Since long, there has been a confusion around about whether fat will make you fat or it will make you burn fat? Everyone seems to have a different opinion. See, fat is essential to human health and around 20-25% of daily calorie requirement should come from fat. To get the perspective, let’s understand that fats are good and bad.
Good fats are unrefined ones like- fat from fish, nuts, tropical oils, fats from plants etc. Bad fats are the ones that have been refined like soy, sunflower, corn, canola oils. Good fats are high in omega-3 while bad fats are high in omega-6 which are prone to oxidisation and damage human body.
Very less people know that food and sugar manufacturer lobby had spread wrong notion about fat by sponsoring the studies and paid negative media publicity so that people stopped consuming fat containing products leading to increase the sales of sugar containing products.
Here are the reasons why you should include fats in your diet:
Easier fat loss
According to a swedish study, people who ate high-good-fat, low-carb diet (50% fat, 20% low GI carbs, 30% protein) had equivalent weight loss as people who ate high-carb, low-fat diet (30% fat, 60% carbs, 10% protein) BUT had better blood sugar regulation then high-carb group showing better metabolism.
Better reproductive health
In both men and women, good-fat is used to manufacture and regulate hormones and improve gene signaling. Intake of good fats increases testosterone levels, reduces risk of infertility, increases libido, increases androgen levels and lowers body fat.
Better body composition
• Since outer layer of your cells is made up of omega-3 fats, it is beneficial to consume good-fats that contain it.
• Omega-3 activates genes that are involved in lyposis or burning of fat and deactivates ones that store fat.
• Fat leads to satiation. Meal combined with good amounts of protein can lead to greater satisfaction curbing hunger and cravings.
• Cholesterol that comes with fat, is used to make hormones. Hence, consuming right amount of good-fats will keep up your hormonal balance.
More muscle and less fat
Good fats present in your diet supports hormonal balance and recovery from intense workouts which leads to muscle gain. For men this means greater mass gains and for women this means tighter curves.
Stronger bones and reduced risk of Osteoporosis
Fats are involved in calcium metabolism and vitamin K2 and D are both fat-soluble nutrients that are required in building bones thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis. For better bone health one should intake saturated and mono-saturated fats and omega-3 & omega-6 in the proportion of 2:1
Better skin and eye health
Presence of fatty acids in adequate amount prevents dry skin and eyes. Getting omega-3 and other saturated fats help improve the body’s ability to lubricate properly.
Stronger immune system
Saturated fats that are found in butter, coconut oil and red palm oil have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Hence, their intake in diet helps to kill pathogens and prevent infections.
Bonus point – Cheese, butter, nuts…
I would advise you to consider taking at least 25% of daily requirement from fats or more specifically, good fats. Don’t fall in the trap of misconception about fat being evil. Infact every macro-nutrient is equally important and shall not be demonised.