Ever since the 90s, a fat free or a low fat diet has been the craze, making fats one of the most misunderstood food groups. People always assume that fats are synonymous with weight gain, obesity, and illnesses. Well, most of these misconceptions are far from the truth.
Just like proteins and carbs, fats are another type of nutrients, which help in absorption of vitamins required for your skin and hair. Fats are also broken down into fatty acids, without which our brains would not be able to think clearly. Therefore, fats are a necessity you can’t afford to skip out on. Here are some of the so called “fat facts”, which prevent most of us from consuming them, debunked!
1) EATING FAT MAKES YOU FAT Truth: The fat you eat is very different from the fat your body stores and because it takes your body a long time to digest fat, the fat you eat helps keep you full. This stops you from eating extra calories (from any food source) — so eating fat can actually help you manage your weight. Studies show that it’s eating too much that leads to weight gain. Eat too much of anything, and you’re bound to gain fat. The statement, therefore, should be changed to: Eating excess fat makes you fat.
2) SATURATED FAT CLOGS YOUR ARTERIES + CAUSES HEART ATTACKS Truth: For decades we’ve been told that the saturated fat in butter, cheese, and red meat can clog arteries and cause heart attacks. Yet a recent study, that put the final nail on this more than common misconception, found no link between eating saturated fats and increased risk of heart attacks. One study even found that higher saturated fats resulted in lower risk of heart disease. Although experts do not say saturated fat is totally healthy, they do emphasize on the fact that it isn’t unhealthy either. Bottom line: Moderation is key.
3) CHOLESTEROL RICH FOODS ARE BAD FOR YOU Truth: Many healthy foods, due to containing large amounts of cholesterol, have always been demonized by nutritionists. The best example of this is eggs, which are actually one of the healthiest foods on the planet! Because of their high level of cholesterol, they were believed to cause heart diseases. However studies show that the cholesterol in eggs, raises the good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood, and is not associated with increased risk of heart diseases. TIP: Keep in mind that almost all the nutrients of the egg are found in the yolk. The white is nothing but protein, and telling people to ditch the yolk just might be the most ridiculous nutrition advice in history.
4) PROCESSED LOW FAT FOODS ARE HEALTHY TRUTH: Due to the fat free food craze mentioned earlier, manufacturers began to remove fat from their foods, and compensate for it by adding heaps of sugar for taste. So, most processed low-fat foods are actually loaded with sugar, making them very harmful. Make sure to check the label of ingredients on the back of any such processed low fat foods, and you will most probably be greeted with high amounts of sugar, corn syrup, and various artificial chemicals making the natural fat alternatives of these foods the much healthier options.
The best advice would be to eat fat, but not go overboard. And thinking about which fats to eat is important, as some are better than the others. Here is a list which helps in differentiating between which fats to eat and which to avoid.
Monounsaturated fats (found in plant foods such as avocado, nuts, olive oil, canola oil, also found in poultry) . Polyunsaturated fats (found in fatty fish such as salmon, and mackerel, also found in corn and soybean oils)
FATS TO BE EATEN IN MODERATION Saturated fats (cheese, milk, cream, butter, red meat, coconut and palm oil)
BAD FATS Trans fat (doughnuts, pastries, fried foods, typical fast food)
BHARTI SINGH – Founder Director, BHHO Gym & Fitness Center & Winner of Asian Fit Idol Contest, Bangkok 2013 is a Master Trainer and Body Transformation specialist as well as Fusion Group Fitness Expert. She is also a top Yoga Therapist, Nutritionist, Lifestyle Coach & Celeb Fitness Counselor ”