Dietary Fats: Not the Boogeymen You May Think!

Dietary Fats: Not the Boogeymen You May Think!

Dietary fats… There was a time (specifically, the nineties) when even the mere mention of dietary fats was enough to make a nutritionist tremble. Unfortunately, for many, that time has not yet passed. Even today, many so-called “health” foods tout low-fat labels, claiming that it’s better for you.

It’s time to lay these claims to rest.

To begin, I’d just like to spell out that eating fat does not necessarily make you fat.

While fat does contain twice the calories per gram as proteins or carbohydrates (9 grams, to their 4), they’re still just calories. There’s nothing special about fat that makes you gain weight. A low-fat diet may lower your overall calorie intake (or it might not, since simple sugars often replace any calories saved by lowering fat content), but fat is a key macronutrient for the body, actually aiding in absorption of beneficial nutrients and maintaining energy and hormone production, so proper amounts should always be consumed for good health!

However, what about fat and heart disease? Well, that’s where it gets a little complicated. There are many different kinds of fat, at least one of which, trans fat, is definitely bad for you – there is total agreement on that. Trans fats are purely synthetic FrankenFats, made in labs and injected into processed foods as preservatives. The evidence against them is clear: they lower good cholesterol and raise bad cholesterol and likely have even more onerous consequences.

Saturated fats have often received similar accusations, but in light of more recent research, the consensus among experts now is… “maybe.” Since 2010, there have been six major scientific studies on saturated fats and heart disease, and they’re divided 3-3 on whether there is a negative link. Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are the heart-healthy fats, with minimal risks involved compared to their benefits. These are the ones you want to look for on the label. Common examples include olive oil, almonds and salmon.

So, what’s my verdict? Cut out trans fats, eat saturated fats with at least some degree of moderation, and eat as much mono- and poly-unsaturated fat as you need! Always remember that fats are an essential macro-nutrient that we would die without.

A food plan is an important element of your personal ultimate fitness plan and part of the discussion in your current fitness assessment. Call us at The Fitness Clinic gym for a goal oriented food plan to complement your ultimate fitness regimen. Get scientifically based guidance for all your fitness needs from professionals dedicated to achieving your goals. Call Nick or Fred at 954-491-4969.