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The Story of the American Low Fat Lie

I’m sure that you’ve heard of the “low-fat diet” that has been running rampant in Americans’ daily lives for decades now. The words “low fat” have been plastered everywhere on our groceries, from our milk to even our grains. But how did this fad begin? And is it even beneficial?

The low-fat diet first stemmed from the late 1970s, specifically from a senator. You see, the 1970s was when researchers found a link between fat and multiple health issues through raised LDL cholesterol levels (traditionally known as “bad” cholesterol). A senator brought this issue to senate’s attention, specifically through explaining how they themselves had lost many senators to heart attacks.

His solution to this epidemic? Lower fat consumption by any means. This, of course, meant that carbs were the new go-to. Many had in mind that the carbs were to be the more complex sorts, but this was lost in translation. Many came to believe that any carbs were better than those evil fats.

We talked in a previous article about the food lobby and how they’ve made use of the American government. The fat-free fad was just another place for them to swoop in. The industry saw this as an opportunity to market any and all products that contained low fat, all under the guise that it was healthy. Multiple products were born; Fat-free frozen yogurt, fat-free muffins, and cookies. The issue was, these products did not equate to healthy. The key to keeping consumers interested was to fill their products with sugar and carbs. They gained all the flavor this way and lost all the fat. What many didn’t realize, however, was that this “movement” was doing more harm than good. By the early 90s, the side effects were beginning to show.

By attacking one problem like heart disease, a new one was heightened, that of obesity and diabetes. New studies had finally come out, proving the issue behind the low-fat high carb centered diets, but the damage was already largely done. Thankfully, many have realized the true issues with a low-fat diet, and much is being done to change public perception. Even though the low-fat fad causes a big ruckus, we can take it as a lesson. We now know to truly look into what we’re eating, and to really see the full picture.

Works Cited:

A Low-fat Diet Will Lower Your Body Fat >> FAKE. (2019, November 7). Retrieved from True Health:

Aubrey, A. (2018, March 28). Why We Got Fatter During The Fat-Free Food Boom. Retrieved from NPR:

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