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Weight Loss Myth

Studies have shown that dieters who avoided any dietary fats were replacing them with more carbohydrates and simple sugars leading them to actually gain more weight. Saturated fats are those found in animal and dairy products, as well as in any hydrogenated fat which are also regarded as less healthy fats because they raise L.D.L. cholesterol, or ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood, and this kind of cholesterol is related to heart disease. But even saturated fat is not so bad compared to refined carbohydrates, says cardiovascular doctors, and if we were to eliminate it from our diet we would also be eliminating many foods that are also rich in healthy fats, like fish, whose omega-3 fatty acids are vital to good health.

Essential Fatty Acids or EFA’s are just that! Essential! Alpha linoleic acid and linoleic acid also known as Omega-3 and Omega-6 act as carriers along with other fats to help facilitate vital nutrients and fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K throughout the body. These fats are not produced in the human body and must be consumed on a regular basis in order to ensure proper cellular function. Almost all the polyunsaturated fat in the human diet is from EFA’s. Some of the food sources that contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are fish and shellfish, flaxseed (linseed), hemp oil, soy oil, canola oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.

Nearly every day new research and studies come out debunking popular fat myths; On the Mayo Clinic’s website, saturated fats are lumped in with trans-fats under the banner “harmful dietary fat” and the site claims that saturated fat can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

This brings up several important issues in the fat debate. It is still widely held that what matters are the types of fat we consume. But according to the most recent studies, including one reported in the Los Angeles Times article, this is not true. “Contrary to what many expect — dietary fat intake is not directly related to blood fat. Rather, the amount of carbohydrates in the diet appears to be a potent contributor,” Marni Jameson writes.

But old habits die hard and there’s just no convincing people that what they’ve been told for the past 50 years is just plain wrong is a hard sell. Well, unless Dr. Oz endorses it! But that’s another topic. But not only that, the continued recommendations to eat low-fat versions of foods (as in the USDA’s latest dietary guidelines and on the Mayo Clinic’s website) don’t help. Americans are confused about nutrition and disease and it’s only getting more complex with corporations claiming to make “healthier foods”.

Keep in mind, there is one type of fat that is implicated in high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and diabetes: trans-fat. Trans-fats raise bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, and increase triglycerides, they also promotes inflammation and insulin resistance. Plain and simple right? Well, almost. At least one philosophy still hold true: Eat plenty of ‘clean’ and ‘whole foods’ and your risk of disease and ailment will greatly decrease. Now, if we can only agree on what exactly it means to eat clean whole foods!