Will Fat Make you Fat?!
So I’m not the biggest fan of the words ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’, they just seem too, I don’t know, distasteful maybe?
BUT the question ‘will fat make you fat?’ does seem to play on a lot of people’s minds. I could totally see how that could be the case, I mean, they do have the same name after all! Plus, it doesn’t help that metabolism is one heck of a confusing topic (oh hey there biochemistry).
First things first, obviously excess fats will cause you to put on weight, that’s a no-brainer. However, this applies to carbohydrates AND protein as well, it’s not just fats. Yep, that’s right, eating excessive amounts of protein will not turn you into the hulk like a lot of people think, instead it will go towards fat production.
Ok here comes the biochemistry, I promise to keep it short and sweet! During metabolism, macrnoutrients (think carbohydrates, protein and fats) are all broken up into the same molecule known as Acetyl Co-A. This funky sounding molecule can then go through several metabolic pathways, to produce things like energy, however, under a certain set of conditions this build-up of Acetyl Co-A will be used to CREATE fat.
Ok, so that was simplified A LOT, but it gives you the basic idea – all macronutrients can create fat!
Good Fats VS Bad Fats
Now onto the next area where a lot of people struggle – good fats versus bad fats. How do you tell the difference between them?! And where do you find them??
Let’s go through the good fats first – polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and some saturated fats, which can come as a surprise to a lot of people. The body needs a certain amount of saturated fats to help with cell rigidity and structure, on the other hand, unsaturated fats are vital for fluidity. So basically, you don’t want the cells too rigid or fluid, you need a good balance of both.
To do this, eat a variety of whole food! Most whole foods will have a combination of these three healthy fats. Some of my favourite foods that are super rich in healthy fats are olive oil (cold-pressed, extra-virgin), avocado and nuts – YUM.
Wait, there’s more! Because nutrition doesn’t like being straightforward, I should also mention that polyunsaturated fats are divided even further into omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. The body can produce some omega-9 itself so we don’t really have to worry about that, but we do have to be aware of the ratio between the two essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory, whereas omega-6 is pro-inflammatory. Unfortunately most people have a much greater omega-6 intake, than they do omega-3, sending the body out-of-whack. Luckily the solution is pretty simple, if you eat more whole foods you’ll naturally consume more omega 3’s and less omega 6’s. If you want a really great dose of omega 3 then consume fish regularly (fresh fish and NOT fish that has been battered/cooked in lots of unhealthy oil ha!).
I’ll leave it there for the good fats and now talk about bad fats. The biggest culprit is trans-fats. These naughty things are actually a product of heat being applied to polyunsaturated fats – polyunsaturated fats are really fragile. As you might be able to guess, trans-fats are found in most processed and takeout foods, so try to limit your intake of these!
Benefits of Good Fats
Guys, where do I even begin?! Good fats do WONDERS for your body. Here are just a few amazing reasons:
So What About Fat-Free Products?
Most people are led to believe that fat-free products are healthier and better for weight loss… I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but this is nearly always NOT the case.
First of all, you’re missing out on such a vital macronutrients. Without good fats you won’t absorb any of the fat-soluble vitamins, amongst all the other amazing qualities we just covered.
Secondly, to mask the removal of fats, the companies will quite often add in loads of sugar and/or salt – crazy, I know. What’s really crazy though is how they market these fat-free products to people who want to lose weight, yet the replacement ingredients are not only unhealthy they can still contribute to fat production, often just as much or even more than what the fat originally did (sugar is a carbohydrate and remember: all macronutrients can potentially create fat).
When it comes to food – always be an independent thinker! Unfortunately, there are lots of sneaky marketing tactics out there.[wc_divider style=”solid” line=”single” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=””]
I hope that helped clear up any confusion for you! Although the science behind fats can be a bit tricky, the solution is pretty clear – eat a variety of whole foods and limit your intake of processed and takeout foods. A good tip is to try and shop around the perimeter of the supermarket! If you’re ever interested in finding out how much of a type of fat is in a packaged product, just look at the ingredient list 🙂
As always, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
P.S. I have a post going up shortly of my weekend adventures chasing waterfalls a few weeks back, so keep an eye out for it or subscribe to my mailing list and you’ll have it sitting in your mailbox waiting for you!