How Food Turns Into Fat

When excess calories are consumed and the body doesn't need them, they are converted into fat and stored in the fat cells. Any extra calories eaten usually develop into fat about five hours after a meal.

The type of food we eat has a direct effect on metabolism, but anything we ingest can be turned into fat and make us fat, including carbohydrates, sugars, proteins and alcohol.

The body needs an ample amount of fat to function properly, and for every extra nine kilocalories (9,000 calories) that are eaten, the body stores one gram of fat. If you have a fast metabolism, you won't store as much fat; but if your metabolism is slower, the body will exchange those calories over time and store them more quickly.

Some studies show that the Chinese consume, on average, 30% more calories per kilogram of body weight than Americans, yet are much thinner. One school of thought explaining this is that Americans source up to 35% of their calories from high-fat foods like oils and meat, while the Chinese diet is made up of only 15% fat.

If you're watching your weight, try implementing red fruits like apples and berries. They're loaded with pectin, which limits the amount of fat each cell can physically hold. Furthermore, iron- and magnesium-rich vegetables like lettuce and radishes can help dissolve fat, while citrus fruits and melon can help break down fatty compounds with their vitamin C and flavones.