By Oriana Lerner
Today Show: The Skinny on Fat
It’s National Nutrition Month, so Dr. Keri Peterson joined Natalie Morales in the studio to share some facts about fat that you might not have known. Find out the average number of calories in a pound of fat.
Today Show: Inflammatory Belly Fat Danger
First, not all fat poses an equal risk to your health. Belly fat (not the kind that you can pinch off but the kind that is stored deep in your body around your organs) has been more closely linked to heart disease, diabetes and other health problems that fat carried in your hips and thighs. Peterson explained that this kind of fat actually produces inflammatory tissue. The good news, though, is that it is relatively easy to lose. She said it’s the first kind of fat you lose and that it comes off quickly.
Today Show: Calories Vs Fat Diet
The next point she stressed is that eating fat doesn’t make you fat—overall calories do. And, Peterson emphasized, good fats play in important role in keeping you satisfied, which helps prevent overeating on any kind of food. Healthy fats, like almonds, avocadoes and olives also helps with blood clotting and help to normalize blood sugar. Steer clear, though, she said, of trans fats and saturated fats, which aren’t healthy.
Today Show: Calories In A Pound of Fat
Then, Peterson explained that each pound of fat is 3500 calories. That takes a lot of work to burn off. To lose one pound , you would need to do six step classes, walk for nine hours or run for 33 miles. Conversely, it’s all too easy to gain weight. An extra 175 calories a day (that’s just a little bit of chocolate) will add up to a pound of weight in20 days. And extra 350 calories will become a pound every 10 days.
Today Show: Good Vs Bad Cholesterol
One other myth Peterson wanted to debunk was the idea that all cholesterol is bad. You need cholesterol to help regulate hormones and other functions. So cholesterol actually helps your body digest fat. But, she points out, you liver makes all the cholesterol you need. Excess “bad” cholesterol is deposited in the arteries, impeding blood flow to the heart and the brain. Over time, it takes on the color of cholesterol and hardens.
Today Show: Weight Loss For Health
But the news isn’t all bad. Peterson stressed that just losing 5-10% of your body weight dramatically improves your health. To demonstrate, she brought in five pounds of fat and discussed how heavy that would feel to carry around in a backpack and how much stress excess weight adds to your body. For a 200-pound person, though, losing just 10 pounds can have a positive impact.