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Sunday
Apr302017

Most Common Misconceptions About Dietary Fats

Most Common Misconceptions About Dietary Fats


1) Foods with higher levels of cholesterol are bad for you.

- Nutrition professionals have had remarkable success with demonizing perfectly healthy foods like eggs. Just think about it… the nutrients in an egg are enough to turn a single fertilized cell into an entire baby chicken. Even so… because eggs contain large amounts of cholesterol, they were believed to cause heart disease. However, studies actually show that the cholesterol in the diet does NOT raise the bad cholesterol in the blood. Eggs raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and are not associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

 

2) Eating fat makes you fat & high fat diets are bad for you.

- Fat is what makes us look fluffy so if we eat more of it we should store more, right? Not exactly. Even though fat has a high ratio of calories per gram, foods naturally higher in fat are much more filling and therefore harder to overeat. Diets high in naturally occurring fats have actually been proven to aid more in weight loss than in weight gain. This is based on healthy naturally derived fats however from food such as nut butters, avocados, and coconut oil. Eating fatty cheeseburgers and fried chicken don’t count.

 

3) Processed foods that are labeled low-fat or fat-free are healthier options.

- When you remove all the fat from a product, what do you think makes it taste good? Sugar, corn syrup, and artificial chemicals you cannot even pronounce. But because of the low fat diet fads, food companies have started making everything fat-free to appeal to the masses. This goes back to point number four. Usually reaching for the full fat or reduced-fat option is going to be much healthier and more fulfilling than the processed, sugar loaded, fat-free option.

 

4) All seed and vegetable oils are good for you.

- Polyunsaturated fats have gotten a healthy rap because there have been a few studies showing they may help reduce the risk of heart disease. The thing is, not all polyunsaturated fats are the same. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and lower your risk of many diseases related to inflammation. Humans actually need to get Omega-6s and Omega-3s in a certain ratio. If the ratio is too high in favor of Omega-6, it can cause problems. By far the biggest sources of Omega-6 in the modern diet are processed seed and vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower oils. Throughout evolution, humans never had access to such an abundance of Omega-6 fats. It is unnatural for the human body. Research that specifically looks at Omega-6 fatty acids instead of polyunsaturated fats in general shows that they actually increase the risk of heart disease. Eat your Omega-3s and consider supplementing with cod fish liver oil, but avoid the industrial seed and vegetable oils.

 

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