How many of you heard that fats make you fat and that fat-free foods are the best choice?
Unfortunately, all of us have heard this, and we now believe that it’s true. But the fact is fats are good for you. They are essential for a number of our body’s functions and are vital for our hormones.
Fats are also a good source of essential fatty acids, which our body cannot make on its own. Consuming the right amount of fats won’t make you fat. Instead, it can help you lose a few pounds.
Read on to learn why fats are essential for you.
Types of fats
There are four types of fat:
- Saturated fat – This type of fat is solid at room temperature and is often found in dairy, red meat, and coconut oil.
- Polyunsaturated fat – It is a type of fat found in most vegetable oils, including corn, sunflower, soybean, and flaxseed oils.
- Monounsaturated fat – This fat is found in foods like avocado, nuts, and olive oil.
- Trans fat – This type of fat is made during food processing.
Poly and monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy fats that boost metabolism, reduce hunger, increase fat burning, and lower the heart disease risk and type 2 diabetes. These fats increase the good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). In contrast, trans fats increase inflammation and make you gain weight.
It’s all about calories
Where protein and carbohydrates contain four calories per gram, fat contains nine calories per gram. It does not imply that fats cause weight gain. According to research, individuals who consume either a moderate or a high-fat diet lose the same amount of weight as those who consume a low-fat diet.
Calories are all the same. And any macronutrient with too many calories will turn into fat. This means that anybody can gain weight by consuming too many calories from any food group, including fat, protein, and carbs.
Healthy fats help you maintain your blood sugar, feel full for longer, eat fewer snacks, and thus consume fewer calories overall. In contrast, sugar and carbs increase hunger and make it more challenging to limit your calorie consumption. Consuming more fat and less refined carbs is the best strategy for long-term weight loss.
So, what kind of fat should you include in your diet?
Consider consuming whole foods, such as salmon, avocado, eggs, olives, nuts, nut butter, seeds, and olive oil. Eat a wide range of whole foods that you like. And limit your intake of processed foods like margarine, frozen pizza, and baked goods.
Contrary to popular belief, fats are not bad for your body and won’t lead to weight gain. They are actually crucial for several body functions and especially your brain. Consume more poly and monounsaturated fats and try to minimize the intake of trans fat.
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