How many times have you seen marketed the term "Fat Free" on foods and automatically think these must be healthy?
"Fat Free" over the years has plagued the market as a great promotional tool for food companies to make their produce seem more appealable. People tend to think "healthy" or "better for you" when the reality sometimes couldn't be further from the truth.
When we look at fats (9kcal = 1gram) from a calorie aspect, we see that per gram it has over the double amount of calories as carbohydrates (4kcal = 1gram) and protein (4kcal = 1gram). So that means per gram of fat you consume, you are eating twice as many calories as you would eating a bread stick, banana or even a bag of oven cooked pretzels ... but wait... more calories are bad right?
Companies and diet fads for years have jumped on this train convincing people that reducing fats in food will reduce fat on the body. Unfortunately this isn't true and reducing fats too much can leave you with serious health issues.
The question has to be asked, if you are reducing the fat in my food, what are you replacing it with? Well more often than not, it's usually replaced with refined sugars to make the food more palatable, but that doesn't mean it's healthier... actually far from!
So in light of this let's take a brief look at what fats are and why we need them and how we can keep them within our diet whilst cutting weight and staying healthy.
Plain and simple your body needs fats in your daily consumption to function, but it's all about moderation. In accordance to the general health consensus, it's recommended that 25-35% of your daily caloric intake should come from fats. So if you are on a 2000kcal diet, at least 500 kcal should come from fats (2000 x 0.25) per day with 10% coming from Saturated fats. (Butter, cheese, milk, coconut oil.)
So what do Fats do?
Fats are an incredibly source of energy. It aids the body in absorbing and storing essential vitamins: A,D,K,E and minerals. It helps construct cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths (mylene) surrounding the nervous system. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.
But for long-term health, it's true some fats are better than others. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad ones include industrial-made trans fats (hydrogenated unsaturated fats to a solid state). Saturated fats are essential but in much lower quantities.
As with anything too much of a good thing is bad for you, when consuming fats you should make sure they fit your calorie intake. If you are on 1800 kcal a day and you are looking to tone up and lose weight then make them between 25/40% of your intake. Keep an eye on the type of fats you consume. Less than 10% of your fats should come from saturated and the rest from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated foods. Reducing Saturated fats in your diets may help reduce cholesterol levels (LDL reduction) but keeping a minimal amount in your diet can also help increase HDL levels which is the good kind of cholesterol in your body.
Unsaturated fats are fortified with essential omega oils and minerals which is paramount for your health.
So when consuming fats think more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and a conservative amount of saturated.
Main thing when it comes to "weight loss," is staying within your daily caloric allowance.
Book a consultation with me and we can go through every aspect of your daily nutritional intake to keep you on track and aware of what to watch out for when you create your next grocery list.