People in the US get many more of their calories from fat than people from other nations. As a result, we find a growing number of obesity cases in the US. A gram of fat contains 9 calories, more than double the calories in a gram of protein or carbohydrate. When you combine this with processed carbohydrates, our bodies store fat calories at an accelerated rate. Fat is less effective than proteins and carbohydrates in satisfying appetite and providing a sense of fullness.
The types of fat that are consumed can impact your health in a significant way. Fats that should be avoided include saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
A) Saturated fats come from animals and are delivered to us when we eat products like sausage, hot dogs, bacon, hamburger and fatty meet like ribs and steak, duck, dark chicken or turkey meat and processed poultry.
B) Hydrogenated fats come to us through processed foods. The primary purpose of hydrogenated fats being in processed foods is to preserve the product. However, hydrogenated fats have been directly linked to stroke, heart attack and the loss of memory and cognitive function.
C) Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils came about as saturated fats became more targeted by the medical community. They were touted as being healthier than saturated fats and were responsible for the “low fat / low cholesterol” claims dominating food labels 25 years ago. Because the polyunsaturated fats did not preserve food products “shelf life” as long, science figured out a way to create hydrogenated vegetable oils known as “trans fats”. In time, they too were determined to be dangerous to our health.
It remains an important part of our health to minimize or even eliminate these fats from our diets. They are known to degrade our health and contribute to diseases. Foods served at fast food restaurants are packed with salt, high fructose corn syrup and animal fat. They also lack any significant nutritional value.
At New Horizon, we focus on teaching about fats. Our next blog will talk about the good fats, essential fatty acids and how we can get those into our bodies.
Has this awareness helped you make better food choices today?
New Horizon is a medically supervised facility applying a multi-disciplined approach to weight loss where patients gain access to medical, nutritional, counseling and fitness trainers on a weekly basis. All programs offered are evidence based and designed for long term success in achieving improved states of health. Free consultations are offered by calling 781-269-5400.