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Don’t be Afraid of Fat

Por Emiliana Faillace, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ -
Don’t be Afraid of Fat

Do you think you need to quit eating fat in order to lose weight? This is one of the most common diet myths. The truth is, to lose fat, all you have to do is burn more calories than you eat.

Even if all you ate was fat, you wouldn’t gain weight if you didn't exceed the number of calories your body needs. That said, to be healthy, it is important to follow a balanced diet, and this can only be achieved by eating moderate amounts of all food groups.

Your body can’t distinguish where calories come from. When you eat, your body divides the nutrients as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Then, it uses what it needs of each nutrient, and the rest is either eliminated or saved as fat. 

If you eat more calories than your body needs to work properly, this excess of calories will be stored as body fat, no matter if it comes from butter, bread, or meat. The outcome is always the same, because all foods have calories.

For example, carbohydrates and proteins have 4 calories per gram; fats, 9 calories per gram, and alcohol has 7 calories per gram. This is why it is said that you should avoid fats to lose weight; because they are more dense in calories than the other nutrients.

Now that you have more information about fat, you should know it’s not necessary to eliminate it from your diet, because it also has some nutrients that are important to your health.

We suggest that most of the fats you eat be unsaturated, like vegetable oils, avocados, and nuts. These products contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which help you keep your heart healthy.

Remember that having a balanced diet doesn’t mean losing weight, and a weight-loss diet doesn’t always provide you with all the nutrients your body needs. This should be kept in mind if you are trying to lose weight.

To provide your body with all the essential nutrients it needs, you should try to eat products from all food groups on a daily basis. Around 15% of the calories you eat should come from chicken, fish, seafood, lean red meat, beans, eggs, or soy products; between 25-30% should come from fats, and 50-55%, from carbohydrates, such as whole wheat bread, beans, corn, tortillas, pasta, rice, or potatoes. Then, to lose weight, you need to take control of the quantities you eat from each food group.

In conclusion, the “culprit” of weight gain is not fat, but the total amount of food you eat. All foods will make you gain weight if you eat them excessively, but none of them will if consumed in moderation. Also remember that to get a balance between the calories you eat and the ones you use, physical activity is key . . . get up and be active every day!


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