In these times, being fit is extremely important to everyone. Due to several evidences pointing out the harm done to the body due to consuming a lot of fats, a lot of health conscious people are trying more and more to get rid of fats from their diet. With this attitude, a lot of supermarkets are adding a lot of fat free products to their shelves. Even dairy products, like milk, butter and cheese, come in fat free variants these days. Fats generally have gained a bad reputation in today’s fitness obsessed world. People are trying to cut more and more fat from their diets. A lot of the famous diets followed by several celebrities are also fat free. But fats are extremely important for healthy functioning of the body. Fats are the primary sources of energy to the body. Fats make it easier for the body to absorb nutrients and also improves the immunity system. In the long run, consuming the right amount of fats actually help in weight management. Diets that contain fats also make us feel full and stop us from over eating.
Not having enough amount of fats in our diets can cause some serious harm to the body. There are many side effects to the several kinds of fat free diets that we see getting popular with each passing day. Here, in this article, we are going to point out the different side effects of not eating enough fatty foods.
1. Poor Brain Function:
Fats are extremely important for the brain to function properly. This organ requires a steady stream of fatty acids. Although cholesterol has a bad reputation, it is a critical nutrient that enables the neurons and neurotransmitters to work properly. The brain needs right amounts of cholesterol as this nutrient as a reliable source of energy. Several researches have also shown that people who consume good amounts of cholesterol perform better in cognitive tests than those who don’t. Taking less amounts of fat is linked with poorer performance of brain, regular memory loss, changes in mood and low energy. Due to the same reasons, best foods for the brain include those that contain good amount of healthy fats.
2. Affects Heart Health:
While we have been led to believe that eating foods containing fats are harmful for the body, this is far from the truth. Many tests have concluded that the real culprit behind multiple heart diseases is inflammation and not high cholesterol. An inflammatory diet is a diet that contains a lot of sugar, carbs and very few proteins. Eating foods that are anti inflammatory and rich in healthy fats are beneficial to your heart.
Many studies have shown that mono saturated fats are good for your heart. Regular consumption of mono saturated fats regulates the cholesterol levels, maintains proper blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity, all of which leads to a healthy heart.
3. Weight Gain:
Many of those who adopt a fat free diet do this in order to lose weight. There has always been this misconception that consuming less fats lead to faster weight loss. While this might be true when you follow these fat free diets for shorter lengths time, leaving out fats from your diet might actually lead to weight gain in the long run. Saturated fats found in products like coconuts, milk, butter etc. help in metabolism. Saturated fats help in releasing insulin. Eating foods that contain enough fats help you feel fuller for longer time and stop you from reaching out for unhealthy snacks. When you follow a high fat, low carbohydrates diet, you overeat less. Following this diet helps your body access the fat that ends up getting stored in your body and it gives off more lean mass.
4. Unstable Blood Sugar:
Many of us have been taught to believe that eating less amounts of fats help the body manage and regulate the amounts of sugar in the body. Many of the fat free products we purchase have a lot of sugar added to it to make them taste better. A lot of these fat free diets have a good amount of carbohydrates added to them that break down into glucose when consumed. This high amounts of glucose then puts a lot of pressure on pancreas that will then have to pump a heavy amount of insulin to deal with the sugar.
When on diets like these, your body might feel drained due to the spikes and fall in the levels of blood sugar. While carbohydrates might make the levels of blood sugar unstable, eating fatty foods help the body maintain constant sugar levels. Fats take longer to digest and hence can make you feel full for longer amounts of time. Fluctuating sugar levels can lead to obesity and are also one of the major reasons behind Type 2 Diabetes.
5. Hormonal Imbalance:
Hormonal imbalance is one of the prominent reasons for cranky moods and decline in health. Eating foods rich in fats is one of the easiest ways of maintaining a hormonal balance. Fats and cholesterol are important for building cellular membranes and hormones. As we have already mentioned, some kinds of fats and cholesterol are important for proper functioning of brain. This also means that the brain needs a healthy amount of fats for producing healthy amounts of hormones that are necessary for different organs of the body. Another prominent risk associated with low fat consumption is increased infertility. Due to improper balance in the hormones, a number of issues like irregular menstrual cycles and cramps can crop up. Diary products are extremely necessary to maintain reproductive health.
6. Higher Risk Of Depression And Anxiety:
We have mentioned multiple times in this article how important fats are for proper functioning of the brain. Healthy amounts of fatty acids are vital for controlling moods and other important brain functions. Healthy fats work like anti depressants and help the brain deal with difficult conditions better. Endocannabinoids and some other kinds of neurotransmitters, are synthesized from fatty acids, hence suggesting the importance of fats for nervous system. Diets rich in fats improve brain health and help combat multiple mental disorders including depression. Several studies have shown a direct link between consumption of foods rich in MUFA, PUFA and omega 3 fatty acids and a decline in depression. It is also added in a lot of supplements taken in order to deal with multiple mental disorders.
7. Improved Digestion:
Fat rich diets increase the health and efficiency of your gut. The microbes that aid in digestion require healthy amounts of fatty acids to maintain their numbers. Healthy microbes are important for the digestive system as they help in breaking down the food and also regulate the acids present in the stomach. Eating good amounts of fats lead to a proper increase in the numbers of healthy bacteria which are necessary to lower the inflammation in the body.
8. Dry Skin And Wrinkles:
We all know the importance of proper moisturizing of the skin. Not only does it make your skin look brighter and nicer, moisturizing the skin is also important to delay aging as much as possible. While you might hear many practitioners say that drinking enough glasses of water throughout the day can help your skin look healthier and younger, it might not yield the results you would expect. The water that is necessary for the skin is produced by the metabolism of fats. Whenever you notice dryness, it might be safe to assume that the real culprit behind this is the imbalance in the amount of fats in the cells compared to the amount of carbohydrates. The actual moisturizers of our skin are the oil producing glands. In order for these cells to produces right amounts of oil, these need enough amounts of fatty acids. Hence, we need to regularly consume fats so that they can efficiently produce oils that will eventually moisturize the skin and make the skin look healthy and young. Fatty acids are also essential when you need shinier and healthier hair. The hair, in order to get the shine, nee a healthy dose of oils that are produced by the cells present in the scalp.
9. Poor Vitamin Absorption:
Fats are also responsible for proper absorption of multiple vitamins that are necessary to ensure proper functioning of many organs. Not eating enough fats might lead to a decline in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. Your body needs good amounts of healthy fats in order for it to utilize them. Without proper amounts of fats in the body, these vitamins cannot help your body in any way and can lead to a number of problems. These vitamins, as we are well aware of, are vital for many bodily functions including immunity, clotting, digestion etc. Eating foods that do not contain enough amounts of fats is going to have effects on your body similar to those caused by vitamin deficiency.
10. Increased Cancer Risk:
More and more number of studies have confirmed that not taking enough fats in the diet can lead to an increase in the cancer risk. Colon, breast and prostate cancers have been proved to have a link with deficiency in fatty acids in the body. A few more studies also suggest that omega 3 acids can slow down the growth of cancer cells and can improve the chances of your body beating cancer.
11. Imbalance In The Diet:
Doctors from around the world have confirmed that a person, in order to stay healthy, needs to make around 30% of his/her diet with fats. Fats are necessary to provide a healthy balance between proteins and carbohydrates. While proteins and carbohydrates are healthy for you, too much of them in the body can lead to problems. While a carbohydrate rich diet can lead to inflammation and can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a protein rich diet can put a lot of pressure on the kidneys and liver and might lead to nutrient deficiency. Hence, adding enough fats to your diet is a wise way to keep your body going for longer. Just avoid going for unhealthy sources of fat and stick to natural sources like dairy products, fruits etc.