Not All Fats Are Created Equal

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After decades of thinking all fat is bad fat and causes us to get fat, it turns out that not all fats are created equal. Some of them are actually good for you and you need to consume fat to stay alive and healthy. Certain vitamins can only be absorbed by the body if consumed with some sort of fat.  For example, vitamins A, D, E, and K require fat to be absorbed by the body.

And there are various parts of your body, including your heart that need fat to run smoothly and stay healthy.

At first glance it makes sense to cut fat from your diet when you want to lose excess body fat. That’s been the basis behind every single diet from 1950 to 1990. It lead to the development and sale of countless low fat and fat free foods that still populate our grocery stores today. The idea of eating low fat has become deeply ingrained into our collective cultural conscious. The only problem is that it didn’t work.

Yes, you can lose weight on a low calorie, low fat diet.

Plenty of people have done it. But it takes a lot of willpower, and the vast majority of people can’t stick to it long term. They end up giving up and gaining more weight back then they lost in the first place. Our bodies are genetically engineered to crave fat. It’s what keeps us going, keeps us warm, and keeps up our energy levels.

While fat does have a lot more calories than the same amount of carbs or protein, it takes a long time to digest fat. It keeps us full and satisfied much longer than any other type of food. Does that mean you should go on a bacon and butter diet with a sprinkle of deep fried foods? Of course not. First off, we need to strive for balance and shouldn’t compensate for our past low fat diets that only made us fatter by overindulging in fats. Balance is the name of the game when it comes to healthy weight loss. Secondly, not all fats are created equal.

There is Still a Lot to be Learned About Fats

While there is still a lot to be learned about fats and the role they play in the many chemical process that take place in our bodies, we know that some fats are better for us than others. I’m sure you’ve heard of saturated fats, unsaturated fats, trans fats, and mono-unsaturated fats. Stay away from mostly man-made Trans Fats. There’s been a big push in this direction and it’s a good thing.

The main fats you want to increase are mono-unsaturated and Omega-3 fats. These types of fats will help lower your bad cholesterol and increase the good one. They will help your body repair itself and run at its best. Think of it as high performance fuel for your body. You can find these healthy types of fats in avocados, almonds, coconut oil, peanut butter, peanut oil, canola oil olives, and olive oil for mono-unsaturated. And you will find lots of omega-3s in fatty fish such as salmon and canned tuna. 

The most important lesson I want you to take away from this post is that fat isn’t bad for you. Some sources of fat are better for you than others, but overall, it’s not the enemy we so long thought it was.

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