Would you believe me if i told you one of the key nutrients to maintaining a healthy weight is eating more Fat?
Imagine, eating Fat in your diet does not make you fat. Therefore fat is not something to avoid. For starters, it’s essential for normal growth and development. Dietary fat also provides energy, protects our organs, maintains cell membranes, and helps the body absorb and process nutrients. Even better, it helps the body according to recent studies who recommend that about a third of any weight-loss plan’s calories should come from dietary fat.
However, let’s be a little smart here. Yes, you’re right in thinking that not all fatty foods are created equally and therefore saturated fats contribute to weight gain and deterioration of health. Saturated fats are those found mainly in foods like pizza, oily chips and hamburgers. They are contribute to higher cholesterol levels, and can be identified easily as they are typically solid at room temp.
As always, it is very important however not to make any one thing in our diets ‘the villian’. We need to look at the total caloric content as well as the quality of food, what we are eating that is ‘good’ and helping our bodies to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight.
It is for that reason that most the fat that you should eat, especially if you want to lose weight, should come from unsaturated sources. Examples of these would be good-for-you foods like fish, seeds, nuts, leafy vegetables, olive oil and of course avocado’s. A bonus here, they are also packed with tons of nutrients. They help with the maintenance of cholesterol levels, promote healthier heart and can help burn fat big time without cutting calories.
There are many studies that back up research stating that people who consume unsaturated fatty acids have a lower body-mass index and less abdominal fat than those who consume less. These Low-fat and no-fat foods that are forever being marketed actually strip our bodies this much needed nutrient and proven to actually increase obesity levels.
Fats provide our diets with a major component: Taste. Foods that have been stripped of this nutrient are therefore laced with sugar and salt to increase the flavour.
Fat Also Burns Fat
We all know that our body needs three macronutrients for energy: Carbohydrates, protein, and fat. A gram of fat packs more than twice the energy of a gram of the other two. The body requires energy to keep its metabolism properly functioning, and therefore consuming fatty acids can boost metabolic health.
What’s even more interesting is that “old” fat stored in the body’s peripheral tissues—around the belly, thighs, or butt (also called subcutaneous fat)—can’t be burned efficiently without “new” fat to help the process.
Fat Keeps You Full
Fat isn’t the easiest nutrient to digest, so it sticks around in the digestive system for more time than many other nutrients. MUFAs may also help stabilize blood sugar levels, according to Mayo Clinic. That means you feel full longer, and you won’t feel the stomach-growling urge to raid the refrigerator after mealtime. According to a 2008 study from University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. It’s no surprise that dieters who consume moderate levels of fat are more likely to stick with their eating plans than dieters who consume low levels of fat.
The result? More weight lost.
Fats Makes Food Better For You
Many nutrients including vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning that the body can’t absorb them without fat. If your body isn’t absorbing nutrients properly, that can lead to vitamin deficiencies and bring on dry skin, blindness, brittle bones, muscle pains, and abnormal blood clotting.
Many nutrients including vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning that the body can’t absorb them without fat. If your body isn’t absorbing nutrients properly, that can lead to vitamin deficiencies and bring on dry skin, blindness, brittle bones, muscle pains, and abnormal blood clotting,
These vitamins are also key to maintaining energy, focus, and muscle health, all of which contribute to a healthy weight. Vitamin E, for example is a powerful antioxidant and helps maintain your metabolism, while the body’s levels of vitamin D predicts its ability to lose fat, especially in the abdominal region.
So while you can pile your salad high with nutrient-rich spinach, tomatoes and carrots, you really need to thank the olive oil for sending the salad’s vitamins your way.
Fats Make You Happy
Eating yummy foods makes you happy, and it turns out low-fat versions just don’t do the trick for one surprising reason: We can taste the fat — not just the salt, sugar and other goodies in food. Our taste buds can detect fat in food, which helps explain why low-fat foods don’t curb our fat cravings. And what’s more omega-3 fatty acids can boost serotonin levels in the brain, helping to improve mood, increase motivation and keep your cravings in check.
BUT, remember this one key thing:
While it’s very true, fat is good for you. That said, fat is not a calorie-free food. It’s the exact opposite. Carbs and protein both contain 4 calories per gram while fat contains 9 calories. That is why, if calculating your macros, you should make Fats 30-35% of your overall calorie intake.
Even if you aren’t counting your calories and macros, it’s good to have some level of measurement control. I recommend that you always measure fats and oils before using them. Dressing a salad with olive oil can quickly escalate from two teaspoons to two tablespoons, and one eyeballed spoonful of peanut butter can actually be the equivalent of three servings. Fats are delicious and easy to over-consume so, even if you are making an effort to eat more fat in your diet, make sure your efforts are calculated.