|We've become a society obsessed with our weight. We watch our calories. We count fat grams. We check for carbohydrates and protein levels in everything. The weight loss and weight control industry is booming.
Fat is bad--so the low-fat proponents tell us. No fat must be better than low-fat because we all know that less is more when it comes to dieting. So, how to consume those delicious chips without loading up on fat?
Why... olestra, of course! Proctor and Gamble's answer to our fat middles and cravings for potato chips is Olean, the brand name for olestra.
You mean we can eat potato chips without any fat? They taste like deep-fried, horrible-for-our-bodies potato chips? Bring it on! Right?
Wrong! Absolutely wrong. Here are the facts:
- Olestra is a fat-based fat substitute that passes through the body without being digested
- Olestra takes away vital nutrients that are fat-soluble - vitamins A, D, E, and K, for example
- Olestra has side effects that have been reported by consumers since 1997:
- Olestra has been deemed unsafe for children by the Mayo Clinic
- Olestra has had only limited studies conducted so the long-term effects of its use are still unknown
Aside from the facts about olestra, you should also keep in mind that a no-fat diet is unhealthy and potentially dangerous. The human body requires some fat in the diet in order to rebuild brain cells, experience proper brain function, absorb certain vitamins, and keep hair and skin healthy. So, before you decide to consume olestra and engage in a fat-free diet, remember that the long-term effects will certainly outweigh any short-term benefits.