It’s been quite a while now since I banished diet foods from my life. I don’t buy low-fat or no-fat anything. I do keep some artificial sweeteners around, but only for Mr. Twistie to help him manage his diabetes.
This isn’t a political statement or an attempt to enforce food rules on anyone else, I just prefer my foods full fat. Why?
Well, let me illustrate my reasons with a tale of two yogurt experiences less than a week apart.
A few days ago, Mr. Twistie had a morning meeting with a fabulous singer. They were collaborating on a song and he was going to show her his half of the lyrics. I promised her homemade biscuits, because that’s just the sort of thing I tend to do. And armed as I was with La Petite Acadiene’s foolproof recipe, well, I did precisely what I’m wont to do. I baked. Oh, and they turned out gorgeous! Really, if you haven’t taken down the recipe and tried it out, do yourself a favor and do it now. Yum.
Being me, I also entirely failed to leave it at biscuits. I fried up some sausage, too. As a final gesture at gracious living, I mixed three single serving sized containers of full-fat yogurt with some raspberries and cut up strawberries, squirted in a tablespoon or so of honey, and added that as a side dish.
Breakfast was a hit. But of course since there were only three of us and I cooked enough for an army, there were leftovers. At lunchtime I was poking around the fridge for inspiration, and there it was: leftover yogurt and fruit. Just what I wanted! There was perhaps a dry cup measure of the mixture left. I had that and was full. Not only that, I was full and satisfied until nearly dinnertime.
Yesterday, I woke up feeling less than perky. My throat felt as though someone was sandpapering it, my eyes had that unfocused from fever thing going on, and I generally felt it might not be a bad thing if someone just ended it all for me.
I asked my husband if, in his wanderings for the day, he could pick me up a couple of items from the easy-to-swallow-when-your-throat’s-on-fire column, including a bit of yogurt. Mr. Twistie, being of sound mind and in healthy fear for his manbits if he disappointed his unwell spouse, complied. He’s a wonderful guy, you know.
So I sat down with a yogurt almost immediately.
Now as I said, Mr. Twistie is a wonderful guy. He does his best to please me at all times. He’d brought a dozen yogurts in flavors he knew I would like. Unfortunately, there’s one thing he didn’t check carefully and I could taste it from the first bite: those yogurts were ‘lite.’
The artificial sweetener hit my tongue like lightly sweetened metal. Ten minutes later, I wanted another yogurt, not because I was hungry, but because my body wasn’t satisfied with what I’d just put in it. I could hear my entire digestive tract yelling ‘you’ve got to be freaking kidding me’ all the way up to my ears.
It suddenly hit me, all the time when I did use low-fat and no-fat products, I kept eating more than I really wanted. Why? Because my body and my tongue and my mind were all left wanting more with every bite. I probably wound up eating at least as much fat and at least as many calories without the satisfaction. At the end, I still wanted more. I was just completely out of space to put it in. But as soon as I had any room at all in my belly, I was snacking away to get the satisfaction.
If you find yourself eating way more than you intended when you eat no-fat foods, you might do worse than try a full-fat product and see if you get what you’re looking for.