I started thinking about this because I was reading about diets in Victorian England, in London specifically. It's amazing anyone lived through it. Not only was there no fat, there were no vegetables, not much meat, just not enough calories. This was for the working poor, mind. The rich had plenty of calories, and fat, and meat. Thank God for cabbage. It's always been the saving grace for the very poor. Even boiled, it at least offered something GREEN and potatoes, when they had them, filled hungry bellies. I read that in a very poor family, if there was any meat, it went to the father. The mother and children lived mainly on bread and water. Mothers lost their teeth at an early age and children developed rickets and scurvy.
The desire for fat is a desire for taste and richness. Fat free food requires more sweetener, or more saltiness, something to give it a richer taste. Fats from meats have been around since people started cooking; olive oil and soy oil have been used since at least 3000 BC. Until 1856, all vegetable oil was naturally produced, either by simple pressing or by heating and pressing, but that was the year solvents were introduced as a more economical means of procuring more and cheaper oils. In this country (USA) and Mexico, we used peanut and sunflower oils along with lard from pigs.
When I was in Mexico last, I shared a taxi with a Mexican-American woman visiting from the States. I had just taken a cooking class and was telling her I ate more lard that day than I probably had in my entire life, and felt fine from it. She told me her grandmother cooked with lard, that pans where food was cooked with lard washed clean really easily, while food cooked with oils left a sticky residue in the pans. Her grandmother figured the same thing happened in our bodies.
"Fat free" is a dangerous fad. Healthy fats are so important to our proper body functioning. Nuts, oils and even pure lard, not hydrogenated man-made synthetics, help our bodies work just the way they were created, perfectly.