The Obesity Epidemic: Stop Storing Fat

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Filed Under: Diet, Weight Loss, General Health
Last Reviewed 06/29/2014

To overcome the obesity epidemic and achieve real, healthy weight loss, you need to stop storing fat. One of the easiest waysstop storing fat to achieve healthy weight loss is to cut out unhealthy fats and eat the right types of dietary fat instead.

Why? First, of the three types of energy-yielding nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats), fats are the least filling and the most calorie-dense. This means that bite for bite, you’ll consume more calories from the same serving size of a food high in dietary fat—especially if it is a food high in saturated fats or trans fats—than of a carbohydrate- or protein-rich food. Plus, you’ll feel less satisfied, making it easier to overeat.

The Link Between Dietary Fat and Body Fat

Second, dietary fat is more easily converted to body fat than protein or carbohydrates, requiring fewer chemical transformations and less energy. In other words, there’s some truth to the perception that eating foods high in unhealthy dietary fat is like applying them directly to the hips.

Excess dietary fat prompts your body’s metabolism to shift into fat-storing mode, and this fat tends to go first to your body’s preferred storage sites—the hips, belly, or buttocks.

Make Sure the Dietary Fats You Eat Are the Healthy Ones 

While some dietary fat is necessary for good health, most Americans eat far too much of the wrong kinds: saturated fats from meat and high-fat dairy products, and overly processed vegetable oils (trans fats) found in margarine, peanut butter, baked goods, and fried foods. These dietary fats do nothing to promote healthy weight loss. 

Make sure the dietary fats that you do eat come from healthy sources such as fish, nuts, and lean poultry. (These foods will also help meet your protein needs.) One or two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil is fine, but avoid refined oils.

Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite source of healthy dietary fat?

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