Fat Myths: Why It’s Time to Stop Counting Calories

What You Need to Know About High Fat Foods

Despite the fact that scientists and nutritionists completely rehabilitated fats several years ago, many are still wary of this component of food. Some are afraid of the calorie content of high-fat foods, others fear that fatty foods should be excluded from the menu during the diet. ELLE debunks these and other popular myths and explains why fat is needed by the body.

Myth # 1: Consumption of fatty products leads to weight gain

Of course, if you regularly eat foods high in fat in large quantities, then you will gain several pounds, but the lack of measure will in any case lead to excess weight. However, by replacing simple carbohydrates with the right fats, you can lose weight, even if the calorie intake remains the same. “A gram of fat contains 9 kilocalories (for comparison: carbohydrates and proteins each contain 4 kilocalories per gram). In order not to gain weight, just try not to exceed your daily caloric intake, ”advises New York Clinic nutritionist Jessica Cording. In addition, experts, based on the latest data, believe that a person needs to increase the amount of healthy fats in their diet by up to 20 percent. It used to be that 10 percent was enough, but this data is outdated.

Myth # 2: Fat is not good

Fats are the most important component of the diet: they help the brain, regulate the most important processes in the body, hormone production and body temperature. Their lack affects the appearance. If you have dull hair, dry skin, and brittle nails, it is possible that your body is not getting enough fat.

Myth # 3: Fat is harmful

Like carbohydrates, fats are divided into those that are good for the body and those that are harmful. Saturated or solid fats are most commonly found in processed foods and animal products. It is desirable to limit their number. But foods with unsaturated fats in the composition (nuts, vegetable oils, salmon, avocados) are better added to the daily diet, they will only benefit the body.

Myth # 4: High fat food increases cholesterol levels

Saturated fats can actually raise blood cholesterol levels, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in sunflower seeds, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, tuna, walnuts), on the contrary, reduce it.

Myth # 5: All fats are the same

Fats are usually grouped together, but the different types differ significantly from each other. Saturated fats (found in animal products, palm oil) are deposited in subcutaneous fat in problem areas. But the most dangerous today are trans fats (margarine, fast food, sweets and some processed foods) – they lead to problems with the heart and blood vessels, to obesity and malfunctioning of the endocrine system. Poly- and monounsaturated fats have a beneficial effect on the heart and are quickly absorbed by the body.