Low-fat or no-fat diet prevents you from overweight or obesity. This is the phrase we heard from last two decades. Is it right? Absolutely No! Scientists and nutritionists have given the evidence and suggested that eat more fat to lose weight.
The doctors and dietitian has suggested that the main culprit to weight gain wasn’t fat, but rather added sugar and refined carbohydrates that get quickly broken down into sugar.
An analysis published in the journal, ‘The Lancet’ on August 29, 2017. In this observation, 135335 participants of 18 countries, aged 35 -70 years old, have been observed for more than 7 years.
This analysis revealed that, high carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality. Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease mortality, whereas saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke.
In 1993, 50,000 women between the ages of 50 to 79 were kept in trial for 8 years. This was the time when dietary fat was seen as a dietary evil and the low-fat diet was thought to be a straightforward route to preventing heart disease, some cancers, and the epidemic of obesity.
The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed no benefits for a low-fat diet. Women assigned to this eating strategy did not appear to gain protection against breast cancer, colorectal cancer or cardiovascular disease. And after eight years, their weights were generally the same as those of women following their usual diets.
The role of fats in your body
A high-fat diet is any diet where the majority of calories come from fat instead of carbohydrate or protein.
Some high-fat diets are also high-protein and some aren’t. High-fat diets usually look more or less like a typical low-carb diet. Whereas some high-fat diets, like the traditional ketogenic diet, are low-protein, low-carb, and 80+% fats.
Fat is an essential macronutrient of your diet for blood clotting and muscle movement. It’s a required ingredient for building cell as well as the protective shields around your nerves.
Finally, fat helps us absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat. When we’re not eating fat, we tend to eat more refined carbohydrate and sugar, both of which have been strongly linked to weight gain and obesity.
The more refined grain you will eat, the more likely you tend to gain weight. It is advocated by the NCBI journal published on August 13, 2012.
The more whole grain foods you eat (like whole-wheat bread and brown rice), the less weight you tended to gain.
Consuming plenty of fats as part of a whole-food diet can help with three critical aspects of health: maintaining an ideal weight, nutrient absorption, and cognitive function.
How it works?
According to a journal published by NCBI on March 14, 2018, when following a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet, the amount of glucose that is taken up in the blood from the food each day is insufficient to maintain the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. These results in a reduction of glycogen stores, reduced glucose release and consequently to reduced blood glucose levels.
The body experiences this as stress and will do everything it can to ensure it burns fatty acids as much as possible with the aim of preventing utilization of glucose, which is needed primarily for the central nervous system and the red blood cells, as much as possible.
This is achieved by a sharp decrease in insulin and an increase of stress hormones. This results in an excess supply of fatty acids, leading to a partially incomplete metabolism in which ketones are produced (ketogenesis) from a part of the produced acetyl-CoA.
These ketones can then be used by the brain and the muscles as an alternative fuel source instead of glucose. This is crucial to the brain, as fatty acids cannot pass through the blood–brain barrier, while glucose and ketones can.
In the case of a shortage of glucose, the brain cells and neurons are able to use ketones as an alternative fuel source. There is also a small to medium contribution from amino acids, which are converted into glucose via gluconeogenesis.
Research shows that a diet high in healthy fats actually helps you lose weight. In a study of 311 overweight women, who followed a high-fat diet for one year had greater weight loss and more favorable fasting glucose levels than women on low-fat diets.
In the recent years, scientists have found that sugar is what makes us gain weight, not fat. This is why your body stores excess sugar as fat. If you limit sugar and refined carbohydrates and focus on healthy fats, your body will learn to burn fat—instead of glucose—for energy. A high-fat diet can also curb hunger and cravings that can lead to overeating.
Following a high-fat diet simply deprives your body of carbohydrate, which forces it to use more fat for fuel that results in weight loss.
Additional Benefits of High-Fat Diet
Fat is crucial for your body’s absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, K and E. A diet low in healthy lipids can lead to serious deficiencies of these important nutrients. Fat benefits your health from strengthening your bones and joints and clotting your blood to boosting your immune system and protecting your heart health. These vitamins provide nutrition that you simply can’t achieve optimal wellness without.
Our brain is composed of 60% fat, most of which is the omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is critical for cell communication, and adequate amounts of this fatty acid in the brain lead to boosts in happiness, memory, cognition, and learning.
Healthy fats work with your helpful gut bacteria to support the strength of your gut barrier, which works hard to maintain your immune response and help keep toxins, chemicals, and inhospitable bacteria from reaching your bloodstream.
Not all fats are good. Some are bad to minimize or even avoid in your diet. Bad fats are found in highly refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils (PUFAs) overloaded with omega-6 fatty acids, such as soybean, corn, safflower, and canola. These should be controlled. We need both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in nearly 1:1 ratio in our diet.
Trans fats can cause weight gain, inflammation, and cholesterol issues and should be avoided. They hide in processed foods like cookies, frozen and fried foods, cupcakes, and donuts. In visual check, if any product labels for “hydrogenated,” this indicates the presence of these harmful lipids that is required to avoid.
How to calculate macronutrients for your diet
Head over to know your calorie maintenance level (For maintenance level, go to Sl. No.-5 of my post)
Reduce your calorie maintenance level by 20% to 25% to get the daily required intake calorie
Take 2.6 gram of protein per kilogram of your body weight
Multiply this obtained protein (in gram) by 4 to get the required daily calorie intake of protein
Take carbohydrate 125 gram +/- 20%
Multiply this carbohydrate (in gram) by 4 to get the required daily calorie intake of carbohydrate
Add both calories of protein and carbohydrate
Deduct this calorie (protein + carbohydrate) from your daily required intake calorie (calorie you get after deducting 20% to 25% from your maintenance level) to obtain daily calorie intake of fats.
Divide this calorie of fats by 9 to get the approximate value of fats in gram
Foods for High-Fat Diet
Vegetables are highly recommended for most of the diets. However, the following vegetables are best to suit the requirement of high-fat diet because of low-carb content.
- Bok Choy
- Leafy greens
- Lettuces and salad greens
- Sprouts of all kinds
These are the protein foods for high-fat diet
- Red meats – beef, lamb, pork, and veal
- White meats – chicken and turkey
- Dark meat poultry – duck and goose
- Fish and seafood of – salmon, sardines, snapper, calamari, and anchovies
- Shellfish – crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters, and mussels
- Bacon and sausage
- Nuts and nut butters
- Protein powders
Following are the high fat foods
- Olives & olive oil
- Coconut & coconut oil
- Nuts & nut butters like peanuts, pecans, almonds, macadamias, and walnuts
- Seed & nut oils like sesame oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, etc.
- Whole-fat dairy like milk, heavy cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese
Follow High Fat Diet and be relaxed
By this point, you became well familiar with study reports and scientific evidence carried out by scientists, doctors, nutritionists and dietitian to establish the effectiveness of high-fat diet for weight loss. You also came to know, how high-fat diet works for weight loss and how to calculate the quantity of macronutrients for your diet.
High fat diet is one of the most popular diets nowadays to shed your pounds. NCBI says it, in comparison to keto diet it is safe as carbohydrate content in this diet is 100g to 150g. You are advised to calculate your maintenance level and break it down to daily intake total calories. Follow the steps to obtain calories and mass of the macronutrients. The appropriate foods can be chosen from the lists for your diet.
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If you are on any medical prescription please consult your doctor before starting the diet.
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