The reason for this is obvious - we have been in a state of complete media overload, hammered with messages about how bad fats are for us, on a daily basis for many years now. Bodyfat, cardiovascular disease, diabetes. You know the list. This have given fat a rep at about the same level as Attila the Hun in a finer cocktail-lounge: Keep'em out, and make'em stay out!
Fat isn't the devil. In fact, you'd get sick, malnourished, and eventually die if it wasn't for the fat in your food. You need it, period. Like with everything else, it's only a matter of keeping things in a proper perspective, and maintain a healthy balance.
One thing that is true about fat is that it is the biggest bandit around when it comes to packing calories. For every gram of fat you eat, you get more than twice as much calories as a gram of protein or carbs. Fats have 9 calories per gram as opposed to 4 calories per gram for the others. Alcohol places somewhere in-between, at 7 calories per gram.
Keep Things In Perspective
Now, what these figures doesn't tell you, is that there are different types of fat, with different properties. Likewise, it doesn't tell anything about the effects alcohol has on your hormone levels, nor the impact the carbs may have on your insulin levels.
Alcohol will put your testosterone and growth hormone levels out of whack for a good while (depending on how much you drink, of course), which could put your fatburn-capacity back for several days. If the carbohydrates happen to consist of simple sugars, especially if taken on an empty stomach, you're setting yourself up for a major insulin-boost. Insulin effectively stops the possibility of effective fatburn, and instead opens the floodgates to fat STORAGE.
Bottom line: Facts taken out of it's proper context are misleading, to say the least.
You have to look at the big picture when you review your fat intake. What does it consist of? Saturated, unsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat? If there's plenty of the first, and little of the two latter, it's time for you to consider your eating habits. As a rule of thumb, it's the saturated fat that causes most of the trouble for people. Granted - all three categories yields the same number of calories - but they are very different when it comes to what they do once inside your body.
Saturated fats are found in animal sources, such as meat, egg yolks, milk, and peanuts and coconuts. These are the nasty little creeps that clogs up your arteries, most readily settles in on your midsection, and generally does their best to mess your health up.
Remember: Most of the foods mentioned above are perfectly good sources of nutrition, but consciously make an effort to keep the fat levels down.
The "good" fats, on the other hand, are found mostly in vegetables and fish. Olive oil, flax seed oil, and fish oil are prime examples of good sources for "good" fat. However, make note that we're talking fish oil, not fish liver oil here. Fish liver oil may contain massive doses of vitamin A, which is fat-soluble and can be toxic if overdosed. Not cyanide, drop-dead toxic, but the kind of thing that could make you pretty sick and miserable if consistently overdosed over a period of time.
Click HERE To Read How You Can Get Your Good Fats From EFA Supplements!
Benefits Of Fat
So what are the benefits of fat? For one, we have the essential fatty acids (EFA). As the name implies, these are essential for your survival, just like any vitamin or mineral. In short, they're part of the big puzzle that keeps you alive an' kicking, pal! Fish oils are generally very good sources of EFAs.
Secondly, fat is needed to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins from the food you eat. Without the fat, the vitamins goes out the natural way. Without fat, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins is like trying to fetch water without a bucket. Last but not least, fat is what adds most of the flavor to your food. Without fat, most of what you eat would be pretty bland and boring.
Fat is good for you, as long as you don't take it overboard. Keep fats in the range of 10-20% of your daily calorie intake (that means CALORIES, not grams of food). Any less, and you're most likely not getting enough. Any more, and you run the risk of packing on the love handles.
The fat you DO eat, always strive to keep as much of it to be from the poly and unsaturated fats. Don't go nuts about having a yolk or some peanut-butter once in a while, it's perfectly Ok as long as you don't lose sight of the big picture.