Watch the Fat Intake if You Go With a High-Protein Diet

Learning the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats will help.

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While boosting your protein intake may help lead to weight loss and stronger muscles, it is also raising the risk of increasing your fat consumption, too. What exactly are the dangers of getting too much fat in your diet?

“The first danger is weight gain,” says Katherine Patton, RD, with Cleveland Clinic’s Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Section. “Fat is more calorie dense than carbs and protein (fat=nine calories per gram; carbs and protein=four cal/gram). Therefore, the more fat you eat, the greater the chance for weight gain. The second danger comes from the type of fat. Saturated fat and trans fat are the types to limit and avoid completely, respectively.”

Saturated fat can raise bad cholesterol levels and increase inflammation, while trans fat will increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol,” Patton adds.

“Mono- and polyunsaturated fats are the healthier ones that have more heart-protective benefits,” she says. “Too much would be more than 35 percent of your daily calories.

Patton says the key is to focus attention on the source of fat in your diet. She recommends increasing intake of plant-based fats (olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, avocados) and omega-3 fats from fish, while decreasing intake of animal fat (high-fat beef, pork, cheese, cream).

Find the Good Fats

Extra virgin olive oil has been shown to reduce cardiovascular (CVD) risk markers and CVD morbidity and mortality.

When you replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat (soybean oil, corn oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, ground flaxseed, fish), you can significantly lower total and LDL cholesterol, lower CVD events and coronary mortality.

Nuts are associated with improved blood sugar control, lower blood pressure, and lower LDL cholesterol.

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