The title of this article might seem a bit counterintuitive, since the bulk of nutrition advice about weight loss you’ve seen on the Internet says the exact opposite. You think there’s absolutely no way that upping your fat intake will somehow make you slimmer.
When you look at it from one point of view, it makes perfect sense, because you may think that eating more fat would naturally lead to accumulating more fat. Well, in this article we will explain in details why often the opposite is true.
For decades nutritionists have labeled fat consumption as the number one reason for obesity. Studies in the past asserted that fat was dangerous for our health and one of the primary reasons why people often developed numerous illnesses. Food companies saw this emerging trend and afraid to lose their customers started putting “low-fat” or “fat-free” labels on their products in the hopes of branding themselves as healthy food manufacturers.
Unfortunately, they were wrong. This happened at the time when a certain kind of fat was discovered to be extremely healthy and another kind to be something essential to our well-being.
Good fats and bad fats
Getting rid of the fat in your diet isn’t the solution. It’s the type of fat that you consume that matters the most. The most simple classification you can do is good and bad fats. The good fats aid your health and the bad fats can wreak havoc on your overall health.
Good fats are the type that aids you in reducing bad cholesterol levels, increase heart health and aid in many other important bodily functions. When kept at a room temperature they are acting like a liquid. They solidify only when kept at a cooler temperature. The two types are:
- Monounsaturated fats, which are found in avocados, peanut oil, sunflower and olive oil, almonds, peanuts, cashews, sesame oil, olives and many other products.
- Polyunsaturated fats, which are found in soybean oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, mackerel, salmon, sardines, soymilk and more.
This type of fat can be outright dangerous to your overall health so try to avoid them at all costs and decrease their intake when necessary. The two types are:
- Trans-fats are the most dangerous and need to eliminated from your diet altogether. They are actually processed unsaturated fats which are used to make the food last longer. Chances are you are already consuming them when indulging in French fries, candy bars, hamburgers, candy bars, cookies, chips, pizza and all other kinds of fast food.
- Saturated fats, which are mostly known for increasing LDL cholesterol levels, thus increasing heart disease risk, stroke risk and many other conditions. It is believed that you shouldn’t be consuming more than 5% of your calories from saturated fats daily. HOWEVER, when it comes to saturated fats the story isn’t so black and white. It’s more complicated than that.
Numerous recent studies have found no link between saturated fat consumption and diseases. Here are some of the largest , most comprehensive and most recent studies on this issue.
1. Hooper L, et al. Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Systematic Review, 2015.
2. De Souza RJ, et al. Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJ, 2015
3. Siri-Tarino PW, et al. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010
4. Chowdhury R, et al. Association of dietary, circulating, and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine Journal, 2014
There’s an important loophole that food companies use that allows them to show products that have 0.5 grams of trans-fats or less as having zero on nutrition labels. That’s why it is important that you pay close attention to your portions.
How consuming the right kind of fat can help you eliminate the fat
The human body needs 3 essential macronutrients in order to function properly. The three macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. You see, our bodies see fats as essential in order to lead a normal life. Putting yourself on a diet that has no fats can cause serious health problems. These are the ways in which consuming more “good fats” can help you lose more weight:
Decrease insulin levels
Diets low in fat are usually high in carbs, which forces the body to rely on carbs as an energy source. The problem with this approach is that consuming way too many carbohydrates will inevitably increase insulin levels, a hormone responsible for managing blood sugar levels. This in turn forces our cells to stop burning fat deposits as an energy source. Whereas, a diet that is high in fat will induce a lesser insulin response, making the body using the fat as an alternative energy source which will result in a weight loss.
They keep hunger at bay
Fats are digested much longer than carbs. This means that you will be less hungry, thus eating less between meals since you’ll feel full for a prolonged period of time. It’s a whole other picture when it is carbs the body is using as fuel.
You’ll be making a lot more frequent trips to the kitchen to get some snacks and you’ll be much more likely to eat something unhealthy since your insulin levels are totally out of whack and your sweets cravings increase. Most of the time, this leads to eating crappy food and the extra unhealthy calories will soon be visible on the mirror.
There are a lot of extra benefits to incorporating the right kinds of fat into your diet and getting slimmer isn’t the only one. We list some additional benefits to eating the right fats:
- They aid in faster and better absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, D and K, which all need fat in order to be transported to all areas in the body.
- They drastically increase brain health, since brain tissue is mostly made up of fats and cholesterol. Eating the right fats will provide the building blocks the brain requires to function properly.
- They maintain the cells’ physical integrity. If the cells are to function properly they need healthy membranes which are composed of fats.
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