Fat was the root of all evil in the 70s and 80’s. Butter and red meat suddenly became bad for you and those who indulged were warned that they were taking their lives in their hands.

People overreacted. Over-simplistic newspaper headlines and articles shouted the news… Fat is evil. Fat became a no-no.

Then in the last couple of years the pendulum swung the other way. Fad diets now proclaim how fat does no harm and these diets allow huge portions of fat. People peddling fad diets without proper guidance or scientific background started giving rash and dangerous advice, often to high risk ‘clients’, to eat as much fat as they wanted.

As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Too much of anything isn’t a good thing, especially if it’s saturated fat, which is found in a lot of meat and animal byproducts, such as cheese and dairy. Eating too much fat CAN have a negative impact on your body. Even overdoing the healthy fats found in avocados, salmon, and nuts can leave you with after effects.

There are a few key signs that your body could be sending you right now that may indicate you’re eating too much of the stuff:

-You’re gaining weight. Fats are calorie-dense, supplying twice as many calories gram for gram as carbohydrates or protein.

-Your cholesterol levels are rising. Saturated fats, which are in animal sources such as butter, cheese, and meat can wreak havoc with your lab results.

People who consume excess amounts of saturated fat tend to display elevations in LDL cholesterol readings.

-Your breath smells bad. If you are utilizing fat as your primary energy source, you are producing ketones, which leads to you giving off an unpleasant odor.

-You’re experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort. If your diet is high in fat, that likely means you’re not including a lot of vegetables, fruit, or whole grains into your diet, all of which are great sources of fiber.

-You just feel gross. Both saturated and trans fats are both known to cause inflammation in the body, which can make you feel bloated and sluggish, among other things.

So how much fat is just enough but not too much?

The maximum standard of total fat you should eat per day can vary by individual. However, this should be used as a benchmark:

A smaller woman who requires 1,500 calories a day may only need a maximum of 58 grams of total fat per day. On the other hand, an elite athlete who needs about 3,500 calories each day to maintain weight could eat as much as 135 grams of total fat in one day.

So why can we not just skip fat altogether? Why do we need some fat in our diet?

A small amount of fat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make itself. Fat helps the body absorb vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E. These vitamins are fat-soluble, which means they can only be absorbed with the help of fats. However, any fat that’s not used by your body’s cells or turned into energy is converted into body fat. The main types of fat found in food are: saturated fats unsaturated fats Most fats and oils contain both saturated and unsaturated fats in different proportions.

‘Bad’ fats, such as artificial trans fats and saturated fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for… weight gain, clogged arteries, an increased risk of certain diseases and so forth. But ‘good’ fats such as unsaturated fats and omega-3s have the opposite effect.

No more than 10% of your daily calories should be devoted to saturated fat. However, to further reduce your heart disease risk, limit saturated fats to less than 7% of your total daily calories.

Trans fats should be avoided altogether, and they’re often sneakily hidden in packaged, heavily processed foods. One way you can make sure you’re not accidentally eating something that has trans fat in it is by scanning the nutrition label to see if it includes hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. If it does, consider skipping it.

As part of a healthy diet, you should try to cut down on foods and drinks that are high in saturated fats and trans fats and replace some of them with unsaturated fats.

The risky fats, high in saturated fats and/or transfats include: fast foods, whipped cream, fatty meats, fried foods, fatty snacks, processed meats, desserts, fatty salad dressings, fatty cuts of meat products, including sausages and pies, butter, ghee, and lard, cheese, especially hard cheese like cheddar, cream, soured cream and ice cream, some savoury snacks, like cheese crackers and some popcorn, chocolate confectionery, biscuits, cakes, and pastries,palm oil, coconut oil and coconut cream.

If you want to reduce your risk of heart disease, it’s best to reduce your overall fat intake and swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats. Mostly found in oils from plants and fish, unsaturated fats can be either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats help protect your heart by maintaining levels of “good” HDL cholesterol while reducing levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood. Monounsaturated fats are found in: olive oil, rapeseed oil and spreads made from these oils: avocados some nuts, such as almonds, brazils, and peanuts.

Polyunsaturated fats can also help lower the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood. There are 2 main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6. Some types of omega-3 and omega-6 fats cannot be made by your body, which means it’s essential to include small amounts of them in your diet. Omega-6 fats are found in vegetable oils, such as: rapeseed corn sunflower some nuts Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish, such as: kippers herring trout sardines salmon mackerel

Most people get enough omega-6 in their diet, but it’s recommended to have more omega-3 by eating at least 2 portions of fish each week, with 1 portion being an oily fish.

A good supplement can also help you get the necessary amounts (as provided in TLC Turbo Boost)

There are undeniable benefits to consuming the healthy fats, from reducing your risk of heart disease to helping regulate blood sugar levels and maintaining weight. But once again… The answer is in moderation and balance….  eating too much of anything is bad news.

Anything more than 35 percent of your daily calorie intake is too much fat. A healthy diet can include up to that amount of total calories from fat, but note that saturated fats (like cheese) should be limited to less than 10 percent of that number.

So these are all a lot of numbers and facts… How do you make it work for you?

With the TLC-Program incorporating the right amount of good fats and limiting the bad fats is built into your Program. Your diet contains enough fats to provide your body functions with what it requires, and also applies strict limits to saturated fats.

In fact, the TLC limitations on fats have been on the extra cautious spectrum, and recently a small adjustment has been allowed to enable Clients to source products more easily:

TLC-Clients may now have:

  • Full fat Yogurt, as per allowance (plain, no sugar added)
  • Full fat mayonnaise, as per allowance (no sugar added)

As far as cheese is concerned, it is a great source of protein and calcium but is often high in saturated fat and salt. With your cheese selection (also from the TLC Allowances) it is wise to select the lower fat varieties, especially if you are already indulging in the other higher fat options like yogurt and mayonnaise.

Mozzarella, cottage, blue and feta cheese are on the lower end of the saturated fat scale. Then Camembert and Provolone and at the higher end Cheddar and Swiss cheese with Cream cheese the highest.

Eating cheese may even aid weight loss and help prevent heart disease and osteoporosis. That said, some cheeses are healthier than others, so once again your selections need to be weighed up with your other fat options.

It is up to you to ensure you are maintaining a balance. Keep strictly to your allowances and make sure your selections from your TLC-Program are carefully considered…

If you consistently select for you daily meals all of these: a yogurt, a higher fat cheese, a fatty fish or meat, mayonnaise, avocado, oil and nuts as well, .. You may be pushing your healthy daily fat intake limits. Be wise… If you are very active, have a fairly large frame or currently breastfeeding, you can push it a bit more, if you are a Couch potato or have existing health issues such as elevated cholesterol or heart disease, or your weight loss is slower than expected, you need to be more careful within those allowances. As far as healthy daily habits go, it is wise to ‘spread’ the ‘fats’ out over a week, and not add all of it every day.

Keep it healthy!