It is easy to fall for catchy phrases and perceived social norms surrounding how we should act to receive desired health results. A commonly sought after health result is low body fat, and boy does it have some taboos!
Last month we explored the fat gaining myth “Don’t eat past 8pm”. Today we will debunk:
“If you eat fat, you will get fat”
The caveat: this will only start to be true if eating fat results in excess, unused calories, or if eating fat results in changes to how your body metabolized (uses) fat. These changes can take place in excess of ANY macronutrient, not just fat.
How to avoid these undesirables? Balance your fat!
- Fat is an essential nutrient; we need it in our diets to survive. We use fat in its various forms to build cell membranes, make hormones, for signaling, for energy, for insulation, and for absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K.
- Eating foods with fat releases chemicals that positively influence our attention and our mood (Acetylcholine, serotonin and dopamine to name a few). This is the reason it tastes so good! Unfortunately, our advanced society has long since discovered how to extract fat from foods and add fat to foods so that its use and flavor is more abundant than we often need.
- It is smart to avoid added fats that can result in excess, unnecessary fat. Here are a few tips on how to do this:
- Aim to prepare the majority of your meals at home
- Add just enough oil or butter for proper cooking, as warranted
- Use spices, herbs, other foods as flavor enhancers over extra oil or butter
- Eat sparingly: greasy foods, fried foods, sauces, dips, dressings
Foods in their whole form are already well balanced with the right amounts of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals for us to digest and use to our body’s needs.
Therefore, fat naturally found in foods, eaten in reasonable proportions with foods from other food groups, is healthy and non-threatening to our waist line.
Gary L. Wenk Ph. D. Your Brain on Food: Why Does Fat Taste So Good? The importance of fat-tasting proteins on the tongue. Posted Jan 13, 2012. Found online at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-food/201201/why-does-fat-taste-so-good.