If you knew what was the most fattening food you can eat, you could stop eating it. That would make weight loss a lot easier.
That question is complicated. It’s getting more complicated because we are learning there’s conflicting research about what makes a food fattening. The problem with the research is how scientifically sound it is. Research need not be scientifically sound at all to get reported by the media and shared among friends and strangers on the pages of Facebook.
Fattening foods were once arguably the foods with the higher calorie content per serving. When your diet consisted of all high-calorie foods in large amounts, and your activity level was too low to burn all the calories, weight gain resulted.
Recently we are being told that research is disproving the theory of calorie excess being the cause of weight gain. We’re getting information that tells us that it’s not calories but rather the macronutrients, such as carbs, or other substances in a food that makes us fat.
One popular weight loss guru says that calories don’t make us fat, but chemicals do! She says when you eat foods with words you can’t pronounce (chemicals) your body doesn’t recognize them as food. She says when you’re body doesn’t know what it is you’re feeding it, it stores it as fat.
She makes it sound perfectly logical, but consider this. If you eat a Lego block, your body darn sure knows that it isn’t food. It knows exactly what to do with that Lego block. It poops it out! It didn’t store the Lego as fat.
There are a lot of chemicals in a Lego. If your body stored chemicals in the things you eat as fat, then Legos would make you fat. Your body, however is smarter than that. It uses calories for fuel and if it doesn’t need all the fuel you’re giving it, it stores the unburned fuel as fat so that it can use it as fuel later if necessary.
What does make a food fattening?
Food isn’t fattening. No single food is more fattening than another. Storing unburned calories is fattening. Eating foods that taste really good can be harder to stop eating. That’s one way that a food can be fattening. A fattening food may be any food that you are always going to eat in such a way that you overload on calories.
If you’re looking for a fattening food based on calories per serving, then any food that is 100% fat would be the most fattening. One gram of fat has 9 calories whereas one gram of carbohydrate or protein is only 4 calories each.
Foods that are 100% fat are not very tasty to eat alone. Butter isn’t on the list of 100% fat foods, but lard, beef tallow, sardine oil and other oils are on the list. While fats and oils added to a food can increase the flavor of the food, the foods with the heaviest concentration of calories are certainly not the foods you are going to eat in large quantities.
There is no answer to the question, “what is the most fattening food you can eat?” because the question is irrelevant.
If you want to know what’s fattening, it’s not one food, or a combination of foods. It’s not even food at all. The most fattening thing is behaviors.
- How much we eat
- What foods are we most likely to eat
- What foods or food groups we avoid
- How often we eat
- What triggers us to eat
- How often we overeat
- How we use food to handle stress and emotions
- How physically active we are
- How we use food to compensate for lack of sleep
- How we use food as a source of entertainment
Manage the above 10 fattening behaviors and you won’t ever have to worry about what foods are fattening again!