Tania Gustafson

Over the last 40-plus years, fat became, and has remained, a controversial food. In the 1980s, we were told by the government that saturated fat caused heart disease and to avoid it at all costs.

People listened. Most of the world listened. What followed was a steady increase in weight gain, together with a steady decline in overall health. And as a result, North Americans are now fatter and sicker than ever before in history.

In fact, the BBC online published stats showing globally how obesity rates climbed from 875 million in 1980, to 2.1 billion in 2014 with Americans owning the largest share.

How could this happen? If fat is bad, if it makes you fat and fat causes disease, then eliminating it should have resulted in a healthier society. Which, clearly it did not.

There really are only two answers; a) People ignored the government’s advice and guidelines and continued eating fats

or b) They did listen and it was bad advice based on bad science. Given the number of “fat free,” “low fat” and “no fat” products that exploded in the 1980s and continued for decades, it seems clear now the advice was wrong.

In addition, governments recommended increasing carbohydrate consumption to the tune of about eight servings per day of breads, cereals, pastas and grains — all foods we know cause cause blood sugar to spike and the body to store fat. Not to mention a whole host of digestive issues.

This advice was not only wrong, but damaging to the health of entire populations. And yet our own Canada Food guide is still recommending this level of carbohydrate intake as healthy. Food for thought, no?

Now we all know that fat tastes good and removing it from food also removes the taste. To restore taste, food companies began adding, you guessed it, sugar. Yet another processed carbohydrate thrown into the mix adding fuel to what has become an explosive health crisis.

The good news about all of this is that whatever we have erroneously added over the years, can be removed and replaced with foods that will nourish, support, balance and restore health to our bodies.

Balance. So important in all areas of our lives, especially health. And when we take out nutrients essential to our body’s and brain’s health and function, like healthy fats, we suffer for it.

As many people have found recently, simply removing bread and sugar go a long way to solving a variety of health issues.

Extend that to all grains and watch even more benefits begin to surface.

Increase fruit and veggie (unprocessed carbs) consumption to replace those depleted vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient stores and feel how a strong immune system feels.

And add in some quality, grass fed proteins and some healthy fats like coconut, olive, or avocado oils, unsalted nuts, all natural nut butters, grass fed butter, eggs, avocado and feel satisfied, energized and watch the weight begin to fall off.

From the moment we were born, the nourishment mother nature provided us is made up of protein, healthy carbs, and yes, fats.

I challenge you today, if your health and weight is not where you'd like it or need it to be, try these suggestions above for one week. I promise you’ll never go back.

Tania Gustafson is a nutritionist and fitness coach. On the web: fuelignitethrive.com. Email: tania@fuelignitethrive.com. Facebook: 8 Weeks is All it Takes.

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