We hear a lot about fats in relation to dieting in today’s day and age. And, low fat diets can seem like a viable option to achieve weight loss. However, it is important to recognise that fat is an important nutrient for the transport of fat-soluble vitamins, as a source of energy, and as a structural component of cells. We do need some amount of fat in our diet to function. So, how much fat and what type of fats should we be consuming?
Medium chain triglycerides have continuously been in the news due to the positive effects they have proven to have on satiety and restriction of food intake. However, this reduction in appetite has been proven to last only a few hours. So, if your breakfast contains MCT oil your food intake at lunch may be limited but the effect won’t last until dinner.
Studies have shown that MCT oil suppresses appetite inducing hormones. However, the effects it can have on appetite controlling hormones have not been investigated. Other shortcomings of the studies on MCT oil include the sample size of the diet. There has been evidence of weight loss with MCT oil, however, whether this weight loss could be maintained in the long term has not been investigated. In addition, there were conditions imposed on the participants such as limiting alcohol and maintaining a 1500 calorie diet while consuming MCT oil. So although MCT oil has shown favourable effects, further investigations are required so that the advice regarding its consumption can be individualised.
Types of fat
The best advice is to consume unsaturated fats found in fish and plant-based foods such as avocados and nuts. In addition, saturated fats should be limited as they tend to raise the blood cholesterol that blocks the arteries increasing the risk of heart disease.
Satiety of fat
Including fat in the diet can increase the satiety level of diet. However, fat alone may not provide greater satiety. Combining fat with fibre slows the time the meal takes to pass through the gastrointestinal system. This keeps you full for longer. The same goes for protein. Protein has a tendency to control your appetite by reducing the level of appetite inducing hormones.
A moderate fat diet consisting mainly of unsaturated fats and adequate amounts of other nutrients (like protein and high fibre carbohydrates) has more favourable benefits in the long-term.
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This article was written by our dietitian and nutritionist Juhi Bhambhaney. If you have any questions regarding health and nutrition, make an appointment with one of our dietitians. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.