Is "fat" shaming justified?
Fats are out of the question in many diets, but is this right? It has a lot of functionalities and is therefore certainly indispensable: fat is a source of energy, vitamins A, D, E, essential fatty acids and provides an insulating layer 1 . In addition, fats have an essential function in the body, as they are the building blocks of hormones. Putting this product group aside as 'malicious' is therefore not at all justified 2 .
Our diet contains different types of fats, namely unsaturated, saturated and trans fats. Unsaturated fats are mainly found in vegetable oils, fat that is soft or liquid at room temperature and in fish and nuts 1 . These unsaturated fats have a positive effect on health 1 . For example, they lower LDL cholesterol, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease 1 . Saturated fat, on the other hand, has a somewhat less positive name. It raises the LDL-cholesterol in the blood and too high a LDL-cholesterol is bad for the blood vessels 1 . Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as full-fat dairy products, butter and meat 1 , but they are also found in coconut fat, palm oil and biscuits 2 . However, there are also studies that find a less strong relationship, so how unhealthy saturated fats actually are remains an ongoing discussion 3 . Trans fats are still actually unhealthy, because they are more difficult for the body to process and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease 2 . Trans fats are mainly found in animal products and hydrogenated fats, such as those used in biscuits and hard cooking and frying fats 1 .
Fats provide energy to our body in the form of kilocalories, or 'kcal'. One gram of fat provides no less than 9 kcal and therefore has a considerably higher kcal value than carbohydrates and proteins (both 4 kcal per gram) 1 . Fat-rich food can therefore lead more quickly to overconsumption and to a positive energy balance, which can eventually lead to weight gain. As mentioned, a portion of healthy fats is important for a balanced diet within a healthy lifestyle. The recommended amount of fat for a healthy weight is between 20 and 40 energy percent 1 . This means that for a healthy diet, 20 to 40 percent of the daily total kcal comes from fats. So everything in moderation applies here too ;)Example
The calculation in a man with a diet of 2500 kcal per day becomes as follows:
This is (2500/100) * 20 – 40 energy percent = 500 kcal to 1000 kcal.
The calculation in a woman with a diet of 2000 kcal per day becomes as follows:
(2000/100) * 20 – 40 energy percent = 400 to 800 kcal.
If you want to lose weight, the advice is to take less than 30 energy percent fat!