Fat got a bad rap ages back as it was misinterpreted by nutritionists and doctors. Doctors preached that a low-fat diet is the key to managing cholesterol, losing weight and preventing health problems. But it is just not about the amount of fat, it’s the types of fat you eat that really matters. Bad fats increase your risk of certain diseases, while good fats support your heart and overall health. Experts are now getting off the “fat is evil” bandwagon these days.

Good and Bad Fats

Good and Bad FatsA visit to the grocery aisle will confirm our obsession with low-fat foods. But while our craze for supposedly guilt-free options such as fat-free ice cream, baked potato chips, low-fat cookies, cakes and diet coke has increased, so have obesity rates.Thus it must be clearly understood, low-fat foods and diets haven’t delivered on their trim, healthy promises.

Regardless of what you may have been told, fat isn’t always the culprit in the waistline wars. Only trans fats and saturated fats fall in the category of “bad fats”, and are responsible for most of the problems like, clogged arteries, weight gain and so forth. Where as monounsaturated fat, omega 3 fatty acid and polyunsaturated fat are necessary for healthy living as it helps you stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, control your mood swings, and makes it easy for you to control your weight. Fat is also an important energy source and is vital for keeping your skin and hair healthy and smooth, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, author of “Read It Before You Eat It“.

So, it should be kept in mind that cutting out the fat isn’t the solution. Knowing how to make healthy choices and to replace bad fats with good ones that foster health and well-being.

5 Fat Myths Busted

Fat Myths Busted 1: Not all fats are equally bad for you.

Trans fats: stick margarine, vegetable shortening and saturated fats: high-fat cuts of meat, butter, lard etc. are the only two types that must be avoided and taken in minimum amount. They are bad for health as they raise cholesterol and also increase the risk for heart disease. But monounsaturated fats: olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews), peanut butter and polyunsaturated fats: soybean oil, corn oil, flax seed, fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines), soy milk are good for you, as it helps in lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease.

2: Lowering the amount of fat you eat doesn’t matters.

When talking about cholesterol and your overall health, the type of fats that you consume, rather than the total amount in your diet, is what really matters. The key is to eat more good fats and less bad fats. Keep total fat intake to 20-35% of your calories while limit saturated fat to less than 10% and trans fat to 15% of your calories.

3: Fat-free isn’t trouble free.

Well, a fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without consequences to your waistline. Fat-free foods are not so good in taste, so in order to enhance it’s taste a lot of sugar, salt, thickeners, flour and refined carbohydrate is added to it which adds calories to it.

4: Eating a low-fat diet is not the key to weight loss.

Since the low-fat revolution has started, the obesity rates for Americans have doubled in the last 20 years. Therefore, low-fat diet is of no help, cutting down the calories is the only way to weight loss. Moreover, fats are filling, they can help curb overeating.

5: All body fat is not the same.

body fatNot all body fat are alike, what matters is where you carry your fat. The health risks are greater if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen, as opposed to the subcutaneous fat that lies just under your skin all over your body and around your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat is stored deep below the skin surrounding the abdominal organs and liver, which is closely related to insulin resistance and diabetes and also responsible for heart diseases.

To sum up, don’t go no fat, go good fat.