Tuesday, April 5, 2011

FYI: The Big FAT Truth: Fat Won't Make You Fat!

For Your Information...


The Big FAT Truth:  Fat Won't Make You Fat!

Say yes to beef - just choose
 tenderloin over this T-bone

First they said it was bad for you, then they said it was good... then bad.  Well, which is it?  'Cause I`ve always liked a bit of fat with my steak, chicken, lamb chops, or whatever.  I know a great deal of people personally, who despises any bit of fat, on their meats, like the plague.  Well boy was I happy to discover this article (I think), from Shape Magazine telling it like it is!. Here are the six facts the magazine boiled it all down to in regards to what researchers have now singled out as to what kinds of fat you should eat and how much you need every day.

Any fat you consume won't go straight from your lips to your hips - well, this is not entirely true.   
"Any nutrient, whether it's a fat, carbohydrate, or protein, will be converted into body fat if you eat too much of it," explains Rosa Mo, R.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of New Haven.  "The only way to avoid putting on those extra pounds is to keep your calories in check.  It's all about burning off the same amount as you take in."

According to Mo, while fat does pack more than double the calories per gram of protein and carbs (9 vs. 4), including a reasonable amount of it in your diet won't derail your weight-loss efforts.  In fact, upping your fat intake may actually help you slim down:  Researches at Stanford University found that people who ate a moderate-fat diet lost twice as much weight in two months as those who followed a low fat plan.  "Fat takes longer for your stomach to digest, so you feel fuller for longer," says Mo.  "That means you`re less likely to binge."
Ah!  That's why my friends are always munching on chips, or cookies or something - less than an hour after their meal... and I don't!

A steady diet of skinless chicken breasts and hold-the-dressing salads (yuck!), isn't just bland (no shit),  it's also downright dangerous.  (Did you hear that people - DANGEROUS!).  You literally can't survive without fat," says Joan Salge Blake, R.D., a nutrition professor at Boston University.  In addition to acting as an energy source, she says, it provides a protective cushion for your bones and organs and keeps your hair and skin healthy.  (Ahem, my thoughts exactly).

What's more, fat helps your body absorb certain vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K from all the healthy fare you dutifully pile on your plate.  According to a recent study from Ohio State University, people who ate salsa made with avocado (which is rich in healthy fat) absorbed four times more of the antioxidant lycopene and nearly three times more vitamin A from tomatoes than those who noshed on nonfat salsa.

Still, don't use your body's fat needs as an excuse to inhale every chocolate chip cookie or slice of bacon that crosses your path.  "There are different types of fat molecules, and some are far better for you than others," says Mo.  An easy way to tell the difference?  "Bad" fats (saturated and trans fats) are usually found in animal-based and processed foods (think steak, cheese, butter, and doughnuts), while "good" fats (poly- and monounsaturated ones) tend to come from fish and plant sources, such as salmon, olive and soybean oils, nuts and seeds.  So experts advise getting nearly all your fat calories from unsaturated fats; less than 10 percent should come from saturated fat and less than 1 percent from trans fat.  Protein sources containing good fats, such as beans and fish, are good choices.  Or ones low in saturated fat, such as pork, chicken, and low fat dairy.  For meat - choose lean red meat - round, sirloin, and top loin.

Also, read nutrition labels on processed foods and pick ones with the least amount of saturated fat and zero grams of trans fat per serving.

"It's true that a diet high in fat is usually high in calories too, which raises your risk of becoming obese and developing chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes," says Denise Snyder, R.D., a clinical trials manager at Duke University.  But going too low can also be bad for your health.  Research in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who consumed a mere 20 percent of their calories from fat had the same rates of heart attack, stroke, and certain cancers as those who ate nearly twice as much.  (Say what?!  So you're damned if you do, damned if you don't?). 

So just how much nutrient is enough?  Experts recommend getting roughly 25 to 35 percent of your total calories from fat.  For a woman who eats 1,500 calories a day, that's about 50 grams, or the amount in 3 ounces of sirloin, half an avocado, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and two cookies.  (Shit, that's not enough!?!  I usually eat a 14 ounce T-bone steak, a whole avocado, 5 tablespoons of peanut butter and at least 4 cookies!).  To see exactly how much you need, go to myfatstranslator.com.

By the way,  they went on to say "You don't have to stick to that percentage every day.  It's more important to average out your fat intake over the course of a week, meaning you can eat a little more one day and little less the next." (Sweet!)

Although there's no such thing as a cure-all, omega-3 fatty acids come pretty close.  Research reveals that this type of polyunsaturated fat (found in cold-water fish, like salmon, sardines, anchovies, and flounder, as well as flaxseed, walnuts, omega-3-fortified eggs, and red meat from grass-fed animals) can do everything from lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels to fight memory loss and improve your skin.  Some experts say they can even perk up your mood and defend against depression.
To get enough of these nutrients, dine on salmon or another fatty fish at least twice a week.  Not a fan of fillets?  Opt for a daily fish oil capsule that's free of mercury and other contaminants.  And for a supplement that's just as effective at raising your body's omega-3 levels as seafood - without the fishy aftertaste - try a DHA supplement derived from algae or krill oil.

After scientists proved how harmful trans fats are to the heart, most major food manufacturers scrambled to rejigger their recipes in order to label them "trans-fat-free."  But though the new and improved products are free of these fats, many are "still loaded with unhealthy saturated fat from palm oil, butter, or other sources," explains Kerry Neville, R.D., a Seattle-based spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
It's also important to know that you can't always believe everything you read:  Even those products that claim to be trans-fat-free can legally still contain up to half a gram per serving.  While that may seem like a minimal amount, Harvard scientists found that women who consumed as few as 4 grams a day were three times as likely to develop heart disease.  To spot hidden sources of trans fat, scan ingredient lists for partially hydrogenated oil or shortening.

I don't know my friends.  In the end I'd like to say I can have my steak and eat it too but I guess now it depends on the kind of steak.  Oh well, I guess I'll just have to top it off with some mushroom gravy made with fresh cream!
OMG! Shit!  I got to go!  (Speaking of food), My bacon wrapped sausages are burning up on the stove! (Seriously!) Thanks for reading. Bye!

Resource(s):  My Personal Collection of Tips From Over the Years From Various Magazines! - Shape Magazine, June 2009 Issue, Pages 146-150

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