Welcome to week 36 of our ongoing (yet intermittent) series about refined sugar & me in 2017. This week we’re finally settled into back to school, and I’m finally back on track: Down another 2 pounds from our last report three weeks ago, and 18 pounds less than from when I first started avoiding most added sugars and processed foods at the end of December 2016.
That’s an average of about a pound every two weeks, which is not dramatic, but hear me out here: Before this year I’d been creeping up steadily in the opposite direction, a couple more pounds every year since giving birth to High School Guy in… well… OK… back in 2002. A couple pounds a year doesn’t seem that bad, but gosh, those added up quickly. So, losing a pound every two weeks is actually dramatically quick when compared with the gradual creation of the problem! 🙂
What’s with the kale?
What am I loving this week? Kale from the garden — I threw together this kale sausage soup a few days ago, and am thinking kale chips are on the agenda after I pick up Mr. 10 from school this afternoon.
Full-Fat Dairy, ftw
But that’s not actually what I wanted to talk about today! Let’s start with a little light reading, such as:
- The Case Against Low-Fat Milk is Stronger Than Ever: “But studies have found that when people reduce how much fat they eat, they tend to replace it with sugar or carbohydrates, both of which can have worse effects on insulin and diabetes risk. In the current study, Mozaffarian adjusted for the role that weight plays, and found the connection between full-fat dairy intake and lower diabetes risk remained strong independent of weight gain.”
- A summary of an article in The Lancet, which states: “High carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality. Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease mortality, whereas saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke. Global dietary guidelines should be reconsidered in light of these findings.”
- 5 Reasons to Start Eating Full-Fat Dairy, According to Science: “Let’s repeat: Fat does not make you fat. No, not even dairy fat. For instance, a 2013 review published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that people who eat full-fat dairy tend to be leaner than those who opt for low-fat versions. And in a 2016-released long-term study of 18,438 middle-aged women, consumption of high-fat dairy, but not low-fat dairy, was associated with reduced likelihood of becoming overweight through the years.”
How very… interesting! How many years have we been told to eat low-fat everything? I’ve tried low-fat diets in the past, which consistently failed for several reasons. Among these:
- Low-fat processed foods taste like cardboard, unless you add in sugar and artificial flavors to help make up for the lack
- Fat is filling; it takes more low-fat foods to fill you up, so you can end up consuming more calories, more refined carbs, and more sugar
- The fat in full-fat dairy helps your body absorb the sugar in milk more slowly; full fat dairy is also lower in lactose and easier to digest.
Low-fat diets make me hungry, they make me angry, and they’ve never lasted long in this house. But now I’m coming to realize that possibly this was a failure of the diet itself, rather than a personal failure. This year, I’ve stopped worrying about dietary fat and instead started focusing on avoiding sugar, and on eating real foods rather than processed foods. I feel better than I have in years, and (see above), the weight is slowly creeping back down.
Real foods, ftw
What’s this all again pointing to? Full fat dairy for the win = real foods for the win. Homemade whipped cream from full-fat heavy cream trumps additive-laden whipped cream from a can. Butter trumps margarine. Whole shell eggs (from our backyard chickens!) trump Egg Beaters.
So, that’s me this week…
This year is all about slowly figuring out my own pitfalls, it seems like, and mine may or may not be the same as yours. How are you doing on your own healthier eating plan so far — and what have you found that helps you stay on track?
Earlier installments in the Refined Sugar and Me series
Read the whole Refined Sugar and Me series in chronological order (or catch up on any posts you might have missed!).