Fats in the slimming diet
Why do we need fat?
Medical Fact Checked by: Dr. Bryan Havoc
Are you wondering sometimes: what for do I need these fats? They’re only empty calories! Maybe I should eliminate them completely? First of all: it can not happen. Secondly: it wouldn’t be good for you.
Fats are the most concentrated energetic component of food. From one gram of fat 9 kcal are released. For comparison - amount of energy released from burning one gram of carbohydrates or protein equals 4 kcal. For example: one spoon of butter or oil provides the same amount of calories as a slice of brown bread or a small natural yogurt.
Why do we need fat?
Total elimination of fats from the diet isn’t possible. It wouldn’t be healthy neither, because fat is necessary for many nutritional processes. Fats are the components of cell membranes, they’re important elements of many hormones and substances of cells.
Moreover fats are essential for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K.
They also have influence on taste of meals. It’s hard to imagine a salad without olive or groats without a little bit of butter. And yet slimming should also give some pleasure from eating.
Visible and invisible fats
Fats can not be completely eliminated from your diet. They’re hidden in many products of animal and vegetable origin. Animal fats contain mainly unhealthy saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. In big amounts you’ll find them in butter, fat meat and processed meat and in fat dairy products.
On the other hand, vegetable fats contain mainly unsaturated fatty acids (one and polyunsaturated acids) and moreover they don’t contain cholesterol. These fats are much more healthier but on one condition - your diet shouldn’t contain too much of them. You’ll find them in olive oil, oils and sea fish.
You’re not aware of the presence of some fats called “invisible”. They’re less visible for eyes, they added to cakes, chocolate and cheese for example or absorbed by food during frying… Meanwhile “invisible” fats provide about 60% of fat in the diet.
So to eat a safe amount of good quality fats it’s worth to follow these rules:
- Limit the consumption of animal origin fats both visible (butter) and invisible - fat meat and processed meat, fat dairy products, cakes, snacks such as chips, sweets etc.
- Olive oil, oils and margarine should be used very carefully remembering that in the slimming diet you shouldn’t exceed 3-4 spoons per day.
- Products such as pits or nuts you should also be dosed wisely. Although they’re healthy they provide a lot of caloric fat, you shouldn’t exceed 1-2 spoons per day.
- At least 2-3 times a week you should replace portion of meat by fish.
- You should use culinary techniques which allow you to limit the amount of fat. Avoid frying in deep oil and choose: cooking in water and steaming, braising, baking and grilling.
So don’t give up on a little bit of olive, healthy fat fish or nuts in your daily menu. It’ll be enough if you’ll follow the rule “enough is enough” and you can be sure it won’t harm your shape.
*This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.