Dietary Fat Intake: Still Confused?

In case you've been living under a rock for the last 8-10 years, here's a quick recap: lots of big-wigs in nutritional science are telling us that dietary Fat is not the enemy that it once was and our struggle with the extra kg's and poor heart health 😩 is more-so a result of an over-indulgence in refined carbohydrates πŸ₯¨πŸžπŸ₯πŸπŸ°πŸ«πŸ©πŸ¦πŸ­ than an over indulgence in fats.

So, how much fat can we eat without putting on weight or increasing our risk of heart disease?

To quote the Heart Foundation:

'It’s the big picture that matters. The TYPE of fat you eat is more important than the total amount.'

A quick summary of their position on fat intake describes a definite need to reduce the intake of saturated fats (🍫πŸ₯§πŸ°πŸŸπŸ”πŸŒ­πŸ•πŸ¨πŸ₯“πŸ—) to improve heart heath and reduce risk of weight gain AND attention must be paid to what we are replacing those saturated fats with.

'Evidence demonstrates that reducing saturated fat and:

  • replacing it with unsaturated fat sources (πŸ₯₯🍣πŸ₯šπŸ₯‘πŸ₯œ) improves cardiovascular risk factors and reduces the risk of heart disease.

  • replacing it with whole grains (🍚, quinoa, couscous, barley, buckwheat, etc) improves some cardiovascular risk factors and reduces the risk of heart disease but not to the same extent as when we replace it with unsaturated fat, and

  • replacing it with refined carbohydrate (🍞🍝 πŸ₯¨πŸ₯–) does not improve cardiovascular risk and does not reduce the risk of heart disease.'

*Trans-fats, regardless of other sources of energy, are consistently linked to cardiovascular risk and to heart disease.

Take Home Message: Unsaturated fat is preferred to saturated fat, both of which are preferred to trans-fats. Whole grains are preferred to refined carbohydrates however caution should be taken with grains as they can lead to inflammation.

To read more about this topic head here.

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