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:

Opposing Views

Nutrition, Competitive Foods Rules Among Top Concerns for School Food ...
Education Week News (blog)
School nutrition workers identified compliance with federal rules regarding nutrition and competitive foods, cost, and participation among the "most pressing issues" for meal programs in a survey released by the School Nutrition Association this week.
Healthier food choices for student returning to class | King County Public HealthEnumclaw Courier-Herald

all 12 news articles »


Nutrition: Mushrooms add versatility
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Mushrooms are an inexpensive, versatile vegetable that complements any cuisine. The earthy, umami-rich taste of mushrooms allows them to blend well with a variety of flavors. Monterey Mushrooms Inc., a family-owned and -operated agribusiness, is the ...



On a Low-Fat, High Protein Quest? Try These Snacks
Bloomberg
Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Quest Nutrition President Tom Bilyeu discusses the company's low fat, high protein food products with Pimm Fox on "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg). Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. Washington ...

and more »


Better living through nutrition
Food Business News (registration)
A study released by The Nielsen Co. and the Natural Marketing Institute this month and titled “Health and wellness in America” highlights the role nutrition is playing in helping consumers manage their health and wellbeing. The study showed that the ...



Fruitful Yield health food store draws nutrition-conscious consumers
The Doings Hinsdale
Nutrition-conscious consumers can trade greasy chips for a handful of organic Chia seeds, a shot of alfalfa tonic, dried Papaya spears or an assortment of gluten free mixes. The health food store opened May 18 and hosted a grand opening Aug. 22-24.

and more »


Capitalizing on new school nutrition policies
Pizza Marketplace (blog)
Nutritional policies in schools have seen a radical change over the past few years under the direction of Michelle Obama and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The overall goals of the act are to increase the use of whole grains, fruits and vegetables ...

and more »


Nutrition of champions
WAVY-TV
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – More than 15,000 runners will hit the pavement for the Rock & Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon, and if you're one of them, it's important that you eat to win. Wendy Phillips, Registered Dietician and President of the Virginia ...



Research evidence affirms that good nutrition can help prevent and control ...
NephrologyNews.com
In a comprehensive review of recent randomized clinical trials and observational studies of diabetes and nutrition, Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard School of Public Health investigators have identified specific foods and dietary patterns that are ...

and more »


CNN

Fuel right! 9 triathlon nutrition rules
CNN
(Triathlete.com) -- A solid nutrition strategy will help your body make the most out of all your hours swimming, biking and running. We asked registered dietitian and multiple Ironman finisher Lauren Antonucci for her top nine rules for beginner ...



Allegheny Health Network launches concussion, nutrition initiative
Pittsburgh Business Times
Allegheny Health Network and Come Ready Nutrition have launched a new initiative for concussion awareness and sports nutrition for youth athletes. Part of the Strong Body & Mind Initiative will be training in the latest on concussions from the ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.