Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why Choose Low-Fat Foods?

So most fitness trainers believe that the only way to make certain you were eating the "right amount" of food was to count calories. And, in some respects (like competitive bodybuilding) this is true. However, it is not just the quantity of calories that is important, it's the quality of those calories consumed that really matters for overall health. The old adage "a calorie is a calorie" isn't true.

A gram of fat yields more than twice as many calories as a gram of carbohydrates or protein - that's not new. What is new is that studies now indicate that calorie for calorie, fat is more fattening (duh).

In one study, two groups of people were fed the same number of calories per day but with different amounts of fat. After several months, the group that was fed a larger percent-age of the calories from fat gained more weight than the group on the lower fat diet.

The explanation has to do with metabolic efficiency. Since dietary fat is already fat, it converts to body fat much quicker and more easily than does carbohydrate or protein. If you eat a 100 calorie pat of butter, which is 100% fat, only 3 of those calories are needed to "break down" the fat. The remaining 97 calories head for storage in the fat cells.

Evolution has primed our bodies to store fat as a survival mechanism. In fact, we can store enough fat to provide for two to three months of starvation. On the other hand, our bodies store only enough carbohydrates to last a few days at most.

Most health professionals recommend that you keep your fat intake below 30 percent of your total calories. Learning to read labels helps you determine what the fat content of a food is. Use this knowledge to make informed choices with regard to the quality of calories you consume.

And always – Live Your Life Well!

John Aaron Villarreal




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