Fats and Healthy Eating: They Don't Wanna Taco 'Bout it

26 Sep 2018 - Daniel F

The importance of eating healthy cannot be emphasized enough, but what does it mean to be “healthy”? Food products and ingredient labels always praise themselves, claiming in big letters to be “FAT FREE” or have “NO SUGAR”. At first glance, these labels may make the product seem superior or “healthier”, but in reality, real sugar or good fats can be a better alternative to their artificial substitutes. “I’ll have one big mag, a large fry, and a diet coke”. This fast food order seems as contradictory as communism and logic, and that’s because it is. While artificial sweeteners such as the ones placed in beverages such as Diet Coke can lower calories, a major health risk is that people will simply replace their lost calories through other foods. If people drink diet soda they may think, “If I drink this zero-calorie drink, it’s ok to reward myself with a cookie”. This mindset, whether intentional or subconscious, is one that cancels out the supposed purpose of artificial sweeteners. In summary, if you’re going to be eating unhealthily or excessively anyway, you may as well take in the whole enchilada and just drink the regular coke. Fats are often seen in a negative connotation in the food industry. If it has fat, it must be bad. However, this is not always the case. When people think fat, they think of saturated fats such as the ones found in pizza, burgers, and other greasy treats. However, the human body still needs fats to survive. Healthy fats can be found in foods such as avocados, cheese, and nuts. Next time you’re craving some potato chips, try having some nuts instead! That being said, if you do eat a saturated fatty meal every 2 weeks or so, it is not the end of the world. Daniel is a regular contributor to the Verdant Leaf