Fat, Good?: Two Words the Brain has Trouble Processing Together

An Article by Jessica Shannon

Myth: Dietary fat is to blame for excess weight and obesity. Therefore, fat is the enemy and saturated fats should be avoided.

Fact: Fat yields the most ATP (energy molecules) of the 3 macronutrients (Carbohydrates, protein, fat). Having fat in the digestive tract (intestine) triggers the hormone Cholecystokinin (CCK) which is indicative of satiety, so you will feel fuller longer. CCK also aids in the digestion of lipids (fat) in the intestine by stimulating bile secretion which breaks down fat molecules into more easily digestible products. There are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that are not synthesized by the body; therefore they need to be obtained through diet.

Advice: Do not cut fat out of your diet! The benefits of dietary lipids are valuable for sustained energy.

Tip: Buy foods that have a medium fat percentage for daily value (DV%). Foods that are low in fat and non-fat generally have sugar to replace the fat content as they are a cheap and an easy. Sugars also make food taste better for those who have become accustomed to high carbohydrate diets, making low-fat foods appear to be healthy, while tasting delicious.

As commonly misconceived not all saturated fats are created equally. There are saturated fatty acids (SFA) that are indifferent to your cardiovascular health, such as stearic acid, which is considered a neutral acid as it has NOT been shown to contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries. You can find this type of fatty acid in dark chocolate, as well as in beef. Keep in mind that a food can contain many types of fatty acids; for example, beef contains ‘good’ SFAs, but also contains palmitic acid which is considered ‘bad’ among experts. Healthy fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid is considered to increase good cholesterol and counteract bad cholesterol, providing excellent health benefits. Try krill oil for higher bioavailability (absorption rate)!

Take home message: Dieter Beware! Know what type of fat you are eating! Some fats are more beneficial than others and some have no harmful effects on health. Remember that particular fats are essential for growth and development of healthy bodies.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Serving: 3 medium sized pancakes


  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (apples, or banana if preferred)
  • ¼ cup of Greek yogurt, OR cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Scoop of favorite protein powder (best with chocolate, or plain)
  • Sprinkle in cinnamon and cocoa for best taste and dark chocolate chips if desired

Cook to preference

Top with pure maple syrup, or honey


DISCLAIMER: These articles are intended for interest purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views of HSG or Nexen Energy ULC. All possible efforts have been taken to ensure information accuracy. Getting to know your own body and doing research is the best defense against any misinformation. Please consult a physician to address individual needs before attempting to implement an exercise, or nutrition plan into your lifestyle.

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