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Diets and Fat

Feb 8th 2011 at 9:32 PM

Missing the point:

A post in the Live Health Club forum says, “I’m working out really hard and I’m not losing weight. What am I doing wrong?” Then she added, “Gym…losing weight…not losing weight.”

From her tenor, I can sense a feeling of despondency over her weight problems. Well, had she dared to look around her gym she would have noticed that she is not alone. A lot of those in gyms, mostly women, have bulges instead of waistlines. They, like her, are missing the point of their exercise.

Fat in your diet:

To start off, let’s put things in order:

o Dieting is not starving. It is eating the right kinds of food;

o Exercise, alone, will never remove unnecessary fat;

o We all need fat to keep our bodies going.

Now let’s talk fat. Fat in our bodies come from two sources:

o From excess carbohydrates our body cannot absorb. This is transformed into fat and stored in parts of our bodies we don’t like, i.e., along the waists;

o Fat that we get from the food we eat:

Get to know your fat:

Dietary fat, fat from our food, plays a very important role in our heath, though not necessarily good in some cases. Here’s why.

There are basically three types of fat from the food we eat:

o Saturated fat - this increase the blood’s cholesterol levels increasing the risk of heart diseases and certain types of cancer. This comes from animal products like meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Some plant foods, i.e., coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil are also high on saturated fat.

o Monounsaturated fat:

This lower total cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol) while increasing the HDL (good cholesterol). Chief source of this are peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios. Avocado, canola and olive oil are good sources, too.

o Polyunsaturated fat:

Acts the same way as monounsaturated food but is taken from salmon and fish oil, corn, soy, and sunflower oils. Omega 3 fatty acids belong in this category.

How much do we need of each?

To stay healthy, the American Heart Association recommends that no more than 30% of our daily calorie intake be taken from fat. To balance it out, our daily fat intake should be distributed as follows:

o Saturated fat - less than 10% of daily calorie intake;

o Monounsaturated fat - 10 to 15% of daily calorie intake;

o Polyunsaturated fat - 10% or less of daily calorie intake.

As simple as it seems, a lot of us struggle so hard to get things in order leading to serious problems, appearance-wise, health-wise or otherwise.

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