True or False? The mere consumption of fats make you fat. False! Overconsumption of food makes you fat regardless of its composition. There is a weight loss industry out there that benefits from general misunderstanding in the field of nutrition by most Americans. They twist facts to sell their products. Always remember that, in general, LOW FAT = sugar laden + chemical compounds to achieve a creamy texture. Also remember that preventing the absorption of fats through medication deprive you of essential vitamins. So learn the facts and above all: Don’t be fooled by money hungry clowns!
Fats are necessary to maintain good health. Among other benefits they:
- Maintain healthy skin and hair,
- Insulate body organs against shock
- Maintain body temperature
- Promote healthy cell function.
- Are necessary for the digestion, absorption, and transportation of Vitamins A, D, E and K.
- Provide essential fatty acids (that the body cannot produce).
- Provide 9 kcal/gram which makes them a great source of energy.
- Help sequester exogenous (from our diet, environment or medication) and endogenous (from our body metabolism) toxins when these are diluted and stored into fatty tissue when they reach unsafe levels in the blood until the body can deal with them.
- Some short-chain fats are necessary to maintain digestive system health especially colon health.
Unfortunately, everything in excess is harmful to our health. So how do we make fats work for us so that we maximize its benefits?
- Consume no more than 30% of your calories from fat.
- Read food labels that identify articles with trans-fats like hydrogenated oils and stay away from restaurants that still use them. Trans fats are mostly artificially produced fats that have been proven to increase coronary disease and other serious conditions. DO NOT CONSUME THEM. You decide: Your health or a simple moment of pleasure.
- Cook more at home where you have control of what goes into your meals.
- Increase your consumption of omega 3 fatty acids. I will explain why in another post. However, get a supplement that provides about 1500 mgs of omega-3s and that lists EPA and DHA at the tune of at least 500 mgs each. Or regularly consume cold water oily fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines have an excellent ratio of omega-3s.
- Some diets, like the Mediterranean diet, allow you to easily follow these guidelines.
One more thing. Fats exist as triglycerides in food items and in our bodies. I will not go over the chemical composition of trigylcerides on this post. I just want you to remember that when you see triglycerides listed on food labels, you can safely assume that the manufacturer has added fat to the item you are buying.
Up next? What is the difference between saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated fats and how they affect our health.