Fat does not make you fat

If someone had said this to me two years ago, I would have refused to believe it. Unlikely, most certainly. Impossible? Well, life is about changing and adapting, isn’t it? So what is tickling my rational mind so much? I get almost 65% of my calories in a day from fat. Cheese, olive oil, butter, coconut oil, peanuts if you please. I do not even get to add salt to the oil, just swallow it straight up. Now I know the cynical you must be mocking my foolishness. Images of a bloated person, shirt buttons bursting to be set free from their encumbrances must be flooding your mind. I don’t blame you. I would have been guilty of similar sins, in the not too distant past. Sorry to disappoint. Instead, the fat in my body seems to be melting faster than the ice at the north pole. Summer appears to have arrived early this year.

Now, before you go substituting the whisky in your flask with the humble coconut oil, several words of caution. Your diet constitutes three major components. Fat, protein and carbohydrates. In theory, you can get your energy needs from any mix of these three. If you are vegetarian, eating a protein dominant diet is hard. Therefore, if you want to cut carbohydrates, you perforce need to eat more fat. By itself, fat is not harmful (even the cholesterol from food argument has mostly been put to rest now). However, a single teaspoon of olive oil has approximately 120 calories. Twelve teaspoon’s and you are close to your basic energy requirements for the day. Which means no swigging from the whisky flask for the simple minded.

If you can monitor what you eat a diet that comprises a significant amount of fats is fine. What matters is the total consumption of calories and not so much the components themselves. Of course, eating quality nutrition remains constant, whatever the mix. Happy swigging – oh wait – didn’t I just say you cannot chug away at this stuff.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.