Does Eating Fat Make You Fat?

Will you gain weight simply by eating fat? The answer is yes and no. Fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet. You need to eat it to maintain optimal health. You also have to consider how many fat calories you are consuming and be sure that you do not exceed the daily limits. An excess of fat calories could lead to weight gain.

Good Fats

There are good fats and bad fats. For a healthy diet, you will want to choose unsaturated fats over saturated fats or trans fats. Unsaturated fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are known as good fats. These types of fats actually lower your risk for heart disease. They reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and your total cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are examples of good fats. Herring, salmon, walnuts, flax oil and flaxseeds are all examples of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids.

Other good fats include monounsaturated fats. Nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil are all examples of foods containing good fats. Examples of polyunsaturated fats include a variety of vegetable oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil. Many nuts and seeds also contain good fats.

Bad Fats

The fats that you want to avoid are the saturated and trans fats. These foods raise your bad cholesterol and increase your risks for heart disease. These fats are found in foods such as dairy products and butter. You will also find bad fats in fried foods, hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine and many snacks such as crackers, cakes and cookies. 

Daily Fat Intake

It is recommended that you limit fat intake to no more than 35% of your daily calories. In a diet of 1,800 calories per day, this amounts to less than 70 grams of fat. To be healthy and fit, you will want to make sure that most of these fat grams consist of good fats.

Choosing Healthy Fats

When buying commercially prepared food products, be sure to read the ingredients. Some products contain both good and bad fats. You will want to choose the healthier varieties each time to ensure that your fat intake is supplying the necessary nutrition.

To consciously make a shift to healthier fats, think about foods you typically consume and make a shift. For breakfast, instead of eggs choose whole grain cereals with low-fat milk. If you often eat cheese sandwiches, consider choosing a salmon sandwich instead. If you cook with butter, switch to olive oil. Instead of choosing potato chips, try snacking on seeds or nuts. If you enjoy eating ice cream on a regular basis, choose low-fat options. Sprinkle seeds or nuts on salads to replace bacon bits.

You will not get fat simply by eating fat. Some fats are healthy and necessary for your body. You want to limit your fat calories to the recommended limit and be sure that you get adequate regular exercise to burn off any excess calories that may lead to weight gain.


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