Healthy foods tend to focus on how they’re low in fat. So does everything else that tries to sell you something. From candy, cereal, bread, to ice cream, everybody wants you to know that their product is low in fat. Low in fat means eating it won’t make you fat, which makes sense right?
Turns out not so much. While there are certainly “bad” fats, and you can eat too much of anything, fats aren’t really the culprit, at least according to dozens of studies. Low-fat diets don’t lead to weight loss, and that’s because while we were avoiding all those fats, we were relying really heavily on carbohydrates and sugars. And those two things do turn into fat, because we tend to eat a lot of them, far more than we really should.
Carbs and sugar, like fat, aren’t always bad. The problem is that a lot of food, especially in the United States, uses a lot of processed carbohydrates and refined sugar. Neither of those are particularly good for you, especially in the high doses that they tend to appear in. So what happens is that we eat a ton of carbs and sugar, and that gets turned into glucose quickly. The result is that these kinds of foods give us energy, then we “slump” and lose that energy. You get hungry again soon after, and go for more of it. But while that stuff becomes glucose, it doesn’t all get used, because there tends to be way more than you need, and instead it gets stored as fat.
Reducing sugars and carbs is hard, as they’re all over the place. But you can replace them with a lot of other things that are good, including better quality carbs and sugar, as well as more protein and the good fats.