THE LOW FAT LOW DOWN
By Jason Wagner
Are you still wearing Dolphin shorts? Still eating Rice Cakes thinking they are considered health food? Maybe you are doing 1000 sit-ups a day to “target” the fat around your waistline. Maybe you even wear a trash-bag when you run because you think it will burn more fat. If you do any of those things you are in the FITNESS DARK AGES (1990’s). And one more DARK AGES concept…
…FAT WILL MAKE YOU FAT
Fat does not make you fat – calories do. And many fats are actually good for you. The only benefit to fat-free/low fat is a reduction in total calories. Dietary fat does not turn into body fat, nor does it cause heart disease. Quite the opposite. Your body needs you to eat healthy fats because they are a source of longer-term energy and can be turned into hormones. Deprive yourself of dietary fats and you may throw your hormone balance out of whack.
Less testosterone = not good.
Your hormones regulate all of the metabolic processes in your body, and they are inter-related. Throw the balance off and all of the processes dependent on hormones will suffer. For instance – your thyroid. Mess that up and you may find yourself fat even when you’re working out hard and running a steep caloric deficit. Or try your growth hormones. Knock them out of balance and you can find it hard to build muscle. The other problem with non-fat/low fat items is they are often filled with things you shouldn’t consume in order to make up for the lack of tastiness that happens when you remove the fat from a food. So go ahead and eat full fat cheese, yogurt and even milk (if you can tolerate it). Just watch the total calories because dietary fats are much more calorically dense than proteins or carbohydrates. So, here’s the thing – 1 gram of protein carries 4 calories. 1 gram of carbohydrate likewise carries a load of 4 calories. Fat carries a load of 9 calories per gram. A little bit of fat goes a long way. But that doesn’t make it bad or evil.
“Are Eggs are bad for my heart?”
Eggs do contain a large amount of cholesterol in their yolks—about 211 milligrams per egg. And yes, cholesterol is the fatty stuff in our blood that contributes to clogged arteries and heart attacks. But experts say that saying eggs are “bad for your heart” is connecting the wrong dots. “Studies show that most healthy people can eat an egg a day without problems,” says Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., professor of nutrition at Penn State University.
How is that? In the 90’s we were saying ALL fat was bad. For most, the cholesterol we eat—in eggs or any other food—doesn’t have much of an impact on raising our blood cholesterol; the body simply compensates by manufacturing less cholesterol itself. The primary heart-disease culprits are “saturated and Trans fats, which have much greater impact on raising blood cholesterol,” says Kris-Etherton. Looking at it that way, eggs look more benign: a large egg contains 2 grams of saturated fat (10 percent of the Daily Value) and no Trans fats.
***Being a Dad – Tip of the Day***
Pulling your hair out trying to get your kids to eat eggs or more protein? Here is this dad’s technique. Sneak in egg whites and vanilla protein powder into things like oatmeal and pancakes. A little bit of each completely changes the nutrition value of both foods.
MORE REASONS WHY WE NEED FAT TO SURVIVE?
Although fats have received a bad reputation for causing weight gain, some fat is essential for survival. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 20% – 35% of calories should come from fat. We need this amount of fat for:
- Normal growth and development
- Energy (fat is the most concentrated source of energy)
- Absorbing certain vitamins (like vitamins A, D, E, K, and carotenoids)
- Providing cushioning for the organs
- Maintaining cell membranes
- Providing taste, consistency, and stability to foods
So don’t FEAR THE FAT – fear the wrongs fats.