Are fats really as bad as they are made out to be? Are they really the primary contributors to obesity and diabetes? Can we largely eliminate the risk of heart diseases by leaving out fat from our diet?
Conventional wisdom or common understanding says that the answer to the above questions and many more such questions is “YES.”
If you also think that fat is a primary factor in the above diseases or conditions, then you would agree with the majority of the population but you would be wrong. Many of the beliefs about fats are not true, and some are just plain old myths.
Many of the myths associated with fats can be dated back to the 60s and 70s when many prominent scientists believed that fat raised the bad cholesterol in the blood, and hence was the primary reason for many heart diseases. This belief system gave birth to the idea of a low-fat diet.
Fats do contribute to cholesterol in our body, but they are not all bad. The misconception about fats is a result of a few bad studies and political decisions based on the results of these studies. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that cholesterol and saturated fats are harmful to us. Yet, we have all been advised to avoid them.
Dr. Mark Hyman in his latest book, “Eat Fat, Get Thin,” debunks many of the myths associated with fats and highlights many of their health benefits. His work is a result of decades of research and is backed by empirical evidence. He strongly endorses the idea that:
The right fats can help you become lean, healthy, and vibrant.
Following are some facts about fats that debunk the myths associated with them:
Sugar Makes You Fat, Not Fats.
It is sugar that is the main culprit when it comes to obesity. As we consume more and more sugar, our cells become numb to the effect of insulin. In order to counter this, our body produces more insulin. This is our body’s attempt to bring down the blood sugar levels. Not all sugar we consume is burnt. The sugar that is not burnt gets stored as fat, and ultimately creates insulin resistance. It also messes up our body’s metabolism.
Dietary Fats Are More Complex Than Sugar.
Fats are more complex than sugar. Even though there 257 variants of sugar, they all are very similar and result in the same damage. Fats, on the other hand, are more complex and greatly differ from one another. Some common fats are monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and Trans fats. These fats have further subcategories. The different kinds of fats have different effects on our body. Some fats are healthy while others have no effect. There are fats that are bad for our body too.
Against Popular Belief, Low-Fat Diets Are Unhealthy For The Heart
When people consume low-fat food, they tend to eat more sugar and starch. This increases the small, dense cholesterol levels in our body, which is one of the causes of heart attacks.
Saturated Fats Are Healthy
There have been numerous researches conducted on establishing the connection between saturated fats and heart diseases, but none has been successful. Therefore, there is absolutely no evidence to show that saturated fats cause heart diseases. It’s all about quality. For example, the fats in fast foods affect our bodies completely differently than the saturated fats found in olive oil. Hence, we should stop classifying all fats as unhealthy and dangerous.
There Are Unhealthy Fats
Fats in inflammatory vegetable oils and Trans Fats are unhealthy and one must stay away from them.
Eating Fats Makes You Lean
Well, surprise! Surprise! Yes, you read it right. Eating fat can definitely make you lean. High-quality fats end up in the cell walls of our body. Healthy cell walls as a result of good quality fats facilitate to better metabolize insulin. This helps in better regulation of blood sugar. In the absence of healthy cell walls, our body stocks up the fat. Hence, healthy fats are essential to maintaining insulin metabolism and, in turn, blood sugar levels. The right fats increase burning of fats, cuts hunger and reduce storage of fats.
Most of what you have been told about fats are wrong. The right kind of fats can have many positive effects on our health, including improving hair, skin, mood and nails. They also protect from cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes and more. So, be smart about what you eat and choose the right fats.