The truth about fat: It doesn’t make you fat but makes you lean & muscular.
What role does fat play in losing weight, in muscle building, and in your health?
In the 1980s, Western politicians and nutrition institutes did a great job: “Fat makes you fat” every child has believed that ever since.
As a result, thousands of low-fat foods are on supermarket shelves today. Eating a low-fat diet has never been easier. And never before have there been so many overweight people as there are today.
Some people have come to understand the importance of fat for weight loss, muscle building, and overall fitness.
Fat is a real secret weapon!
A secret weapon with a complex manual. Which automatically offers you a real plus in terms of health and quality of life – if you know how to use it.
This article gives you a new perspective on an essential nutrient. Here are the easily digestible basics of any complex topic:
- What is fat, and what types of fat are there?
- Is fat healthy or unhealthy – which is true?
- What role do fats play in your body when it comes to losing weight and building muscle?
- The right and wrong way to eat fat.
- What does all this have to do with Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, and Sergio Romero?
Why eat fat?
Along with carbohydrates and protein, fat is one of the three “macros” known as macronutrients.
I don’t consider any of the three macros more important than the other two – but fat is definitely the most underrated.
While your body can produce carbohydrates if necessary, you must absorb proteins and fat from your food to survive.
However, fat is not just fat.
If you integrate the right fat into your diet, you will not only live healthier and longer, but you will also be able to achieve better success in muscle building, your sport, and weight loss.
On the other hand, if you rely on the wrong fats or you lack certain fats, you will not be able to develop your physical and mental performance potential.
In extreme cases, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and other physical or even mental illnesses are at risk.
“Your relationship to fat?” – “It’s complicated…”
You may be surprised that I’ve already written a few articles on protein and carbohydrates, but none on fats.
This is not because I classify this topic as trivial – quite the opposite! It’s because fats are fundamentally different from the other two macronutrients in one thing:
- With proteins and carbohydrates, it’s all about the quantity. Eating as much protein as possible is best – animal proteins, particularly, are excellent at this. With carbohydrates, it is the opposite. We want to keep the number of carbohydrates as low as possible without sacrificing the healthy components of fruit and vegetables.
- Fat is about the type. The crowd is not the focus here. If you follow my recommendations for healthy foods below, you will automatically cover your need for fats.
So fat isn’t about quantity. It’s about quality.
It isn’t very easy. And at least as important for a healthy heart and brain as for healthy muscles and joints.
The trick is to optimally combine the individual fats in our diet – i.e., to include saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats in the right ratio.
Fat diversity: what types of fatty acids are there?
Is all theory grey? Not with fats and their components, the fatty acids.
If you want to be optimally supplied, you should know the different ways fats occur – this is the only way you can make the right decision in the supermarket and at the dining table.
Each fatty acid has its characteristics. And with one exception, they are all vital.
Let’s go into detail one step simultaneously – we differentiate between essential, nonessential, and degenerate fats.
First, let’s take care of the bad guys, also known as “killer fats”…
Degenerate fats: trans-fats
Trans-fats are produced in industrial production by continuously heating vegetable fats at high temperatures.
This creates “hardened” fats, which we find in many finished products, cookies, cakes, baked goods, chocolate spreads, margarine, fast food, and especially fried foods.
For the industry, trans fats are extremely practical because they make the products durable. They only have to be declared as “vegetable fat” – that sounds inconspicuous, but appearances are deceptive.
This is how trans fats work:
- Eat 2% more trans fats and your risk of fatal cardiovascular disease doubles.
- Eat 2% more trans fats and your risk of developing diabetes increases by 33%.
- Blood lipid levels deteriorate dramatically (LDL cholesterol increases, HDL decreases – more on that in a moment).
- Your platelets stick together, flow less well and “calcify” your arteries.
- Block the conversion of essential omega-3 fats into important fitness hormones (more on that in a moment).
I think the point is clear: trans fats are harmful to health and should be zero percent of our diet.
You can minimize the trans fat content in your food if you avoid factory foods and switch to foods that are as natural as possible.
How do you recognize natural foods? They don’t have an ingredient list.
Nonessential (saturated) fats
Saturated fats are nonessential, meaning our bodies can make them independently. We need them to survive. In my opinion, saturated fats don’t deserve their bad reputation.
One of the main reasons saturated fats have such a bad-boy image is that they increase your LDL, which is the “bad” cholesterol in your blood.
Fortunately, researchers have been able to polish the image of saturated fat.
In a University of Connecticut study, overweight men and women were on a low-carb diet for three months. A comparison group ate a low-fat diet instead.
The surprising result: Although the low-carb group consumed significantly more saturated fats than the subjects with a low-fat diet, they had significantly lower LDL blood lipid levels at the end of the diet.
And something else was surprising: the low-carb subjects also had fewer triglycerides in their blood than the low-fat group.
I will go into the individual blood lipids in more detail in a moment – the core statement of this study is: A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet causes significantly “better” blood lipid levels than a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.
Essential (unsaturated) fats
Essential means that our body cannot produce these types of fatty acids on its own. These fats are also vital for us, so we must consume unsaturated fats as food or, if necessary, as dietary supplements.
Essential fats raise our HDL, the “good” cholesterol.
They support us in burning fat, reducing inflammation, and improving the health and performance of our nervous system. Essential fats can even make your muscles more sensitive to insulin.
I could go on and on with this list of positives, but I think my point gets clear.
There are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats: monounsaturated fats are called omega-1 fats. The polyunsaturated fatty acids that are relevant for us are further subdivided into omega-6 and omega-3 fats.
The latter are most important to us – so let’s look at the omega-3 fats first.
Omega 3 fats
It’s a good idea to write down the term “omega-3 fats” on a post-it and hang it on whatever display you’re looking at or, for that matter, on your fridge.
Omega-3 fats are by far the most important fatty acids for us!
Simply put, omega-3 fats help you:
- bigger muscles,
- less body fat, and
- phenomenal prevention: They lower the risk of almost every disease you can imagine.
Our ancestors had it a lot better than we did. Because the foods they ate contained significantly more omega-3 fats.
If we want to get to this omega-3 level from supermarket foods, we must either eat a lot of oily fish or resort to supplements that contain fish oil.
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We aim to include two omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
You need both to stay healthy, but DHA is the superstar. If the fatty were footballers, DHA would be Lionel Messi, and EPA would be Ronaldinho.
DHA and EPA are two real team players who work together to ensure that your body can release many good hormones while keeping the bad hormones in check.
I don’t want to go into detail now (although the nuclear physicists among us would certainly enjoy it), but take my word for it: these fat guys give it their all – at both ends of the soccer field.
DHA: Docosahexaenoic Acid – Lionel Messi
If you could look inside your head, you would find an abundance of DHA: it’s the essential fatty acid most commonly found in our brains.
DHA has been shown to reduce the risk of many diseases, e.g
- Nervous diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s) and
- cardiovascular diseases,
by lowering blood triglyceride levels (more on that in a moment).
EPA: Eicosapentaenoic Acid – Ronaldinho
Even if Ronaldinho hasn’t (yet) reached the level of Lionel Messi, that doesn’t mean he’s not important. But on the contrary. EPA helps reduce inflammation in your body and thus has a preventive effect against cardiovascular diseases.
Incidentally, EPA also reduces the symptoms of some mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia.
Omega 6 fats
The second important type of polyunsaturated fat is omega-6 fats. In contrast to omega-3 fatty acids, most of us get enough omega-6 fats – unless we deliberately avoid them.
For example, soybean and vegetable oils are very rich in omega-6 fats. You can find omega-6 fats almost anywhere you look for them.
So catch it? Not quite.
There is a very special omega-6 fatty acid that you should consciously pay attention to gamma-linolenic acid, GLA for short. Let’s just call her Sergio Romero.
GLA: Gamma Linolenic Acid – Sergio Romero
In contrast to most other omega-6 fats, GLA is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect in scientific studies, and it is assumed that GLA has an anti-cancer effect.
Omega 1 fats
Monounsaturated fats are also important as they are needed for testosterone production (testosterone is important not only for men but also for women).
Luckily, getting enough omega-1 fatty acids is easy. A handful of nuts a day is enough if meat and other animal proteins are an integral part of your diet (see below).
A good vegetarian alternative is an avocado – a great upgrade for your salad.
Digression: blood lipid levels
To make the picture “round,” we should also know the other side of the fats – i.e., what ultimately gets into the blood. I want to introduce you to two fat key players in our blood whose names you may have heard before: triglycerides and cholesterol.
Triglycerides: Fat for fuel
Triglycerides are the fats our body can use as fuel, i.e., to burn fat. While we store some triglycerides in our muscles, most of this fuel comes directly from our food – before our body can store it in fat cells – or the triglycerides aren’t needed and end up in fat cells.
The most important thing you should know about triglycerides is this: they are linked to heart disease and diabetes. The more of it in your blood, the higher your risk.
In a 40-year study, scientists from the University of Hawaii accompanied almost 6,000 people and examined blood lipids and lifestyle habits.
The result: people with low levels of triglycerides in their blood have exceptionally high chances of living a long life (85 years and older) without suffering from a serious illness.
How does a long, healthy life help us stay fit and lean?
- First, we need to stay healthy to enjoy our bodies for as long as possible
- Secondly, we need the right fats in our diet to become – and stay – fitter, more efficient, and slimmer.
One is the essential and saturated fats I mentioned earlier, and there is a third type of fatty acid that I’ll get to in a moment.
Alongside the (false) myth that fat makes us fat, there’s another superstition: “cholesterol is unhealthy.”
Not long ago, medical and nutritional scientists agreed that high cholesterol levels lead to heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases. And fat raises cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol has two main components:
- HDL – the “good” cholesterol
- LDL – the “bad” cholesterol
And because high-cholesterol foods raise our blood cholesterol levels, we’ve been warned by experts for decades not to eat foods like
- Egg yolk,
- fish and
- dairy products.
We now know there’s a catch to that conclusion—and why it’s wrong: If we don’t get cholesterol from food, our bodies make it on their own.
Our liver can make x times more cholesterol than we could ever eat! Every cell in our body is capable of producing cholesterol.
It must matter if our bodies have so many ways to make cholesterol.
The role of cholesterol in our body:
- Cholesterol is required for the construction of cell membranes.
- Cholesterol has an anti-oxidative effect.
- Cholesterol helps in the digestion of fats.
- Your body can only produce the muscle-building hormone testosterone with cholesterol.
Enough with the theory – let’s get down to practical everyday life.
What Fats Should You Eat?
If you make a conscious effort to get enough natural protein, you’re doing quite a bit to eat the fats your body needs.
Healthy foods: protein and fat
Ideal suppliers of protein and fat:
- organic beef
- organic poultry meat
- organic eggs (whole)
Good suppliers of protein and fat (if you can handle lactose well):
Healthy Foods: Fat
Most supermarkets often do not stock all of the healthy fats mentioned. Alternatively, you can find the products on Amazon.
Ideal fat suppliers:
- Olive oil, extra virgin
- Macadamia Nut Oil
- Flaxseed, ground
Good fat suppliers:
- Coconut oil, extra virgin
- Linseed oil
Fat – Dietary supplements
Fish Oil Capsules: DHA and EPA Omega-3 fats
It should be 200 g of oily sea fish per week. If you don’t like fatty sea fish or don’t eat enough of it for other reasons, you can easily cover your DHA and EPA needs with fish oil capsules.
Even if you’re very careful about your calorie intake, fish oil capsules can be a good alternative as they hardly contain any saturated fat – in this case, “excess” energy.
I wish I could tell you, “Buy the next best omega-3 supplement, and you’re off the hook.”
Unfortunately, I can’t because what’s sold as an omega-3 supplement can either help or make things worse. Poor quality supplements may be contaminated with mercury or low in DHA and EPA.
FAT: BUYING ADVICE FOR FISH OIL CAPSULES
If you want to be on the safe side and are willing to invest significantly more money, you can buy your fish oil capsules in the pharmacy.
The preparations sold there are subject to strict pollutant controls. In addition, you should make sure that not farmed salmon, but wild salmon is used for production.
In coordination with the nutritionist Dr. Schulz-Ruthenberg I recommend the following omega-3 fish oil preparations of very good quality:
- Liquid Fish Oil: I use MarisPlus in the bottle. You can either order a high-quality product online or buy it in the pharmacy. The bottle should always be stored in a cool place to protect the sensitive fatty acids.
- Fish oil capsules are an uncomplicated alternative to liquid oil.
Especially if you don’t like the oil taste, travel a lot or like it as uncomplicated as possible. Then the fish oil capsules recommended in this guide are a high-quality and inexpensive solution.
STORAGE AND INGESTION
It is always best to store your fish oil supplement in the refrigerator. Even if the preparations are hermetically sealed, omega-3 fats are very sensitive.
MarisPlus should be kept permanently cool after opening. You can also transport high-quality fish oil capsules (e.g., when traveling) without cooling.
You should always take the fish oil with vitamin E so the fats in the bloodstream remain more stable. Vitamin E is already added to the recommended preparations.
I recommend taking it right before meals. Since the fish oil has its taste, it doesn’t matter in this way.
GLA omega-6 fats
In nature, GLA is most concentrated in evening primrose and borage oils. GLA preparations are commonly extracted from these plants.
GLA is still relatively unknown as a dietary supplement on the German market. A safe source of supply is the pharmacy.
Amazon carries some GLA import products. You can only play it safe with brand manufacturers. I wouldn’t use a low price as a decision criterion. A good product from Germany is Gammaform 66 GLA Duo+ from FormMed.
Scientists currently recommend a GLA dosage of between 400 mg and 3,000 mg. However, you should never exceed a daily amount of 3,000 mg GLA.
Conclusion: This is how you get your fat (away) from today
I hope I can keep my promise and give you a good insight into the topic of “fats” and clarify why fat is important for losing weight, building muscle, and for our health.
When it comes to fat, it’s not the quantity that matters. It’s the quality.
Perfectly cared for in 4 steps – this is how you can make sure today that you are well cared for:
- Avoid harmful trans fats by avoiding factory foods.
- Integrate the healthy fat suppliers mentioned above into your daily diet.
- Make sure that Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho, the two omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, play a sufficient role in your team: either in the form of oily fish (200 g once a week) or daily as a dietary supplement.
- In addition, you can supplement the anti-inflammatory, the Omega-6 “Sergio Romero” fatty acid GLA.
Starting today, if you make sure to eat the right fats and omit the wrong ones, the change in your body will be measurable in your blood in weeks to months.
Then you will not only benefit from better health, but you will also lose fat and build muscle more easily.
Lose 6 Months of Flab in Only 14 Days…
“Photoshoot Preparation Diet Plan”
Forces Your Body to Burn Body Fat as Quickly as Physically Possible