Fat has a been made the "bad guy" by the media in recent decades.
Fat has been said to be the reason for obesity, heart attacks, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and many other health problems, which in turn started a massive trend of 'low fat' products.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last 10 years, you'll have no doubt seen - and probably tried - many of these products yourself. Anything from low fat mayonaise, butters and yoghurts, to low fat cereals, deserts and ready meals.
So is this low-fat trend a good one, or not? Does eating fat actually make you fat?
Fat is actually an essential food sources for our body and is part of every fat loss regime we use with our clients .
"But the Magazine said that eating fatty foods will make me fat?!"
First of all, put the magazine down. Unsubscribe. Burn it, even. We're trying to educate you here!
Of all food types, dietary fat has the worst reputation in the media.
Yes, fats contain more calories per gram than other food sources, but that in essence doesn't make it bad.
1g of fat contains nine calories, compared to protein and carbs which both contain just four calories per 1g.
Eating fat will not make you fat, all this means is it's easier to over-consume calories from fat.
You will only gain weight if you consume more calories than your body requires to operate. A consistent caloric surplus
Do we need to eat fat?
The simple answer "Yes!"
There are many metabolic processes the body needs fat for and without it the body will have to either slow down these processes or stop them completely.
Fat is essential for absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A,D.E and K. So in simple terms the fat allows your body to reap the rewards of you eating your greens
Fat is needed to manage inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes many diseases throughout the body.
Fat is needed to maintain hormonal function, to stop estrogen getting to high. Too high levels of Estrogen causes weight gain in males and females
So which type of fat do I need?
We suggest having a wide range of healthy fats in your diet.
Saturated fats are great for hormonal and cholesterol synthesis which come from animal fat, eggs, coconut oil or butter.
Monounsaturated fats have positive effects by increasing HDL and lowing LDL (The bad type of cholesterol). You can get this from sources like olive oil, avocado and nuts.
The most popular and beneficial type of polyunsaturated fat is fish oils, and specifically, omega 3s.
Polyunsaturated fat can comes from products like fish oil or flax seed. They contain high amounts of Omega 3 which has been proved to reduce inflammation, improved blood lipids, reduce heart disease risk, and improved fat loss.
The one Bad Fat - "Trans Fat"
The only type of fat we would actively recommend to avoid would be Trans fat, due to the fact that these fats are ‘man made’ by turning a typically soft or liquid fat into a hardened fat by changing the hydrogen compounds – often done with the aim of extending the shelf life of the product.
This comes with a host of health issues, including poor blood lipid profiles, increased inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction.
Portion sizes change with every person depending on the goal and the current body type.
Typically with clients on a fat-loss journey we would recommend females have at least one thumb size portion of a healthy fat per meal and males have two.
For those of you tracking on myfitnesspal, look to ensure you're getting at least 20% of your daily intake from fat. You can play about with your carb/fat ratios, but never drop below 20%.