Eating too much of anything will make you fat, but dietary fat itself doesn’t have any magic weight-gain properties. However, fat does contain more calories than either carbohydrates or proteins; per gram, carbohydrates and proteins provide about 4 calories, whereas fats yields 9 calories per gram. So the more fat you eat, the more calories you consume in downing too many calories every day will put you on the fast track to growing a big old gut.
But in general we are far, too afraid of fat. It’s a fact of life and a critical part of our body. It encases our internal organs, courses through our veins, and provides a nice cushion wherever we take a load off of our feet. It’s even where you never expected it, it’s inside our skulls, were it provide 70% of our protective coating for our brains and makes up to 60% of our grey matter. The main reason you shouldn’t fear fat is that as long as you are eating the appropriate number of calories every day, your body won’t store it in the soft spots but rather burn it for energy. Research even shows that diets containing up to 60% fat are just as effective for weight loss as those in which that provides only 20% of the calories. The bottom line is that fat is filling and flavorful, both of which can help keep your belly from feeling deprived. And that means that you can eat natural fat in meat, cheese, milk, butter, avocados, nuts, and olive oil without batting an eye.