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Why Eating FAT Is Necessary to Lose Weight

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

I can hear you now…

“Dr. Berg, are you nuts? What do you mean I have to eat fat to lose weight? I thought fat would give me a heart attack!”

Although dietary fat for decades has been demonized, the truth is that not only do you need it for your health, but also to lose weight.

I’ll explain.

In thus article:

  1. This Is How Much Fat You Should Eat
  2. Fat Won’t Jeopardize Your Health
  3. Why You Need Dietary Fats For Your Health
  4. Fat Satiates You
  5. What Makes Healthy Fats Healthy
  6. You May Need To Tweak Your Fat Intake

This Is How Much Fat You Should

Healthy fats are good for you. They contain essential nutrients along with supporting weight loss, which is why the keto diet has become so popular.

When you go on my high-fat Healthy KetoTM diet, you want to keep your carbohydrate consumption low - no more than 50 grams per day. Even better is if you can limit your carb intake to 20 grams per day.

The reason for this is to keep your Fat Storing Hormone low. Fat Storing Hormone is a powerful hormone that tells your body to hang on to fat, which is one reason you want to keep its levels low. You'll optimize your fat loss.

You also want to keep your protein intake to a moderate amount, about 3-6 ounces per meal. Although people often think the ketogenic diet is a high-protein diet, if you eat too much protein it too will spike your Fat Storing Hormone and cause weight gain instead of a loss. And weight gain is something you want to avoid!

Thus, about 60-80 % of your total calories on a high-fat diet should come from fat. Note this is total calories, not total volume. Fat has more than twice as many calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein, making it far easier to get this percentage of your diet from fat than you may realize.

Since not all fat is created equal, be aware that I mean healthy fats, which include:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Grass-fed ghee

If you’re freaked out by eating this much fat because you’ve been warned that fat will clog your arteries, causing a heart attack or stroke, don’t worry! There’s no need to be phobic about fat.

a picture of a stick of butter

No, Fat Won’t Jeopardize Your Health

We’ve been bombarded with messages for years about the alleged dangers of fat. But did you know the single study purporting to show that fat clogs your arteries was discredited?

Ancel Keys carried out the study in the 1950’s. Years after this study was cited as evidence for why you should avoid fat in your diet, it was debunked. Keyes cherry-picked the data to reach a foregone conclusion that dietary fat put your health at risk.

Now we know that healthy fat is not only, well, healthy for you, but essential. In fact, there is no independent study that shows eating fat causes increased cholesterol or cardiovascular problems.

But what about those studies you may have heard of, which show that fat can cause Fat Storing Hormone resistance and diabetes?

It turns out those studies were based on the consumption of corn oil. Corn oil is terrible for you. It’s genetically modified. I would never recommend that you consume it. It’s an unhealthy fat.

Which leads me to more about healthy fats. Why do you need to consume them?


Why You Need Dietary Fats For Your Health

Dietary fats contain important nutrients that your body doesn’t make but that you need for optimal health.

Let me explain:

#1 Healthy fat contains essential fat-soluble vitamins

a writing pad with the words fat-soluble vitamins in cursive

All of the fat-soluble vitamins you need to support your health come from fat. Those are vitamins A, D, E, K, K1, and K2. They’re essential for your health. In fact, you can’t live without them.

Although you may be consuming vegetables containing vitamin A, for example, the form of vitamin A is a precursor not the active form of the vitamin itself. The active form comes from fat. Amazingly, it would take 4 lbs of carrots to equal one teaspoon of beef liver in order to come close to the same bioavailability of vitamin A for your body.

#2 You get essential fatty acids from fat

Healthy fats contain adequate amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, and smaller amounts of Omega 6. The proportion is perfectly calibrated for our health since we need much higher amounts of Omega 3 than Omega 6.

Your body can’t make these essential fatty acids, which is why you have to get them from your diet.

#3 You need cholesterol

Yes, it’s true. Though cholesterol has been demonized for decades, it’s actually healthy. Your body makes cholesterol, but not in large enough amount for its requirements, which are that:

Your brain is made of fat, which constantly needs replenishing. As well, the myelin sheath that surrounds all of your nerves is made from cholesterol and fat. So too are the membranes of each of the trillions of cells in your body made of cholesterol, which the cells need for healthy function and protection. It protects your immune system by supporting infection-fighting cells to mobilize more quickly.

Even breast milk contains a high percentage of fat and cholesterol to support the health of a growing infant - Mother Nature knows what she’s doing.

You require fat for optimal hormonal health. Too little fat can result in infertility, affect your memory and cognitive ability, and deplete your stress hormones. Without sufficient dietary fat, your sex hormones can’t function properly.


Fat Satiates You

One reason the keto diet works so well is that fat is highly satiating. In other words, it keeps you feeling full longer than carbs or protein, and enables you to go for longer times between meals without experiencing hunger.

Keeping your appetite in check is particularly important when you add intermittent fasting to keto.


What Makes Healthy Fats Healthy

Your biggest question now maybe this:

Will eating fat convert to more fat in my body?

The answer is Yes. And No.

It depends on the type of fats you’re consuming.

The type of fats I recommend are mainly what are called medium-chain triglycerides fats.

Why does length matter?

Because medium-chain fats convert more readily and quickly into energy instead of converting to fat in your body (unless you consume large quantities).

Thus, ideally you’ll be getting energy from the healthy fat you eat along with the stored fat in your body. When your body uses the stored fat in your body, you’ll lose weight.

Makes sense, right?

MCT oil in a clear glass cup

You May Need To Tweak Your Fat Intake

You may need to adjust the amount of fat you eat to find the ideal ratio of dietary fat to stored fat that will best cause weight loss for you. For instance, if you’re not very active or you’re older, you may need to consume less fat than someone very active and younger, for you to achieve the same weight loss.

Nonetheless, you can see how you need to consume enough fat for your health - because you can’t sustainably lose weight in an unhealthy way. If you’ve been watching my videos or reading my blog for awhile, you know my mantra is “Get healthy to lose weight, don’t lose weight to get healthy”.

So, my question for you is, are you ready to get healthy so you can lose weight? If you are, then you know what to do - go on Healthy KetoTM and focus on healthy fat.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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