Fats are necessary for weight loss but why. Fats have such a bad reputation but they support cell function, keep the body warm, produce certain hormones, provide energy, and absorb nutrients. For weight loss, choose the healthy fats (HDL – high density lipoprotein) and reduce the unhealthy fats (LDL – low density lipoprotein). Moderation is still important as there are 9 calories for every gram of fat. However, carbs and proteins provide only 4 calories for every gram. Let’s break down examples of each fat.
Polyunsaturated Fats Are Necessary for Weight Loss
We need polyunsaturated fats to acquire fats the body can’t produce itself. They are normally in a liquid state at room temperature and solid in the fridge. They contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats that support essential functions in the body. Therefore, consuming more of these and less of the saturated and trans fats help us lose weight, prevent heart disease, and lower cholesterol. For that reason, focus on Omega-3s such as flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds, salmon, herring, mackerel, etc.
Monounsaturated Fats for Weight Loss
Just like polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats can help with weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, help with insulin resistance, and decrease inflammation. These fats come from plant or animal products and are generally considered healthy (i.e., olive oil, nuts, nut butters, and avocados).
Reduce Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are solid in room temperature. Often found in animal products such as beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and processed meats as well as in coconut and palm oil, eggs, and full fat dairy. Unfortunately, they increase our LDL which elevates cholesterol and put us at higher risks for heart disease and strokes.
Reduce Trans Fat
Trans fat is industrially made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil to make it more solid. You will find this labeled as partially hydrogenated oil. Typically, baked goods such as doughnuts, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies, and muffins contain trans fat. Like saturated fat, trans fat can increase your risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, and even type 2 diabetes.
Fats are necessary for weight loss but you have to consume the right ones. Keep in mind that quantity matters since they all have the same amount of calories despite some having better qualities.
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~ Samantha Hua, Online Nutrition Coach & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA