Eat fat – get fat. Right? Actually, no, not entirely.
Incorporating good fats in your diet help you with weight loss
The general line of thinking over several decades was that if we just eliminated fat from our diets all of our weight loss problems would be solved. But the truth is that we actually need fats – in fact, we can’t live without them. They’re an integral part of a healthy diet, providing essential fatty acids that help to keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, provide energizing fuel and probably most importantly, they keep our brains functioning. Still, it’s very easy to get confused about good fats vs. bad fats, how much fat we should eat, how to avoid artery-clogging trans-fats, and the role omega-3 fatty acids play in heart health.
As most people these days know, fat has made it back into our diets, which is a really good thing. It’s recommended that 20%-35% of calories in an adult’s diet should come from fat and, at the very least, 10% of calories in the diet come from fat.
Here’s the problem: the typical North American diet is much higher in fat – roughly 34% to 40% of calories in the Standard American Diet (SAD) comes from fat. Why is that? Well, it’s because fat makes food taste good and it’s widely available (thanks to food manufacturers) in the food supply. Fats enhance the flavors of foods and give our mouths that wonderful feel that is so satisfying. The food industry has that figured out and it really has paid off for them. Using trans-fats (the worst of the worst) has contributed to the high level of inflammation in people that results in disease such as diabetes, obesity and many more.
Eat the Right Kind of Fats
In other parts of the world, fat has always been welcome at the table. In the U.S.? Only now is the truth being realized: Not all fats are created equally. Our bodies need fat — more specifically, they need healthy fats. As the ketogenic diet that emphasizes healthy fats gains in popularity, more and more people want to know what fats qualify. By upping our healthy fats we lower bad cholesterol, increase our satiety (so we avoid overeating), and boost our immune system.
Here are some suggestions for great fats that pack a lot of punch. From lowering bad cholesterol and helping shed excess weight to giving you shiny hair and healthy nails, your body will reap the benefits of these healthy fats.
- Rich in monounsaturated fats (raises levels of good cholesterol while lowering the bad)
- Packed with Vitamin E to boost immunity
- More protein than any other fruit
- Full of folate (excellent for pregnant women)
Butter and Ghee
- Full of Omega6 and Omage3 fatty acids – great for brain and skin health
- Rich in fat-soluble vitamins and trace minerals
- Ghee (clarified butter) is better for cooking at high temperatures
Rich in medium chain fatty acids which:
- Are easy for your body to digest
- Not readily stored by the body as fat
- Small in size so they infuse the body with energy quickly
- Improve brain and memory function
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- High levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants
- Boosts heart health, memory and cognitive function
- Not recommended for cooking at high temperatures
- Preferred sources are DHA and EPA, found in seafood sources like salmon and sardines
- Supplement with fish oil
- Get at least 1,000mg/day of EPA/DHA and 4,000mg of total omega3s ALA/DHA/EPA combined
Nuts & Seeds
- Rich in ALA Omega3 fats (brain food)
- Helps lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL)
- Walnuts and almonds are the best nuts
- Flax seeds and chia seeds are the top seeds
- Packed with protein and a full amino acid profile
- Can lower cholesterol while improving heart health
- Can reduce risk of metabolic syndrome
- Yogurt is full of omega3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins and probiotics (non-sweetened w/o fruit)
- Raw milk keeps all vitamins, minerals and proteins intact
- Goat milk is easily digestible and makes a great option for those with GI issues