The 6 Biggest Mistakes to Lose Weight (AVOID THESE!)
Are Avocados Making You Fat?
Low fat... avocado? Unbelievably, this is about to become the latest trend in high-performance brunching. A new brand of avo contains 30% less fat (which is sort of the point of avocado) and is grown in remote Latin American climes.
All this begs the question: why? Why bother making a low-fat version of a fruit reputed for its healthy fats? Well, our Devil's Advocate argues regular avocados could actually be making you fat. Here's why.
When was the last time you ate an avocado? Last night with your bun-free burger, perhaps? Or this morning, smashed on a slice of buttered sourdough with two poached eggs? You might even be eating one now, spooning its oily flesh straight into your mouth, smugly savouring the micronutrient bump.
You wouldn’t be alone. Last year, for the first time since shopping lists began, avocados outsold oranges in the UK. By March, sales were up 39% year-on-year, making the superfruit worth £128m. In 2019, more photos of avocados were pinned on taste-making social media site Pinterest than any other food. It’s official: avocados, along with other fatty treats such as coconut oil and peanut butter, are having a moment. They’re delicious, nutritious –
oh, and they’re ruining your six-pack.
(Related: 6 foods that will help you score a six-pack)
Fat’s newly bloated popularity came about due to a triumvirate of triglyceride trumpeters. First, the scientists. A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed those on a low-carb diet lost more weight than those on a low-fat plan. A raft of similar studies confirmed it: carbs were out, fat was back. Next came the paleo-pushers, who eschewed grains in favour of nuts, seeds and as much flesh as they could forage from the Tesco meat fridge. And finally, an army of Instagram ‘experts’ began drowning their courgetti in coconut oil, and making #avocado a more popular hashtag than #blacklivesmatter.
The message was clear: if you want to lose weight, ditch the carbs and chew the fat. Yet, gram-for-gram, fat is far and away the most calorific macronutrient. For every gram of protein or carbohydrate that passes your lips, you consume four calories. For every gram of fat, it’s nine. Take that burger – lose the brioche bun (185 calories) and replace it with halloumi, bacon and avo, and you’ve just gobbled a net increase of 350 calories. Yes avocado is loaded with vitamin E and potassium but each one also packs 300-odd calories.
Nutrient-rich, sure. Weightloss-friendly, not quite. Likewise, if you think scooping a spoonful of coconut oil (115 calories) and one of butter (100) into your ‘Bulletproof’ Americano will rid you of the love handles, you’ve got another chin coming. Ultimately, weightloss relies on maintaining a calorie deficit – burning more energy than you consume. And the best way to do that is through hard-won sweat. The tougher your workout, the more energy you use, the more fat you burn. And then comes the fuel. Not fat, which your body can’t break down quickly enough to harness for energy, but good old-fashioned carbs.
(Realted: 5 biggest nutrition mistakes)
Don’t get me wrong, coconut oil’s high smoking point – 177ºC versus olive oil’s 160ºC – makes it a healthier option for your frying pan . The selenium in your walnut-based snack bar is vital for cognitive function. And avocado, the faddiest fatty food of them all, is as versatile as it is nutrient-dense. But you can have too much of a good thing – especially when that thing is stuffed full of calories. It’s time to reconfigure your serving sizes.
So eat your healthy fats. Smash that avocado onto your sourdough. You can even butter it first. Just remember, if weightloss is your ultimate goal, the most important thing you can exercise is portion control. And be sure to take all those #eatclean #avotoast pics on Instagram with a pinch of salt.
DEALS WITH THE DEVIL
1. DODGE A BULLET
There have been no peer-reviewed studies into Bulletproof coffee. But with one cup meeting your sat fat RDA, you might want to be shot of it.
2. FUEL'S GOLD
Research shows that – for anything but steady-state cardio – carbs are the most efficient fuel. Eat an hour pre-workout for maximum impact.
3. STAND THE HEAT
De Montfort University found that, when heated, sunflower and veg oils produce higher levels of cancer-causing aldehydes than coconut oil.
Video: If You Eat An Avocado A Day For A month This Is What Happens To Your Body
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