My personal victory in losing 22 pounds over the last four months was based on determination and common-sense eating habits.

Whenever I came across a weight-loss article online, I would check it out. Most of them did seem to make sense, but others left me scratching my head. According to one, jogging is not good for losing weight because it supposedly reduces muscle mass, and with less muscle the body has a harder time burning fat.

I kept on jogging anyway.

The amount of fat in milk is another area where common sense is needed.

Every now and then, my wife chides me for drinking 2 percent reduced-fat milk rather than skim milk because of its higher fat content. I find 2 percent to be a nice compromise between whole milk and skim. I really don’t have anything against whole milk. I grew up drinking whole milk as a kid and was thin as a rail because I got plenty of exercise.

Another misconception has to do with saturated fat.

It started in 1953 when a researcher named Ancel Keys identified saturated fat as a major health concern. Apparently, there was debate in the scientific community over the validity of Keys’ research, but the “fat-cholesterol” hypothesis took hold anyway. It became conventional wisdom that eating saturated fat produces high blood cholesterol, which in turn causes heart disease.   

Sixty years later, emerging research indicates that saturated fat may not be so bad after all.

Check out this article on the Today’s Dietitian web site that refers to saturated fat in dairy products. According to the author, a registered dietitian, dairy fat isn't harmful to heart health and may, in fact, be beneficial. 

Last week, an article appeared in The Los Angeles Times entitled “Time to end the war against saturated fat?” The article cited research from British cardiologist Aseem Malhotra in which Malhotra lays the blame on empty carbs and added sugar rather than saturated fat. Read more.

Makes sense to me.

Once I purged myself of the sugar, the weight started to fall off. I feel so much better, and common sense is now causing me to read food labels for sugar, not fat.