Why low fat diets are bad: The labeling deception
About two decades ago when people started becoming health conscious. They started cutting down on intake of fatty foods and the manufacturers of fatty foods faced losses and became conscious of these trends. They knew that people loved food that made them feel good instantly… except they didn’t like any fat content to be present in their food.
The era of refined sugars
There are many refined foods that contain almost zero fat but due to their refined nature they have a very high calorie content. Some foods have 0% fat… but they’re 100% unhealthy, fattening sugar.
The body is capable of producing fat all by itself. As long as you continue taking in excess calories, the excess energy is going to be stored in the form of fat.
Saturated and processed fats; sugar and processed carbohydrates; all of them contribute to disease and obesity.
Fats possess the power to slow down the absorption of glucose and keeps the blood sugars under control. But the lack of fat content causes quick spikes in blood sugars.
When people began cutting down fats and replaced them with refined sugars their blood sugars started swinging wildly. This in turn causes a large amount of insulin to be released into the blood. Such irregular insulin spikes can trigger off metabolic disorders such as diabetes and accelerate fat storage.
The key here is to choose foods with a good fat content and restrict the number of calories you are consuming.
Not all fats are bad. some fats are good and necessary for your body. A low fat diet with less that 10% fat content is going to cause you more harm than good. A fat content of less than 10% in your food can trigger your brain to go into starvation mode.
Besides, having fat content in your food can slow down the absorption of glucose into your blood stream, keep your sugar levels consistent and prevent excess release of insulin into blood which could be harmful to your health.
There are other benefits to having some fat content in your food. Many researchers have noted that fat content in food stimulates production of testosterone, which is a key hormone to build lean muscle mass. On the other hand, people who eliminate fat content from food are known to have a lesser amount of testosterone which is detrimental to your lean muscle mass.
Why high fat diets are bad: The opposite end of the spectrum
Marketing is an interesting industry. If you have the right kind of marketing and advertising skills, you could even package and sell garden grass as the latest breakthrough food that can causes amazing fat loss and there will be a crowd of followers!
Many people don’t care so much about the product. They are carried away by the flashy advertising and want to give it a try.
One such product is a high fat diet. Some masterful genius crafted out this diet and advocated when you eat a high fat diet with 50-70% calories derived from fat, you are likely to lose weight.
And there were thousands who WENT on such diets.
When you tear down such diets and examine them scientifically, you are likely to find a ton of flaws in the concepts and these can do a lot of arm to your body.
Each gram of fat contains 9 calories of energy whereas each gram of carbohydrate and protein contain only 4 calories of energy. If you consume a fat burger with 50 grams of fat , the fat will yield 450 calories whereas a high protein burger with 50 grams of protein, will yield only 200 calories from 50 grams of protein.
So by taking in a high fat diet you’re drastically increasing the calorie intake and excess calories don’t disappear. They get stored.
Now lets examine the thermic effect of fat; Unfortunately fats have the lowest thermic effect of all foods and proteins have the highest thermic effect. Proteins have a thermic effect of 30% which implies that nearly 30% of the calories from proteins are used to digest the proteins. On the other hand fats have a thermic effect of 3% which means that only 3% of the calories in proteins are burned up during digestion.
Lets use the same example of a fat burger(450 cals) and high protein burger(200 cals), using the law of thermic effect describes above only 3% of the calories from fat are ie.e 13.5 cals are used for digestion whereas 30% of proteins i.e 60 cals are used for digestion.
So eventually your body absorbs 436.5 calories from a fat burger and 140 calories from a protein burger! A difference of nearly 300 calories which you need to burn in order to get even with the person who consumes the high protein burger!
If fats occupy such a large portion of your diet, there is no room left for proteins that help in muscle building!
Dietary Fats are more easily stored as body fats. Because dietary fats are not very different from body fats in their chemical structure this makes it easy for the body to transform dietary fat to body fat and it does the job readily.
The body needs glycogen derived energy for high intensity training and fats cannot supply glycogen and the powerful burst of energy for workouts. Carbohydrates are often the preferred source for anaerobic workouts for athletes and body builders.
Finding the balance
As discussed earlier… your body needs fats but the quantity and quality of the fat has to be right.
Molecular chemistry is everything when it comes to fats.