Are you under the impression that in order to rid your body of fat you need to stop eating fat? It does sound fairly logical. There are those sayings, 'eat fat and get fat', 'you are what you eat', and so forth.
What about the opposite side of the spectrum? There are the diehard low-carber's who swear up and down that in order to lose body fat you have to cut out the carbohydrates and eat more fat.
So, who's right? Actually, both tactics can have an effect on fat loss, but then again both have their short-comings as well. In this newsletter we will take a close look at fat, discover the hidden truth, burst through some myths, and be able to view it in a completely new light.
Fat is a double edged sword, no matter which way you slice it. It can work for you and it can work against you. I'm going to reveal both sides and teach you how to make fat work in your favor.
The media and the medical community have the public so deathly afraid to eat fat that it's ridiculous. Read any newspaper or magazine, or watch the news and you will be overwhelmed with the amount of information you receive about how eating fat such as steak, eggs, nuts, etc. raises your cholesterol and prompts fat gain. So what do we, as consumers, do in turn? We buy processed, pre-packaged “healthy” foods created by man labeled “fat-free”! Yes, man has the answer. Who cares what Mother Nature put on this ground for us, it's unhealthy, right? Mother Nature has provided us with a vast food supply that clogs arteries and causes the battle of the bulge syndrome. We were set up for failure right from the start!! Of course I'm being sarcastic.
Before we play the “blame game”, let's take a step back and examine what fat and cholesterol are. Fat and cholesterol are building materials for the body to replenish itself. Mainstream has spoon-fed consumers, suggesting that these elements cause heart disease and weight gain. However, what the media is NOT telling you is the types of fat and cholesterol you are eating is the heart killer and waist filler.
Myth: The best way to lose body fat is to cut the fat out of the diet.
Fat is a misunderstood macronutrient. It has been labeled as evil. What many people fail to recognize is that the term "fat" can mean several different things, and therefore it should not be lumped together and labeled "bad".
-Body fat is the fat that most people acknowledge. Body fat is simply a storage unit of fat in fat cells in the form of triglycerides.
-Dietary fat is another recognizable fat that many people can identify. Dietary fat comes from animal and plant sources.
-Structural fat is another term for fat that many people tend to overlook. These are the fats that the body uses as building materials for structures such as brain, hormones, and cell function.
The above are essential fats, meaning they are necessary. Yes, even some body fat is needed by the body to protect it. Essential fats can't magically turn into body fat. Body fat becomes an issue when you eat fats in excess or eat the wrong types of fat, such as trans fat.
A lack of essential fat can lead to many symptoms, such as dry and thinning hair, brittle nails, dry skin, sugar and carb cravings, constipation, and infertility.
The best way to include essential fat in your diet is to choose natural sources, such as meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, shellfish, fish, avocados, and olives. These are the fats your body can actually use and benefit from. However, moderation is a factor here. If you overeat fat calories, the unused energy can be stored as fat.
Trans fat is the fat not mentioned in the media as much. Trans fat can be the blame for the rise in weight gain, obesity, acidic pH, cancer, and heart disease. Trans fat can be found in anything mad-made. Trans fat is an altered fat, it's damaged. It destroys the cells and how they function and makes the body acidic. Your body cannot metabolize trans fat.
Trans fat can be found in seemingly harmless products, such as dressings, sandwich spreads, non-dairy creamers, Half-and-Half, dessert toppings, and margarine. Trans fat can be found in nearly anything processed, or rather man-made food imitation items. Trans fat is the fat that you should eliminate if you want to lose body fat and gain health.
Myth: Saturated fat and cholesterol clog your arteries and cause heart disease.
Cholesterol is a fat that the body needs for cell membranes and for the body's cells to function properly. Many hormones are made from the structural material of cholesterol, as well as vitamin D and the anti-stress hormone, cortisol. When you deprive your body of this necessary element, your cells become less efficient and it ultimately affects your metabolism. Not only does this pose a metabolic threat, but the lack of this essential element can alter your cell's membranes, causing other diseases such as cancer.
Cholesterol is a healer. When trans fat damages the artery walls, cholesterol is attracted to inflammations and irritations. The more damage present, the more cholesterol will be present. If the damage does not heal, the cholesterol builds up and forms plaque. Now, if you read between the lines, cholesterol is not the villain, it's actually the swat team. Trans fat and anything else processed, such as tainted water and environmental pollution damage the artery walls. If it wasn't for cholesterol band-aiding the problem, we could suffer heart disease at a much earlier age, probably all the way down to the teens.
You can obtain natural, essential cholesterol from meat, eggs, and shellfish. These foods should not be avoided, they are necessary.
Now that you understand the role of fat and cholesterol better, take it upon yourself to make your life and diet better by including the elements that your body needs and requires to maintain proper cellular efficiency to keep you healthy and your metabolism on fire.
About The Author
Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.
Karen has written six e-books on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.