Fear of Fat

18 Sep

By Chris Garbutt

The Globe and Mail offers an excerpt from Jennifer McLagan’s new book, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient:

We need to rethink our relationship with fat. After decades of low-fat propaganda, most of what we think we know about fat just isn’t true:

All animal fats are saturated. Wrong.

Eating fat makes us fat. Wrong.

A low-fat diet is good for us. Wrong.

Since humans made their first fire, fat has been an important cooking medium. Fat is critical to the flavour of our food: without it, meat has no real taste. In addition, without marbling and external fat to baste and tenderize them, lean meats become tough and dry as you cook them. Many aromas and flavours are soluble only in fat, so unless you use fat in your cooking, they are not released.

Sign me up for a copy! I’ve long been suspicious of people who look for a demon ingredient to cut out of their diet. Fat remains the #1 devil, but it wasn’t that long ago (though it seems like the dark ages) that carbs were the trendy thing to avoid. I’m sure protein will get its turn…

Well, my mother’s advice of variety and moderation still holds true as far as I’m concerned (and you can add balance to that). And that’s true whether you’re just someone who wants to eat well, or if you’re an extreme athlete.

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