Does Fat Actually Make You Fat? Here’s the Answer

Probably your answer would be a yes, definitely. It has been the norm of the society that eating fats make you obese. It makes a lot of sense to think that consumption of a high-fat diet will make you overweight. Everyone is advising you to avoid eating fatty foods. After all, it has more calories than carbohydrates. So you jump into the assumption that consumption of fat will actually make you gain a lot of weight. What if they are wrong? And if they are, what then can be the cause of your excess weight gain? Many studies have been done on fatty acids.

Why do you need fat in your body?

Incorporating saturated fat in the food you eat comes with health benefits. It is essential for efficient muscle movement and blood clotting in the body. Fat is also an important ingredient in the building of cell membranes and protective shields around body nerves. It helps boost immune health and promote bone density maintenance. Absorption of minerals and vitamins is also aided by the availability of the fat in the body.

Weight Loss Diet

A popular weight loss regimen that entails a high-fat diet is the ketogenic diet. Fewer carbohydrates and more fats are consumed which in turn force the body into a state of ketosis. This state allows the body to burn the fat to produce energy instead of carbohydrates. If you are a fan of the keto diet, you should limit yourself to the right kinds of foods—those that are essential to achieving your desired weight loss goals. What about trans-fat? Naturally-occurring trans-fat are the healthy kind. These can be found in foods like olive oil and butter which promote weight loss. Consumption of artificial trans-fat, on the other hand, can be very damaging to your health as they can lead to all sorts of metabolic issues.

Healthy Vs Unhealthy Fat

Studies on the effect of the consumption fats on other diets showed that healthy fats are not the culprit in promoting weight gain. A Mediterranean diet rich in nuts or olive oil led to weight loss and notable waistline reduction as compared to when these ingredients were eliminated from meals. A meal rich in fatty acids does not promote weight gain as the fat is mostly unsaturated. However, as highlighted earlier, most synthetic fats, particularly the partially hydrogenated ones, can have negative effects on your health. This explains why the consumption of hyper-processed junk foods lead to obesity and heart disease.

Why is it then that a high-fat diet doesn’t make you obese?

The processes and operation of your body, including body weight, are regulated by different hormones. To lose weight, the fat has to be burned and in the process, energy is released. The burning in this process is regulated by the levels of the hormone, insulin. Low levels of insulin affect the burning, resulting in weight loss. It communicates with the fat cells to pull fatty acids from the blood and store it in them. In this case, consumption of more fat and less carbohydrates result in fat burning which leads to significant weight loss. The presence of excess fat in the body initiates the release of the hormone leptin, responsible for your weight gain.

What, then, packs on weight?

The presence of excess carbohydrate in the body initiates the release of insulin hormone in large quantities into the bloodstream. The result of this is that there will be less time to burn body fat because insulin will be regulating the burning of sugar and storing the excess as fat. The fat will then accumulate in cells causing you to feel hungry and to crave for food more frequently, which is what leads to weight gain—not the actual eating of healthy fats.

This is not to rule out that high-fat foods do not cause weight gain. There are bad fats—those that have the possibility of making you overweight besides other health issues. These include processed foods such as margarine, fast foods, cookies, and crackers. Vegetable oils such as canola, cottonseed, sunflower, and soybean will also lead to significant weight gain.

To think about this question again, probably you will have a different answer. Based on what has been explained above, it is clear that fat does not necessarily make you gain excess weight. Its consumption, like in the case of the keto diet, is essential to helping you lose weight. However, if you must include trans-fat in your diet, try to avoid the synthesized types. Fats from natural sources are healthy as compared to those obtained from synthetic polyunsaturated and partially hydrogenated processes. Be sure to consume non-processed polyunsaturated fats to avoid health risks. Stay healthy.


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One thought on “Does Fat Actually Make You Fat? Here’s the Answer”

  • Thank you for sharing, great article!
    I keep coming back to the simplicity of Michael Pollan’s famous adage:
    “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” … “Eat food” means to eat real food — vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc. — and to avoid what Pollan calls “edible food-like substances.”

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