March 16/Cardiovascular Device Liability Week -- For those who wonder why Americans are heavier than ever, carb addicted, depressed and suffering with heart disease, you need not look any further than the low-fat myth that has been perpetuated for the last 30 years, attests one researcher.

Researcher Phoenix Gilman says, "I like to call this the low-fat myth, because there wasn't one, long-term study that verified the efficacy of such a diet. First of all, eating healthy fats such as fresh cheese, real butter, eggs, heavy cream and olive oil do not trigger insulin, the hormone that, among many things, is the fat-building/fat-storing hormone. Basic biology: insulin must be present to store body fat. Eating good, healthy fat does not trigger the insulin response."

Gilman goes on to say, "If you're eating a low-fat diet, you're definitely eating too many carbs/sugar. Typical low-fat breakfast: Cheerios, skim milk, blueberries, glass of orange juice and coffee with Splenda. Low-fat snack: yogurt or smoothie with banana, pineapple and low-fat milk. Yet these foods are nothing but sugar, i.e., 'simple carbs,' in the same family as a candy bar. Each one will trigger insulin, causing the body to store fat. The liquid carbs -- juice, milk and smoothie -- will affect blood sugar levels even more dramatically. Equally alarming, these foods, along with the caffeine and artificial sweetener, deplete serotonin, a major neurotransmitter that governs carbohydrate cravings and satiety, along with mood, sleep, etc."

From the March 17, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash