In this article we are going to understand why eating fat doesn’t make you fat. And if it’s not this, then what is? We have been advised for a long time that fatty foods are not good for us. And it is better to cut down on them. But obesity is still thriving. Why?
Diet rich in carbohydrates have been secretly storing fat, slowly growing our waistlines and our obesity epidemic. Don’t believe it? Let us see how it happens.
How you get fatter in 12 Steps
- You think about a meal containing carbohydrate.
- You begin secreting insulin.
- Insulin tells your body to store fatty acids and keeps you from burning it as energy.
- You get hungry.
- So you start eating.
- You secrete more insulin.
- Digested carbohydrates enter your bloodstream as glucose. Digested carbohydrates are broken down in your stomach. The glucose, or sugar, is then absorbed through the wall of your intestines into your bloodstream.
- Your blood sugar level rise.
- You secrete more insulin.
- Fat from your meal stays in your cells as triglycerides.
- Fat cells get fatter.
- You get Fatter.
Easily Digestible = Bad for You
Let us understand what it means. The most easily digestible carbohydrates are the most fattening. They pump glucose into the bloodstream quickly, causing insulin to spike.
And the worst offenders are starches like Corn, Potato, Rice. Liquid Carbohydrates like Beer, Fruit Juice, Soda and Foods made from refined flour like Pasta, Cereals, Breads.
But how about fatty protein diets? How do they compare to cutting out carbs? We see that low-carb diet is more effective than low-fat diets. Let us see how.
In the year 1984 there was a massive campaign to promote low-fat diets, led by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Researchers from Stanford University put two diets in the test:
- Low in Carb but high in fat and protein.
- Low in Fat but high in carb.
However, the official embrace of the low-fat, high-carb diet didn’t coincide with the decline weight and heart disease. Instead we saw a rise in obesity and diabetes.
We have noticed that people who limited their carbs intake but ate as much as fat and protein as they wanted lost more weight on average, and we saw reduced triglycerides in them and decline in blood pressure than those who avoided fats and increased carbs. So this indicates, fats don’t make people fat, carbs do.
But how does it happen? What is the science behind it?
Bigger Cells Make Us Fatter
Fat flows in and out from our cells continuously, but what is stored in fat cells makes us fatter. We store it in the form of triglycerides. Triglycerides are formed by three fatty acids bound by one molecule of glycerol inside a cell. Triglycerides are too large to flow through the membranes of a cell, but fatty acids are able to flow freely.
So, what makes us fatter?
Anything that promotes the flow of fatty acids into our cells.
And what makes us leaner?
Anything that helps break down triglycerides.
Where do Carbs come into play?
Insulin is our body’s primary regulator of fat metabolism. It is also the primary regulator of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which sits on the membranes of cells and pulls fat into the cell.
The more insulin we secrete, the more active LPL is on our cells.
Therefore, when insulin level goes up, we store fat. When insulin level falls, we use it for fuel.
Insulin level in the bloodstream is primarily determined by the carbohydrates we consume. It’s the quality and quantity of carbs that determine how much we accumulate.
Carbs like starch, fruits and refined grains increases insulin so you should avoid them. The carbs which you can consume are salads and green veggies because these are rich is nutrients, pythonutrients and minerials like potassium and calcium. These carbs are also high in fibers and it doesn’t spike your insulin.
Carbohydrates drive insulin => insulin drives fat accumulation