The Role of Fats in Weight Loss

February 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Weight Loss

Fat is the arch enemy of weight watchers. It is made out to be the villain in a wide variety of human ailments. As such, the fat content of a weight loss diet is recommended to be kept very low. However, some studies, whether they are weight loss researches or not, paint a slightly different picture. It states that a low fat diet does not make people less susceptible to heart problems, or stroke, or types of cancers.

However, the fat content of a weight loss diet should never be high, either from the point of view of weight loss, or general health.

Fats of certain types are necessary for production of hormones, and proper functioning of nerves. These specific types of fats should predominate in a weight loss diet, which could essentially contain about 30% to 35% of fats.

The real villain is trans-fats. Its presence in the body raises the level of Low Density Lipoproteins, which is the unhealthy form of cholesterol that promotes the risk of heart problems by thickening arteries. Trans-fats also lower the level of High Density Lipoproteins, which is necessary for even good brain function, among many other things. An ideal weight loss diet should not contain more than 1% of trans-fats.

Saturated fats also function in more or less the same way, increasing the level of Low Density Lipoproteins, or LDL, and increasing chances of hypertension and artery problems. Their percentage in a weight loss diet should not exceed 7%.

The type of fat that body needs is monounsaturated fats. This is what helps in body functions and any weight loss diet should essentially contain a certain percentage of it.

However, no weight loss diet should be high in fats of any incarnation.

One gram of fat becomes 9 calories during the digestive process, whereas the same amount of carbohydrates and proteins would only become 4 calories. This calorie richness is at the heart of the undesirability of fat as a part of any weight loss diet. To burn off the calories a few grams of fat generates, one might have to do manual labor a whole day!

Certain nuts can be killers for those who want to lower their fat intake, as both peanuts and cashew nuts are rich in fats. A good weight loss diet can contain low fat meat varieties and non fat dairy products.

A weight loss diet that is based on a 2000 calorie food intake per day can have 30% of its contents as fat. This will amount roughly to 65 grams of fat as part of the food that is consumed. If the calorie intake in a weight loss diet is required to be lower than that, fat amount will also have to be proportionately lower. A very low calorie weight loss diet might be1600 to 1800 calories for men. The equivalent of it for women could be as low as 1200 to 1500 calories.

Individual body requirements vary. These may vary based on difference in gender, age, or mere body constitution. A weight loss diet has to be essentially based on this, and above all, on the advice of that individual’s personal physician.

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