So what’s the skinny on FAT?
So now the experts are telling us that the national guidelines issued back in 77 and 83 warning us to reduce our fat consumption in order to avoid heart disease should not have been issued due to lack of actual supporting evidence.
There are still those out there who argue that fat is bad and leads to obesity but statistics show that despite the fact that we have cut the proportion of fat in our diets by 6% over the last 30 years obesity rates have trebled over the same period. The fact is that we have replaced the healthy fats with not so healthy carbohydrates and this is what has led to increased waistlines …but that is another story. Let’s get back to fat.
So some FAT related questions and answers that some of my clients have asked and that you may be wondering about…
So why should I eat fat?
Fat is an essential part of your diet. It is a structurally integral part of every single ell membrane in our bodies, every single cell for every single function. lt provides our bodies with insulation and our organs with protection. It also provides us with energy, boosts our immune system and it makes our food more tasty.
What’s the difference between SATURATED, UNSATURATED and TRANS fats?
Saturated fats are commonly known as hard fats that usually come from animal source, dairy and eggs. These are the fats that were regarded as bad, with dietary guidelines recommending that they take up no more than 10% of your of your diet. One of the key reasons was because it raises LDL (bad) cholesterol. But it turns out that it also raises HDL (good) cholesterol so the effects on HDL and LDL cancel each other out. Experts are now challenging this “bad fat” label and the dietary guidelines. Note, saturated fats are still high in calories so overindulging in cheese, eggs and butter will increase your weight.
Unsaturated fats are commonly found in the form of oils. More often than not they come from plants such as seeds but they also come from fish. These fats can be further divided into polyunsaturated (fish, nuts, oils) and monounsaturated (olive oil)
Trans fats that have been manufactured. Basically healthy unsaturated fats are hydrogenated to change the chemical structure and produce more “desirable” properties such as longer life shelf. Among other negative things, trans fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. Recent studies show a definite link between trans fat and accelerated risk of heart disease. Trans fats should be avoided.
Are low fat foods the best option low fat foods?
The fats are simply removed and replaced with SUGAR and SWEETENERS. Sugar and sweeteners cause INSULIN levels to rise and this leads to storage. So low fat foods are not a good option.
But doesn’t fat have double the calories of Carbs or Protein?
This is true but nature generally packages good fat with protein such as meat, fish and eggs. This combination makes us feel fuller for longer as protein provides high satiety or a feeling of fullness. When food has been manufactured, then fat is more likely to be combined with refined carbs and processed sugars such as french fries or doughnuts. Those combination leads to low satiety or appetite satisfaction which of course leads to snacking and craving, and this in tandem with high calories.
But surely fat intake leads to fat storage
No, carbs lead to fat storage. Very simply, when we eat carbs, our blood sugar levels rise, insulin is then released to remove the excess sugar from our blood. Insulin will store that extra sugar first as glycogen (to be used later) or fat, once glycogen stores are full. Carbs or sugar mobilise insulin, not fat !
So in summary
FAT does not make you FAT, SUGAR makes you FAT!
I hope I’ve answered some questions but don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions or would like to know more about the importance and effects of fat, carbohydrates or protein in your diet.