For ages, humans have been trying to find the perfect diet. This has especially affected people who struggle with weight loss and management because dieting has long been the main part of weight loss. In the 50s, the public went through a real epidemic of obesity and heart disease, so the government and the influencers of the time took it upon themselves to come up with a new way of eating that will save the western world. They came up with a low-fat diet. This is the story of its great success and glorious fall.
Where it all started
As we already mentioned above, in the 1950s in the United States of America, the public started suffering from a real problem of heart disease. Seemingly healthy men started experiencing heart issues and other health problems. These unfortunate men all had one thing in common—high cholesterol. One day, an American scientist called John William Gofman, connected cholesterol and atherosclerosis, a heart disease that resulted in plaque build-up in the arteries causing them to become hard and narrow. The idea that saturated fat intake and cholesterol cause heart disease became known as the “lipid hypothesis”. Soon, everyone and their mom and dad started recommending and following the low-fat diet. This diet reduced or even completely eliminated fat intake from butter, fatty meat, egg yolk, dairy, etc., replacing them with oil and margarine.
Even physicians started encouraging their patients to start eating a low-fat diet to reduce their risk of heart disease. This switch in diet habits also caused food manufacturers to start coming up with foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
The 80s revolution of the low-fat diet
In the 1980s, almost the entire western world was following a low-fat diet that was very strict. Even the American Heart Association approved of it and promoted it greatly. At this time, supermarket shelves, pantries and fridges were ruled by low-fat margarine, extra-lean chicken breasts, steamed broccoli and fat-free snacks. Many families replaced real and natural butter with low-fat replacements such as margarine. In magazines and on TV, the messages were clear—natural fats lead to heart disease and low-fat or fat-free options created in the lab were good for health. This motivated people to buy foods with rich taste yet little fat and zero guilt.
Here’s the catch: also in the 80s, the same decade that pronounced low-fat products as savors of humanity, we got a new epidemic. Americans and many Europeans and Australians were getting more and more obese. Still, the low-fat school of thought still marched on confidently in the media, making all skeptics sound crazy.
The keto twist
Today, one of the most popular diets/lifestyles is called the keto diet. Unlike low-fat diets, keto focuses on the intake of fats and protein, eliminating or reducing carbohydrates and sugars. Since the human body obviously needs fats, the keto diet pushes the body to use fats for energy instead of relying on sugars and carbs. This seems to be a very logical way to burn fat and reduce one’s weight. However, the keto diet can be hard to follow, but with practical keto meal delivery, it’s possible to follow this way of eating easily. You’ll get perfectly balanced, rich and tasty keto meals without having to think about ingredients, preparation or any other complications.
Only in recent years have we started shaking off the thought that low-fat diets are good for the body. Today, we are leaning towards balance in the diet, reducing carbs instead of fats, and following a moderate approach to fats. This was actually shown to be the healthiest thing one can do for their weight, heart and mental health. Keto is a good temporary diet for those who need to lose weight for health reasons and those suffering from certain conditions like epilepsy and even Parkinson’s disease. It also allows us to enjoy all the high-fat foods like beef, fatty fish, nuts, cheese, butter, etc. And with meal delivery services, you can have all that delivered to your doorstep.
It’s important to state that low-fat diets are indeed good for people with specific medical conditions, but limiting saturated fats for no reason won’t bring you any special health benefits. As a matter of fact, it can hurt your weight and cause low energy and stomach issues. Dietary fat is a necessary element of a healthy diet and should be consumed regularly in moderation.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home improvement, DIY and interior design. In her free time she enjoys reading and preparing healthy meals for her family.