It’s now time to dispel a myth : There are no crocodiles in the New York’s sewers!

Ok I’m just kidding… In reality, there is one myth still more absurd: ’’Eating fat makes you fatter!”

There is nothing more fake and recently more and more scientists are coming to the same conclusion: fats aren’t our enemies. On the contrary, they can save your life!

In fact, research suggests that eating healthy saturated fats actually promotes weight loss.
When you eat healthy fats in a meal, this slows absorption of the food and you can go longer without feeling hungry.
The fats give a lot of satisfaction, especially when combined with a diet with few carbohydrates. It’s hard to eat too much if you follow a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fats and proteins.
Also, eating a lot of fat and few carbohydrates, the body is forced to burn fat to produce energy. If, instead, you eat lots of fats with large amounts of carbohydrates, the body burns carbohydrates (and then fats are accumulated).

The human being can go without sugar (because it can produce glucose from its reserves of fat and protein)… but he can not deprive himself of the good fats.
We are, for example, unable to produce ourselves the famous omega-3, so important to the proper functioning of our heart and our brain.
This is why our diet must contain fats, rich in omega-3.

In addition, by depriving yourself of fat, you also deprive yourself of foods that are delicious and good for your heart:

  • Avocado – full of fiber and potassium
  • Walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts – full of vitamins
  • Dark chocolate – packed full of antioxidants,
  • Eggs – full of choline.

Carbs won’t help you ‘’feel full”, because they don’t offer the same feeling of satiety as fats. It is even the contrary that is true: the more you eat sugars, more you want to eat those foods that are less good (like ice cream or bread and industrial snacks).

Saturated fats and monounsaturated fats are safe to consume even in large quantities.
In weight loss and calorie restriction diets, these are often the first macronutrients to be eliminated. But this is a serious error.

The body tolerates very well saturated fats, and if it can consume in large quantities, in fact:

  • Fats are structural building blocks of the human body, and produce from 75 to 80% of the fatty acids in most cells.
  • They are the primary sources of energy for the most part of the body and are actually a healthier form of energy when compared to glucose.

I am unaware of any known toxicity, even at high doses, unless a metabolic disorder or a high presence of insulin prevents fats from being used or stored in the forms of triglycerides and phospholipids.

Another factor that supports the safety of saturated fats and monounsaturated fats is the ease of the body to keep them in reserve. As structural elements of cells, these fatty acids constitute almost half of the lean mass of the body. The main reserves are in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue.

The consumption of saturated fat improves the lipid profile in two ways:

  • increases levels of HDL cholesterol (commonly known as good cholesterol)
  • it makes LDL particles (commonly known as bad cholesterol) wide and elastic, protecting them from glycation and oxidation – so effectively making them safer forms of bad cholesterol.

Here are some examples of fats that are excellent for your health:

  • Extra virgin olive oil is made of monounsaturated fatty acids (which promote the replacement of LDL cholesterol in the blood, cause heart attacks and obstructions of the vascular, with HDL cholesterol), with the right quantity of linoleic fatty acid, polyphenols, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
  • Coconut oil contains vitamins and iron. It is very good for hair and skin, promotes immunity and improves the metabolism. You can use it in the cooking and to make sweet puddings.
  • Ghee is a clarified butter (subjected to a slow cooking through which you have deleted all of the substances that are most indigestible). Nourishes, rehydrates the body and prevents excess heat.
  • Another valuable source of good fats is  raw egg yolk. It is one of the richest sources ofenzymes existing in the world, it is immediately assimilated without leaving toxins and without interfering with the metabolism of fats and cholesterol.
  • Other sources of good fats are wild salmon, shellfish, and meat of grassfed cattle and lamb.

Mauro Maza

Naturopathic Practitioner at Naturopathe.lu

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