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Fight the Fat with Fat: Myths and Facts about Fats

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Most foods we eat have fat in them but how do we know if it's good fat or bad fat?

A low-fat diet seems like the easiest way to get rid of fat, right? The less fat you eat the less fat in your body, seems straight to the point. Yet, as deceptive as it may be, if we get rid of the wrong fats it might not make much of a difference or have the reverse effect of what was intended.

Low-fat foods tend to replace fats with sugar and refined carbohydrates. Tests (like the 2006 Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial) have shown that women who went on a low-fat diet didn’t lose more weight than women that stayed on their regular diets.

Fats are more filling and can help curb your hunger longer; therefore, they can actually help you lose weight. Certain vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they are absorbed into the body by fat. Such vitamins are A, D, E, and K.

Fats are also essential for your body to perform everyday activities effectively. Such activities include, any lung activity requires saturated fat to function, they help your eyes work, over half of the heart’s energy comes from fat, and fat helps your metabolism and immune system stay on track.

You shouldn’t overdue it, though. Only 20-35% of calories should be from fat. And there are certain types of fats that should be limited, as well.

First, saturated fats should be less than 10% of you calorie intake. Saturated fats can raise the cholesterol in your blood and are correlated with heart disease, breast and prostate cancer. They can be found in fatty meats, butter, eggs, chocolate, dairy products, and nuts.

Second, trans fat should either be avoided or limited to 1% of your calories. Trans fats are considered the worst of the fat groups. They can help lead to coronary heart disease and have been suggested to increase risk for obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, liver dysfunction, and infertility.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Saying that saturated fat is bad for you is saying that Mother Nature is illogical. If it's so bad for you why does breast milk contain so much of it? We're made to eat meat (and veggies). Saying that animal fat is bad for you is like saying that we should be herbivores i.e. eat only veggies. Animal fats are not "saturated fats." Pig Lard contains 40% saturated fats, 48% monounsaturates & the remainder polyunsaturates.

August 1, 2009 - 3:37am
EmpowHER Guest

Diets and diet aids do not help anyone. The only way to successfully lose weight and get the body that you want is by using the right information.

May 25, 2009 - 3:03pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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