Some people believe that if you want to lose weight you have to eat lean. This is true in some sense but not entirely. Now, it’s common knowledge that we have to eat a balanced diet to achieve maximum health. This is only possible if we don’t cut on any of the protein, carbohydrates and fats.
So why fats?
FATS are very beneficial to health and 60% of the brain is composed of fat. They makes us feel satiated or full for longer periods of time after eating.
It’s a misconception that we have to cut down on fats in order to lose weight. The truth is obesity usually stems from high-glycemic-load carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, corn flakes, crackers, and most sugary and highly processed foods.
When you try to lower fat to 25% calories, food becomes uninteresting because fat is a flavor conveyor, and it gives a pleasurable mouth feel. Many of the foods are fat-soluble too! If you try to lower it further to 10% calories, which have been recommended by certain diets, most people won’t stay on that, and it’s not necessary at all if you want to eat healthier and lose weight.
Here are the benefits of FATS:
– source of energy
– building blocks of membranes and hormones
– helps vitamin and mineral absorption
– helps us avoid cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancers
– helps us lose weight
– flavor conveyor
– some fats reduce oxidation and inflammation
People today are more health conscious and eat less fat than people from the past decades, but statistics say that obesity and diabetes are more prevalent today. The incidence for these particular conditions have soared in our generation.
So how is this happening?
There is a negative connotation of the word “fats” and it’s been linked to health conditions such as arthritis, heart attack, diabetes, obesity, some cancers, etc. That’s why some health conscious folks choose low-fat or fat-free alternatives. The truth is tho that a lot of these have added sugar to make up for the lost flavor. And sugar makes us fat and makes us addicted to its effects thus making us eat more sweets and get fatter in the process. Long story short, it doesn’t mean that if we eat less fatty foods it’s better for us. Those alternatives most often have more calories than foods that we consider to be fatty.
In fact, most people don’t realize that your body adapts easily to burn off the kinds of foods that you eat regularly. So in concept if you eat fat regularly, you will lose weight because your body will burn more fat. Good fats in turn help decrease the effects of bad fats.
So the bottom line is we need fats but what kind tho?
The good and the bad…
Monounsaturated fats include plant-based oils like olive oil, nuts like almond, cashews, pecans and pistachios, seeds, non-hydrogenated margarine and avocados. They help reduce cholesterol in the blood preventing stroke and heart diseases. They also contain some nutrients and the antioxidant Vitamin E.
Polyunsaturated fats include Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats.
Omega 3 fats is found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel. It’s also found in walnuts, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil and some soft margarines.
Omega 6 fats is found in safflower, sunflower and corn oils. It’s also found in pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
Polyunsaturated fats lower triglycerides which is a type of unhealthy fat and reduces blood pressure. They play an essential role in blood clotting and inflammation.
We can only get Omega fats from our diet so if we don’t get them, we develop a deficiency and get sick. Be mindful tho that we should balance out our Omega 3 to Omega 6 intake. Omega 3 has an anti-inflammatory effect while Omega 6 is the pro-inflammatory. Inflammation is vital to survival but excess inflammation can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, many types of cancer, etc.
The ratio of the Western diet today has a whopping 16:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio compared to hunter-gatherers at 2:1 to 4:1, while the Inuits had a ratio of 1:4 because of their high fish diet. All these populations have excellent health and didn’t suffer from chronic diseases that the Westerners have.
Plant based oils like olive oil are ideal for salad dressings. Olive oil has a very high nutrient profile and it’s good at lowering LDL (low density lipoprotein – bad cholesterol) while raising HDL (high density lipoprotein – good cholesterol). It also has a high smoke point at 405ºF or 207ºC, well above the ideal temperature for frying food (356ºF or 180ºC). That is if you’re using high quality (low acidity) extra virgin olive oil. Be aware tho that some plant-based oils are not ideal for high heat cooking as they oxidize faster at lower temperatures which leads to unhealthy cells and enzymes when consumed and can cause cancer. Avocado oil is the best in high heat cooking with the highest smoke point at 520°F or 271°C, and is high in Vitamin E.
These are the fats to avoid and are most likely associated with heart diseases, cancers, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Saturated fats are found in the fatty parts of animals and poultry skin, higher fat milk, cheese, yogurt and palm kernel oils.
Trans fat is made up of liquid oil changed into a solid fat. It adds texture and flavor to food. It’s found in commercially baked goods, fried foods, processed salty foods and convenience foods including frozen foods. These fats are linked to cancers and they increase the LDL (bad cholesterol) and decreases HDL (good cholesterol). Besides increasing cholesterol they also increase the risk of diabetes and promotes insulin resistance. Trans fat naturally found in food is different from manufactured trans fat and doesn’t increase your risk of heart disease.
So I’ve tackled the different fats that we need to eat if we want to burn belly fat faster and lose weight, supplement our body with nutrients, keep our heart and brain healthy, and help fight oxidation, inflammation and the other effects of harmful fats. As much as possible, we should limit eating harmful fats if we want to avoid getting chronic, debilitating diseases, and if we want a flat belly to boot! 😀
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Food for thought:
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I’ve been getting questions as to how long it will take to get the tight abs or reduce belly fat significantly but it all depends on a lot of factors which I talked about in my How to lose belly fat and get abs! BETTER RESULTS FAST!! post like your lifestyle, stress level, hydration, exercise, diet, sleep, motivation, BODY SIZE (which is very important to consider as well), etc. If you work hard in every aspect you will surely achieve flat abs in less time!! You can actually see a great improvement in a week if you adhere to my tips.. You can achieve great abs in a month, 2 months or so but you have to be consistent and motivated! 🙂
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