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Are fats good or bad?

Dietary fat has gone from being demonized in the ’90s with the low fat craze to being put on a pedestal in the past decade with the keto craze (Check out our take on keto in this blog we wrote). So what’s the truth behind how much fat we should actually be consuming? Read on further to find out if fats are good or bad! 

Before diving in let’s just review a little about fats. Nuts, seeds, oils, and avocado are all examples of dietary fats. There are three main types of fats: unsaturated (which can be broken down into mono and poly), saturated, and trans. Ideally, most of your dietary fat will come from unsaturated sources. 

Benefits of fats

Dietary fat is very important to incorporate into your diet for numerous reasons. Fats help to insulate your body and organs and are used to store energy. They help with the absorption of many vitamins and minerals into your system and with brain and nerve function as well. Dietary fat is also crucial in the production of hormones. In order to function properly, you absolutely need to consume fats.

Downsides of fats

Ok, so it sounds like fats are very important to have in your diet. So we should be eating peanut butter by the heaping spoonfuls then, right?! Unfortunately, no that wouldn’t be smart if your goal is weight-loss. (Although that sounds like a dream come true). When you look at each macronutrient (proteins, carbs, fats), each one has an amount of calories per gram consumed. Proteins and carbs are 4 calories per gram and fats are 9 calories per gram. That means that if you consume 10 grams of protein it equates to 40 calories as opposed to eating 10 grams of fat equating to 90 calories. As you can see, the amount of fats you eat can add up quickly to a lot of calories. Therefore eating as much fat as you want is not the best idea if your goal is weight-loss because the amount of calories you would be eating would be extremely high.

The middle ground

So, as with most things in life, the answer is somewhere in the middle as to how much fat we should be eating. You want enough to support all of your body’s vital functions but not so much that you are packing on the calories with your daily meals. The number will somewhat vary based on your preferences, and different conditions can warrant a higher or lower fat intake. 

Hopefully this helps clear up any confusion about whether fats are “good” or “bad.” If you have more questions about how much fat you should specifically be incorporating in your diet, feel free to reach out and set up a free consult to speak with us! 

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