Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital offers a pre-diabetes program that is excellent. The multiweek sessions provide great information about food, portion control, exercise and more, but the most important takeaway for me was the negative impact of fat. The instructor made it quite clear that we need to limit our fat intake to a certain number of grams based on our weight. A quick chart from the CDC shows that a big guy like me  (250-plus) has to stay at 55 grams of fat or below.  Somebody weighing 175 pounds can handle 33 grams per day.

Now carbohydrates get most of the blame for making people fatter, but a new study suggests eating lots of fatty foods is the only cause of weight gain. What? Fat not carbs? How?

Research from Aberdeen University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported in the Daily Mail looked at mice and found those fed fat-heavy diets consumed the most calories because fat stimulated the reward centers in their brains causing them to eat more.

Mice fed carb-loaded diets, including those which were served a diet in which 30 percent of their calories came from sugar, gained no significant weight.

WHAT FOODS ARE HIGH IN FAT?

There are several different types of fat, some of which are good, and some of which are bad:

  • Trans fats can make food last longer and is found in cakes, doughnuts and biscuits, among other things. There is no safe level of consumption, according to Harvard Medical School.
  • Saturated fats, found mainly in red meat and dairy, has been considered a major driver of heart disease for years, as studies show it can boost levels of cholesterol. But other experts claim saturated fat has been unfairly scapegoated.
  • Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, peanut oil and avocados, foods that are a major staple of the Mediterranean diet. They are considered a good fat.
  • Polyunsaturated fats are essential for bodily functions. However, the body is unable to produce them on its own, so it requires them from dietary sources. They can be found in corn oil and sunflower oil.

Study leaders say this finding offers a "good clue" as to what different diets may do to humans.  Diabetes pros believe they already know--back off fats, which holds down calories, keeps weight in check and helps prevent type 2 diabetes. So fat is a proverbial four-letter word, like ... like b-a-d!