When you're on a diet, you know that counting calories and figuring out nutritional percentages is the best way to be sure you're able to lose the weight you need.
One of those critical calculations is determining the percentage of your calories that should come from fat. Finding that proper balance will help the inches slide off so that you can have the body you've always wanted.
What Is the Meaning of Calories From Fat?
Before you start calculating the food you should and shouldn't be eating, you need to understand the meaning behind the question.
What does "calories from fat" really mean? In short, calories from fat are the number of calories in a particular meal that come directly from fat. That is, these calories are the ones that don't come from protein or carbohydrates, but from the fatty part of the meal.
This is a relatively critical measurement: the more calories you consume from fat, the more likely you are to gain weight compared to someone of a similar height and weight who gets the majority of their calories from other sources.
Calories that come from trans fats are even more dangerous. If you consume a diet high in trans fats, you may gain a much larger percentage of your body weight than someone who is sticking to a low fat diet.
How Many Calories Should Really Come From Fat?
The general recommendation is that 20 to 35 percent of your total calories should come from fat, rather than from other sources.
The prevalence of low-carb diets seems to support these recommendations, while low-fat diets often fail to account for an individual's actual dietary needs.
Choosing healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado is one of the best ways to ensure that your body is properly fueled throughout any diet.
What Foods Are High in Calories But Low in Fat?
Whether you're trying to make up a calorie deficit from exercise or trying to avoid high-calorie foods that will cause you to gain weight in spite of the fact that they're healthy, it's important to know what foods fall into this category.
There are plenty of high-calorie foods that are good for you: avocados, peanut butter, nuts, and bananas, for example. These foods are great for your body, but can pack on the calories fast! If you're looking for foods that are high in calories but low in fat, these favorites make the list:
- Cooked pasta, which is very low in fat but lets the calories and carbohydrates add up quickly, is a favorite low-fat food.
- Potatoes contain an average of 300 calories per potato but only 1 gram of fat.
- Fruit juices in general tend to be extremely high-calorie with little to no fat.
- Many dairy products, especially those that are marketed as being low fat, don't have a high fat percentage. They may, however, have a high calorie count. This includes yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, cheeses, and milk.
- Beans and lentils are traditionally low in fat, but they do have a high number of calories in a standard sized serving.
- Some vegetables, including sweet potatoes and corn, pack a high calorie count but a relatively low amount of fat.
Understanding the balance of fats in your diet is critical to developing a solid understanding of good diet practices.
When you can identify these high-calorie foods, you can either add them into your diet so that you have enough calories in your day or make sure to avoid them on days when you need to eat a little lighter.
What Matters Most
Ideally, you need to focus more on the total number of calories you've consumed than you do on where the calories are coming from.
You want to be sure that your calories burnt each day exceed the number of calories that you're taking in, regardless of where those calories come from.
Healthy foods, however, will provide better fuel for your body and prepare you better for your day.
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine and eating a low-fat diet will help you shrink your waistline over time, allowing you to enjoy the body you desire.
Learning to balance the number of calories in your diet coming from fats is one of the best ways to control your diet appropriately.
By ensuring that your fats come from healthy sources, you can make better choices that will enable you to create a healthier overall lifestyle.