When you look over the nutritional facts of the foods that you eat (especially if you’re trying to lose weight) then there’s probably one word that jumps right out at you and that’s fat. It seems like the golden key to unlock the door to good health and a lower weight, just removing the fats from your diet altogether, but if you do that it could easily have a disastrous effect on your health. You see, there are good and bad fats that you can be putting into your body. Let’s take a look what are healthy fats to help you figure out which ones you should be watching and watching out for.
Let’s just lay a fact out here for you, your calories should consist of 65-85% fat (yes, you read it right!) and there’s no getting around that. However there are several different kinds of fats, some good and some absolutely terrible for you, that you have to watch out for to add, limit, moderate, or attempt to remove from your diet to stay healthy and balanced. Here’s a look at the dangerous or “bad” fats that you should be trying to avoid:
Trans Fats – These are the real bad guys of the fat universe. They come heavily in processed and fried foods which are, unfortunately, the easiest foods to eat and get ahold of. These fats do absolutely nothing good for your body and increase your total cholesterol levels without adding any “good” cholesterol to your diet. This should be the first thing you look to cut out of your diet when you’re looking for good fats.
Monounsaturated Fats – These fats rich in Omega-6 are commonly found in canola, soy, sunflower, and peanut oil. The Omega-6 fats are known to cause inflammation all over your body. That, in turn can cause everything from insulin resistance and obesity to Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases. It’s a big, fat lie that for example canola oil would contain Omega-3, well, actually it does, but if your body can utilize only 1% from that, what’s the point? You do need Omega-6 fats as well, but don’t try to add them to your diet on purpose, it’s a sure thing that you will get them enough anyway.
Those fats are the ones you should be watching closely to avoid, but on the other side of the fence are these great fats that you should be looking to add to your diet if you want to stay healthy:
Saturated Fat – They are not bad like you have been lied tens of years. No, they are your friends. You’ll find these healthy fats in meat, eggs, seafood, and dairy products (like butter) so all the delicious food you have told to avoid — but not anymore! A good old breakfast with bacon and eggs (skip the beans!) is both healthy and satisfying.
Polyunsaturated Fats – These guys are found in nuts, seeds, and some vegetable oils and do a great job of lowering your total cholesterol levels. They also cover omega-3/6 fatty acids found in fish (you’ve probably seen commercials for supplements of these on TV) but we’ll talk more about those in a bit.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Omega-3 fatty acids are often referred to as essential fatty acids because our bodies don’t produce them on our own which is why you see them so commonly in supplements. They help to lower your blood pressure and reduce clotting while also fighting against inflammation. Omega-3s can be found only in animal products, especially in fatty fish, so be sure to eat enough fish and animal-based food!
The world of fats is a vast one filled with pitfalls that can have a serious negative effect on your health, but keeping a close watch on your fats and maintaining a healthy balance of good fats while eliminating and reducing the bad ones will really help you reach your weight loss goals. The take home message here is: use animal-based fats and from vegetable fats use only olive oil and cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil. Eat nuts, seeds and avocados to maximize the benefit.
One important thing: when you keep your fat intake high, it’s ESSENTIAL to keep your carb intake low. The combination of fat and carbs is known to be the root of all evil and will lead into serious diseases. The safest way is to consume enough healthy fats, as they keep your body in an excellent condition and believe or not — help you lose weight!