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Will Eating Fat Make Me Fat?

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Will eating fat make me fat?  I get asked this question a lot so I thought now was the perfect time to address it.

The answer is maybe, but in reality eating too much of anything (calories, carbs, etc.) will make you fat.  Just like carbs, there are two kinds of fat, the ones that are necessary for you to eat everyday and those that you should avoid.  So, what are the fats should be a part of your daily diet?

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health.  Some health experts even suggests eating these fats at least 3 times a day.

MONOUNSATURATED FAT:

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • Peanut butter
POLYUNSATURATED FATS:
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
    Flaxseed
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu
Now the ones that you should definitely avoid.  Saturated fats and trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of diseases, such as cancer and elevate cholesterol.  One rule of thumb when choosing between good fat and bad fat is to look at its appearance, saturated fats and trans fats tend to be solid at room temperature (think of butter or traditional stick margarine), while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (think of olive or corn oil).
SATURATED FATS:
  • High-fat cuts of meat (beef, lamb, pork)
  • Chicken with the skin
  • Whole-fat dairy products (milk and cream)
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Palm and coconut oil
  • Lard
TRANS FATS:
  • Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
  • Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
  • Stick margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
  • Candy bars

Dietary fat itself doesn’t magically make you gain weight.  Here is a fact you may not know: Processed foods that claim to be “low fat” or “no fat” are typically not good for you.  Sometime in the 80’s “fat-free” became a marketing buzz word that turned every food imaginable into a healthy option by demonizing fat. The problem: The idea that fat-free products equated to fat-free bodies was very misleading. In fact, during the fat-free rage, fat consumption decreased by 33 percent and obesity increased by 11 percent. Clearly fat is not the issue.

Keep in mind though that fat contains more calories hat carbohydrates or proteins do: per gram, carbohydrates and proteins provide about 4 calories, whereas fat contains 9 calories per gram.  So the more fat you ea, the more calories you consume, and eating too many calories every day will put you on the fat track to a bigger waistline.

People are way to scared of fat.  It’s a fact of life and a crucial part of our bodies.  It surrounds our interanl organs, runs through our veins, and provides a cushion when ever we decide to rest our bodies.  

The main reason you shouldn’t fear fat is that as long as you’re eating the correct amount of calories every day, your body won’t store it in your soft spots but instead will use it for energy.  research even shows that diets containing up to 60 percent fat are just as effective for weight loss as those in which fat provides only 20 percent of the calories.  The bottom line is that fat is filling and flavorful, both of which can help keep your belly from feeling deprived  And that means you can eat the natural fat in meat, cheese, butter, milk, avocados, nuts, eggs, and olive oil.

Sources of Saturated Fats Healthier Options
Butter Olive oil
Cheese Low-fat or reduced-fat cheese
Red meat White meat chicken or turkey
Cream Low-fat milk or fat-free creamer
Eggs Egg whites, an egg substitute (e.g. Eggbeaters), or tofu
Ice cream Frozen yogurt or reduced fat ice cream
Whole milk Skim or 1% milk
Sour cream Plain, non-fat yogurt

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