Can Eating Fat Really Make You Fat?

by Isabel De Los Rios on May 20, 2010 · 4 comments

By Isabel De Los RiosHealthy Fats - Olive Oil, Avocados and Almonds

So does eating FAT really make you FAT?

YES and NO.

The right answer to this question is dependent on what type of fat we’re talking about. Certain fats are actually essential for many important bodily functions, but the wrong kind of fat can lead us down an unhealthy path to weight gain and a long list of diseases.

Types of Fat to Avoid

Hydrogenated Oils

You have probably already heard in the media or just about anywhere that hydrogenated oils are detrimental to your health so to avoid them at all costs. But what exactly are they?

Hydrogenation is a chemical process used to make fat more shelf stable.

This hydrogenation method completely alters the liquid oil’s molecular structure so that it no longer resembles a natural fat. Because your body does not recognize the transformed molecule as a natural fat, it cannot process it and treats it as a toxin. This “toxin” has been linked to cancer, birth defects, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and obesity.

To avoide hydrogenated oils, you simply must read labels!

Hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil can be found in most packaged foods, such as:

  • Margarine
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Cookies
  • Cereal bars
  • Sugar cereals
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Low-fat and fat-free snacks

There are even many packaged foods advertised as “health foods” that include this toxic ingredient.

Healthy Fats You Must Eat

Your body cannot survive without fat – specifically essential fatty acids. Your brain, hormones, immune system, and digestion are all dependant on this healthy fat (which is why people who go on very extreme low fat diets often suffer many health problems).

Omega 3 Fats

Omega 3 fats are essential to human health but cannot be produced by the body which is why it is essential that we get these great fats from food. Foods high in Omega 3 fats are:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Flax seeds
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Raw walnuts
  • Organic eggs
  • Grass fed beef

Extensive research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and help prevent risk factors associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. These essential fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be particularly important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.

In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include extreme tiredness (fatigue), poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

Cooking Oil

The only oil that is suitable for high heat cooking (and one of the healthiest oils you can consume) is raw, organic, unrefined coconut oil. Coconut oil has been proven to be one of the healthiest oils available for the human body and increases the body’s metabolic rate (helping in weight loss)

Oils Best Raw

Olive oil and flax seed oil are two wonderful oils to use for salad dressing or on cooked or raw veggies. These oils have a lower melting point and are more stable (and healthier) when kept raw.

All you need to know about fat and fat consumption:

  1. Avoid all products containing hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil.
  2. Consume foods high in Omega 3’s such as salmon, flax seeds, walnuts and organic eggs.
  3. Cook with organic, unrefined coconut oil.
  4. Use olive oil and flaxseed oil raw for salads and veggies.
  5. Also include avocados as a healthy source of fat into your meal plans.

Remember all fats are not created equal and proper use of the good fats can be a great way to keep you and your family at optimum health!

About the Author: Isabel De Los Rios is a certified nutritionist and exercise specialist who has helped hundreds of thousands of people all over the world lose incredible amounts of weight, regain their health and permanently change their lives. She is the author of  The Diet Solution Program and the Owner of New Body – Center for Fitness and Nutrition in New Jersey. She is an expert when it comes to Fat Burning Nutrition and her completely different approach to nutrition has created results for so many once frustrated dieters. To learn more about Isabel and her program, visit her website at

Editor’s Comments:

My thanks to Isabel for helping clear up some of the mis-information you have been hearing about fat over the years. We are finally starting to see more and more research published on the benefits of eating healthy fats and the dangers of following a low-fat or no-fat diet.

In our house, we use coconut oil for almost everything. We fry with it, bake wtih it, add it to protein smoothies, use it as an alternative to butter (my wife is allergic to dairy)…and sometimes just eat it right off the spoon. It has a mild delicious flavor, and the kid’s love it in their waffles and pancakes.

Not all coconut oils are the same, so be sure to buy only organic, unrefined, and cold-processed coconut oil. Because we use so much of it at home, we buy the 1 gallon tubs from Fresh Shores. To learn more, just click the product description below:

Fresh Shores Pure Virgin Coconut Oil

Required Legal Disclaimer: some of the links mentioned within this post or posts they lead to are my affiliate links and I get compensated for recommending those products. However I NEVER recommend something I don’t believe in and welcome your questions and feedback.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dianne May 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Great article! This definitely clears up any confusion some people may have regarding fats.
I love Coconut Oil!

2 Pete May 29, 2010 at 12:11 am

Thanks Dianne…I love it too! I can eat it right off the spoon. Yum!

3 Dr Ian G King July 25, 2010 at 4:08 am

Hi Pete

Thanks for the post. It raises an important point.

Many people have been scared by the term “FAT”. Not thinking about the fact that some oils and fats are essential. (Oh- and I also like the taste of coconut oil.)

But I am less certain that virgin coconut oil is good for high temperature cooking. There may be some risks.

I have attached a reference below.

Warm regards


REFERENCE: Food Chemistry, Volume 120, Issue 1, 1 May 2010, Pages 59-65

TITLE: Emissions of volatile aldehydes from heated cooking oils

AUTHORS: Harinageswara Rao Katragaddaa et al.

ABSTRACT: Emissions of volatile organic compounds, including aldehydes, formed during heating of cooking oils: coconut, safflower, canola, and extra virgin olive oils were studied at different temperatures: 180, 210, 240, and 240 °C after 6 h. Fumes were collected in Tedlar® bags and later analysed by GC–MS. The emissions of volatiles were constant with time and increased with the oil temperature. When the temperature of the oil was above its smoke point, the emission of volatiles drastically increased, implying that oils with low smoke point, such as coconut, are not useful for deep-frying operations. Canola was the oil generating the lowest amount of potentially toxic volatile chemicals. Acrolein formation was found even at low temperatures, indicating that home cooking has to be considered as an indoor pollution problem.

4 Pete July 25, 2010 at 11:51 am

WOW! Thanks for sharing the scientific reference!

Best wishes,


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