The common train of thought is that eating more fat makes us fat; therefore, a low fat diet will help us lose fat. Over the last 50+ years the world, as a whole, has gotten fatter even with all of our low fat yogurts and skim milk etc. Processed foods that claim to be “low fat” or “no fat” are typically not good for you, says nutritionist Alan Aragon, M.S. Look back at the low fat craze of the 1980s. During that time “fat-free” became a marketing buzz word that turned every food imaginable into a healthy option by demonizing fat.

So what is the issue?

The idea that fat-free products equated to fat-free bodies was very misleading, says Aragon. In fact, during the fat-free rage, fat consumption decreased and obesity increased. Clearly fat is not the issue. The truth is, since 1955 our consumption of dietary fat has decreased while our bellies have increased because of our sugar, high fructose corn syrup and fructose intake. The increase in these “bad” carbohydrates and reduced fat foods has increased our insulin levels, which is a fat storage hormone. The higher glycemic foods (sugar foods) we consume the more insulin we release and with consistently elevated insulin levels, the fatter we become.

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How is eating more fat going to make me get rid of fat?  It makes no sense!!!

First, you need to know your metabolism type to know how much fat you should be consuming. Take this metabolism questionnaire by Paul Chek of the C.H.E.K Institute to find out your metabolism type.

Next, “old” fat stored in the body’s peripheral tissues, around the belly, thighs, or butt (subcutaneous fat)—can’t be burned efficiently without “new” fat to help the process, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dietary fat helps break down existing fat by activating PPAR-alpha and fat-burning pathways through the liver. Also, by consuming more “full” fat foods, the less sugar and sodium additives there are. Healthy fats also make you feel full for longer and helps suppress cravings up to 2 hours after your last meal or snack due to their higher caloric value of 9 calories per gram.

low fat diet

Next let’s look at the different types of dietary fat and their functions.

We have omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids. Our bodies do not produce either of these essential fats so we must get them from foods.

It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 in our diets. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. The typical American diet tends to contain 14 – 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, which many nutritionally oriented physicians consider to be way too high on the omega-6 side.

Much of our omega 6 fats come from processed foods which cause inflammation as does exercise, stress and many other things so when we are inflamed our bodies/organs do not function properly. When our organs don’t function properly we cannot properly absorb and use nutrients and vitamins as needed. Based on this premise, we need to reduce inflammation. We do this by giving our body foods dense in omega 3s to even out the playing field and allow these fat soluble vitamins to be absorbed, which is essential to our overall health as well as fat loss.

What are the best sources of omegas?

Fish, plant, and nut oils are the primary dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA are found in cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, and herring. For vegetarians omega 6 is found in flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, purslane, perilla seed oil, walnuts, and walnut oil. However, they are not all equal. EPA and DHA are your best sources.

If you don’t eat fish or don’t supplement with fish oil, your ONLY other viable option is

algae oil – since most micro-algae have decent levels of EPA and DHA.

Whichever you choose, the important thing to remember from all of this is that not all food

sources of omega-3 fatty acids are created equal.

Research has shown people who take omega 3 or fish oil supplements have had improvements in the following:

Rheumatoid arthritis, Allergies, High blood pressure (Hypertension), Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Osteoporosis, High blood pressure, Heart disease, Depression, Macular Degeneration, Menstrual pain

In closing, the lack of healthy fat in our diets has caused a host of problems for years, but now we understand the roll healthy fats play in our overall health and we must use this knowledge to become a healthier, better version of ourselves.

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