There are good fats, and there are bad fats.
The good fats will help you build muscle, burn fat, and improve your health.
The bad fats will make you fat and unhealthy.
That's where the problem lies, though. No one knows the difference between good fats and bad fats.
Most people think that all fats are bad fats and this is completely wrong.
Obviously, we don't recommend eating bad fats but we HIGHLY recommend good fats as they are essential to good health.
Let's learn the difference between the good and bad fats and find out which fats you should be including in your diet.
The REAL Facts About Fat
All fats are made from 3 fatty acids: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
As you probably already know, saturated fats are the bad fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the healthy fats.
Saturated fats lead to increased levels of blood cholesterol. A saturated fat is solid at room temperature. Fat that you see on meat from animals is saturated. Notice that it's solid at room temperature.
Look at a steak or a piece of chicken next time you eat one and find the saturated fat. I always cut saturated fat from meats as much as possible before I cook them.
Small amounts of saturated fat are needed in the body for very important functions, so you don't want to cut out all saturated fat from your diet. But, you also won't have to work very hard to add saturated fat to your diet.
Most of the meat you eat will have all the saturated fat you need. If you don't eat meat at all, you might want to buy a natural saturated fat supplement such as coconut oil.
- Meat Fat
- Dairy Fat
- Coconut Oil
- Palm Kernel Oil
- Palm Oil
Saturated fats should only make up a very small percentage of your total calorie intake. Always keep saturated fat under 10% of your total calorie intake.
For example, fat contains 9 calories per gram. If you are eating 3000 calories per day, 10 percent is 300 calories. 300 divided by 9 is about 33 grams of saturated fat at a maximum (for a 3000 calorie diet only).
Unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) are liquid at room temperature and lower blood cholesterol levels. Unsaturated fats contain fatty acids that are essential to the body.
The body cannot produce these essential fatty acids, so we must supply them to our body through our diets.
Most people never feed their body enough essential fatty acids. When they do, though, they will see and feel the benefits of essential fatty acids:
- Improves joint health
- Improves skin texture
- Burns fat more efficiently
- Prevents heart disease
- Improves sensitivity to insulin
- Increased absorption of fat soluble vitamins
- Required for transfer of oxygen
- Reduces PMS and Menopause symptoms
- Maintains cell membranes
- Increases anabolic environment
- Increases metabolism
- Suppresses cortisol
- Relieves arthritis pain
- Relieves inflammation
- Relieves digestive disorders
- Fights cancer
- Blocks migraine headache symptoms
That's a long list and that's not even all of the benefits essential fatty acids provide to your body.
If you closely read the list above, you might have noticed some of the benefits that pertain to getting that body of your dreams…
You'll burn fat more efficiently, improve sensitivity to insulin, increase vitamin uptake, increase muscle building, and you'll increase your metabolism.
All of those benefits will lead to more muscle and less body fat.
But, to get those benefits you must intake the correct amount of essential fats as a percentage of your overall diet.
Essential Fat Sources
So, what sources of food supply you with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats?
Polyunsaturated Fat Sources:
- Fish and Fish Oil
- Flax Oil
- Krill Oil
- Healthy Oils
Monounsaturated Fat Sources:
- Olive Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Canola Oil
The Creation of Trans Fatty Acids
Trans fatty acids exist in very small amounts in some animals and dairy products.
Most of the trans fatty acids that you hear so much about are created during hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation techniques used by food manufacturers.
Hydrogenation adds hydrogen atoms to unsaturated fats making them more saturated. This process of hydrogenation simply adds shelf life to foods, which greatly helps the food industry, but really hurts the health of everyone who eats these products.
As the story goes, money is always more important than human life in today's world it seems. I really don't understand this at all, but money always seems to be number one in the world we live in. It's sad but true.
Food manufacturers have turned healthy oils into killers. Trans fats will kill you.
Do you know what's even worse about trans fats? Food labels, at one time, were not required to list trans fats. So, you didn't even know you were eating something that could harm you considerably.
Now, food labels in the United States include the amount of trans fats. I'm not sure about other countries throughout the world, though.
Let me help you recognize what might contain trans fatty acids so you can stay away from these foods. If you follow my recommendation on eating natural foods, you won't have much of a problem.
Here are some foods that contain trans fats:
- Fried foods
- French fries
- Fried chicken
- Corn chips
- Taco shells
- Cake frostings
- Refined vegetable oils
- Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
So, why do food manufacturers choose to produce trans fatty acids that hurt the human population? You should already know the answer to that. Hydrogenation allows the food industry to make more money.
Have you ever eaten french fries from a popular fast food restaurant?
Trans fats are found in shortenings used for deep frying. Partially hydrogenated oils can be re-used for a much longer time than other oils. Today, there are vegetable oils that have not been hydrogenated that can last longer than the hydrogenated versions.
Fast food restaurants use different oils in different locations throughout the United States and the world. If you ate fries from a fast food joint in Denmark compared to one in New York City, you ate 28 times fewer trans fats.
Isn't that amazing? Things are beginning to change for the good, though, across the world.
Your best option is to never eat french fries again. You don't need them. Your body definitely doesn't need them. Be mentally strong, and give them up.
And just so you know, maybe the world does realize the human life is more important than money. The food industry is starting to realize that trans fats kill people. Many fast food restaurant chains have chosen to remove the trans fats by using different cooking oils.
This still doesn't mean the food is good for you, though. Always stay away from fast food. Trans fats are processed and refined fats just as there are refined and processed carbohydrates.
Don't mess with what God gave us. When we try to manipulate foods, we make them unhealthy. Eat foods as they were given to us in natural form, and you'll burn fat and build muscle faster than ever. And you'll live a much longer and healthier life too.
Still not convinced not to touch those cookies, cakes, pies, and french fries? Okay, you pushed me to it…
Let's look at what trans fats can do to you:
Trans fats remain in the blood stream for much longer periods of time than other fats. This means trans fats can lead to greater amounts of arterial deposits and plaque formation.
- Elevated risk of Coronary heart disease
- Promote the development of Alzheimer's disease
- Increased risk of Cancer
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Lead to obesity
- Increased weight gain
- Increased abdominal fat
- Decreased insulin sensitivity
- Decreased immune system function
- Liver dysfunction
- Greater risk of infertility
- Decreased essential fatty acid function
You definitely don't want any of the risks listed above. Eating trans fats just aren't worth the risk. So don't eat anything that contains trans fats. It's as simple as that. Pay attention to food labels. Pay attention to what you're putting in your body.
What About Low Fat Diets?
Fats are needed for the body to function properly — good fats and even a small amount of saturated fats are needed for proper functioning of the body.
Why do you need the correct amount of fat in your diet?
Fat controls blood sugar and insulin release
Fat eaten with your meals slows down absorption and controls blood sugar levels.
Without fat, blood sugar levels can quickly increase and promote the release of greater amounts of insulin.
Fat burning is halted and fat storage takes precedence.
Fat controls hunger
When blood sugar levels drop to very low levels, you will get hunger pains and start to crave food.
You crave food because your body needs the food to get blood sugar levels back to normal. When you don't include fat in your diet, your blood sugar levels will be up and then down all day long.
You'll be miserable.
Fat creates an optimal environment for fat loss and muscle building
A low fat diet will decrease testosterone levels.
Increasing fat intake will increase testosterone levels.
If you are serious about getting the body of your dreams, you will not allow your testosterone levels to drop due to low amounts of fat in your diet.
Essential fats are “essential” for a reason
Your body cannot produce essential fats, so you've got to ensure you feed your body what it needs.
If you are on a very low fat diet, you have a much greater chance of not feeding your body the fat it needs.
Don't feed your body essential fats, and you'll be very sorry. The body will fight back, and you don't want to fight your body. You'll lose.
As you can see, a low fat diet is not conducive to leading a healthy life or building the body of your dreams.
So, should you then eat a high fat diet to reap all the rewards of fats? Let's find out…
And Then — High Fat Diets… Are They Better?
You need fat in your diet, but high fat diets can be very harmful to your body. When you eat a diet high in fat, you leave less room for protein and carbohydrates.
You've got to have ample amounts of protein to build muscle, and carbohydrates are always going to be the primary source of fuel for your body.
Carbohydrates are very important for any program that uses some form of high intensity exercise, such as weight lifting. If you go with a high fat and low carbohydrate diet, your performance in the gym will suffer.
This means your muscle building and fat loss efforts will suffer with a low-carb and high fat diet.
Why, exactly, is a high fat diet not good for you? Here's why…
Fat is stored more easily as body fat than protein or carbohydrates
Fat takes the least amount of energy to break down and store in the body. This means they are easily stored as body fat.
Protein takes the most amount of energy to break down and utilize and carbohydrates are second to protein.
If fat is the easiest to store as body fat, why in the world would you go overboard and eat a high fat diet?
Bad fats (saturated and trans fats) wreak havoc on your body
You already know that bad fats can kill you.
A diet high in fat is most likely going to include more bad fats than a diet lower in fat. A high fat diet is very unhealthy.
You can get all of the same benefits from fat with a moderate intake of fat compared to a high fat diet.
The question is then, why? A high fat diet is never beneficial.
A high fat diet does not create an optimal muscle building environment
Many proponents of high fat diets want to believe that high fat intakes increase testosterone even more than a moderate fat diet.
This is a lie.
Much smaller amounts of beneficial fats are needed to create the optimal muscle building environment. A high fat diet leaves no room for insulin release.
Insulin is highly, highly anabolic and creates the optimal muscle building environment.
With little to no carbohydrates in your diet, the release of insulin is inhibited. You need some insulin to get protein to the muscle cells for the construction process. High fat diets will never create the optimal muscle building environment.
Fat is an energy source but a very inefficient energy source for high intensity exercise
A high fat diet will naturally include fewer carbohydrates because there's simply less room for carbohydrates.
Fat contains 9 calories per gram compared to only 4 for carbohydrates and protein.
If your diet is high in fat, there's practically little room for protein and carbs. Carbs are needed to fuel your workouts. Without them, your workouts will greatly suffer.
So, What's the Best Solution?
Now you see that a high fat diet and low fat diet are neither healthy nor good for building a great body.
Let's go with a much better approach instead — a moderate fat intake is best.
Within the diet and nutrition section of this website, you'll learn how much dietary fat you should be consuming for optimal health, building muscle, and losing fat.
Don't fall for all the hype with the high fat and low carb diets. They are very unhealthy and will never provide you with the fuel you need to workout hard, make progress, and feel good each day.
Your body wasn't designed to work optimally with high amount of fats and very low amounts of carbohydrates. You'll feel bad each day. Who wants that? There's a reason you'll feel bad. Your body is trying to tell you to stop.