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Old 02-04-2013, 08:28 AM   #16
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I have the same question.

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Originally Posted by Heather View Post
Great thread!

I had a question about what John just wrote. You said that carbs (and I'm presuming protein) don't convert to fat easily in humans, but then said

but that would mean that the only way to gain fat would be to eat fat, right?

Does that mean that if I ate a lot of food, but really tried to limit my fat intake that the amount of fat I gained would be proportionate to the amount of fat I ate, rather than the number of calories? (Sorry if I'm not asking that clearly... I'm in a rush right now)
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:45 AM   #17
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From my understanding, our bodies prefer glucose and burn glucose, but our bodies also will use up our fat stores as well. If there is excess glucose consistently, more than the cells need, this can relate to insulin resistance but also our bodies will prefer the glucose off the fat. Since it is easier to store fat, the bodies will store fat and burn the glucose instead.

Now if you are eating at a calorie deficit, your body will burn the carbs you eat, burn a little excess fat and use the protein for either energy or rebuilding. If you are eating at calorie maintenance then similarily, fat may get stored temporarily when you have eaten but it gets used up in proportion to storage since you are at maintenance. Now if you are eating in excess then your body burns as much carbs as it can, store excess as glycogen, burn excess protein and store the fat. Since you may also have excess glucose, you may be in danger of insulin resistance as the glucose tries to get stuffed into the cells.

That is my simplistic way of viewing it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
Good thread but there is some information here that is not accurate or perhaps I'm just not understanding what people are saying.

Fat is stored as fat and is how we humans get fat. Excess calories is what makes us gain fat over time but it is the dietary fat we consume that is absorbed.

Fat stored is going to be less than fat burned if you're in a caloric deficit but it is indeed dietary fat that is stored as fat and causes us to become fat. Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here. You only gain fat when your energy intake exceeds your energy output.

Carbs are very rarely converted to fat in humans and when they are it is in small quantities. Protein is almost never converted to fat. The pathways for conversion exist but they are highly inefficient and not typcially utilized. Fat is stored as fat.

This doesn't mean fat should be avoided. Fat is one of the most satiating nutrients and an important nutrient for other reasons.
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Sorry, got a song in my head. But this is pretty interesting, and not something I'd given much thought to recently.

Years ago I'd listened to an audio book version of Susan Powter's Stop the Insanity, in which she stressed fat creates fat. To be fair it's been several years since I've listened (and I was practically still a kid), but that and the whole low-fat craze sweeping the nation back in the early-mid 90's gave me the impression that fat should be avoided at all costs. I'd lose a decent amount before completely stalling out in complete physical & emotional exhaustion and binging due to feeling like I was literally starved.

I've since changed my mindset and no longer see fat as "evil." The only thing I see as even remotely evil these days is added sugar, but only because I know how it messes with my system (blood sugar spiking, added cravings, lack of satisfaction over smaller portions). It almost feels like eating sugar (well, too much of it anyway) is having high-octane fuel but my body doesn't know what to do with it all.

Anyway, I'll be looking at those links soon, thanks for posting.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Elladorine View Post
Years ago I'd listened to an audio book version of Susan Powter's Stop the Insanity, in which she stressed fat creates fat. To be fair it's been several years since I've listened (and I was practically still a kid), but that and the whole low-fat craze sweeping the nation back in the early-mid 90's gave me the impression that fat should be avoided at all costs. I'd lose a decent amount before completely stalling out in complete physical & emotional exhaustion and binging due to feeling like I was literally starved.
To be fair to Susan Powter and others at the beginning of the low-fat craze, low fat truly meant low fat and not no-fat. A lot of excess calories came from fat so people that cut out fat, did lose weight and keep it off. All of my weight loss came from eating a low fat diet.

Now what others at the beginning of the low fat craze didn't really predict was that companies would cash in on the craze and start making processed, high sugar foods with no fat. People started eating excess calories in the form of sugar which caused different issues. Although some people used 'products' in their low fat diet, I never really used low fat 'products' because of the high sugar issue among other issues. And low fat doesn't mean no fat.

So fat isn't bad, it is important to the function of our bodies but so is glucose. Overall, calories are what counts and macronutrients can be played around with to whatever you feel comfortable with.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #20
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In theory a diet very low in fat would mean less net fat storage but there are two problems with this theory.

The first one is that it would be pretty difficult to avoid dietary fat while still ingesting massive amounts of carbs. The second one is that the body can adapt and ramp up DNL if your glycogen stores are constantly full.

Anyways I'm sorry I threw this topic off topic a bit.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
To be fair to Susan Powter and others at the beginning of the low-fat craze, low fat truly meant low fat and not no-fat. A lot of excess calories came from fat so people that cut out fat, did lose weight and keep it off. All of my weight loss came from eating a low fat diet.

Now what others at the beginning of the low fat craze didn't really predict was that companies would cash in on the craze and start making processed, high sugar foods with no fat. People started eating excess calories in the form of sugar which caused different issues. Although some people used 'products' in their low fat diet, I never really used low fat 'products' because of the high sugar issue among other issues. And low fat doesn't mean no fat.

So fat isn't bad, it is important to the function of our bodies but so is glucose. Overall, calories are what counts and macronutrients can be played around with to whatever you feel comfortable with.
Yeah, I get the gist of that now. Like I was saying, it's been years and I was still practically a kid at the time. I'm sure my brain was skewed by the whole "all or nothing" issue a lot of dieters face. And yes, I started eating excess sugars through processed foods which caused other issues, probably including over a decade of being an undiagnosed diabetic. The package says "fat free," so it's ok to eat as much as I want, right? It didn't dawn on me that it was "ok" to eat fats while trying to lose weight until about 2004 or so, when I really started to read up on nutrition. I had to do something at that point since I was at my highest weight ever!

Sometimes I think the hard part is finding a healthy, comfortable balance of macronutrients. I seem to do ok these days if I allow myself healthy fats, a fair amount of protein, and keep my processed carbs low. What seems the most important to me though is watching my portions . . . since I choose not to count calories (once again it gives me the dreaded "all or nothing" issue) that seems to be the best way for me to restrict what I'm eating.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:26 PM   #22
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This might help what JohnP was saying:

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Fat Storage

In the last section, we learned how fat in the body is broken down and rebuilt into chylomicrons, which enter the bloodstream by way of the lymphatic system.
Chylomicrons do not last long in the bloodstream -- only about eight minutes -- because enzymes called lipoprotein lipases break the fats into fatty acids. Lipoprotein lipases are found in the walls of blood vessels in fat tissue, muscle tissue and heart muscle.

Insulin

When you eat a candy bar or a meal, the presence of glucose, amino acids or fatty acids in the intestine stimulates the pancreas to secrete a hormone called insulin. Insulin acts on many cells in your body, especially those in the liver, muscle and fat tissue. Insulin tells the cells to do the following:
Absorb glucose, fatty acids and amino acids
Stop breaking down glucose, fatty acids and amino acids; glycogen into glucose; fats into fatty acids and glycerol; and proteins into amino acids
Start building glycogen from glucose; fats (triglycerides) from glycerol and fatty acids; and proteins from amino acids
The activity of lipoprotein lipases depends upon the levels of insulin in the body. If insulin is high, then the lipases are highly active; if insulin is low, the lipases are inactive.

The fatty acids are then absorbed from the blood into fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells. In these cells, under stimulation by insulin, fatty acids are made into fat molecules and stored as fat droplets.

It is also possible for fat cells to take up glucose and amino acids, which have been absorbed into the bloodstream after a meal, and convert those into fat molecules. The conversion of carbohydrates or protein into fat is 10 times less efficient than simply storing fat in a fat cell, but the body can do it. If you have 100 extra calories in fat (about 11 grams) floating in your bloodstream, fat cells can store it using only 2.5 calories of energy. On the other hand, if you have 100 extra calories in glucose (about 25 grams) floating in your bloodstream, it takes 23 calories of energy to convert the glucose into fat and then store it. Given a choice, a fat cell will grab the fat and store it rather than the carbohydrates because fat is so much easier to store.
http://science.howstuffworks.com/lif.../fat-cell2.htm

This is why you can say that fat turns into fat, because it can be absorbed into a fat cell much easier.

In order to break down a carbohydrate into a sugar to then convert into a fatty acid so it can get absorbed by a fat cell takes much more energy and the body likes to be efficient.

So, your body will take the carbohydrates and store them in your muscles as glycogen because it's easier.

The issue with insulin resistance and really, why the low-carb craze has taken off, is because there are studies that show that sugary foods can be blamed for the cause of weight gain in the body.

Studies have shown that fructose switches off the body's ability to produce insulin, resulting in excess glucose floating around in the blood stream, which then means it has to create more insulin in order to stuff the excess glucose into the cells.

But this affects your appetite regulators, which makes you feel hungry even though you just had a massive piece of cake, so you end up eating even more because your hunger cues are all off.

And now, you've consumed more calories that are probably fat, carb, and protein which will then be converted again in your body. If you are not exercising to burn the glycogen stored in your muscles and organs, it will not have any room for the other glucose that the insulin is trying to store in your fat cells. And if you develop insulin resistance, a whole other host of problems appear, like NFLAD (fatty liver disease), weight gain, high cholesterol, hormonal changes, and so on.

Some of this is simplified, because the science is more complicated than this and there is still much that has to be discovered.

Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong in my understanding.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:15 PM   #23
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I appreciate the info JohnP. I am a scientist so I do like to read research ^.^
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #24
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Interesting!
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #25
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Thanks, this helped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nelie View Post
From my understanding, our bodies prefer glucose and burn glucose, but our bodies also will use up our fat stores as well. If there is excess glucose consistently, more than the cells need, this can relate to insulin resistance but also our bodies will prefer the glucose off the fat. Since it is easier to store fat, the bodies will store fat and burn the glucose instead.

Now if you are eating at a calorie deficit, your body will burn the carbs you eat, burn a little excess fat and use the protein for either energy or rebuilding. If you are eating at calorie maintenance then similarily, fat may get stored temporarily when you have eaten but it gets used up in proportion to storage since you are at maintenance. Now if you are eating in excess then your body burns as much carbs as it can, store excess as glycogen, burn excess protein and store the fat. Since you may also have excess glucose, you may be in danger of insulin resistance as the glucose tries to get stuffed into the cells.

That is my simplistic way of viewing it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:19 PM   #26
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I am glad you did! Thanks.

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Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
In theory a diet very low in fat would mean less net fat storage but there are two problems with this theory.

The first one is that it would be pretty difficult to avoid dietary fat while still ingesting massive amounts of carbs. The second one is that the body can adapt and ramp up DNL if your glycogen stores are constantly full.

Anyways I'm sorry I threw this topic off topic a bit.
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