One of the greatest and loudest mantras we hear so much is that fats are unhealthy. Of course for those who want to lose weight, the advice is to eat a diet low in fats. If that is in-tune with what you believe, it’s not your fault. The reason is health and nutrition professionals have been advocating this approach for years.
Yes, of course you have to be smart and sensible with fats in your diet. But the most important thing about fat is what kind of fat you eat.
The good fats keep you healthy and provide real protection. Good fats are necessary not only for physical health but also psychological and emotional well-being.
You most likely have heard of trans fats. Trans fats truly are the bad guys and are responsible for a host of health problems such as cardiovascular problems, obesity, and much more.
Important facts about fat:
Fact – Trans fats work to increase cholesterol levels along with greater risk for heart disease. Good fats – polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats have the opposite effect. Those two types of good fats reduce cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. There are other good fats such as omega-3 fats which will give you the same benefits.
Fact – Focus on the combination of fats in your diet rather than eliminating fats. Your body needs daily fat intake for optimal health. Getting started is simple because you can just eat more of the good fats than bad fats.
Fact – You may have heard that the location of body fat makes a difference with good or bad health. Well, it’s true and excess fat in the abdominal area means increased health risks. Fat in the stomach area (belly fat) exists around vital organs such as the liver. Research has found this type of fat is linked with metabolic conditions such as diabetes and greater resistance to insulin.
Fact – You are not always getting off the hook when you eat fat-free foods. Closer inspection of these foods reveals they are often loaded with refined carbs and sugar. Focus on limiting calories to lose weight. Fat free prepared foods (meals) and various snacks can be high in calories because of the sugars and carbohydrates. People are lulled into thinking these foods are healthy and safe because of “fat free” on the labels.
The American people have been bombarded with marketing and advertising promoting “no fat” or “low fat” for decades. It’s true that there are bad fats that should be avoided and ideally eliminated from your diet.
No-fat foods are not always a safe choice and neither are low-fat foods. It just depends on what you’re eating. Take your time when shopping and read the labels for the ingredients as well as the nutrition facts on the labels.
Don’t be afraid to eat foods containing fat just as long as the fats are healthy and you know what you’re eating. Unfortunately, the food industry has made it more difficult and confusing because they cleverly conceal unhealthy ingredients under different names.
Knowledge is key with healthy choices and nutrition in the fight to lose weight and maintain weight loss.