The myths behind fats
It is commonly said that fats / lipids make you gain weight because a gram of lipid contains 9 kcals compared to a gram of protein or carbohydrates that only contains 4 kcals. However, it is very important to differentiate “saturated” and “trans fats” with the “unsaturated” ones. It is advised to limit your consumption of saturated fats that you find for example in butter, red meat, whole milk ; and trans fats found in chips, French fries, industrial pastries or pizzas for example. Those fats increase your “bad” cholesterol, linked with heart disease, and decreases the “good” cholesterol. It also provokes an inflammatory process and can lead to insulin resistance.
However, increasing evidence shows that unsaturated fats are an essential part of the diet and are linked with many health benefits. A daily consumption of extra virgin olive oil is recommended and associated with benefits for cardiovascular illness, cell membranes… You might also want to increase your consumption of products containing omega 3 and 6 such as nuts, grains, diverse oils, or fat fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel…) that seem beneficial to your mental wellness, your eyes and even your memory! With age, these healthy fats also reduce inflammatory processes in the body (linked with cancer, dementia…) and overweight as an enflamed hypothalamus will prevent you to feel the satiety signals of your body.
(Information retrieved from “The Diet Compass” by Bas Kast, 2020)
A mindful eating
All this information might be overwhelming. While informing yourself about the different outcomes of certain diets, keep in mind that some diets are more adapted to others, as plenty of factors interfere in the functioning of the body. Listen to your body, feel and experiment diverse types of food. It might help you understand better what suits you. Take your time and eat mindfully, maintaining an in-the-moment awareness of what you consume. It involves observing how food makes you feel and the signals that your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness.