Does fat really make you fat?
Have you always been careful to keep fat low in your diet because you didn't want to get fatter? Then you are not alone.
Below, we explain why fat alone won't make you fat and why you can and should eat more fat.
For decades, various health organizations, as well as food manufacturers, have been telling us that less fat is healthier for us, it keeps us slim and trim, and it makes us feel better. We owe this to a study by Dr. Ancel Keys (1904-2004), who saw a correlation between fat consumption and heart disease in his "Seven Countries Study." However, correlation does not always equal causation, as many other factors such as consumption of sugar and other industrial foods were neglected. Unfortunately, his study found so much credence that a new category of low-fat foods emerged in the 1970s, from yogurt to cheese to meat.
The food industry had no shortage of ideas that would put more money in their pockets, regardless of consequences. After all, by reducing fat, more sugar had to be added to food to taste good, causing sugar consumption to rise sharply between 1970 and 2000.
The result: our population did not become leaner and healthier as desired, but obesity, heart disease, and probably many other undesirable side effects increased.
So now we know how fat unjustly got its bad reputation. But what benefits does fat have for us? Here are a few examples:
Just like carbohydrates, your body gets energy from fat. Once your body has used up its supply of carbohydrates, it begins to use fats as a source of energy. Building up fat reserves is a natural human survival mechanism.
Fats help your body absorb important vitamins. There are a variety of vitamins that you should consume on a daily basis. In order to absorb and utilize them cleanly, the human body needs fatty acids. These are the K-A-D-E vitamins.
Stronger immune system
The consumption of healthy fats boosts your immune system, among other things through better vitamin transport. A strong immune system is especially important for the cold season to stay fit.
Fat and proteins give a long-lasting feeling of satiety. The longer you feel full, the less you eat.
Our brain is made up of over 60% fat! So it's no wonder that fat intake is good for our brains. Several studies have shown that fat can support healthy brain development and improve memory and learning ability.
An adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids is able to inhibit inflammation and prevent arthritis.
Fat can stimulate hormone production, which leads to a higher metabolism and helps you burn more calories.
So fat alone does not make you fat, but on the contrary: consuming fat brings your body many benefits. But when does fat make you fat? "Bad fats" such as those found in deep-fried products are definitely not ideal. However, especially in combination with sugar or high carb foods, fat makes you really fat. Classic examples: Donuts, ice cream, pizza, or hamburgers (yes, in bread and ketchup there is also sugar...a lot even). But also high-fat meals in combination with fruits (fructose) can lead to more fat deposits, like a cheese plate with sausage and fruits or dried fruits.
Below we show you which foods contain the better fats. You can put them on your menu without hesitation and do a lot of good for your body.
Avocado, olive and olive oil, flaxseed, hemp oil
Nuts (e.g. almonds or walnuts)
Fish (salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, tuna, trout)
Coconut and coconut oil etc.
On the other hand, the following examples of high-fat foods are not ideal:
Processed foods (pasta, bread, donut, cookies, crackers...).
wafers, cakes, and other sweet pastries
margarine, refined vegetable oil
Frozen foods, movie theater popcorn
And combinations of trans fats with sugar (e.g. hamburger + bread + soft drink)
So how do you best benefit from fat? Your diet can safely be 30-40% fat, and preferably not in combination with sugar or processed products. If you want to reduce anything, it's probably sugar and processed carbohydrates, but don't just cut out carbs altogether. For breakfast, for example, have eggs, bacon with half an avocado, and skip the Nutella bread and fruit salad for a change.
But also keep in mind that fat has more calories than protein or carbohydrates.
The Eat better, not perfect program does away with calorie counting because it is not natural and unnecessary if you eat mostly unprocessed, natural foods. However, too many fats or calories can then go in the opposite direction.
Here's my favorite healthy fats recipe to follow.
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Kevin Clement, Founder Eat better, not perfect.
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