The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Eating healthy is a challenge with so many different food choices available.  If you think that fat is responsible for your weight gain you are right, but there are other factors. Being over-weight is much more complicated and cannot be blamed on fats alone.

It’s simple, people who get little physical activity and eat a diet high in calories are going to gain weight. Hereditary factors, age, sex, and lifestyle also play part and contribute to weight-gain.

Eating more calories from fats, carbohydrates, protein, and alcohol than you burn off leads to excessive weight gain.Fat is calorie-dense, at 9 calories per gram, while carbs and protein have only 4 calories per gram, and alcohol has 7 calories per gram.

It’s easy to overeat on fats because it is part of most of our favorite foods – as in French fries, most processed foods, cakes, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, steaks, and cheese.

But it’s easy to get confused about good fats vs. bad fats and how much fat we should eat. Would all of our weight loss problems be solved if we just eliminated fat from our diets? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. We actually need fats, we can’t live without them.

In fact fats are an important part of a healthy diet, they provide essential fatty acids, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energy. They play a big part in helping you manage your moods, keep you mentally fit and control your weight.

Bad fats, such as trans fats and saturated fats have been blamed for weight gain, clogged arteries, and inflammation, while good fats such as the mono unsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect. The number one fats to avoid or to reduce are the saturated fats. These fats are often difficult to detect and make up 30 to 40 % of the typical North American diet. Look at the labels – look at the ingredients.