From Frugivore Magazine: We have a long, troubled history with fat. Back in the early part of the last century someone invented margarine, a cheap alternative to butter made out of hydrogenated vegetable oils. This oleo spread didn’t catch on at first but then someone else decreed that eating fat makes you fat – especially the saturated fats found in animal products and coconut oil. Margarine, replete with the demon-spawn transfats, came to rule the market and a whole movement was born. The hysteria culminated in the fat-phobic ’90s where fat grams were the only piece of information about a food that mattered. In fact, when I was a wee lass just beginning my eating disordered journey, fat grams were my number of choice to obsess over. It was my goal to make it through the day on less than 1 gram of fat. I was really good at it too! I went for years without touching meat, real cheese, nuts, avocados and even chocolate. I replaced them with – and I kid you not – fat-free popcorn and SweeTarts candy. And I felt downright smug about my “healthy” diet.
If a time machine is ever invented I want to go back and smack me.
Over the past 10 years or so, we’ve come to see the importance of dietary fat to our health and have welcomed “healthy fats” like olive oil, avocados and nuts back into our diet. But we were still told to limit saturated fats. Even today, this very second, the USDA is still recommending to “limit saturated fats to less than 10% of calories with the majority of fat coming from poly- or mono-unsaturated fats.” They’re also still recommending fat-free or reduced-fat milk despite the fact that studies have shown full-fat dairy to be healthier.