Thursday, December 10, 2009

All Food is Fat

I reckon you "get it" when you believe you have over eaten after consuming a banana. I remember someone telling me a story about how their friend was living off a diet almost entirely of fruit like pineapple, watermelon, grapes and so forth and yet they were getting fat. I didn’t believe it at the time, so ingrained into my consciousness that fruit was ‘good’ for you and that you could practically eat unlimited amounts of fruit. This is a common misconception. Fruit has become more and more common in households. Just take a look at the picture above which is my very own fruit bowl. Here we can see banana, apple, pear, grapes, peach, apricot, avocado, tomato, kiwifruit and orange all piled up and ready to eat. Twenty or thirty years ago only the very rich could afford such a fruit banquet yet nowadays it is pretty common and all year round too. Yet if sugar is bad for you, in that induces massive insulin responses, then products that contain sugar must also be bad for you. It is now being recognised that it is fructose that is especially bad for you – well in massive quantities anyway. The other thing to think about is that modern fruit is not like the fruit our Palaeolithic ancestors consumed. Modern fruit has been engineered to be very high in fructose with individual fruits being very large as well.

In a sense all food is fat in that all food can be converted into fat by your body. Protein and carbohydrate (complex and simple) can be readily transmogrified into fat for your body to store – fat doesn’t need to be converted as it is already fat. Why does this happen? Essentially it is a hormone response. Bodies use hormones to signal the system to start the fat storage process. Fructose is especially good at doing this. White sugar is half fructose and the modern corn syrup used in industrial food production is pure fructose. All food can be used by the body, it is an amazing machine, and as long as you don’t over eat things will work well, however as soon as you eat too much the body will send the signal to start storing food as fat. Eating too much is difficult to do if you stick to protein and fat as you soon become full. But sugary starchy things are very easy to over-consume and soon the body is pumping insulin into the bloodstream to start the fat storage process.

I recommend avoiding all fruit juices and consciously limiting fruit intake to one or two pieces a day if you are concerned with losing weight and controlling appetite. The human is a carnivorous ape – this is what makes us different from chimps and gorillas.

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