What means fat?
There are numerous types of fat. Your body makes its own fat from taking in excess calories. Some fats are found in foods from plants and animals and are known as dietary fat. Dietary fat is a macronutrient that provides energy for your body. Fat is essential to your health because it supports a number of your body’s functions. Some vitamins, for instance, must have fat to dissolve and nourish your body.
Why do we need fat?
- Fat is a concentrated source of energy – 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories, much more than a gram of protein or carbohydrate (4 calories per gram)
- Fat provides a cushion to help protect our vital organs . Furthermore, fat acts as an insulator, helping us to maintain the correct body temperature
- Fat enables our bodies to process vitamins A, D, E and K, which are all fat soluble and vital to good health
- Fat contains essential fatty acids (EFA’s). These EFA’s are, as their name suggests, essential to good health and likely to help the heart and immune system.
Why does fat has such a bad reputation?
In 1955 at the World Health Organization in Geneva, a researcher called Ancel Keys offered what became known as his lipid hypothesis, which claimed dietary fat raised cholesterol, subsequently increasing heart disease.
The American Heart Association quickly embraced Keys’s hypothesis, warning that butter, eggs, meat, and other saturated fat-rich foods contributed to heart disease and emphasizing a low-fat diet to prevent heart disease. And created was this long lasting myth.
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Lets get rid of this myth
The reality is that fats are natural, essential and very beneficial to your body. Fats that naturally occur in nuts, seeds and vegetables are among the best fats. Focus on consuming healthy saturated fat from sources such as coconut oil, butter etc. or stable unsaturated fats such as olive oil.
Another point to think about: Breast milk is almost 50% saturated fat. Surely Mother Nature has not got it wrong. And not to mention all the tribes throughout the globe (Massai, Inuit etc), who are free from heart disease, all consume far greater amounts of saturated fat than we do.
What does this all means for me?
Fat causes a problem within the body when rancid fats such as Trans Fats are consumed. These are created by heating an unsaturated fat. This changes the chemical structure and causes havoc in the body. This is the real reason why fats can be dangerous. You should avoid all vegetable oils and minimize the heating of fats and oils.
In general don’t be afraid of fat and particularly not of saturated fat. Minimize Trans Fats and vegetable oils and maximize healthy sources like coconut and grass-fed beef , fish, nuts, avocados etc. and combine that with lower carbohydrate intake especially in form of wheat and a diet free of added sugars and you have an effective strategy to normalize cholesterol, as well as reduce your risk for heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and numerous other chronic conditions.