Weight Loss – The Good, Bad, and Ugly Fats
There is a lot of seemingly confusing information about the effects of the types of fat and what they have to do with weight loss. Well, there's good fat, or essential fatty acids which must be consumed through food because the body cannot produce these. There's bad saturated fats like the fat in butter, milk, and cream.
There's not-so-bad unsaturated fats that are typically found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. Then there's that king of the bad fats, the bad boy of the fatty fun park, hydrogenated oil, or trans fat, as it more commonly known. Of course, too much of any of these fats is not good for health or for successful weight loss. So how does one know how much of which fats are the best combination?
Fats Necessary For Optimal NutritionAs bad a rap as fat gets in the media, it's actually a good thing and is necessary for maintaining life and health. Those good essential fatty acids are found in the fat of the food people eat every day. Fat is also necessary in keeping skin healthy, carrying essential vitamins and minerals, and helps young children's developing brains.
Fat is actually a good thing, but it always seems to get the blame for any sort of weight gain. The truth is that anyone can put on weight and get fat from eating just carbohydrates and protein. "Excess calories from any source is what's responsible for weight gain," according to Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, professor of nutrition at Tufts University and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory.
Fat Has Twice the Calories of Carbs or ProteinFat is desirable in the foods folks eat because it carries the flavor of the food. Everyone has had one of those no–fat cookies that tastes like compressed sawdust. They taste like that because they have no fat to carry the flavor. Here's a simple fact for those trying to lose weight or have stated a weight loss program: one gram of fat contains more than twice the amount of calories as a gram of carbohydrate or protein.
As far as identifying what fats are good or bad, some types of fat are just bad for folks trying to lose weight. Too much of any good or bad fat leads to heart disease and increases stroke risk. But there are fats that are very bad. Trans fat is one of those very bad fats. Trans fat is very common in most commercially prepared foods but because of recent research, is in the process of being totally eliminated from those type of foods. Trans fat raises bad LDL blood cholesterol levels while lowering good HDL cholesterol levels. be sure to check nutrition labels and avoid trans fat whenever possible.
Most Fat is Bad Fat for Those Trying to Lose WeightBecause any fats are going to hinder weight loss, it's best to limit the amount of fat consumed. A lot of the fatty foods eaten by most folks today contain a lot of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy substance necessary for life and good health in humans. Excess cholesterol is typically found in egg yolks, shellfish, high fat dairy products, liver or organ meats, high fat meats, and poultry skin.
Eating lots of these fatty foods will not only raise the bad cholesterol levels in the blood but will also prevent optimal weight loss. Losing weight is a simple formula of consuming less food, eating the right amount of whole, unprocessed foods, and increasing the level of exercise. While some good fats are necessary for proper nutrition, there is no place for some types of bad fats in a successful weight loss program.