Eat less and exercise more. This has been the simple solution to losing weight for decades—cut fat. From a caloric value stand point, fat clearly looks like the villain. After all, it contains 9 calories per gram, compared to protein and carbs, which contain only 4 calories per gram.
But, it turns out that just eating less may not be as important as what you’re actually eating. We have always been told that the dieters arch enemy was fat. However, research shows that fats are an important, necessary, and beneficial part of our diet.
Fat promotes normal growth and development, provides energy, protects vital organs, helps your body process and absorb nutrients. Does this sound like something that should be banned from your diet? If that’s not enough to convince you; fat actually burns fat.
If you consider that the body wants to use calories for energy, then fat has provides that most energy. If your diet is void of fat, then the body doesn’t have enough fuel to burn calories your body needs this energy to keep your metabolism up and running.
When carbs are ingested from sugar, bread, fruit, or even vegetables, they are quickly digested and converted to blood glucose. This causes a chain-reaction that will start to pack on bodyweight.
Your pancreas produces more insulin to handle all the added glucose. This glucose gets converted to glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles. Unfortunately, your body can’t use all of this glycogen, so it gets stored as body fat.
The Fats You Need
Now, just we have stated that fats are good for your health, that doesn’t mean that all fats are created equal. You may have heard that terms “good fats” and “bad fats” before and wondered what exactly this meant.
The fat that you want your diet to consist of are unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated and fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. One of the most popular types of polyunsaturated fat is omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts.
Some of the fatty foods that your diet should consist of would be:
• Peanut butter
• Olive oil
The Fats to Avoid
You can’t have “good” fats if there’s no “bad” fats, so now it’s time for the bad guys. Your fat-rich diet should, like any other diet, should have very little saturated fat and trans fatty acids. These are the fats that jack-up your cholesterol levels and clog your arteries.
Foods that contain high-levels of saturated fat and/or trans fatty acids are:
• Cake and pies
• Breakfast sandwiches
• Flavored pop-corn
• Fried food
• Frozen pizza
Fat has certainly gotten a bad reputation over the last half-century, but studies are showing that this is totally unjustified. Not only if fat important for our health, but it seems as though carbohydrates are the real enemy when it comes to our bodyweight.