When people want to lose weight, the first thing they think about is how to cut back on the fat in their daily diet. For example, the most common advice that people give to their overweight friends who want to lose weight is to skip eating from fast food restaurants, cut back on the cola, and to avoid frying their food. While there is some truth to that, as all these sources are indeed unhealthy storehouses of fat, the solution to losing fat is not to kick fats out altogether.
Research has proven that it is not actually the total fat in your diet that matters, but rather the types of fat in your diet that count. Bad fats indeed worsen your risk of some diseases and increase your cholesterol. But there is actually such a thing as healthy fats, and as the name implies, they are healthy for the body. These fats have the opposite effect on the body, actually protecting the person’s heart and enhancing overall health. As a matter of fact, these healthy fats, among which are omega-3 fats, are actually needed for both your physical and emotional health.
All fats are definitely not equal. Bad fats comprise of trans fats and saturated fats, while healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. So why do we need healthy fats?
1. Healthy fat is needed by our brains to function properly. Sixty percent of a person’s brain is actually fat. Fats are necessary for creating neurotransmitters. This is why experts tend to recommend fish oil and flax oil for youth with attention-deficit disorders. Even the average person may benefit from increased intake of healthy fats: after all, you may have had times when you went into a room only to forget what it was you needed. These improvements to the brain result in improved memory, faster learning, and even better regulation of moods.
2. Healthy fats help the body to burn body fat and keep the person from feeling hungry too soon after a meal. Largely owing to the stimulation of the production of the leptin hormone by healthy fats, they are found to be a necessary add-on for people wishing to lose unhealthy fats from their bodies. When a burning of fats happens, it gives the person a more consistent amount of energy compared to burning carbohydrates.
3. Good fats are great for the heart. Indeed, these fats help reduce triglycerides and can keep blood pressure in check. Blood clotting is also reduced, as well as the amount of plaque in a person’s arteries. These fats also help in reducing inflammation in other parts of the body, including those caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Some vitamins need fat for absorption. The most popular fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, E, D, and K, which means they cannot be absorbed into the body unless there is fat present.
So now that the benefits of healthy fats are laid out, how do we know where to get them? The most common sources of healthy fats are healthy oils, the most popular of which is olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the best source. Other oils include sunflower, canola, sesame, almond, avocado, and nut butters, though not peanut butter. Nuts like walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts are great sources, too. Peanuts are an exception, though. Soybean and corn oil are also sources of polyunsaturated fats, as are fatty fish, soymilk, and tofu.
Overall, this makes het whole dieting thing a more tasty venture, versus the traditional belief that needing to lose weight means saying no to anything delicious. A diet rich in these oils and nuts will allow you to enjoy tasty treats minus the threat of unhealthy fats, and you can even enjoy knowing that the bad fats are getting chased off by the good fats. In essence, you can work towards getting rid of trans fats from your diet as well as limiting your intake of saturated fats, while the healthy fats make up a huge chunk of your plate, giving you liberty to stock up on most nuts, fish, and most tasty oils!