Eating Fat makes us fat is a myth- There is so much myth circulating from years about fat,Let’s separate the fat facts from fiction to figure out how much each of us really should be eating.
FAT(hydrogen,carbon and oxygen)- The most energy dense macronutrient is fat , it provides 9 calories/gram, since its calorie dense doesn’t mean we should avoid it completely. Moderation amount should be taken if weight control is our goal.
DIETARY RECOMMENDATION- requirement of fat is 20 to 35% of total calories .
ROLE OF FAT- Fats serves as many critical functions in the body like nerve transmission,vitamin absorption and hormone production.Fats make up part of the structure of cells, form a protective cushion and heat insulation around vital organs, carry fat-soluble vitamins and provide reserve storage for energy.
Role of fat in diet-
- Hormone production – sex hormones, steroid, and cholesterol
- Brain function and mood,energy
- Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins – vitamins A, D, E and K
- Flavor – fat carries flavor and provides mouth-feel that improves meal satisfaction
HOW MUCH FAT TO CONSUME-
Recommendation is 20-35% of calories from fat by AHA.
While mediterranean diet 35-40% of calories from fat
A Ketogenic (low-carb/high-fat) diet clocks in at 50-75% of calories from fat
TYPES OF FAT-
SMART FAT- UNSATURATED FAT( Essential fatty acids( body cannot produce it,hence we need to obtain from my diet)
- MUFA(contain one double bond)-This is healthy fat and body needs it healthy function. Olive oil,canola oil,and peanut oil,nuts ,seeds,avocado are excellent sources.Monounsaturated fats(good fats) are liquid at room temperature and can hold up well under high temperatures. Fats are known to be anti-inflammatory and associated with lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. Mufa rich fats increases your HDL(which is a good cholesterol)
- PUFA( omega3 and omega6)-(contain double bonds)
- OMEGA 3(The three types of omega-3 fatty acids are α-linolenic acid (ALA) (found in plant oils), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (both (EPA N DHA)commonly found in fish and fish oils).omega-3 fatty acids in the diet helps in reducing incidence of cardiovascular disease.
- OMEGA 6 (linoleic acid) generally consumed in abundance, These Fats are found widely in seed oils and many processed foods, today our diet mainly consist of omega 6 and not omega 3 .The ideal ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s in the diet is 1:1 to 1:4. But consuming omega 6 fats in the form of oils for cooking has lead to excess causes of inflammation in body. And the chances of obesity has also increased.
alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) -Flaxseed,chia seeds and canola oils; green, leafy vegetables; nuts; and beans
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA )-fatty fish (mackerel,salmon, lake trout,herring, sardines, albacore tuna) and fish oil
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) -fatty fish and fish oils
Sources of Omega-6
linoleic acid (LA)-meats; and corn,safflower,cotton -seed and sunflower oils
NOTE-( AHA recommend 2 to 4 gram of DHA+EPA supplement).A fine balance of n-6 and n-3 in the diet, or a 1:1 ratio, is ideal to give body a chance to perform their necessary functions.
SATURATED FATS-saturated fats are now considered neutral in terms of their impact on health. Coconut oil, which is a saturated fat and high in medium chain triglycerides (MCT), is favored for its heart and brain benefits. Ghee (clarified saturated fat) is very healthy and has high MCT is also healthy fat option and I use ghee in almost all my indian Dishes. Saturated fats are also most common in foods from animals—such as fatty cuts of meat, poultry with skin and full-fat dairy product. Its very important to control this type of fat in body ( limit 10% of total fat intake in a healthy eating plan not more than that.)REMEMBER ALL SATURATED FATS ARE NOT HEALTHY.GOOD SATURATED FATS ARE- organic ghee, organic coconut oil
TRANS FATS- This is the main culprit which is most unhealthy type of fat, it is found in almost all packed products at grocery store to increase the shelf life. This product should not make a way to enter in any our diet. These fats are the most dangerous to consume causes multiple alterations in lipid levels, increase insulin resistance and promote excess belly fat.
TRANS FAT SOURCE- Vanaspati ghee, butter,Dalda ghee found in readymade sweets( mithai),cookies,cakes cream roll,chips,doughnuts,farsan,savory packed snacks,biscuits etc
FAT STORAGE- Fat consumed in the diet beyond what is immediately needed is stored in adipose tissue,which serves as a cushion for vital organs.This adipose tissue grows in 2 ways-
- HYPERPLASIA- abnormal increase in no of fat cells.
- HYPERTROPHY-abnormal increase in current fat cell.
So when we keep on eating high carbohydrate and fat diet ,this fat cell reaches maximum size. Most people suffer with hypertrophy due to processed diet.
WHY WE FEEL FULL AFTER CONSUMING HIGH FAT MEAL– when fat moves from stomach into small intestines ,the presence of fat triggers the release of hormone cholecystokinin,which slows down the digestion into stomach,gastric emptying is delayed,which makes us full.
FAT AND HEART HEALTH- Moreover when imbalance in calories occur ,when calories consumption increases versus calories expended, ultimately body converts extra calories into fat. Coronary heart diseases is a leading killer of both men and women ,main reason is accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the lining of the arteries that supply oxygen and nutrients to heart muscle. Over the times blood flow is reduced to heart leading to chest pain (angina) and heart attack.
WEIGHT LOSS AND FAT-Fat and weight loss is about burning lots of calories and cutting back on the number of calories consumed.If we exercise long enough (1.5–2 hours), our muscle carbohydrate (glycogen) content and blood glucose concentration become low. At this state carbohydrates are not available, the muscles are forced to rely on fat as fuel.So when we achieve a state where we burn more calories there are few chances of being fat.
BE SMART- Don’t throw good fats out of the home, taking required amount of fat will be very helpful.Some fats, including both saturated and trans fatty acids, should be consumed minimally. So if we eat fried foods, we will become fat answer is NO.Many people on a weight loss diet go off fat completely for the result of drastic weight loss solution that’s not right way.
Main culprit is – Today modern diet which is high in carb that too simple processed carbs is the culprit. We as a family have a such a busy schedule nobody wants to take time out to do grocery for fresh produce, bring home clean it ,chop, cook it, pack it in lunch box,and doing this again and again. So what’s the best way to escape this hassle let’s get readymade packed foods ( which claims fat free,sugar free,gluten free bla bla…). Most of the time damage is done from eating junk ,fried packaged processed food almost everyday and not doing any exercise in any form, and repenting after few years when damage is done.
BOTTOM LINE BE SMART( while selecting fats) – Oil is a very essential part of cooking, especially Indian cooking. Right from the tadka to the making of any sabji and curries oil comes into play.
- Don’t get confused with so many options available and how much percentage to add in your diet. How much fats to use, it depends on your calorie requirements for weight loss, gain, or maintenance as other health conditions you may have.
- Every person body is unique ,health goals is unique ,dont stress it out ,dont over do it ,if you are busy with job and don’t get time to cook,take time out to do physical activity of any form daily.
- we cannot monitor every teaspoon while cooking, but quality over quantity can be monitor For eg- increase intake of nuts ,sunflower seeds,chia seeds,sesame seeds,flax seeds and limit the use of PUFA rich cooking oils only upto making curries and tadka, and use ghee for khichdi ,roti,bread instead of butter for satiety and flavour.
- If you are frying food don’t use same oil in frying again and again.As it produces free radicals ,Free radicals attach themselves to healthy cells and lead to heart diseases. These free radicals can be carcinogenic can cause cancer.
- If you have time to cook try to involve health fats in daily meals as per your and family taste. Doesn’t matter you like avocado oil ,olive oil, coconut oil, ghee. For eg When i eat khichdi if i don’t add ghee i don’t feel satisfaction in meal, i eat in controlled portion and ghee is a healthy fat.
- Try to balance those days when you have more fat in your diet, eat less carbs,increase veggie and fruits for next few days.I eat Fried foods once a week, because i love it, most of the time I make those dishes at home which has known ingredients,it doesn’t give me guilt feeling after eating. Eating pakora ,samosa,homemade laddoo once a while will not make us a Fat.But selecting processed,packaged food( which has hidden unknown ingredients), high carb food choices everyday without any physical activity to burn it out makes us fat.We cannot control temptations that’s totally OK, we are humans not robots.
Burning Fat: Myths and Facts
Is “Bad” Fat Now “Good”?
Understanding the Role of Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids