In recent years, people have become slightly less fearful of fat, there’s still this idea that if you’re trying to lose weight, you have to eat low-fat versions of products and obsess over how many grams certain products have. While it’s true that fat has about twice as many calories per gram as protein and carbs, it is an essential part of the diet, and many weight loss diets even recommend getting about 20-30 percent of your daily calories from fat, preferably unsaturated.
A new UK study, in which researchers followed 90,000 people from six different countries for up to ten years, shows that the percentage of calories a person got from fat, as opposed to carbs and proteins, had nothing to do with how much weight they gained over time. While participants gained an average of a quarter of a pound a year, there was no relationship found between how much weight people gained and how much fat they ate—the kind of fat also appeared not to matter.
Of course, researchers pointed out that this doesn’t mean people should eat as much fat as they want—there are things like heart health to worry about—but that it’s worth noting that the most “fattening” foods aren’t always high-fat. A lot of low-fat products can be jut as high in calories and a lot less satisfying, prompting consumers to eat the whole box. Something to think about next time you’ve got the choice between an oreo and an imitation.
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