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  • Maybe you've been pouring skim milk on your cereal and spritzing non-fat dressing on your salads for years, but as it turns out, eating fat won't make you fat.

  • In fact, research shows that low-fat diets don't seem to aid in weight loss or in reducing risk of disease compared to high-fat diets, and all those refined carbs that you've been eating to replace that fat might be the real issue.

  • To understand how fat can be healthy, it's helpful to first understand what's going on with carbs in your body.

  • When you eat a simple carbohydrate, like a slice of bread, enzymes in your saliva immediately start breaking that food down into sugar.

  • That surge of sugar triggers a hormone called insulin, which tells your body to store available energy in the bloodstream, in fat tissue and in other forms, and the later surge crash makes you feel hungry,

  • encouraging you to eat more, but fats are another story.

  • Fat isn't processed the same way as carbs.

  • It can't be broken down with saliva, or fully digested by stomach acid.

  • Instead, your small intestines, with the aid of bile secreted by your liver, break it down.

  • This happens much later in the digestive process, so fat digestion is much slower.

  • The different fats interact with your hormones in complex ways that, unlike carbs, don't cause a massive spike in insulin and good fats are really important for your body to function properly.

  • Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive oil and avocados.

  • This good fat helps reduce inflammation and levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, in the blood.

  • Polyunsaturated fats in foods like sunflower seeds, walnuts and fish, also have significant health benefits.

  • Fish oil, for example, consists of one type of polyunsaturated fat called Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to decrease blood pressure, increase HDL, or good cholesterol, and may also protect against heart disease,

  • but saturated fats, found in red meat and dairy, are a different story.

  • An extensive study found that replacing a small percentage of calories coming in from saturated fats with calories from unsaturated fats,

  • reduce the risk of death, heart disease, and a number of neurodegenerative diseases.

  • At the same time, studies show that full-fat dairy is healthier than reduced-fat dairy.

  • One recent study found that drinking full-fat dairy was associated with a lower risk of diabetes, so while unsaturated fats are better, saturated fats aren't entirely useless.

  • Not only are unsaturated fats essential for your body, avoiding them in the name of weight loss isn't actually a helpful way to shed unwanted pounds.

  • A study by the Women's Health Initiative assigned women to low-fat diets for eight years.

  • They found the participants didn't seem to gain protection against breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or cardiovascular disease.

  • And in the carb versus fat debate, an extensive 2017 study found no association between dietary fat and heart disease.

  • In fact, the researchers found that high carb diets were linked to a higher risk of death.

  • So, if studies show that fat doesn't make us fat or doesn't increase our risk of heart disease and carbs make us hungry and are linked to a higher risk of death, should we all just ditch carbs altogether?

  • Probably not.

  • Recent research seems to advocate a balanced diet that includes a combination of healthy fats and complex carbs.

  • Researchers found that diets high in fiber and low in refined grains, meat and sugars, resulted in less weight gain.

  • So what should you eat?

  • The good news is you can find healthy fats and complex carbs in a variety of tasty foods.

  • You can find unsaturated fats in fish, olives, nuts and seeds and still have a place on your plate for so-called good carbs.

  • Although you should probably avoid eating lots of refined carbs, like white bread and rice.

  • Foods like sweet potatoes, raw apples and legumes are a different story.

  • These foods don't cause the same sudden peaks in blood sugar and, like healthy fats, they contribute to a balanced diet to keep your body running.

  • So go forth and toss some oil on that salad.

Maybe you've been pouring skim milk on your cereal and spritzing non-fat dressing on your salads for years, but as it turns out, eating fat won't make you fat.

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B2 US fat carbs unsaturated disease heart disease dairy

Why Eating Fat Won't Make You Gain Weight

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/04/29
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