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oh fat. maligned fat.

fat isn't soooo bad for you. in fact, it's essential. fat is the primary energy source for most of your activities, so if you start eliminating it, your body will fight you. in fact your body will often defeat you and "hoard" fat and you'll not lose any fat weight although your calories are restricted. amazing evolution. the result will be lower levels of lean body mass resulting in lower performance levels and general unhealth.

how much fat does one need? i think at a minimum, 15% of calories. as a maximum i've seen 20% (hammer nutrition) 25% (a dietician) and 30% (american heart association diet). i do not know how to know.

the problem with that is that per unit mass, it packs twice as many calories as carbohydrate and protein. but also, it is denser so per unit volume it is packing more mass and more calories. you see what i'm saying. one great way to make your recipes lower fat is to cook larger amounts. it takes about a half to one tablespoon of oil to saute any amount of onion. divide that between two servings and you're pressed to have any other fats. divide that among six or more and there's room.

fat sources

as far as fat sources, consider nuts and vegetables in favor of animal fats. this means use non-fat daries. for cooking, canola, olive and coconut oils (lots of medium chain fats, available at your local coop or corporate chain) are good choices. i typically bake with canola with little complaints. try it. egg yolks remain a mystery to me. i've read that some yolks are ok but not all the time. i've also seen that yolks should be avoided totally but i think the former is the better view. about half the protein of an egg is in the yolk (and i've heard that the yolks make the proteins more "bioavailable"). the yolk also contains all the vitamins, including choline, which is critical.

margarine will kill you. don't eat it.


gotta get those omegas. i take fish oil supplements but ground flax is a great source as well. must be ground. you can buy it ground or you can do it with a coffee grinder. i use flax in my oatmeal. flax can be added to any baked item as well.

more reading:

hammer's fatty acid article


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» weight loss from cooking
good god there are a lot of articles out there about how to lose weight. bottomline: eat a balanced diet of 20-25% (good) fat, 60% (good) carbohydrate and 15-20% protein (depending on your activity levels, 15% for normal daily activity);... [Read More]