The “eat fat, get more fat” saying that has spread through diets over the past two decades appears to be misleading and largely inaccurate.
Since the middle of the last century, diet regimens have relied on excluding fats from main meals, and the hostility between those wanting to lose weight and between fats increased to its extremes by banning it as part of the low-fat diet craze in the 1990s, but what we should know today is that It does not cause weight gain. ”On the contrary, it may actually help us shed a few kilos.
Aaron Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, says in her book “The Bible of Bad Food” that fats are innocent of weight gain, so foods like avocados, butter, rich salmon and delicious nuts should have a special place in your diet, if you ban them. From the low-fat diet, it was time to put them back.
The evidence lies in studies that compared people who follow low-fat and high-carb diets with people who follow low-carb and high-fat diets. Studies have revealed that people who restrict fat in their diets do not lose extra weight.
In contrast, people who eat diets high in fat but low in refined carbohydrates such as white bread and white rice tend to lose weight and win other health benefits as well.
Nutritionists point out that the real villain in the battle of weight gain is not fat, but rather sugars and carbohydrates, which are rapidly broken down in the body into sugar.
Healthier than you think
A large-scale study, published in The Lancet, of more than 135,000 people following low-fat and low-carb diets in 18 countries revealed that low-fat diets were more associated with death and a higher risk of heart attacks than others. On the other hand, people following a low-carb diet were less likely to experience these two outcomes.
“The global dietary guidelines should be reconsidered in light of these results,” the researchers wrote in the paper.
Several other recent studies of people who follow low-fat diets have shown similar results. And an 8-year experiment involving nearly 50,000 women put nearly half of them on a low-fat diet, and found that these women did not notice any reduction in their risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or heart disease. In addition, they did not lose much weight.
What happens when you stop eating fats?
Carroll writes that the evidence in favor of a low-fat diet is very weak, while the evidence for the benefits of some fats is growing.
Nutritionists believe that healthy fats are essential for the movement of blood and muscles, as they are a required component for building cell membranes, and they are the shells that house every cell in the body, in addition to being protective shields around nerves. Fats also help to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat.
And when we don’t eat fat, we tend to eat more refined carbohydrates and sugar, both of which are strongly linked to weight gain, obesity, and other health problems.
Christine Kirkpatrick, a nutritionist at Cleveland Clinic Wellness, asserts that excessive intake of any nutrients that include fats, proteins or carbohydrates increases the risk of weight gain, but “fats by themselves are not something that makes you obese.”
However, you can understand where this misconception related to fat comes from, says Christine. “Fats can be a very scary nutrient” for those who count calories, because they are more calorie-dense, as one gram of fat contains 9 calories. , Compared to 4 calories per gram of protein and 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates.
“People may also associate fats with more delicious foods, such as butter and steak,” along with the misconception that all fats are unhealthy, she added.
There is also a simple link that eating fats may simply lead to the formation of fats in the body, and this is not necessarily the case. You are likely to gain weight if you eat unhealthy or processed foods or consistently overeat, but fats alone do not naturally lead to weight gain.
Kristen said that many obese patients have managed to lose weight on high-fat diets, often because they replace refined carbohydrates and sugars with healthy fats such as snacking on nuts instead of pastries.
And according to Christine, fats are also more difficult to digest than other nutrients, such as carbohydrates. This means that it takes longer to travel through the digestive system, which helps you stay full for longer and thus reduces cravings for snacks.
Fats also increase metabolism for the same reason, as your body needs more energy (or burns more calories) to digest it.
The ideal amount of fat
So; How much fat should you eat? It varies depending on your body, activity level, and general health. But you should not exceed 30% of your daily meals, and you should also stick to healthy fats as possible, including avocados, nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish like tuna and salmon.
So, you probably don’t need to go without fat to lose weight or simply stay healthy. Maintaining healthy sources of fats as part of your regular diet, balanced with carbohydrates and plenty of protein, is the best way to shed fat.