5 Biggest Myths About Eating Fat

Myth #4: Foods that have high cholesterol levels increase LDL levels

It’s been a general consensus among nutritionists in the past decades that eating foods that are high in cholesterol should be avoided, but that also has changed. Dietary cholesterol does not necessarily increase the “bad cholesterol” levels in the body. On the contrary, it can increase HDL or the “good cholesterol”.

There is one caveat however: trans-fats and linoleic acid which is found in vegetable oils can greatly harm your health. So, avoid partially hydrogenated oils such as canola, as well as packaged goods such as frozen pizza, cream-filled candies, and margarine. Many times, the nutrition label does not show trans-fat on it, so look for any mention of hydrogenated oils on the label.

Myth#5: Eating fat will derail my fitness progress

There are some endurance athletes that try out what is known as the ketogenic diet. This diet consists of getting 40-50% of your daily calories from fat and only 5-10% from carbs, with the rest coming from protein. Even though nutrition scientists are still examining the potential pros and cons of this type of diet, it has certainly proven itself to help the body switch to using fat as an energy source, instead of carbs.

The underlying mechanism of this diet is similar to the one of intermittent fasting. When the body runs out of glycogen as fuel, it turns to other sources, such as fat. Considering that the majority of us train to burn off excess internal fat, it is certainly a win-win situation.

However, the usual high-fat foods in a standard ketogenic diet are not burgers and fries. It’s fish, avocados, peanut butter, eggs, and meat. It’s also worth noting that it will take the body around 3-5 weeks to adapt to the new high-fat, low-carb approach, especially you’ve been regularly eating foods like pasta and pizza and other types of junk food.

And because the body digests the fat more slowly than the carbs, this diet will have a more satiating effect and keep you fuller for a longer period of time, not to mention provide you with a source of steady energy levels which will power you through a workout session or a long run. If you eat a high-fat meal, you should wait for about 2 hours before you train.

Main takeaway points:

  • Reducing or eliminating fat from your diet altogether can actually cause more weight gain.
  • Worse than eating foods with high-fat content is substituting them with sugar-filled foods.

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