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Why is fat bad for you?

High intake of fat is generally advised against for those with a family or medical history of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. When researching this topic online or in peer-reviewed journals,  this topic will generate many different points of view and sources of information that can be flat out contradictory. This topic has had entire books written on it! So, we will try to keep it short and to the point.

When looking at this topic from a weight management perspective, the bottom line is not in the amount of fat, carbohydrates or protein but rather the total amount of calories taken in. If you simply take in too many calories, than weight gain is eminent. However, you must realize that certain fats are an important part of the diet and must be included. As with many other areas in life, there must be a balance between total amount of fats, protein, and carbohydrates.

There is also the idea of “good” fats versus “bad” fats. This is generally talked about at when looking at cholesterol levels. Saturated fats have the potential raise LDL “bad” cholesterol while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated may not raise LDL. While this may be true in many studies, one large meta-analysis displayed no statistical association with intake of saturated fat and heart disease. Taking in excess of amount of saturated fats may be unhealthy, but there is no need to completely avoid them. Foods that have saturated fat include red meat and butter.

Another important aspect to consider at is the total inflammation in the body. Refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar to peak and dip, leading to low energy and potential weight gain. These carbohydrates can also lead to a large inflammatory response in the body, which is one of the theories in the epidemic obesity in American. Often, foods that are high in carbohydrates are also quite high in “bad” fat such as cake and donuts. GOOD sources of fat include nut butters, avocados, olives, dairy, and fish. While fat may be advised against in special cases, it is an essential macronutrient and is very beneficial for you! It may be a good idea to talk with your physician about what he or she thinks will best suit you.

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