Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Why Many Fat Free Diets Do Not Work


Most people understand that it is wise to limit the amount of fat grams in their daily diet. The dietary reference intake amount for an adult ranges from 20% to 35%[i] of daily calories; or about 44 to 55 grams per day[1]. Since a single slice of pecan pie carries with it 27 grams of fat, and a mere tablespoon of thousand island salad dressing contains 8 grams of fat[ii], it is not surprising to see more and more people checking food labels and "passing over" an order of onion rings[2] as they try to lose, or maintain, inches and pounds.

However, the relentless avoidance of fat - even of healthy unsaturated fat - is creating a troubling scenario for many individuals. Instead of losing weight when they go "fat free", they are actually gaining weight.

Many people on the road to weight loss forget - or simply do not know - that the words "fat free" do not also mean "calorie free". As a result, many people ingest far too much "fat free" food, believing that it will not add weight, since, alas, it is dubbed "fat free". Yet it is the calories in these fat-free foods that cause the weight gain; not the fat grams themselves[iii].

A single gram of fat contain nine calories, which is more than double the amount of calories in a gram protein or carbohydrate. Therefore, mathematically speaking, an eater can consume twice as many protein or carbohydrate grams than fat grams, and achieve the same caloric intake. Since many high-fat foods contain an excessive amount of fat grams - such as onion rings - it has become a staple of dieting wisdom to reduce fat intake and avoid such oily, greasy foods[3].

Yet it bears repeating that the reason to avoid fat-rich foods is not because of the word "fat"; it is because each fat gram contains a scale-tipping 9 calories. In other words: the weight-conscious reason for avoiding excess fat grams is because it leads to a higher caloric intake.

Dieters who neglect to realize this basic nutritional fact - that weight gain is about calories and not about fat grams themselves - fail to realize, and often at their eventual dismay, how the body actually gains and loses weight.

The typical adult male American diet calls for 2000 calories per day because this is how many calories are collectively use and burned (i.e. converted into energy) by the body each day. As an example, an average male dieter who consumes 1800 calories a day will "save" 200 calories per day. As there are 3,500 calories in a pound, the dieter in this scenario will "save" 3,600 calories over the course of 18 days (18 x 200 calories). This translates into a loss of one pound. Similarly, if this dieter consumes an excess 200 calories per day, a pound of weight will be gained in 18 days.

A dieter who is not aware of this mathematical formula may indeed avoid fat altogether and consume, for example, 6 tablespoons of "fat free" caramel topping per day; believing that this is not a part of the weight gain equation, because it is labeled as "fat free". This is not false advertising, as fat free caramel topping contains no fat grams. However, fat free caramel topping delivers 103 calories per two tablespoon serving[iv].

If this dieter is adhering to a diet regimen of 44 fat grams per day -- and does not count calories -- then he will simply not know that in these 6 mere tablespoons are a substantial 309 calories; or 15% of the total daily caloric intake for a 2000 calorie/day diet.

In fact, a dieter could subsist entirely on "fat free" foods, and easily exceed their target daily caloric intake by their second meal of the day. These excess calories are obviously not deriving from fat grams; but they are coming from another source, most probably carbohydrates.

Again, the message here that many dieters do not receive from the advertising and marketing media is that fat grams in and of themselves do not necessarily "cause" weight gain. Rather, fat grams contribute to the total caloric intake, and they should be counted alongside carbohydrates and proteins.

Adding an unnecessary layer of complexity here is that many "healthy foods", such as energy bars, contain an excessive amount of calories. A chocolate chip Energy Bar?, for example, contains 230 calories; which is actually only 40 calories less than a Butterfinger? candy bar[v]. Unfortunately, because the Energy Bar contains 2 grams of fat and is therefore "low fat", some dieters eat several per day; and pack on 230 calories each time, despite the fact that virtually none of those calories come from fat. It does not matter; the dieter will still gain weight if his or her daily caloric intake threshold is surpassed. Dieters who expect yogurt-covered bars to be "healthier" are also misled; the yogurt-berry Balance Bar contains 200 calories per serving, despite the fact that only 25% of the calories come from its 6 grams of fat.

However, there are some responsible nutritional supplement products on the market that are engineered to be both low fat/fat-free and low-calorie. These foods are of benefit to dieters when they are losing weight, and also in the vulnerable period after the weight has been lost. Regrettably, many very well intentioned dieters who have made tremendous strides and sacrifices to lose weight regain it within the first few "post-diet" months. While a number of factors influence whether a dieter will regain weight, including environment and genetics, one major culprit is that dieters are not provided with low-fat, low-calorie, and palatable food sources once they have achieved their weight loss goals. They consequently return to previous eating habits, and the unwanted weight returns within weeks.

However, as mentioned, there are intelligent nutritional supplements on the market that do fill this void, and ethically serve dieters - and post-dieters - with foods that they need to stay healthy, and fend off weight gain. For the sake of current and future dieters who are going to struggle with misleading "fat free" marketing, it is hoped that such intelligent companies, and their products, quickly become the norm of the future, rather than the exception of today.

ABOUT PROTICA

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at http://www.protica.com

You can also learn about Profect at http://www.profect.com

Copyright - Protica Research - http://www.protica.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Fat grams contain 9 calories each.

[2] 3 grams of fat per onion ring!

[3] As briefly noted above, many dieters fail to realize that there are healthy unsaturated fats that the body requires; the body cannot produce fat on its own, it must receive it through diet. Yet even unsaturated fat grams contain 9 calories each, and so the understanding the fats should be severely limited holds true.

REFERENCES

[i] Source: "Unsaturated Fat". Discoveryhealth.com. http://health.discovery.com/encyclopedias/1946.html

[ii] Source: "Fat Content of Foods". Weight Control Infocenter. http://holisticonline.com/Remedies/weight/weight_table-fat-content-of-foods2.htm

[iii] : "Watching Fat vs. Calories". Good Housekeeping/iVillage. http://magazines.ivillage.com/goodhousekeeping/diet/nutrition/qas/0,,284558_291893,00.html?arrivalSA=1&cobrandRef=0&arrival_freqCap=1&pba=adid=13272851

[iv] Source: "Fat Free vs. Regular Calorie Comparison". US Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2002/chrt_calcomp.html

[v] Source: "Fueling Up with Energy Bars". Healthcentral.com http://www.healthcentral.com/FitorFat/FitorFatFullText.cfm?ID=34334&storytype=CBTips

Copyright 2004 - Protica Research - http://www.protica.com


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Daily News

Daily Checkup: Good nutrition can prevent post-workout inflammation
New York Daily News
“Integrative and sports nutritionists work with athletes and patients to develop an individualized approach to consuming foods that best improve our health and well-being,” says McDonald. “It's not a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition; we look at ...



Ventura County Star

Mobile food pantry shares good eats, nutrition with community
Ventura County Star
Juan Carlo/THE STAR Stephanie Armstrong, program coordinator for FOOD Share, shows children what protein does for them at the nutritional and education class at the Santa Paula Boys & Girls Club. FOOD Share's mobile pantry was designed as a moving ...



Quad City Times

Environmental Nutrition: Take supplements safely
Quad City Times
While dietary supplements -- products intended to add further nutritional value to the diet -- may seem like a "natural" solution to health protection, as well as an insurance policy to guard against nutrient deficiencies, you should make sure you use ...



The Independent

How 2 Nutrition Nuts came to be
The Independent
My goal and long-standing dream is to become a renowned dietitian who has changed the face of nutrition forever. The quote, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others” couldn't ...
You can't spell 'nutrition' without 'nut'Toronto Star

all 2 news articles »


Recipe for Health: Poblanos, shrimp elevate flavor, nutrition of quick, light soup
Memphis Commercial Appeal
It seems early to talk about soup recipes, but this one is very light and makes a good base for a simple evening meal or quick lunch. It's a bit like gazpacho, except it's served warm adds corn and shrimp. It's a great way to make use of zucchini ...



Healthy Eats (blog)

Nutrition News: Nutrition Labels, GMO-Free Products and Organic Recalls
Healthy Eats (blog)
If a product has a front-of-pack nutrition label, people are significantly more likely to buy it, regardless of whether the label brings good news or bad about the nutritional value of the product, a study has found. According to researchers at the ...



National Nutrition Week: Government to focus on child malnourishment
Economic Times
NEW DELHI: The Women and Child Development Ministry has decided to intensify its efforts in battling malnourishment among children as it prepares to observe National Nutrition Week from September 1 to 7. As per a recent UNICEF survey report, almost all ...

and more »


FDA's revised serving sizes on nutrition labels might backfire as endorsement
Tribune-Review
Fear not, the Food and Drug Administration is planning an overhaul of nutrition labels that, if approved, would be introduced next year. It's a tacit acknowledgment that we eat much more than what's on the label. Nutrition and public health experts are ...
The FDA's New Serving Sizes May Backfire — Here's WhyYahoo News UK

all 4 news articles »


Headlines & Global News

FTC Shuts Down Vemma Nutrition For Running Pyramid Scheme Targeting Young Adults
Headlines & Global News
The FTC says that Vemma told recruits that they could make as much as $50,000 per week selling various products, including nutritional beverage Vemma, energy drink Verge and protein shake Bod-e. Recruits would be allegedly be able to earn that income ...
Vemma shut down by FTC: Nutrition company preyed on students with pyramid schemeExaminer.com
FTC: Vemma Nutrition temporarily shut down for running pyramid schemeThe Times (subscription)
Tempe company, Vemma, accused of running illegal pyramid schemeABC15 Arizona

all 14 news articles »


Los Angeles Times

CDC gives schools good grades for nutrition, but asks: Where are the salad bars?
Los Angeles Times
Federal health authorities give American schools good grades for improving the nutritional quality of food served in their cafeterias — but there's still room for improvement, they said. A report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control ...
CDC: School meal programs are an important source of nutritionKRWG News22
CDC Researchers: School meal programs are an important source of nutritionDispatch Times
School meals become more nutritiousNews-Medical.net
CDA News
all 68 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.