There are still misconceptions out there about fat. Low-fat was in vogue for so many years that many still believe in it. But today, I want to clear up the truth about fat. Is it really what is making you fatter and sicker?
What Is Fat?
Fat is one of the three macronutrients that make up the diet. It is the highest in energy per gram, at 9 calories per gram.
Fat is made up of fatty acids, which can be classed as essential or non-essential. Essential fatty acids are those that the body can’t produce, but needs to function properly. Omega-3s are an example of this.
Fat can also be classed as saturated or unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are generally liquid or semi-solid at room temperature, whereas saturated fats are solid. This is why coconut oil is solid – it is high in saturated fat.
Where Do We Get Fat From?
Fat can be found in animal-based foods, plant-based foods and supplements such as fish oil. Some common fat sources in the diet include:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Vegetable oils
- Fatty fish
- Fatty meat
- Dairy products
There are also many processed foods, such as cakes, pastry-based foods and fried foods, that contain large amounts of fat.
Why Is Fat Essential To Life?
Far from being the devil it’s made out to be – fat is actually essential for us to live! It’s involved in body processes such as:
- Providing a dense source of energy
- Producing hormones
- Absorbing nutrients like vitamin A, E, D and K
- Boosting absorption of antioxidants
- Regulating body temperature
- Brain development and growth
- Supporting immune function
- Regulating inflammation
Without these things, we would have died off many years ago. It’s easy to see that low-fat diets could make you sick very quickly. So what is the answer when it comes to fats, then?
Swaps For Healthy Fats
Just like any food or nutrient, quality is what matters. And the best way to increase quality is by swapping to healthy unsaturated options. So why not try swapping:
- Butter for olive oil in cooking
- Butter for nut butter or avocado for spreading on bread
- Vegetable-oil-based salad dressings for extra-virgin olive oil
- Savoury snacks like chips for a nut and seed mix
Remember that fat is still 9 calories per gram. So if you eat large amounts, it will get stored as excess fat. Measure out your portions of fats to avoid this pitfall.
Where The Real Problem Lies
If you want to blame anything for your weight gain and junk food cravings, it’s not fat. The real blame lies with the added sugars that are everywhere! The food industry adds extra sugar to enhance taste, especially if they’ve removed fat as well.
Processed sugars have so many negative impacts, but many of us become addicted to it. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Starting on 30th Jan, I’m running a free 7 Day Sugar Detox Challenge! You’ll learn all of the tips to get you free of your cravings – without extreme measures. To join us in slaying the sugar demons, sign up here.