Feed Yourself Fats – Fact or Fiction?

I know this seems all wrong. If you want to lose fat, you have to eat fat? How can that possibly be? Well let me tell you, it is quite possible. This doesn’t mean ALL fats are beneficial, because they aren’t. I’m here to tell you about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good

Your body desperately needs fat – don’t forget that. It is essential. Unless you want your cell membranes, nervous system, and brain to start collapsing; which I think it’s safe to assume you do not. Well then, you might ask, what are these so called healthy fats I need and how do I get to them? Never fear – the truth is here:

  • Monounsaturated Fats (olive oil, avocado, peanut oil, and olives)

  • Polyunsaturated Fats (nuts and seeds)

  • Saturated Fats (butter, coconut oil, palm oil)

  • Omega-3 Fats (wild salmon, tuna, sardines, fish oil)

Aim to buy organic fats and oils – that way you don’t need to worry about pesticides and hormone residue. When you’re cooking with high heat use peanut, palm, or coconut oil and when you’re cooking with low heat/sautéing, use olive oil and butter.

AND did you know that these healthy facts actually turn on your metabolism? Say whaaaat? Yep. Be amazed.

“Fat is one of the most important factors in a person’s health.” – Walter Willet MD, world-renowned researcher and chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.

The Bad

Tran’s fats and refined oils = no bueno.

Stay far, FAR, away from these bad fats. All they offer you are aches, pains, and deterioration of health. They slow down your metabolism by coating your cell membranes with a crust like layer and damaging your receptors, causing your metabolism not being able to function normally. This is what will get you feeling those tired and achy side effects.

Avoiding all fats and oils that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated ingredients and refined oils such as soybean, cottonseed, safflower, and canola is a brilliant choice. Hydrogenation creates the dangerous trans-fats which damage cell membranes and lead to a variety of health concerns including LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), cancer, depression, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases. Some foods to avoid that contain Tran’s fats are fast foods, cereals, breads, box meals, frozen pizza, cake, cookies, margarine, and other convenience foods.

The Ugly

Many Americans have been led to believe that choosing the low-fat diet route is the way to go. This could not be farther from the truth. In all actuality low-fat diets just don’t work.

“The idea that fat in food makes fat in and on our body is incorrect.” – Walter Willet MD

In a study by the The New England Journal of Medicine they tracked 50 obese men and women on an extremely low fat diet for 10 weeks. By the end of the 10 weeks, participants reported feeling a lot hungrier and having stronger cravings for food than when they began. The feeling of hunger and cravings that the study participants felt after ending their low-fat diet was the result of their bodies’ altered biological state relating to the sense of starvation. The researchers discovered that their bodies were reacting as if they were starving. What the experts found was that the participant’s “hunger” hormone (ghrelin) was significantly higher and the “hunger suppressing” hormone (peptide YY) was much lower.

Well – this is the result of low-fat dieting. Healthy fat in your diet is what suppresses the hormone ghrelin and activates the hormone peptide YY. So basically, eating healthy fat makes you feel full and satisfied! This is a biochemical fact. The human body is meant to eat healthy fat. And like Walter said…these fats don’t make you FAT!

What makes you fat? Sugar and processed carbs (breads, pasta, cookies, crackers) are what cause excess fat on the body. You know, the stuff that contains those nasty Tran’s fats we touched on.

Worthy to be featured on an episode of Myth Busters? I think yes 🙂