For the past several years, Canadians have been fretting about their saturated fat intake and its effect on heart health. We’ve also been avid calorie counters, obsessively checking our FitBits and step counters while we forego the elevator and moving sidewalks in favour of anything that’ll burn away what we just ate.
You can now take a deep breath and relax, because the Heart and Stroke Foundation has released new findings about our diets.
Instead of constantly stressing out about how much saturated fat we consume, the Foundation is advising a whole new outlook: your goal should be to consume as much unprocessed food as possible. That’s right, processed food (in any form) is our new enemy. Canadians should be focusing on eating natural fruits, vegetables, whole grains and meat.
The organization urges us to stop fixating on one particular aspect of food (like fat, sodium, calories, or sugar content) and to stop eating “fat-free” and “low-fat” products, which, as we reported earlier this week, do nothing to contribute to weight loss.
Research has never clearly shown that saturated fats are the cause of heart health problems, and now it seems like the healthiest people are those who make it a habit to avoid processed foods.
“Maybe butter is not as bad as we thought it was before,” said Manuel Arango, director of health policy at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “At the end of the day, our bottom line is we need this balanced diet, and you don’t have to worry as much about intake of saturated fat.”
This isn’t permission to douse your food in gallons of butter — be sensible — but it is a recommendation. Eating food in its natural state will always be better for you.