Low Fat Diet As Part Of A Healthy Lifestyle
As we learn more and more about what our bodies need to function properly, people are becoming increasingly health conscious. Diet and exercise have taken the forefront in the battle against obesity and heart disease. It seems that every day, there is a new product or methodology being touted as a miracle fix.
For years, it has been known that excess body fat is one of the leading contributors to deteriorating health in the general population. Obesity is a leading factor in heart disease, liver disease, cancer, and a host of other life threatening medical conditions. The most logical way to reduce the amount of fat carried on the body is to reduce the amount that is put into it.
Selecting health conscious options at the local grocery store is a process that can be fraught with peril. Many products claim to promote well being, but a consumer must be constantly wary of the marketing spin used by major food distributors. Products which claim to have reduced sodium, for instance, may still be high in fat, sugar, and chemical compounds.
Low fat products can be one of the most deceitful product segments in the market. In the world of mass produced food, fat equals flavour. In order to ensure that low fat items are still tasty, many manufacturers simply increase the amount of sugar or other additives in the product. Sure, it is still technically low in fat, but there is a significant price to be paid.
Items like yogurt, cereal, and candy are notorious for touting these so-called benefits. Labels for gummie bears proudly claim that they are fat-free, even though they consist nearly entirely of sugar. For the record, the body will convert and store excess sugar as body fat. It hardly seems like a fair trade off.
One easy to remember tip is to simply eliminate as many steps as possible between the harvesting of a food and the dinner table. The further a food has to travel, the more likely it is that it has been preserved in an unhealthy manner. Additives like salt and fat can help to preserve a product and extend its shelf life. It is better to buy fresh, local products as often as possible.
Another important thing to remember is that the source of fat can be just as important as the amount. For example, when butter is compared to margarine, it will always have a higher fat content. However, the hydrogenation process which is used to solidify margarine chemically alters its structure. Some studies have linked this transformation to higher rates of cancer. It is always possible to exercise a little extra and burn off excess fat, but no amount of jogging will eliminate cancer.
At the end of the day, making healthy lifestyle choices will always be a difficult process. Choosing to exercise regularly, committing to a low fat diet, and eliminating excess indulgences is a good start. However, the real key to healthy living is constant awareness and continual education.