There is this long time stigma that eating fat makes you fat. But it’s not quite so simple. Yes, if you’re eating nothing but fried foods and loads of cheese, there’s a chance you’ll carry around some extra pounds. But if you’re trying to lose weight, healthy fats can be the key to unlock your weight loss goals.
I’m an avid consumer of books. I love to see the science behind the things people are toting as the current fad trends. And I really love finding the best things that work for creating a healthy lifestyle and sharing them with you. So today, I’m doing exactly that. Let’s breakdown this fat myth and why you shouldn’t be afraid of healthy fats.
Not all fats are created equal
It’s easy to see fat as the enemy. Create one category to avoid and bam you’ve got a diet thousands will buy into. But not all fats are the same. There are three basic forms of fats: triglycerides, phospholipids, and sterols. And we need a certain amount of triglycerides to keep our brains and hearts healthy. But not all of them are good. This is where the confusion comes in.
If you’re reading the back of a package or hearing about fats, the ones you’re most commonly going to come across are monounsaturated, polyunsaturated omega-3, saturated, and trans-unsaturated fats. And to be honest, I’m sure those words mean little to you like they do me. What you need to know, is that most of your good fats are going to be monounsaturated, polyunsaturated or saturated fats. Where as trans-unsaturated fats and man-made oils are the sources that are mostly going to cause you inflammation. Not all fats are created equally.
We need fats to be healthy
These days diets seem to focus on the extremes. We pick one thing and cut it out completely. Gluten-free, dairy-free, insert your choice free and it’s a thing. And for many, those dietary choices are necessary. But the problem in doing this with fats is that we need them. Our body needs these fats to properly function. As a macronutrient, they are important in adding our hormone production and keeping our blood sugar balanced.
Our bodies also need help producing some of these fats. An example of these are EPA and DHA which are long chain omega-3 fatty acids. Why do we need these omega-3s? Because they are essential in reducing heart disease, improving brain function and can help lower levels of depression. They also help in reducing inflammation in the body which is important when you consider that chronic inflammation can lead to disease.**
Fats are weight loss gold
One of the most common things people find when they opt for a low fat diet is a diet that’s filled with hidden sugars. And when you’re eating loads of those sugars, you’re constantly spiking your blood sugar. Over time, this can lead to hormone imbalances and other larger issues. Adding in healthy fats to meals can keep you fuller for longer. It’s the difference in massive energy crashes a few hours later when your blood sugar drops from it’s high or being balanced enough to make smart meal choices every meal. When you’re able to maintain balanced hunger levels, you’re less likely to snack as much. It’s a win win all around.
It’s easier than you think
About a year ago, I noticed that despite being a healthy advocate my meals weren’t really balanced. My diet was a constant sugar spike of food throughout the day and I definitely wasn’t getting enough healthy fats. So what did I do to change it? Well I first had to identify what a healthy fat looked like. Some examples are olive oil, avocados, nuts, alage, fish, seafood, coconut, red palm oil and pasture raised meats.
So how do you add them into you diet without going crazy? I use mct oil* daily which is a form of coconut oil and can be easier to digest. I add it into coffee, tea and smoothies. It doesn’t change the taste but it helps me keep my blood sugar balanced and prevents that afternoon crash. Another option would be to add more sauces into your meals. I love using pesto and homemade dressing through the week. Mix it with your protein and vegetables; then you’ve got a filling and well balanced meal.
So if you still think all fats make you fat, I hope you’ll reconsider. We need fats to keep us mentally and physically strong. And if all else fails, just look at this as an excuse to add more avocado into your diet. You’ll be well on your way to healthy in no time!
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**Resource: Kelly Leveque’s Body Love*