Fat: Not the Evil it’s Made Out To Be!

By Trevor Chetcuti on 28 Feb 2014
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Fat - Not the Evil it's Made Out To Be

Fat isn’t as bad as we think it is – in fact it helps our bodies function properly
Photo: Urbane Womens Mag

Fat is critical to our health and endurance.

In fact, cholesterol and fat are the main precursors to many of our hormones and anti-inflammatory markers.

In addition, for those who actively participate in exercise longer than one hour, more than 98 per cent of your energy will be derived from your aerobic system, a system that is dependent upon the ability to metabolize (burn) fat.

Given our aerobic system primarily provides energy for our postural muscles, fat becomes an essential substance for the general functioning of our body.

Fatigue, lethargy, stiffness in the morning, tiredness (sloth) and a large belly are common symptoms of poor fat metabolism.

What Alters Fat Metabolism?

There are many different things that alter fat metabolism, such as stress, high sugar intake, vitamin or mineral deficiencies (B2, B3, B5, iron and magnesium), overtraining, lack of exercise, poor sleep habits, training at a high intensity too frequently, hormone imbalances and nutritional problems. 

Maintaining a healthy fat metabolism is vital for preserving body weight, preventing chronic inflammation and fatigue, the maintenance of hormone levels, fitness and endurance, weight loss and general health.

“What we do know… is that the low-fat revolution has had a negative effect on cardiovascular disease.”

The easiest way to achieve this is through low GI carbohydrate intake, maintaining good carbohydrate:protein:fat ratios, regular aerobic exercise and proper rest and recovery.

Unfortunately, as the post-World War II era arrived, so too did new theories about illness and degenerative disease.

Our Decline in Cardiovascular Health

Two opposite theories arose regarding our decline in cardiovascular health. The first was pushed by a scientist named Ancel Keys who believed that fat intake was the cause of artery fat deposition.

The other theory was brought forward by various scientists and health professionals, most notably John Yudkin, who wrote a book called Pure, White, and Deadly: How Sugar Is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It. This theory postulated that higher levels of carbohydrate were slowing our ability to burn fat, leading to fat deposition.

“It is no longer a question that sugar is damaging to our health. Those who do not believe this are simply clinging on in denial.”

What we do know now is that the low-fat revolution has had a negative effect on cardiovascular disease. In fact our obesity levels, cardiovascular disease rates and other degenerative disorders have risen alarmingly since the low fat diet was popularised.

That said, there are an increasing number of studies showing low carbohydrate intake with high fat and protein intake are lowering the rates of these degenerative disorders.

Either way, it is no longer a question that sugar is damaging to our health. Those who do not believe this are simply clinging on in denial.

The Right Carbohydrate Level

The perfect carbohydrate level is still very debatable; however, from my personal experience in practice, most seem to cope better with carbohydrate intakes below 50 per cent and protein intakes 20 per cent above their calorie intake.

Using calorie counters such as the MyFitnessPal app, you can very quickly and simply assess the percentage of calories derived from fat or carbohydrate in your diet.

Give it a shot and drop your carbohydrate intake so it’s below 50 per cent of your calorie intake and see if you feel better after two weeks. Most are amazed at the change.

About the Author

Dr Trevor has a passion for helping people that goes beyond what most people expect. He has a knack for getting to issues quickly and an amazing knowledge for all things health and wellbeing. With extensive study in areas such as Physiology, Nutrition, Supplementation, Applied Kinesiology, Neuro Emotional Technique and Chiropractic, Dr Trevor's skills at working with a wide range of health and performance issues have become widely respected.

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