How Does Dietary Fat Intake Affect Obesity?

Everyone knows that to lose weight you have to decrease the amount of calories you consume.  This is done through diet and exercise, but what about the types of foods that you eat?  Does it matter if the calories you consume come from foods full of fat or whether they’re full of protein?

Conventional thought might assume that because each calorie is just a calorie – whether it comes from a fat or a protein – it shouldn’t matter what you eat when it comes to obesity.  If you consume fewer calories through diet and exercise, you should be able to lose weight and keep obesity at bay.

Research shows that while a calorie is the same whether it’s a candy bar calorie or a brown rice calorie, there are benefits to sticking with a diet that is low in fat.  Theoretically, you could consume 1200 calories full of junk food per day, but you’ll certainly feel better if you stuck with a diet without refined sugars and bad fats.

Benefits of High-Protein Diet on Weight

protein sources

When it comes to a diet plan, the ones that are higher in protein have greater short-term success than other diets.  They’re lower in carbs and fats, which has more than a few benefits to overall health, too.

Healthy Heart

There have been numerous studies that show a direct relationship between the amount of protein consumed and the risk of heart disease.  Those who consume the right lean proteins from meat, as well as fish, are normally reducing the amount of bad carbs and fats that they eat, too.

Feel Fuller

In a high-protein diet, people tend to eat meals packed with nutrients that make them feel full longer.  This leads to less binge snacking.  This happens for a few reasons.  It takes longer to digest dense meals than it does for carb- and fat-filled meals.

When you eat protein for breakfast, instead of fats and sugars like those from doughnuts or muffins, you’re doing your blood sugar a huge favour.  A spike in blood sugar means you’re bound to crash.  This leads to a shaky hunger that has to be satisfied quickly, which leads to bad nutritional choices.

Muscle Gain

A diet packed with protein will increase the muscle gained, instead of the muscle lost during a diet.  With other diets, you run the risk of losing muscle mass, which can be a problem as you age.

Thermogenesis

The heat and energy generated from digesting certain foods is called thermogenesis, which we’ve talked about here before. Protein-packed foods are great for developing energy, and boosting metabolism.

What About Carbohydrates and Weight?

good carbs

The quality of the carbs you eat is much more important than the quantity.  You should eat more whole grain carbohydrates and less refined grains like pastas and white bread.

Harder to Control Diet

The wrong carbs can lead to a sugar spike because of increased blood sugar.  Over time, this can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.  People who decrease their consumption of the wrong carbs can actually lose weight over the years without making any other changes.

The Truth About Dietary Fat and Weight: How Does Dietary Fat Intake Affect Obesity?

dietary fat intake

 

This leads to a discussion about the impact of dietary fat on weight.  What happens when your diet is filled with fats, instead of protein and carbohydrates?  Some people think that as long as they are careful about their consumption of fats, they’re going to lose weight.  This leads to diets filled with carbs instead.

Low-Fat Diets are High in Carbs

Instead of adding protein-filled meals to the diet plan, most low-fat diets rely on carbs to fill the gap in nutrients.  Unfortunately, this leads to weight gain.  It’s why people find that they can’t lose weight on low-fat diets.

Increase in Weight Gain

Over time, these diets can lead to weight gain as the person starts to consume more carbs, which are full of sugars.  Even if they are able to keep their calories under control, they find that with sugar spikes and crashes, they’re unable to stay on the diet very long.

Healthy Fats versus Amounts of Fat

good fats versus bad fats

While a high-protein diet is a good one for weight loss, there should be a healthy amount of carbs and fats in the diet to ensure that it’s a well-rounded consumption of calories per day.  All three macronutrients are essential to a healthy body.  It’s all about the types of fats you consume.

There are unhealthy trans fats and saturated fats in many processed foods.  There are good, healthy fats that can be consumed versus unhealthy ones.  Good fats provide essential fatty acids that help your body release vitamins.

You can find omega-3 fatty acids in fish like salmon or trout, as well as nuts like walnuts.  When consuming good fats like flaxseed or olive oil, it’s important that you make good choices there are well.  Don’t dump huge amounts of oil into your foods, and keep that fish out of the deep fryer!

Dietary fat intake does have an impact on weight, but it’s more about making healthy choices in the type of fat that you consume. Don’t eat processed foods with lots of sugar, carbs and saturated fats.  Make sure you’re consuming lean proteins and complex carbs as part of a balanced diet.

Jeanette Kierstead

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Jeanette Kierstead