We all remember the low-fat diet craze of the 1980’s, right?
Back then we were afraid to eat too much fat out of fear of gaining weight and having a heart attack. However, over these past 30 years, while our percentage of calories from fat has decreased, our waistlines have continued to increase worldwide. What happened was that most people replaced the fat in their diet with refined carbohydrates like muffins, crackers and processed snack foods. Additionally, low-fat diets were difficult to follow long-term since fat, the pleasurable and satisfying part of the meal, was missing. As a result, the low-fat diet offered little benefit for either weight loss or disease prevention.
During that time period, health professionals labeled nuts, along with potato chips and crackers, guilty-by-association for also being high in fat and calories. However, researchers, physicians and dietitians now agree that all fats are not created equal. Healthy fats like mono- and poly-unsaturated fats found in avocados, olive oil, fish and nuts are actually beneficial to the heart, while saturated and trans fats found in potato chips, crackers and processed foods are unhealthy.