Many debates resolve around fat; is it here to kill you or to save you from a heart attack?
There are different types of fat, the bad fats: saturated fat (from animal source mainly) and trans fats (created in labs to better preserve industrial pastries). Good fats are ;monounsaturated fats (olive oil,canola oil..) and polyunsaturated fats (omega 6 and omega 3 found in fish oil and some seeds).
Saturated fat sources are butter, lard, cheese, and red meat. Trans fats are mainly found in margarine, donuts and industrial sweets.
Most Americans envy French people ‘s thin figure that despite having skinny bodies consume a diet high in saturated fat (croissants, foie gras, entrecôte…). They even manage to have low incidence of heart disease and obesity. Studies explained that phenomenon as resulting from red wine consumption and its antioxidant content (resveratrol) thus preventing cardiovascular diseases. In my opinion,French people benefit of something I would call ‘hidden exercise’ given the fact that they exercise without aiming to do so just by walking to find a cab or roaming around the city contemplating Notre Dame Church or the Eiffel tower, or using public transport making it easier to gain supplemental miles in a pedometer.
Genes play an important role in obesity and weight gain but we are not destined to be fat if our parents or grandparents are overweight because the body has the ability to change genes over time. The best way to combat the fat gene is to exercise and maintain a healthy diet while consuming all kinds of fats in moderation. Keep the croissant for special occasions(week end brunches or vacation trips). Fat is essential for the body it is important for organ cushioning, skin care, hair growth and brain formation of fetus in pregnant women.
A healthy day should be constituted of all three macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) in specific percentages know as Daily Recommended Intake (DRI); 50% Carbohydrates, 30% Fat and 20% Proteins check the Harvard sectioned plate for more details.
People fear fat and consider it directly linked with cardiovascular disease and obesity but the real problem is junk food consumption especially in people with low income where their meal prices equals the price of a bunch of organic carrots or simply population that lack nutrition education regarding healthy food choices specially in Gulf regions.
Gulf regions had a sudden change in their eating habit as they went from drinking Camel milk, eating dates and engaging in long walks to industrial food with little or no exercise but instead luxury car racing and heavy fatty meals, which increased level of obesity in the population (for example Koweit has the highest obesity rate).
There are some industrial butter that pretend to lower the bad cholesterol by increasing the good cholesterol (known as High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), however there are not enough scientific evidence for causality between high level of HDL in blood and lower risk of heart diseases therefor a moderate intake of regular butter is perfectly fine, the size equivalent to the tip of your thumb per meal.
Omega 3 is essential for protecting the heart, mainly found in fish oils, flaxseeds and chia seeds, the body absorbs it with the help of omega 6 containing foods (sunflower oil). So it is best to eat them in a ratio of 4 (omega6) to 1 (omega 3).
Oat is a popular food to lower Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol because of its fiber content, the amount necessary for it to be functional is one cup and a half of porridge or 3 to 5 oat muffins per day, which is not recommended because of the high sugar content, so opt for the porridge.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and is crucial for a stable body weight despite occasional desserts that are essential to fulfill occasional cravings. In my opinion it is better to eat an entrecote with fries every once in a while rather than have your chicken breast and greens for weeks and later succumb fast food for weeks.
Instead of meditating in front of the food menu and calculating all the risk factors of heart attack enjoy your meal and aim for MODERATION,have one satisfying meal rather than a three course menu.