No, not sofas – those are for sitting, which, while detrimental to your health too, those aren’t the sofas I’m talking about today. I’m talking about “SoFAS” a new term that you’re likely to hear thrown around a bit more often.
So – Solid
F – Fats
A – Added
S – Sugars
All those junky things that make our food taste awesome, but our bodies cry out in pain! They are responsible for our obesity epidemic in one way or another. It doesn’t matter why we over consume SoFAS the point is we do and they are everywhere! Let’s break it down and see why they have such bad effects on our health.
Solid Fats – Specifically, fats that are solid at room temperature. So, this is your bacon fat, any meat fat, chicken skin, butter and shortening. These fats give us great flavor and mouth-feel, which keeps us coming back for more! But they are also a major cause of heart disease, clogged arteries, high cholesterol and obesity. Fats that are solid are room temperature can form plaque that sticks to the inside of your arteries this plaque builds up over the years and can eventually cut off blood supply. Or a tiny flake of this plaque comes loose and causes a blockage – either way the end result is heart attack or stroke. Neither are much fun.
You’ll find solid fats by reading the food label and just looking at your food. On the food label solid fats are saturated fats and trans fats. For saturated fats you should aim to keep the % DV as close to 5% as possible, this means that that food is LOW in saturated fat. For trans fat the nutrition facts label should say 0 grams, but you can’t stop there, trans fats are sneaky. Go a little further and read the ingredients. If your food has “partially hydrogenated oil” leave it on the shelf, this is a sneaky way of saying trans fats. You can see solid fats when you look at meats and at your pan when you’re done frying. The white part of steak and bacon – solid fat; the skin of chicken and turkey – solid fat; the drippings from burgers – solid fat. Just imagine – solid on your plate, solid in your arteries.
Added Sugars– Added sugars can show up in surprising places – bread, baby food? And under surprising names –dextrose anyone? Added sugars like those found in sugary cereals, cookies, granola bars, fruit snacks, drinks, granola, yogurts – pretty much everything – are another cause of bad health. Most humans naturally crave sugar, broken down sugar is your brains first choice of a fuel source. That’s why when you’re starving or stressed you crave carbs – they breakdown to sugar to feed your brain. But sugars do more than just cause addictions. They are also a major contributor to obesity, diabetes, high triglyceride, low HDL and insulin resistance. Oh, and cavities too.
However, you have to keep in mind the major difference between added sugars and natural sugars. Natural sugars like those found in fruit and milk do not cause the same health problems that added sugars cause. Unfortunately, the nutrition facts label gives us no help because they don’t specify between natural and added sugars, you have to read the ingredient list.
Here is a list of common added sugars:
- Brown sugar
- Cane juice, cane syrup
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Corn syrup, corn sugar
- Fruit juice concentrate
- White sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Lactose – naturally occurring in milk, but added to other products for sweetness
- Malt syrup