While fat, specifically saturated fat, has been blamed for increasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease, research shows that carbs may actually be the real culprit, and after all, fat may not be as evil as many sources make us believe.
Most of us can easily remember the era when fat was considered the number-one no-no to avoid when maintaining a healthy diet and keeping one’s weight within healthy limits. In fact, there’s an entire generation of people out there that grew up believing the best, most effective way to lose unwanted pounds was to stick to a fat-free or low-fat diet.
Nowadays, we understand that fat isn’t necessarily the enemy when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet or a healthy weight. In fact, the opposite is true. The right types of dietary fat consumed in small amounts are an essential part of any diet plan. The following are just a few of the most important reasons to overcome your fear of including it in yours.
CRITICAL FOR ENERGY PRODUCTION
If you have ever tried to get through a workout or shift at work on an empty stomach , you already know how important energy is when it comes to your productivity. it's very difficult to be your best or do your best when you're feeling tired. A balanced diet that includes all three types of basic macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fat—is the key to maintaining adequate, steady energy levels.
According to the professional health team at UCLA, each gram of dietary fat a person takes in translates to 9 calories worth of energy. Carbs and protein generate less than half of that, at around 4 calories per gram each. Without enough fat in your diet, you have to consume greater amounts of the other two options just to keep going, which can easily lead to overeating. This is exactly why so many dieters have trouble losing weight or improving their health despite sticking to a low-fat diet.
SUPPORTS CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
If you’re like many people, fitness and nutrition are priorities to you because they’re essential parts of maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. However, keeping your heart, lungs, and other organs going strong is about a lot more than simply picking up the pace in the cardio room at the gym. Dietary fat plays an important role when it comes to heart health and the prevention of heart disease.
Yes, eating too much fat is bad for your heart, but so is eating too little. Lipoprotein is a substance considered by many experts to be a direct factor in the development of heart disease. The presence of the correct amount of fat in your system helps reduce dangerous lipoprotein levels and keep them in check, so make it a point to include foods high in heart-healthy fats in your diet. Examples of healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, and almonds.
ABSORBS ESSENTIAL VITAMINS
It’s not just your energy levels that suffer when you’re not getting enough fat in your diet. You could be preventing your body’s ability to absorb enough essential micronutrients as well. Some examples include fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Not only does your body absorb these through fat cells, but it stores them that way as well.
As is the case with any other type of vitamin deficiency, failing to get enough of these important compounds can develop several health problems. For instance, vitamin D helps facilitate the growth of healthy bones and cells, as well as boosts immune health. It’s also one of the most likely micronutrients a given person might be deficient in, so it’s critical that your system properly absorb and metabolize what you do take in. Deficiencies in other fat-soluble vitamins can lead to blood clotting issues, skin problems, night blindness, and fertility issues as well.
BRAIN HEALTH AND FUNCTION
Your brain isn’t just any organ. It’s an organ that’s composed primarily of fat. Once you know that, it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to cut fat out of your diet if you’re serious about maintaining a correct brain function. The consumption of saturated fat is especially important when it comes to providing your brain with the basic nourishment it needs for regeneration and maintenance.
It’s also important to realize that the neurons in your brain and throughout your nervous system are protected by a coating of myelin, a substance that’s approximately 70% fat. Healthy food sources that are high in this important compound include but are not limited to avocados, as well as almonds, peanuts, pecans, and many other nuts. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are also important for efficient brain function and include fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardine.
TAKES CONTROL OF CRAVINGS
The fact that fat is calorie-rich and essential for proper system function is exactly why people tend to crave it in their diets. The more you deprive your body of this important macronutrient, the stronger those cravings are going to become.
A diet that’s too low in fat often leads the body to demand more food in general as a way to compensate. That could make saying “no” to that triple pepperoni pizza, super-sized nachos, or bacon cheeseburger a lot harder the next time you’re going through a moment of weakness. Keep cravings in check by consuming sensible amounts of healthy fats with each meal. Eating at least some healthy fat both before and after a workout or any other activity can help stop cravings from being too overwhelming when they show up.
Now that you know this, make sure to include a good amount of healthy fats in your daily diet, your body will look, feel and perform way better.