Lean Green Mommy Machine

Thoughts on health, wellness, living green and motherhood

Are Low Fat and Sugar Free Keeping You Healthy?

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I love Pinterest. It is possible I am addicted. It’s truly brilliant and horribly time-sucking. Yep, it’s love.
I also love baking, cooking and finding new recipes. If you are on Pinterest then you can see how these two loves can work together. You can also add in there my love of healthy living.
This is where things get interesting. I have been seeing SO many recipes on Pinterest labeled as “healthy” versions of things that in no way seem even possible to make them healthy. Things like “Healthy Doritos Casserole” and “Homemade Reese’s PB eggs, these are healthy!!!”.
Anytime I see a recipe that says “healthy” in the pinner’s description and isn’t overly obvious HOW it can be I have to click it. I HAVE to.

What I am finding is an overload of low-fat, no fat and fake ingredients. It is in no way news to me that marketing has convinced consumers that fat is bad and fake sugar is a better choice. The problem is that it just isn’t true. Fat does not make you fat. You need fat. Fat is healthy. Fat keeps you satisfied and keeps you from bingeing. Low fat foods such as skim milk and margarine have actually been shown to be worse for heart and cholesterol patients. During the process of lowering or removing fat from milk the cholesterol becomes oxidized. which increases the risk of heart disease. It also creates nitrates, which are carcinogenic, and

Fresh from the farm, full-fat milk! See that cream at the top?

removes much of the vitamins as they reside in the fat. There is also a possible link between low-fat/no fat dairy and liver problems. Margarine is practically spreadable plastic. How can that be healthier?
There is no question that our country has a serious sugar addiction that is devastating our health. But artificial sugars are NOT the answer. These chemical sweeteners have been linked to appetite increase, headaches, hallucinations, seizures, brain tumors, kidney problems, liver problems, shrinking of the thymus gland (important to immune response), skin irritations, panic attacks, diarrhea, stomach pain, bladder issues and possibly cancer. Sounds fun, right? You are far better off using REAL sugar and lessening the amounts as well as exploring other options like honey, maple syrup, stevia and succanat. With stevia I am a bit on the fence with the in-store products. I feel they most are overly processed and I know at least Truvia to contain sugar alcohols which can have some unpleasant side effects. But you can use actual stevia plants with success ( I am told by friends who do so).
Ultimately the best way to eat healthy is to steer clear of packaged foods as much as possible, even “diet” foods and those marketed as healthy (have you looked into yogurt?). Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, legumes, whole grains, full fat dairy (we love raw in our house), and pasture raised, hormone free meat and eggs. And make sure your sweeteners are real and in moderation.

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Author: leangreenmommy

Hi, I'm Sonia! I'm the mom of 4 wonderful daughters and wife to one amazing man, trying to live a healthier life, care for the earth and just survive the day. When I'm not cooking up new recipes in the kitchen or shuttling kids to soccer, volleyball and lacrosse I run an in-home daycare and am a freelance writer.

One thought on “Are Low Fat and Sugar Free Keeping You Healthy?

  1. I totally agree with everything here. I hate that my IL’s drink skim and use margerine and splenda because of high blood pressure. Eat real food, exercise and use real sugar in moderation.

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