The 3 Biggest Misconceptions About What You Think Is Your Worst Enemy

Image of fatty food

What you’ve long considered as your worst enemy turns out to be a great ally in managing your weight and health.

The Issue

We have long lived under the impression that consuming fat leads to obesity and a host of cardiovascular diseases, but an increasing number of studies point that that’s not always the case. Now, before deciding to go on a crash diet of non-fat or low-fat foods, consider the following misconceptions about fat.

Misconception #1. Eating less fat will help reduce your weight.

This is one of the most abused misconceptions about fat, because a diet consisting of very little or no fat could actually lead to weight gain. You might know someone who, every morning, consumes something like a heaping spoonful of butter, together with coffee and a lot of bacon. “I’m on a diet,” your friend says, earning a look of consternation from you. But after a couple of months, your friend has lost twenty pounds. Apparently, something was right about that diet.

Latest studies in nutritional science point to caloric content of food, and not fat, as the leading cause of weight gain and cardiovascular diseases. In fact, according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, fat is plays an essential role basic metabolism. A healthful intake of triglycerides, cholesterol, and other fatty acids helps balance our metabolism. Triglycerides, cholesterol, and fatty acids are fats that the body cannot produce on its own and can only be obtained from food and food supplements.

Misconception #2. The main purpose of fat is for insulation.

Actually, insulation is just one of the three main uses of fat in the body. The other uses of fat is as an energy source, and the other is for vitamin absorption. Fats act as messengers, helping proteins function properly. They help control growth, immune function, cell reproduction.

Fats also absorb nutrients. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are stored in the body’s fatty tissues. Fatty tissues help store and metabolize these nutrients so that they can be useful to the body. Vitamin E is essential for muscle health, and is an antioxidant. It also works with Vitamin K to produce red blood cells.  Furthermore, according to a study by Louise Wamberg, M.D., Ph.D., “fat tissue is not only a passive storage site for Vitamin D, but may actively and dynamically metabolize Vitamin D.”

Misconception #3. Eating fat makes you fat.

This is another misconception about fat, because it is possible to lose weight while eating fatty foods. What you should be more wary of are foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates or those with high caloric content. That is why it always pays to check the label of your food. Remember that friend who lost weight while eating heaps of butter and bacon? Losing weight is possible in this case because as you consume as you eat less carbohydrates, your body becomes more efficient at burning fat for energy as it enters a metabolic state called ketosis.

In fact, a fatty diet is not always the culprit in weight gain. According to nutritionist and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association Tara Gidus, RD: “Instead of making any one thing in the diet a villain, we need to look at total caloric content as well as quality of food, what are we eating that is ‘good’ and helping our body’s immune system and cells to stay healthy.”

The Bottom line

Studies confirm that diets consisting of high-fat low-carbohydrate foods actually help in weight loss than low-fat, high carb diets. Consuming fat is not always unhealthful. Fat in the body is essential in metabolizing nutrients and storing energy. It always pays to check with your nutritionist before embarking on any diet, especially one that restricts fat.



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