Friday, June 22, 2012

Big Fat Lie?

Sorry for the lack in entries lately, I was really busy at work to research about my latest entry and pole classes took up many days of last week that my shoulders and wrists were begging me to stop. But hey, no pain no gain, I was finally able to hurl my ass up into the 'DVD cover'! You probably have no idea what I mean, but in the future posts when I talk more about my workouts, you will know what I am talking about.

As we all already know, fat is the root of many medical problems. Consuming large amounts of fatty food not only added inches to one's waistline, many studies have confirmed that the accumulation of fat around essential organs, such as the heart, leads to heart attack and stroke. Hence, when we talk about diet and losing weight, the word 'fat' will never ever appear in the same sentence. 
This is not a real photo of myself, but it depicts 100% of how i fit into my jeans everytime.

I was very surprise to learn that in the paleo diet, I am allowed to consume fat- it's more than allowing, the paleo community actually embraces fat like a good friend! You must be thinking: sure or not? Eat fats and still lose weight?! Don't bluff laa~! Too good to be true isn't it. I don't believe either, until I delve into the subject and realize that fat is actually quite misunderstood.

Besides maintaining body temperature, fat is actually the densest source of energy in our body at 9 calories/gram! That is the reason why our body stores fat, for times when food is scarce or just for basic activities like walking or running. Carbs is recommended if one is doing crazy triathlons, or doing the insane Tough Mudder. But for anything else, fat will always be the preferred and most reliable source of energy. Fat also plays many beneficial role within the body. It is often required for the absorption of nutrients that are present in other foods, like leafy vegetables. On a cellular level, fat makes up half of the cell membrane structure, it is required for cell generation/repair and allowing nutrients to penetrate.
You're probably thinking: but isn't all that fat going to clog my arteries, increase my cholesterol and worst, make me fat!!?! 

First of all, fat is not the cause for clogged arteries, but low density lipoprotein (LDL). Atherosclerosis is caused by oxidised LDL penetrating the arterial wall, causing inflammation and damaging the arterial tissue. It is not like fat mechanistically attaching itself to the surface of the arteries like fat in a kitchen pipe. Atherosclerosis is really a complex process with many other factors beyond what’s in your diet, let alone the fat content. Next, choesterol has nothing to do with fat, at all. Lastly, fat is very very filling that I don't think one can overeat fat. A diet comprising of high fat and low low carbs makes the body easier to access fat for energy, as compared to a diet of high carbs. Cos when one consume more carbs, together with fat, the body definitely hits up the carbs first for energy as it is easier to break down. And what happens when the amount of energy one uses is less than the amount of carbs consumed? The excess carbs AND fat will be stored in the body as fat. Simple. Ooooo, bad news for the skinny jeans/ bandage dresses but good news for for London Weight Management! Therefore, the point I am driving at is, you want your body to use fat for energy, NOT carbs or sugar. And with that, it will be helpful for fat loss, aka weight loss. (YEAY!)

OK, you may be 50% convinced that fat is not that bad after all, but does that mean ALL types of fat are good? No no no!!! You need to choose the good fat of course! 
There are several types of fat: monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, essential fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3), saturated fat and trans fat. Out of this list, we should be consuming the 'good' fat, namely, the monounsaturated fat and essential fatty acids, specifically omega 3.
  • Monounsaturated fat is known to be very healthy and help reduce bad cholesterol levels, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. It can be found predominantly in olive oil, avocado, nuts (almond, macadamia) and nut oils (walnut oil, macadamia oil) , as well as seeds (flux seed).
  • Omega-3 fatty acid needs no introduction at all. Many already know it for being a memory booster, reduce the risks of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases, depression, and so on. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids include flax seed, wild caught salmon, sardine, shrimp and tuna. 
So, the next time you see the 'kong bak pau' (pork belly bun) or that expensive piece of wagyu beef, go ahead and sink your teeth into those juicy fatty meats. Cos as long as you do not eat them with any carbs, you need not worry about "a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips".

No comments:

Post a Comment