Fat can be the one you avoid the most, especially if you are in the process of reducing weight. You must be familiar with products labeled low fat, maybe you even tend to choose the type of product that is claimed to be lower in fat. With the trend of healthy living that is increasingly prevalent lately, is fat really our big enemy?
Myth: Fat makes you fat
Fat is indeed high in calories. For comparison, 1 gram of carbohydrate is equivalent to 4 calories. While 1 gram of fat is equivalent to 9 calories. With the same amount, fat contributes twice as much calories as carbohydrates and protein. If this fact makes you reduce the amount of fat intake then increase carbohydrate intake to get the same satiety effect, then that method is also not right. Because too much carbohydrate consumption will also be stored as fat in the body.
And, if a low-fat product is your favorite product, you might want to re-check the label for its nutritional content. As quoted by the Daily Mail, low-fat products usually contain 20% more sugar than products with the same brand but not low fat. Fats in food function to add flavor, if fat is reduced, the addition of flavor enhancers (such as salt) and sugar is done so that the taste of a food remains delicious. Excessive consumption of sugar can of course increase your weight.
Myth 2: Fat is not good for health
The Mediterranean diet which is claimed to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke turns out to be a type of diet that is high in fat (45% of the total calories from the Mediterranean diet come from fat). So is it true that fat is not good for health? Then why does this high-fat diet actually prevent disease? The secret is what type of fat you eat. The type of fat can be divided into three:
This type of fat is trans fat. This fat is a by-product of the hydrogenation process. The hydrogenation process aims to convert oils derived from plants into solid forms. An example of a hydrogenated product that you know is margarine. In addition to margarine, trans fat is found in fast food products, cookies, chips, and instant popcorn. Trans fat is also present in small amounts in meat or dairy products and their products. Trans fat has more adverse effects on health, including increasing LDL levels, reducing HDL levels, contributing to stroke, insulin resistance, to heart disease.
It is stated that if 2% of the calories you consume per day come from trans fat, your risk of suffering from heart disease increases by 23%.
Non-bad fat, but also not good
Saturated fat is included in this type of fat. You cannot completely avoid this type of fat because saturated fat is found in foods that you normally consume everyday. In addition, studies have emerged which state that the role of saturated fat in heart disease is not very significant. But that does not mean this is the green light for you to eat lots of red meat, eggs, cheese, and full cream milk. Maybe saturated fat has not been proven to fully cause heart disease, but by replacing saturated fat into unsaturated fat, you will still reduce your risk of heart disease and other degenerative diseases.
What is included in good fats is unsaturated fat. Omega 3 and omega 6 are included in this type of fat. You can find unsaturated fats in avocados, olive oil, salmon, sardines, and nuts such as walnuts and soybeans. Unsaturated fats can reduce LDL and triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of dementia. This type of fat is widely found on the Mediterranean diet.
How much fat should we consume?
Fat is not always a bad character in your diet, as long as you can adjust it to your needs. The advice on fat consumption for Indonesians from the Ministry of Health is 25% of your daily calorie needs. This means that if your daily calorie needs are 2000 calories then the amount of fat recommended for consumption is around 50 grams. Try most of these fats from unsaturated fats.
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