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The 80’s called. They were wrong on fats.

Posted on September 22, 2020

Over the past few decades, we were told that low-fat diets were the way to go. That myth has been wholeheartedly busted, but this way of thinking still permeates many people’s minds here in the US. Let’s set the record straight on fats once and for all… 

We must consume HEALTHY fats. In fact, healthy fat is the KEY to weight loss and a healthy diet.

So, what exactly are healthy fats?

Well, healthy fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Easy, right? Though they might sound a bit sciency, these two types of fats are found in wholesome, real foods, but let’s break these down a little more. 

Polyunsaturated Fats Full of Omega-3’s

Omega-3’s come largely from polyunsaturated fats, and as you may know, omega-3’s are critical to your health. Not only do omega-3’s promote normal functions of the brain and nervous system, but they also lower cholesterol levels to support heart health and reduce inflammation in the body (I). Our body does not make omega-3’s naturally, so it is incredibly important for us to consume them (I).

Foods high in omega-3’s and polyunsaturated fats: 

  • Fatty fish (salmon, lake trout, Atlantic or Pacific mackerel) 
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds 
  • Eggs

Monounsaturated Fats Increase Good Cholesterol

Monounsaturated fats increase HDL cholesterol in your body which is the kind your body wants more of (I)!  This helps reduce heart disease and strokes, while providing nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells (IV).

Foods high in monounsaturated fats: 

  • Nuts 
  • Oils (olive, avocado) 
  • Avocados 
  • Peanut butter (sugar-free)

How Fats Promote Weight Loss

It’s clear that polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats give your body nutrients that it needs through omega-3’s and good cholesterol. But how on earth do they promote weight loss if they are high in fat and calories? Here are four reasons...

No empty calories
Healthy fats take longer to digest compared to foods with “empty calories,” especially like those in carbohydrates. This means less snacking between meals and feeling full longer (II). 
Healthy fats taste good
Sprinkling olive oil on foods makes them more desirable and satisfying, leaving you wanting to eat more clean foods (II). 
Healthy fats balance blood sugar
This affects your mood, cravings, and food choices which leads you to make better choices (III).
Healthy fats help absorb nutrients
Without them, your body cannot take in the vitamins and minerals from your food (III).

 

In the end, healthy fats mean that you are eating REAL food, and that what we all should be doing. Real foods mean real health benefits for your body. Now go out there and eat some healthy fats and feel great about doing it! :)

 

(I). https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/choose-healthy-fats

(II). https://www.verywellfit.com/fat-is-not-always-the-enemy-3496233

(III). https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/5-reasons-fat-good-weight-loss/

(IV). https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/monounsaturated-fats

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