Why Eating Fat Won’t Make You Fat

If you’re trying to lose body fat, it makes sense that you shouldn’t be eating foods high in fat….right? If you were around during the low-fat dieting craze of the 90s then you will probably agree with this statement. However, studies have shown time and time again that not only do fats NOT contribute to weight gain, but they can actually help with weight loss!

This is great news for people who love foods like savory salmon, nuts, and buttery avocados (myself included). Keep reading if you’re curious about low-fat diets and why eating fat won’t make you fat.

The Low-Fat Diet Craze Was Wrong

A ton of research has been done on the effects of low-fat diets and there is an increasing consensus that, when eaten in isolation, fat does not contribute to weight gain. Also, cutting out fats did not reduce the risk of diseases, such as breast cancer or heart disease, like people originally thought.

Surprisingly, people who ate lots of fat but less refined carbs were more likely to lose weight and a decrease in risk of disease (weird, huh?). Studies have consistently proven that sugar from cereals, white bread, or sugary drinks is significantly associated with packing on the pounds.

What Happens When You Cut Out Fat

Perhaps the problem is what happens to the rest of your diet when you decide to cut out fat.

If you’ve ever tried a low-fat diet you probably got very conscious about the fat content of the food you were eating…but did you ever check the sugar and carbs of those “low-fat” foods? If you did, you would see ready-to-eat “low-fat” foods like granola bars and yogurt all high in sugar and carbs.

So while some foods might be labeled as “low-fat” and marketed for weight loss, they could actually be contributing more to weight gain than foods rich in fat.

The evidence is clear- fat is critical in your diet while sugar is not. While it may take more work to lower sugar intake (sugar is everywhere!), it is more worthwhile than trimming the fat.

What types of fat are good for you?

Saturated fats are the most unhealthy form of fat within our diets. Processed and packaged foods often contain a lot of unhealthy fats, so straying from those choices might be in your best interest. Instead, looking for foods with unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) will lead you in the right direction. There are so many foods that contain healthy fats, so don’t let yourself feel restricted!

Here are some of my favorite choices for incorporating healthy fats into my daily diet:

  • Use olive oil when you cook. Some other options are coconut oil and avocado oil.
  • A handful of nuts, my favorite are almonds!
  • Add some avocado to your smoothie, spread it on your toast, or slice it into your salad.
  • Seeds! Flax and Chia seeds are both healthy sources of unsaturated fats. Sprinkle some into your salad or on top of your yogurt.
  • Fatty Fish! I love some salmon…yum!

Choosing these add-ons or quick snacks can help you easily incorporate some healthy fats into your diet. Your body will thrive off of these fats and use them to help absorb the other nutrients in your diet. Your body needs these healthy fats in order to reap the benefits of everything else you eat. How cool is that!

Changing your diet is a process that takes time, but by changing small things on a daily basis, you will see results in no time.

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