The following information about the truth about fat comes from Dr. Mark Hyman and his newest book, Eat Fat, Get Thin, which combines the latest research with several decades of empirical evidence working with patients to prove what he has known for a long time: Incorporating the right fats into your diet can actually help you to become lean, healthy, and vibrant. Here are 8 take-home facts about fat you won’t want to miss:
1. Sugar, Not Fat, Makes You Fat
When you consume a lot of sugar you force your body to pump out more and more insulin in order to pull your blood sugar levels back down. It is very difficult to actually burn off all of the sugar you eat so your body stores it as fat, which creates insulin resistance and overall metabolic havoc.
2. Dietary Fat Is More Complex Than Sugar
There are many different names for sugar, but despite small differences in how they react in the body, they all create similar damage. Fat is a very complex substance. There’s saturated, monosaturated, polyunsaturated, trans fats, and many subcategories within each. Some are great, others are neutral, and yes, some are pretty bad. It is important to know the difference.
3. Low-Fat Diets Alternately Tend To Be High-Sugar Diets
When people eat less fat, they tend to compensate by eating more starch and sugar in its place. This can actually increase your body’s levels of the small, dense cholesterol that can cause heart attacks. When making “low-fat” products, most food manufacturers will replace fat with extra sugar in order to offset the difference in taste.
4. As It Turns Out, Saturated Fat Is Not Your Enemy
Interestingly, a review of the research that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease. It is important to note that the quality of fat does play a role here, as a greasy bacon cheeseburger is not comparable and will have a different effect on the body than the saturated fat that is present in coconut oil.
5. Some Fats Are Unhealthy
Particularly trans fats and vegetable oils that cause inflammation.
6. Almost Everyone Could Benefit From More Omega-3s
About 99% of Americans are deficient in these fats, which are critical to good health. If you are not eating foods that are rich in these fats, including sustainably raised cold-water fish or pasture raised eggs, then you should certainly consider taking an omega 3 supplement.
7. Eating Fat Can Actually Make You Lean
When your cell walls are built with high quality fats, they are better able to metabolize insulin, which will keep blood sugar more regulated. Conversely, when your blood sugar levels are not properly controlled, the body will naturally store fat. Consuming the proper fats can actually increase fat burning, reduce fat storage, and curtail hunger.
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8. Your Brain Is Almost 60% Fat
Of that 60%, the biggest portion comes from the omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your brain absolutely needs DHA in order to ignite communication between cells; when cells have easy access to high quality fats, cognition, happiness, learning, and memory improve. By that same token, studies show that a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids can be linked to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
What Are Some Examples Of Good Fats To Include In Your Diet?
- Nuts, including walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts
- Seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, chia, flax, and hemp
- Fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel, herring, wild salmon
- Extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil
- Cold pressed coconut oil
- Grass fed or sustainably raised animal products
Fat is not the enemy, and I hope this information will help you to embrace it back into your life.
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