(NaturalNews) For years, we've been told that dietary fat is bad for our health. Food marketers have made millions selling the fat-free myth, which clearly hasn't worked since more than one-third of America is now obese. In the new documentary film Fed Up, television journalist Katie Couric unveils sugar -- not fat -- as the primary driver of obesity today, challenging viewers to cut it from their diets and see how they feel.
Released in theaters on May 9, Fed Up deconstructs more than 30 years of misinformation about healthy living. It explains that the cure for obesity is not simply more exercise, but a complete dietary overhaul that includes cutting out sugar, which quickly turns to body fat, and replacing it with healthy fats, including muscle-building and hormone-regulating saturated fats. Simple carbohydrates and processed flours are also problematic, as the body converts these foods to sugar, and then body fat.
Processed food in general, says film director Stephanie Soechtig, is the leading cause of chronic illness and obesity today. Foods that have been stripped of their natural fat content typically contain added sugar and other toxins that make them palatable, but that also creates inflammation. From a metabolic perspective, sugar and other processed food additives damage the mechanisms with which the body assimilates nutrients, creating a nutrient deficit.
"The science is that your body doesn't know what to do with processed foods," explained Soechtig during a recent interview with The Globe and Mail's Kelly Grant. "Your body goes into metabolic chaos with processed foods."
"From 1977 to 2000 we doubled our intake of sugar," she added. "It wreaks havoc on your body and it's addictive. We've been blaming fat for so many of our diseases, for cholesterol, for heart problems. But it turns out that sugar is really the underlying factor in many of those illnesses."
Exercise isn't enough to stay slim and fit
Society has been conditioned into the calorie myth, falsely believing that all foods are just the sum of their calories -- and that if more calories are expended than consumed, excess body fat can be avoided. But this is simply not the case, as individual food types are processed differently by the body, leading to varying health outcomes.
The calorie myth has also confused many people into believing that if they just exercise enough, they can reach their weight-loss goals. Without the proper diet in place, obese individuals will never attain a proper balance of muscle and fat, nor will they improve their overall health. What you eat, in other words, is far more important than what you do physically.
"Exercise is important for your health ... but we can't exercise our way out of the epidemic," added Soechtig. "The idea that you can burn off these food items is a marketing claim. Because then you can eat whatever you want, according to the food industry, as long as you exercise. And it's your fault you're fat because you didn't exercise. That's not true. The food is the problem."
Couric, Soechtig, and Oscar-winning producer Laurie David created The Fed Up Challenge, urging viewers to go sugar-free for 10 days and see how they feel. You can learn more about the challenge and watch the trailer for Fed Up here: http://fedupmovie.com/