I don’t like to talk about fat too much…it has become a bit of a controversy in the world of health and nutrition and people can get easy hung up on it. But here is my best basic advice:
Friend or Foe?
I do believe that fat is a necessary ingredient in our diet and that it’s very difficult to avoid fat. It is also quite unhealthy to avoid it. If you read one of my previous macronutrient spotlight articles about fat (link fat article), you understand this.
There are two extremes in opinion when it comes to fat intake. Fat used to be demonized and for many years “low-fat” this and “low-fat” that were all the rage. Now some people have gone from demonizing fat to promoting going “full hog,” or going out and eating as much fat as we want. That can work, it can get you into a state of ketosis, but it many not necessarily transfer over to weight loss or burning fat as fuel or health.
Fat and Weight Loss Strategies
So now we have to put fat into context. I always believe that in grams, you should be eating more grams of protein than you should be eating of fat. Especially if you want to adapt to burn fat. Fat we can use as a lever to train our body to use fat as an energy substrate. If we’ve always been a glucose burner our whole lives, sometimes we need to do a little bit of that training of getting our body used to that.
Focusing on a high-fat diet for a little while is only good if you are bringing carbohydrates way down. You don’t want to be eating a lot of carbs in conjunction with fat…because that insulin response, which is an anabolic storage hormone, insulin is a great hormone for muscle mass and building endurance and all sorts of other stuff, but if we spike our insulin by eating a lot of carbohydrates in conjunction with a lot of fat, we will put that fat away as storage. And that, my friends, is what you are seeing in the Standard American Diet, where it is a high-carb, high-fat diet all at the same time.
So, reel the fats in if you want to burn fat. But if you want to go keto to burn fat, we can talk more about that in a future article!
If you have questions about fat or about how you can adapt to burn fat safely and effectively, please feel free to contact me with questions.
Here is a link for you to read if you want to dive a little more into the good fat bad fat debate.
-Dr. Jerome Craig