Myth: All dietary fat is created equally
This is the biggest mistake people get hung up on, when in fact those in the know say it’s crucial to understand how good fat can be. “All fats provide nine calories per gram, but different types of fats have different chemical structures and different nutritional implications,” explains Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, a New York City-based dietitian and author of The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories & Fat Disappear the F-Factor Way–With Fiber! There are three different types of fat. Trans fats hidden in processed foods, baked goods, and margarine, have zero health benefits. Saturated fats (think red meat, full-fat dairy and butter) raise cholesterol levels, which increase the risk of heart disease, while healthy unsaturated fats found in olive, peanut and canola oils, avocado, nuts, and seeds help prevent heart disease and stroke.
Taking a draconian approach to all fat in the diet could mean losing weight loss and health benefits as healthy fat allows us to feel full longer, controlling our appetite. What’s more, the American Heart Association recently stated that replacing saturated fat with healthier fat in the diet lowers cardiovascular disease risk as much as taking powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs. These fat-burning foods will help you lose weight.
Myth: All body fat is created equally
Truth: Some types of body fat are more dangerous than others. “Stress produces cortisol (your body’s stress hormone), which is known to increase visceral fat,” Zuckerbrot says. “Visceral fat wraps around your organs and is harmful and linked to metabolic disease and insulin resistance, she says. By contrast, subcutaneous fat lies directly under your skin and is not harmful, she says. There’s also brown fat which burns calories at a rapid rate, speeding weight loss.