Are you under the impression that you need to completely avoid fat to have a healthy weight? If so, you’re not alone. Fat has long been demonised and we’re here to set the record straight.
The truth is, eating fat will not make you fat. In fact, many diets (like the keto diet, for example) have no quarrel with the macronutrient. Weight gain happens when you consume more calories than you burn (although many other factors such as your age, gender and lifestyle will affect this). You really can’t blame it squarely on fat itself.
The myth probably came about from the fact that fat is a concentrated form of calories. Every gram of fat packs 9 calories. In comparison, carbohydrates and protein only have 4 calories per gram.
Why do we need fat?
Cutting out all types of fat from your diet is not a good idea. That’s because your body needs a regular intake of fat to function properly.
Fat stores energy, protects your organs and regulates your core body temperature. It’s also critical when it comes to absorbing specific nutrients. According to a University of Georgia study, fat helps to hold appetite hormones at bay, which in turn helps you maintain feelings of fullness.
It also plays a role in your ability to concentrate and remember information. This is due to the fact that your brain is made up of 60 per cent fat. The macronutrient can even lower your risk of getting dementia and Alzheimer’s disease!
Not all fat is created equal
So we now know that fat is not totally evil. But what’s more important is knowing what the different types of fat are. Some are better for you than others.
There’s trans fat, saturated fat, monosaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Which ones are worth having in your diet?
Trans fat is the worst
Naturally occurring trans fat comes from cows and sheep. However, most of the trans fat we consume is the artificial kind.
Artificial trans fat is formed in a chemical process where hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil, converting it into a solid. The result is partially hydrogenated oil.
You can find trans fat in non-dairy coffee creamer and stick margarine as well as processed foods like cookies, potato chips and instant noodles. Deep fried foods like french fries may also contain trans fat from the oil used in the cooking process.
If you like processed and deep fried foods, watch out. Foods with trans fat might taste delicious but they have zero nutritional value and are high in calories to boot.
To say that trans fat is unhealthy is an understatement. It raises your harmful cholesterol levels while decimating your healthy cholesterol. Unsurprisingly, trans fat is strongly linked to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death globally.
Research has shown that eating foods rich in trans fat increases the risk of early death by 34 per cent and coronary heart disease by 21 per cent.
You may be relieved to know that the Singapore’s Ministry of Health is planning to ban partially hydrogenated oil. Phew!
Saturated fat isn’t as terrible
A slightly less damaging type of fat is saturated fat. The keywords being “slightly less”. Saturated fat is brought to you by eggs, red meat, as well as high-fat dairy products like butter, cheeses, and palm and coconut oils.
Like artificial trans fat, you can also find it readily in processed foods.
Studies over the years have proven that saturated fat raises your harmful cholesterol levels, which in turn, places you at greater risk for heart disease. But more recent research suggests that there is no link between saturated fat and heart disease.
New studies go so far as to claim that saturated fat has a positive effect on your immune system and improves liver function.
It’s no surprise that these new claims are controversial in the medical community. Err on the side of caution and trusting years of research instead – consume saturated fat in moderation.
Based on American Heart Association guidelines, no more than six per cent of your calories should come from saturated fat. If you are eating 2,000 calories a day, your maximum saturated fat intake should be 120 calories or about 13g.
Unsaturated fat is the best
Unsaturated fat should be welcome in any diet, since this is the healthiest type of fat for your body.
You can gain powerful health benefits from this because unlike trans fat and saturated fat, it works wonders for your heart. Even eating one to two servings of fish per week can lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
There are two types: monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. The difference between the two lies in their chemical structure.
You might be happy to know that there are many delectable sources of unsaturated fat.
Monounsaturated fat is found in foods like avocados, olive oil, and nuts like almonds, hazelnuts and pecans.
Polyunsaturated fat is found in foods like fish, corn oil, walnuts and leafy green vegetables. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – the nutrients that promote cardiovascular health and even your metabolism – belong to this category. Remember to opt for fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines as these contain high levels of omega-3.
Turns out healthy food can be tasty too!
How much fat can I consume?
You might be surprised to learn that ideally, 25 to 30 per cent of your total energy intake should come from fat. Of course, make sure it’s mostly the healthy unsaturated type.
If you consume 2,000 calories a day, the total fat allowance is 55 to 65g. That sounds like a lot, but it’s really easy to consume more than you need in one sitting. Just a plate of roasted chicken rice contains a whopping 23g.
CSH therapy® combats unwanted fat
Counting calories is hard work. If you’re hoping to lose unwanted kilos and reduce body fat, eating healthily and exercising regularly may not be enough – especially once your metabolism has slowed with age.
This is where CSH therapy® comes in. Using a traditional Chinese approach to weight loss, CSH therapy® is designed to restore your metabolism to a more efficient state.
With a healthy metabolism, your blood circulation, your appetite and of course your weight will all see tremendous improvements. Not to mention all-around toning, contouring and skin tightening of your problem areas. The best part: It is completely safe, natural, and has no supplements and replacement meals involved.
We’re confident that you will see yourself transform as you go through our CSH therapy® program. But don’t just take our word for it. Our results speak for themselves.
Since 2002, we’ve had thousands satisfied clients who’ve had visible weight loss results. Read their testimonials here.
Let’s have a chat. Get in touch with our experts.