We need a healthy balanced diet and some physical activity to stay healthy. Almost all of us agree with this. But, often in our journey towards a healthy lifestyle, we encounter many people sharing their experiences with weight loss or how they manage to stay fit. Or else you’ll find many crash diets on the internet with all the tempting claims. However, not all the advice you get is useful. But, the hot topic of your discussions will be fat or carbs. You’ll hear many opinions on your fat intake or carb intake. Carbs are not evil and will not make you fat. It is one of the vital components of your diet. But, the big fat myths about fats can make you fall into the trap, and you’ll end up missing another essential component of your diet.
Eating healthy is not as complicated as it looks. You have to get your required calorie intake and get an adequate amount of macronutrients: protein, fats, and carbohydrates. So, fat is one of the significant macronutrients that should not be left out, mainly based on its myths. Know about them and then choose according to your health goals.
Big fat myths about fats:
- Fat makes you fat: Fat does contain more calories per gram in comparison to protein and carbohydrates. But, it is not the one who’s making you fat. The fat you consume won’t automatically convert to fat. Its excess calories will make you gain weight and not the fat alone. That is, extra calories from carbs and protein will play the same role. Fats take a longer time to digest, which makes you feel fuller and more satisfied. So, rather than eliminating them, try to have an adequate amount of protein, fats, and carbs in your diet. The U.S dietary guidelines recommend that 45-65 percent of total calories should come from carbohydrates, 20 to 35 percent from fat, and 10 to 25 percent from protein. However, your total calorie intake, protein, etc., depends on your health goals. But, also include fat in your diet. They will not make you fat. It’s extra calories that do that. Fast food, fried foods, sugary baked goods, etc., can cause weight gain, and on the other hand, healthy fats present in avocado, whole eggs, nuts, etc., can promote weight loss.
- All fats are unhealthy: All fats are the same no matter what their source is. This myth is one of the most common myths when people fail to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy fats. Trans fats and saturated fat can create health problems like cholesterol and can impact heart health. At the same time, healthy fats can help your body absorb essential vitamins like A, D, E, and, K, and they all are fat-soluble vitamins.
We don’t need fats: Our body functions the best when it gets proper nourishment. Depriving it of fats can create problems because all three macros are essential for adequate growth. So, limit unhealthy fats in your diet and include healthy fats, and have it in moderation. Fats are not only necessary for water-soluble vitamins, but they are also responsible for regulating temperature, hormones, etc. So, there’s nothing like our body doesn’t need fat. We need fat in an adequate amount in our diet. Don’t deprive your body of healthy fats.
- Fats are harmful to the heart: This is not a complete truth. There’s much more than this that one must consider while consuming fat. Fats in junk food, processed stuff, etc., are bad for heart health, but some fats promote heart health. Unsaturated fat, when consumed in moderation, is heart-healthy. Also, monosaturated fat found in nuts, olive oil, almonds, avocado, etc., is suitable for heart health. But always remember to have them in moderation. Anything, when consumed in excess, will harm your health.
- A low-fat diet is a perfect way to lose weight: Fats are the first thing everyone recommends eliminating from the diet during weight loss. However, one should indeed be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. And, also fat has more calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein. But two other advantages encourage one to include them in your diet. The first one is that fat is filling and takes a longer time to digest. So, natural fats in your meal can help you avoid those hunger pangs and prevent overeating. A whole egg omelet in the morning can keep you full till lunchtime, and you won’t feel like having anything in between. Also, removing fat from your diet can cause overeating later and increase the feeling of deprivation. The next most important use of fat is to enhance the taste of food. As fat-free products usually add extra sugar to improve taste, which can be more harmful. So, why not add healthy fats and enhance flavor and nutritional value.
- Fat-free products are healthy: The food industry plays this trick very well, and most of us often fall into this trap of front claims like fat-free, sugar-free, etc. A little bit of healthy fat can enhance the flavor of food. But, when something comes as fat-free, then other hidden ingredients are added to enhance the taste. So, extra sugar, salt, or other ingredients are added to make up for the removed flavor and texture. Don’t fall into the trap of front claims, and spend some time reading the nutritional value of your food. Choose wisely.
Share the myths about fats you have heard in the comment section below. Let’s address them here. 🙂