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colette_heimowitz's Blog
The Skinny on Fat

It’s quite likely that over the years, you’ve tried any number of diets before discovering Atkins. Back in the day, low fat was what everyone thought was the way to go. Remember all those low-fat and fat-free products you thought you could eat because the popular belief was that fat made us fat? And what did you discover during this diet phase? Low-fat and fat-free contribute to weight gain just as easily. 

The reality now? It’s time to stop thinking of dietary fat as your enemy. In fact, fat is a key source of energy and essential nutrients, and you can’t live without it. Replacing sugars and refined carbohydrates (the main components of all those low-fat and fat-free foods) may have actually caused the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes we are experiencing today.

Now we know that natural fats play a key role in helping with weight control. In fact, fat can be a high-energy food that gives you a metabolic edge, what we call the Atkins Edge. When you increase your intake of fat in place of carbs, you’ll experience a higher and more consistent energy level. Yes, adequate fat is essential, especially on Atkins, and it will help you achieve your weight loss and weight maintenance goals.

 Fat, like protein, helps keep you full for longer. And since it carries flavor, it makes food more satisfying. In other words, you could probably consume 500 calories of fat and feel more full and satisfied than 1,000 calories of refined carbs. Even better, when you eat fat, it slows the entry of glucose into the bloodstream, moderating the highs and lows of blood sugar. So instead of that crash and burn after eating carbs, and return of your hunger soon after, fat helps moderate your appetite and your cravings.

Here’s a fat cheat sheet, starting with the three main classes:

• Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) are found in olive oil, canola oil, and in walnuts and most other nuts, as well as avocados. MUFAs are usually liquid at room temperature
• Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are always liquid both at room temperature and in the refrigerator. They’re found mostly in oils from vegetables, seeds and some nuts. Sunflower, safflower, flaxseed, soybean, corn, cottonseed, grape seed and sesame oils are high in PUFAs. So are the oils in fatty fish such as sardines, herring and salmon.
o Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are two families of compounds of dietary fats that your body can’t produce on its own. Both omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs are PUFAs essential to your health and well-being. Omega-3s are found in the fat of shellfish and cold-water fish. Omega-6s are found primarily in seeds and grains, as well as in chickens and pigs. Unless you’re eating a very-low-fat diet, you are most likely getting more than the recommended amount of omega-6s. . Focus on the right balance of PUFAs: Eat foods or take supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as shellfish, cold-water ocean fish and fish oil (salmon, tuna, sardines, herring and anchovies, as well as non-fish sources such as flaxseed, almonds, walnuts and canola oil). Avoid corn, soybean, cottonseed and peanut oils, which are all high in omega-6s.
• Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) tend to remain solid at room temperature. Butter, lard, suet and palm and coconut oils are relatively rich in saturated fats. This type of fat is fine to consume on an Atkins-type diet because we know that the body burns primarily fat on Atkins and we know from published research that the level of saturated fat in the blood when you are following Atkins does not increase.

When it comes to Atkins, the only dietary fat you should truly avoid are trans fats. An increased intake of trans fats is associated with an increased heart attack risk, and most recently they have been shown to increase the body’s level of inflammation.  They are typically found in foods you should be avoiding already, including fried foods, baked goods, cookies, crackers, candies, snack foods, icings and vegetable shortenings. As long as a product contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, a manufacturer can claim its product is free of trans fats. To be sure there are no trans fats in a product, check the list of ingredients, where trans fats are listed as “shortening” or “hydrogenated vegetable oil” or “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.” If you see any of these words in the ingredients list, just say no. You should also avoid deep-fried foods in fast-food and other restaurants.

If you follow the previous guidelines, fat can be your friend and even help you lose weight.

Published Monday, November 19, 2012 12:58 PM by colette_heimowitz
Filed Under: Nutrition
Comments
BBW said:
Great info! Thanks for sharing!
November 19, 2012 01:53 PM EST
boneyass said:
that's one to save...thx
November 19, 2012 02:57 PM EST
charliem71 said:
Any advice for using the Atkins program for amputees? I lost my left leg due to infection after an accident a few years back and have piled on the pounds because I cant seem to find ways to effectively exercise. I tried swimming, going to the gym, but even getting INTO the gym was a major headache in a wheelchair.. I NEED to lose the weight and keep it off. I am now the heaviest I have EVER been in my life. Ideas would be appreciated
November 19, 2012 10:37 PM EST
bdbobalou said:
THANK YOU FOR INFORMTION, HOWEVER HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYONE WHOM ATKINS DID NOT WORK? I'M ON INDUCTION FOR 10 WEEKS AND I BARELY LOST 11 POUNDS. I AM STRUGGLING. SOME OF MY ATKINS FRIENDS HAVE SUGGESTED TO GO TO OWL, HOWEVER IF I AM SUCH A SLOW LOSER I AM TOO SCARED TO GO THERE. I'VE BEEN OBESE SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. SO YOYOING A LIFETIME AND I'LLL BE 59 SOON. JUST NOT SURE. ANY CLARITY?
November 20, 2012 06:15 AM EST
ebergstrom said:
The recent issue of Science News looks at a National Institute of Health study of polyunsaturated vegetable oil (soybean oil, corn oil, etc) and noted that eating it can create a marijuana-like food craving (the munchies) and kill the body's ability to tell the eater that he or she is full. Add to that sugar sweetened items (often containing plenty of that oil, as well) and the body's satiation meter gets terribly confused. So, if you notice that some fats give you cravings, you might want to research this study. I've always figured that if corn is not so good, high-fructose corn syrup is awful, maybe corn oil is something to be avoided,too, and use mostly olive or Canola oils. Here's a link to the article. http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/345277/description/Tricks_Foods_Play
November 20, 2012 09:19 AM EST
tabbyj78 said:
Thanks...I am going to continue on Atkins.... but all the dairy and meat has me on edge goes against everything I have ever known about healthy eating and feel as if this will lead to clogged arteries in the long run...I think I am going to see how vegetarians maintain on Atkins.
November 20, 2012 09:41 AM EST
RoseanneD said:
It does go against what we've always been told about about healthy eating. But as they say ' The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results'. And despite populations reducing the amount of fat in their diets which the numbers show, obesity and diabetes have gone through the roof! So reducing fat clearly doesn't work. And even tho it goes against the grain (so to speak!), Atkins works. And if you do your own research you will find study after study proves that it works and more importantly that its better for your health too. Roseanne (www.eatingAtkins.ie)
November 20, 2012 10:28 AM EST
mbsjuju said:
To Tabby. How about this. Go to your doctor and get a baseline blood test. Then, stay on the traditional Atkins lifestyle and get tested one year later (6 months if you are truly quite concerned.) Just make sure you have them give you a copy of your results (for your own records) for the before and after. I bet you'd be quite surprised! Good luck.
November 27, 2012 01:42 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
charliem71 ... you don't need to exercise to lose on Atkins. You should become adapted to fat burning first, then you can do a google search for wheelchair exercises you can do at home with free weights and resistence bands. It is great to preserve lean tissue but not necessary for weight loss.
December 07, 2012 04:52 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
bdbobalou ... 11 lbs is not bad at all. a lb a kill get you 58 lbs a year. hang in there.
December 07, 2012 04:55 PM EST
peggyvdb said:
Colette, I have a question about fats. I've added about 2 TBS of coconut oil to my diet. I read an article that it may be helping to heal the brain. I have MS with extensive lesions. Is coconut oil a good fat, and how does it work on the Atkins plan? Thank you.
January 19, 2013 11:52 AM EST
White3175 said:
What about fat blockers? will they hinder progress in the diet? Things like green coffee bean (dr oz), Keto7 or just in general. HBP and newly diagnosed dibetes.
April 05, 2013 12:37 PM EST
upasana said:
What is the ideal total amount of fats per day
August 19, 2013 12:25 AM EST
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