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Eating Fat Does Not Make You Fat
In fact, dietary fat consumption is essential for weight loss. It also makes food taste richer and more fulfilling. Though most Americans have grown up surrounded by advertising touting the benefits of all things fat- free, the low-fat diet has been shown to actually cause lifetime weight gain. Understanding the difference between healthy fats and harmful fats is crucial to finding and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Dietary fat is a necessary part of any meal. It is important to understand that 20 to 30 percent of calories should come from fat, so cutting out fat completely is not a viable option for weight loss.
Benefits of Healthy FatsIn the past few decades, saturated fats (like butter) have been given an especially poor reputation. However, much of what you’ve been told about saturated fat is untrue. While you should limit fat consumption from commercially raised red meat and pork, saturated fat has benefits.
Healthy fats are foods like avocado, walnuts, flax seeds, olive oil, fish oil, and naturally raised animal products. These help improve skin and hair health, nervous system function and energy levels. Compared to proteins and carbohydrates (four calories per gram), fats contain nine calories per gram. Since your body burns calories to fuel its natural processes, fat is an excellent source of energy.
Good Fats Include:
There are two types of fatty acids that your body can’t synthesize on its own: omega-3s and omega-6s. This makes them essential nutrients, which means you can’t live without consuming both.
This balance is critically important because these two fats take difference paths in your body. The omega-3 PUFAs become the highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) known as EPA and DHA. This path is anti-inflammatory. The omega-6s become highly unsaturated arachidonic acid (AA). This path is inflammatory. This is important because the amount of HUFA in the body is finite. This creates a big metabolic challenge as the 3s and 6s compete with each other for the enzymes and ‘shelf space” in your membranes. Therefore, too many omega-6s will overtake the omega-3s in your tissues and leave you in an unhealthy and unhappy inflammatory state.
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