I used to believe that fat was the enemy. After all, that’s what we’ve been taught, right? Buy low fat yogurt; eat fat-free cottage cheese; use margarine instead of butter. Fat is the root of high cholesterol and heart disease. We all made it our goal to cut out fat from our diets yet, people are still gaining weight, cancer is rising, and heart disease is still a number one killer.
So, we have to ask ourselves, is cutting fat out of our diets really the solution to our health problems, or could it actually be the cause?
The truth is, by consuming healthy fat in your daily diet (along with a balance of protein and carbohydrates), your body will work its best and make you healthier.
Here are 4 Reasons You Should Eat Fat
- Fat reduces inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of all chronic diseases. You’ve heard that saturated fat causes heart disease, but new research proves that good fat is not the problem. What causes problems in our body are such acts as consuming refined carbohydrates, trans fats, sugar, processed oils, stress and lack of sleep. So, when we have inflammation, our body has to heal the inflammation instead of getting rid of doing what it should be doing, such as losing weight.
- Fat keeps us full. Fat may be higher in calories than carbs and protein, but the good thing is, when we consume fat, it sends a signal to our brain that we’re full, so we stop eating. This leads to actually consuming fewer calories in the end. When you consume a low-fat diet, you feel hungry and deprived, which leads us to food cravings.
- Fat doesn’t make us fat. When you eat a carbohydrate, it turns into sugar which then the pancreas secretes insulin to give you energy. If there is excess sugar in our body, it gets stored as fat which leads to weight gain. undesirable weight gain. But, when you add protein and good fats, your blood sugar levels are kept in check. So, then the pancreas secretes glucagon (fat burning hormone) allowing the body to burn fat. So, eating fruits and vegetables as your main carbohydrate sources along with adding fats and protein will allow extra fat to be burned off.
- Fat reduces cravings. When we are told to cut out fat, chances are you will end up being hungry sooner and develop major cravings. You see, fat sends a signal to our brain that we’re full. So restricting fat and consuming low-fat products just sets you up for endless cravings. Adding fat back into your diet will cause those sugar cravings to disappear.
Tip: Not all fats are created equal! There is a difference between good and bad fat sources. Healthy fat sources include real butter, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, nut butters, and cream. Fats you should avoid include trans fats (partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil on the nutrition label), refined oils like canola oil, soybean oil, and vegetable oil, margarine, miracle whip, Cool Whip, among others. These types of fats do cause damage and inflammation.
What are your thoughts on fat in a diet?
About the Author
Tess Moody is the nutritional nerd publisher (and health coach in training) over at WhereTessLives.com. It is her passion to help everyone find their balance with food and health.