Not all fats are bad. Let’s dispel this myth. Not so long ago, the low-fat dietary guidelines reigned, and every product on the market had a “0% fat” on its labels. Finally, human metabolism was understood well enough to say that the previous generation of scientists was wrong and that they are necessary for weight loss.
Not only is it impossible not to consume fat daily because most foods contain this nutrient, but our bodies cannot synthesize some of the fatty acids it needs to function properly. So, although fats are a calorie-concentrated nutrient, they are essential in the diet, even when we want to lose weight.
You just need to choose healthy fats that come from natural sources like olive oil and not those found in processed foods. Today, we will focus on this question: “how much fat should I eat per day to lose weight?”
How Much Fat Per Day To Lose Weight?
It must be taken into account that the percentage of fats that a person can ingest varies depending on their metabolism and physical form. A sedentary person cannot ingest the same percentage of fat as one who runs 10 kilometers daily, for example. Also, it will vary if you follow a low-carb, high-fat diet.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), reducing total fat intake to less than 30% of daily caloric intake helps prevent weight gain in the adult population. The amount of fat we should consume depends on the amount of calories we eat. One gram of fat is equivalent to 9 calories. The rest of the calories in a food come from the amount of protein or carbohydrates.
Below is an example of how many grams of fat per day to lose weight according to the daily calorie intake:
- 1,800 calories = 60 grams of fat
- 2,500 calories = 83 grams of fat
- 3,000 calories = 100 grams of fat
Different Types Of Fat
Saturated fat is found in foods of animal origin, such as red meat, sausages, or milk and its derivatives (i.e yogurt); they are also present in coconut and palm oil. They are solid at room temperature and can be visible fat (such as that found in the skin of chicken or around other meats, as well as milk fat), or invisible (contained naturally within foods or added during processing, as in the case of prepared foods, snacks, and pastries).
The consumption of saturated fats can raise bad cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease and other problems, such as atherosclerosis, strokes, or heart attacks.
Trans fats are even more harmful than saturated fats, as HealthCanal has warned, given that they have a double effect: in addition to increased LDL cholesterol levels, they reduce HDL cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol. These fats are formed in the industrial processing of some foods, known as hydrogenation, whereby they change their configuration from unsaturated fats to trans fats.
The consumption of trans fat can cause heart disease, and it can be seen in the ingredient labels as “partially hydrogenated” oil.
Monounsaturated fat can increase HDL (“good cholesterol”). They can be found in almonds, olives, avocados, and olive oil. In addition, phytosterols present for example in olive oil have been found to help reduce the intestinal absorption of cholesterol. Also, diets rich in monounsaturated fats help improve glucose control and insulin sensitivity.
Polyunsaturated fat is known to be found in both plant products, such as nuts, and animal products, such as oily fish. Within polyunsaturated fats, we find two types of fatty acids known worldwide: Omega 3 and Omega 6, two types of essential fatty acids that our body needs to ingest to maintain a good state of health.
Why Is It Important To Reduce Fat In Your Diet?
You must reduce the bad fats in your daily diet to avoid negative effects such as weight gain and excess fat, in addition to those already mentioned such as heart problems, obesity, and other chronic diseases.
Good fats should also be well portioned, as it is a caloric macronutrient, and even if they are good, an excess can induce weight gain.
Tips For Reducing Fat Intake
Reduce Saturated Fats
When cooking and choosing products for consumption, it is advisable to follow a series of tips to avoid excessive intake of saturated fats. These recommendations may include:
- Consume vegetable oils: Such as olive oil and sunflower oil, rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, except coconut or palm oil.
- Consume fish: Most fish are lower in saturated fats than meat. In addition, many contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce cholesterol.
- Choose lean meats. It is preferable to consume chicken, turkey, and other poultry (better without skin), and pork (eliminating visible fat).
- Avoid fried foods.
Reduce Trans Fat
Trans fats are present in industrial bakery products, from cookies to muffins or pastries that we can find packaged in supermarkets. On the other hand, after transformation into solid fats, these fats are found in the popular snacks that we eat between meals, such as potato chips and other products. The best way to avoid them or reduce their consumption is by either eliminating these high-fat foods from your diet or by consuming them now and then.
The Final Words
Despite all the bad reputation that fats may have, as long as they are not unhealthy fats, they are vital macronutrients as well as the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. They provide essential fatty acids which, as their name suggests, are necessary for good body health, as they aid with brain health and many other body functions, and should be part of a healthy diet.
However, their caloric intake per gram is higher compared to that of the other food groups (9 calories per gram). For this reason, fats during the diet should be consumed in the right measure to get all the health benefits, but without the negative parts such as weight gain and diseases like obesity.