Eat Fat, Get Lean

22 Oct

Too good to be true? Can you REALLY eat fats to get lean? OF COURSE!

We have been indoctrinated as a society to believe that “low fat” and “no fat” foods are the way to go for being lean and healthy. Just walk through your local grocery store and pay attention to the marketing of low fat foods. On that same trip, look around at the people shopping for these low fat foods. How many of them look lean and fit? Probably not many!

I myself falsely believed that low/no fat foods were “healthier” than their full fat alternatives. I had to do a lot of research on my own, and try out a higher fat diet, to find out for myself if fats were my friend or enemy. Here are my top reasons why you should ditch the low fat foods and embrace a big fat intake in your diet:

1) Low / No Fat Foods are Junk – when companies market low fat foods, they are actually removing something healthy (the fats) and replacing them with fillers that are not (such as soy, soy derivatives, sugar, artificial sweeteners, or chemicals that you can’t pronounce).

2) Fat is FULL of nutrients – gram for gram, fats are more nutrient dense than protein or carbohydrates. Not only do fats contain numerous vitamins and nutrients, they also have another interesting benefit. Many vitamins and minerals are actually fat-soluble, which means that eating fat increases the bioavailability of nutrients of other foods. In other words, eating fats allow you to get more nutrients out of the non-fat foods you are eating!

3) Fat DOES NOT make you fat – this is probably one of the most common misconceptions. I’ll say a couple of things about this. First, fat is very satiating which means it makes you feel full, thus it prevents over eating. This is especially true when you are paring the consumption of fat with a low-carb diet (like paleo). Second, study after study shows that high fat and limited carb diets improve your body’s ability to access stored fat you already have for energy. This has the result of improving body composition (increasing lean muscle mass and reducing body fat percentage).

4) Fat DOES NOT increase cholesterol and clog your arteries –There are no studies that link the consumption of fat to increased blood cholesterol. In fact, the best studies available indicate that cholesterol is most negatively impacted by high carb diets that are wheat based. Similarly, clogged arteries are caused by inflammation (which is also the number one cause of all diseases in the body). Inflammation is much more causally linked to the consumption of wheat and carbohydrates. You don’t consume fats that in turn get poured into the blood stream and plug things up… it just doesn’t work that way.

5) Fats make hormones – hormones are pretty much in charge of doing EVERYTHING in your body. Dietary fats are a key structural component of hormones. Having your hormones in proper balance, and in adequate supply, are critical for sex drive, building muscle, regulating your mood, etc.

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2 Responses to “Eat Fat, Get Lean”

  1. Angela October 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    GREAT tips. Eating real foods and real fats in a balance is always better than “diet” foods.

    • getfitwithdavid October 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      For sure Angela! I had to “unlearn” much of what I thought about health, diet and exercise before I got serious results.

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