I choose ‘Healthy Eating’ therefore, NO MORE FATS! Right?

No Fats-Cholesterol-Empty Calorie

Get rid of the “Fats & Oil” Cobweb!

In thinking about healthy and unhealthy foods, most of us have fallen for an easy trap, a trap I choose to call the “Fats & Oil” Cobweb.

From as early as in elementary school, we all learn about a strict categorization of food classes into 5 major food groups of Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats & Oil, Vitamins, and Minerals; with the taxonomy also doubling as a basic description of their core nutritive functions.

Of the pack, the food group of ‘fats & oil’ is deservingly the proverbial black sheep for being the collection of bulky greasy foods therefore, tagged as an ‘UNHEALTHY FOOD’ –which is not out of place. And where does that lead us?

An average person justly defines ‘HEALTHY EATING’ as cutting away all forms of ‘fats & oil’ foods.

Compare 1g of Fat vs. Carbohydrate -Close Me

1 gram of Carbohydrate = 4 Calories
1 gram of Fat = 9 Calories
(1 gram of Alcohol = 7 Calories)

So while there is evidently a lot of sense in that assumption, BUT in the real practical sense of it, HOW CORRECT IS IT?

Are we missing something? And if indeed this is an over-simplified deduction, how blind-sided are we in truly defining ‘Healthy Eating’?

Redefining the real Chase:

CALORIES & CHOLESTEROL

The essence of this conversation (actually our current spotlight on Fats & Cholesterol), is to get your mind to focus on the real chase when it comes to FATS and HEALTHY-EATING.

Calories Count: Fats & Co

As mentioned above, its already common knowledge that “fats & oil” are the singular food group with the highest load of calories per serving. So if we were to truly get serious with our calories counting, we’ve got to clearly identify other notable sources of high calories and this brings us to EMPTY Calories” which is neatly defined by Wikipedia as:

Empty calories, in casual dietary terminology, are a measure of the digestible energy present in high-energy foods with little nutritional value, typically processed carbohydrates and ethanol (alcohol), and to some extent fats.

Such empty caloric foods are typified by sweet-tooth things like sodas/soft drinks, ice cream, pastries and their likes.

#Less SUGAR: Different Sugar Substitute options

Excessive intake of calories from whatever source and especially in the absence of adequate exercising ultimately promotes being overweight/obesity. And obesity is now viewed as more than just a terminology for a tape measurement value; its a major risk factor for being predisposed to chronic diseases, just like Cholesterol.

#Cholesterol: A new chronic disease barometer?

Our blood Cholesterol level is one of the modifiable factors that lead to heart diseases so the huge attention cholesterol seems to be getting now is well deserved!

There are several food sources of cholesterol but most are of animal origin and indeed, in EGGS too. But is the cholesterol found within the egg white or egg yolk? And how much cholesterol is contained in 1 egg anyway? Click here to find out whether you’re correct or not

Ultimately, the vital lesson with healthy-eating & Cholesterol is that rather than the actual intake of dietary cholesterol, our blood cholesterol levels are controlled/modified by the TYPE OF FATS we eat! This is actually what birthed the concept of GOOD vs. BAD Fats.

Good Fat vs. Bad Fat: the health logic of Dietary Fats

So going back to our original assertion above that an average person (may) justly define ‘HEALTHY EATING’ as cutting away all forms of ‘fats & oil’ foods?

The answer is also obviously not that simple either.  

In fact, that statement will be much more accurate if we replace “fats & oils” with simply “Solid Fats”. Because, as you’ll see from this Harvard School of Public Health Resource, a good variety of oils are GOOD! Solid fats are simply regular fatty foods such as meat fat, butter, or cheese which are so called because they are in solid form at room temperature.

Clearly, our ‘fats & oil’ food group is somewhat trapped in between these two “Cs” of Calories & Cholesterol so in navigating through your food choices, always remember this basic Fats-Health link 101:

That your choice of fat-containing foods should be determined by BOTH its Caloric value (quantity eaten) and its potential of elevating your blood Cholesterol (good vs. Bad fats.)

Spot the Difference: EATING fat vs. GETTING fat!

 

 

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