There is a huge amount of different diets available. Some are simply to encourage healthy eating and a healthy body. Many of them are to assist you in losing weight. One of the most common misconceptions gained from these diets and from a variety of other literature is that fats are bad for you. In fact there are two different types of fat, good fat and bad fat. Fat is essential to the body, you simply need to make sure you are eating the right food to consume the right kind of fat.
The fats which everyone should try to avoid are trans-fats and saturated fats. This type of fat is often found in processed food; such as cake mixes or French fries. Most of these fats have undergone a process known as hydrogenation. This process involves using chemicals to stop the fat from going bad and extends the shelf life of many products. Bad fats will lower your levels of HDL (good cholesterol) whilst raising your levels of LDL (bad cholesterol).
The good ones are unsaturated fats. These include omega 3, omega 6 and linoleic acids. These types of fat are essential to allow your body to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K; without these fats you will be lacking these important vitamins. Unsaturated fats also take longer to digest and can help you to feel full for longer which will prevent snacking.
Why Fats Have a Bad Image
Many diets are labeled “low fat”. This automatically connects the thought in your mind that a diet low in fat will assist with weight loss. Taken to extremes you may even choose to attempt to cut fat from your diet entirely. This can be very difficult and is very dangerous as your body will not be able to absorb essential vitamins as mentioned above.
In fact, many of these diets do not actively encourage weight loss as the emphasis is on lowering the fat consumed and not concerning yourself with the calories. Calories derive from fat and from a variety of other food sources, glucose in particular. Concentrating on just fats is not a healthy balance.
The Danger in Removing Fat from your Diet
Alongside the potential vitamin deficit, there are concerns regarding what is put into the food when the fats are removed. Many manufacturers remove the fat and replace it with a refined carbohydrate. These are usually made from sugar and will cause a spike in energy levels. This will place additional stress on your adrenal glands as your cortisol level will spike in reaction to this increased sugar in the body. Insulin levels will also spike and consistently elevated levels of insulin and blood sugar have been linked with Type 2 Diabetes. The spike in energy levels will quickly disappear and will probably leave you feeling hungry again.
Foods with Healthy Fats
As with most things in life it is important to consume even the good fats in moderation. Fat of any sort contains roughly twice the number of calories that non-fat food has. Too much fat will result in weight gain but the right amount will assist in weight loss! The following foods are high in good fats:
- Liquid plant oils should always be used when cooking – Olive oil and canola oil are the best.
- Trans fat should be avoided whenever possible – this is the one that raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol.
- Remove butter from your diet and use margarine instead. This is a much better source of good fats.
- Eat something every day which has omega 3 in it. Salmon, walnuts or tuna are all good examples of foods rich in this essential nutrient.
- Red meat, milk, cheese and ice cream are generally high in saturated fats and should be eaten in moderation. Where possible eat chicken, nuts or fish.
Ultimately, you could start including supplements into your diet too. Omega-3s for example, are ideal when your diet is not high in fat at all, or when you don’t like to eat fish. Some other types of recommended supplements are dietary supplements based on plants, such as green tea or cinnamon. These should only be taken under the strict supervision of a dietician.
By Jefferey Morgan and Supplemented.co.uk!