs has shown a heightened interest in the means of preserving youth, health, and achieving
      ...
      02-01-2021, 05:04 PM
    • What Fruits Can I Eat on the Keto Diet?
      by Antony Convey



      Let's take a look at the most painful keto question - can we eat fruit on the ketogenic diet?

      On keto, we avoid fruits and allow ourselves a small amount of berries. No keto rule raises so many questions and protests. “Fruits are vitamins! We have eaten them from time immemorial!

      What about antioxidants, flavonoids, and other beneficial substances? Microbiota! What does it eat? " - beginners are lost. “Fruits contain fructose, and fructose
      ...
      02-01-2021, 02:55 PM

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