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How Fat-Free can be Unhealthy

By Sherali S. Bharwani

I have explained time and again that if you don't consume fat at all, then your body thinks you're starving. In this 'starvation mode' or 'famine mode', your body tends to store every ounce of stored fat and thus you don't lose weight.

But weight issues aside, if you cut back fat from your diet drastically, that can be downright unhealthy, increasing your risk of heart disease by decreasing high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, the "good" cholesterol) and boosting blood levels of triglycerides. They may also raise your risk for such conditions as gout and gallstones.

A lot of weight loss plans tell their followers to limit their fat intake to below 5 percent per day or even to abstain from fat completely.

If you do that, your body will react by compensating for it and making its own fat in the form of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase. This doesn't only increases stored fat reserves in the body but actually can be more unhealthy than getting fat from food!

Lack of dietary fat also prevents the absorption of the disease-fighting phytochemicals contained in fruits and vegetables.

Fats provide energy, maintain cell membranes and blood vessels, transmit nerve impulses, and produce essential hormones.

Not only does your body need fat to function, it also requires a certain amount in order to absorb other nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E, and K (essential for proper eyesight, bone formation, and blood clotting). Vitamins A and E are also antioxidants and have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease and a variety of cancers.

Additionally, appropriate amounts of fats are required in your daily diet in order to keep your body's secondary system functioning properly. Fats are essentially required for your hair, your nails, your joints etc.

But determining the proper amount of healthy fat in your daily diet is a very tricky issue. You have to be very careful with the foods that contain fat. Just consider this:

  • Eat too much fat and you will not lose weight!
  • Eat too little fat and you will not lose weight!
  • Eat the 'BAD' fat and you will not lose weight!
  • Don't eat the 'GOOD' fat and you will not lose weight!

Visit Sherali's site 1-Step Weight Loss Secrets for more of her practical advice on weight loss -- and check out her diet plan, Magically Slim, which includes 'Facts & Fallacies About Fats', giving you detailed insights on everything that is even remotely related to the ever-elusive topic of fats and their role in a healthy diet.


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