Do you think of fat as an enemy? Read on and find out why fat is where it’s at.
Let’s be crystal clear: trans fat is the only bad-for-you fat. Fat doesn’t make you FAT. Calories make you FAT! Consuming even a few grams per day of trans fat increases the risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowering levels of HDL (good cholesterol). Where is it found? In commercial baked goods — such as crackers, cookies and cakes, most fried foods, such as doughnuts and french fries, and in shortening and margarine. How to avoid it? Eat whole and real and unprocessed food.
Which fat is good-for-you? Monounsaturated, polyunsaturate, and yes, SATURATED fat too. How?
30% of your calories should come from nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, and coconut oil
1. Good fats help control hunger. After we eat, fats linger in our stomach, making us feel full longer so that we aren’t inclined to eat again. That hunger control is the most immediate benefit of dietary fat.
2. Good fats store energy. Because humans, unlike cows, for instance, have more important work to do with our lives than eat constantly, our bodies need some way to store energy in those hours we are not filling our stomachs. A small reserve of the energy we store is in the form of carbohydrates, but our most significant energy storage is body fat, and it’s perfectly designed for the job. It is compact, containing twice the energy of an equal amount of stored carbs. And it requires no water for storage, as starches do.
3. Good fats insulate and protect. Body fat insulates us from the cold. Internally, fat provides a cushion for our vital organs, keeping them from jolting around and protecting them from trauma. Even people who appear slender usually have at least 10 percent body fat for just these reasons.
4. Good fats act as a carrier for vitamins. Several essential vitamins are transported through the body by fat molecules. Vitamins A, D, E and K in particular are distributed this way, which is why we call them fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A is found in dairy foods, egg yolk, liver and fish-liver oils, and a deficiency of Vitamin A can cause night blindness, among other conditions. Vitamin D is present in butter, egg yolk and oily canned fishes, like sardines and herring. Adults who don’t get enough Vitamin D can suffer weakening of their bones.
Vitamin E is abundant in margarine and various vegetable oils, including corn, peanut, and soybean. Inadequate Vitamin E over long periods can result in changes in the blood or cause muscle problems. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables. Inadequate Vitamin K can cause clotting problems, leading to serious bleeding disorders. Except for the bleeding issues, all the problems described above are more common among people who have been on low-fat diets for a long time. People with diseases that hamper the absorption of fat in the digestive tract are prone to the same symptoms.
5. Good fats make food taste good. Fat simply makes food taste better. Good news since every meal and snack should feature fat. Almond butter brings out the flavor in a breakfast banana. Olive oil, real butter, ghee, and coconut oil work magic on vegetables. Fat doesn’t make you fat. You could overeat on carbs or protein and still gain weight. Fat has a fuel factor of 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate and protein. Track calories not fat grams for weight loss.
6. What about saturated fat? In recent years, we constantly heard about the danger of saturated fats. Saturated fats are solid and usually come from animal product like butter, cream, eggs, and meat. So why is saturated fat not the enemy we thought it was? Food manufacturers–in an attempt to profit from the fat-is-bad message, have developed all kinds of “low-fat” and “fat-free” food alternatives where natural healthy fat is taken out and replaced with non-nutritive chemicals– fat substitutes like Olestra, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and Splenda. As a result, conditions such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes have been increasing dramatically, because fat is being replaced with unhealthy ingredients.
Stop buying highly processed fat-free, low-fat, nonfat, frank-n’-foods and fill your body with healthy and essential fatty acids. You will lose weight, lower bad cholesterol, and have more energy and satiety from eating. If you want to hear more about fat as friend not foe, listen to this: