- Eating fats will not make you fat
- This is along with the fact that you consume healthy sources of fat
- Fried and processed food give you unhealthy, weight gain causing fat
Here are some of the most common myths about fats: eating fats will make you fat; fats are good for you; fats are bad for heart health… and so on. If you are in a complicated, consufed kind of relationship with fats, then you have landed at just the right place. Celeb nutritionist Pooja Makhija recently took to Instagram to talk about all things fat, bust some of the most common myths around this macronutrient. In her IGTV, the Mumbai-based nutritionist clarifies that eating fat certainly does not make you fat.
The truth about fats you must know
Eating the wrong kind of fat or eating too much fat can make gain weight, she adds. Fats can conveniently be divided into two categories: good fat and bad fat.
Processed, refined and fried foods are usually the ones which contain bad fat. These include trans fats and the inflammatory vegetable oil. “Increased intake of these fats can make you gain weight and also result in an increase in inflammation. Inflammation plays a role in nearly every chronic disease that you can think of,” says Makhija.
Natural food sources are considered to be good sources of fat. These include poly and monounsaturated fats. Eating these fats can help in increasing metabolism, stimulate fat burning, reduce hunger, optimise cholesterol levels and even reverse type 2 diabetes. “These are heart-healthy fats and can even reduce the risk of heart diseases,” she adds.
These fats can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol, increase good (HDL) cholesterol, and also lower down the level of triglycerides. “Fats are a source of fatty acids which you are body cannot manufacture itself. Our brain is largely made up of fat, and require a steady stream of fatty acids to function properly,” she explains while adding that a big portion of these fats come from omega-3 fatty acids.
Almonds, walnuts, salmon, chia seeds and flaxseeds are some popular sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Including good quality fats in your diet can boost your mood, cognitive function, learning and memory. “Deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids have also been linked to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia,” she says.
Other reasons why you need sufficient fats
- Vitamins A, D, E and K are four fat-soluble vitamins. This means that the body can assimilate these nutrients from food only in the presence of good and healthy sources of fat.
- Eating sufficient fats can promote hormonal balance. Extremely low-fat diets can lead to hormonal issues and may increase the risk of infertility in women.
How much fat do you need?
According to Makhija, about 20 per cent of your daily calorie intake must come from fats.
Here are some health sources of fats
- Olives and olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Nuts like almonds and walnuts
- Flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds
- Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and tuna
Make sure you include the good fats in your diet on a daily basis.
(Pooja Makhija is a nutritionist, dietitian and author)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.