Fat: What is it, and can it help you lose weight?
A common belief among dieters and saying among weight-loss marketers is that “low-fat” diets are the road to skinny success. As we explain in our FAQ page, low-fat diets aren’t always effective, sustainable, nor enjoyable! Before you cut fat completely out of your diet, listen to our tips on how to choose good fats over bad fats to become a healthier and happier woman. We’ll guide you through some basic facts on fat, and then prove to you why the low-fat belief is false.
The vast majority of trans fats are artificially created. These fats raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and are considered “empty calories” by the FDA. Furthermore, MayoClinic says that trans fats are “double trouble” for your heart health. You’ll find trans fats in many highly processed and/or fried foods like cookies, donuts, crackers, chips, and french fries – which definitely aren’t good for your diet!
This kind of fat is naturally occurring. Saturated fats are present in many animal products like chicken, steak, and sausage. You’ll also find a high level of saturated fats in cheese, cream, and other rich dairy products. Some plant-based sources of saturated fats exist – such as coconut oil/milk and palm kernel oil, and we think these are the best fats for weight loss and health. It’s debated whether intake of saturated fats is “bad” for you. On one hand, the USDA recommends that Americans “limit the intake” of most types of saturated fats as part of a healthy diet – on the other hand, multiple studies suggest that non-animal based saturated fats (such as coconut oil) could help you lose weight and get healthy.
Monounsaturated fats are naturally occurring and generally considered “healthy” fats. The American Heart Association recommends that you consume monounsaturated fats in moderate amounts and use them to replace trans or saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are found in products like olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, and many nuts/seeds – meaning that a handful of almonds or peanuts makes a great snack, and a light drizzle of olive oil on your salad is a great addition!
Polyunsaturated fats are naturally occurring. They’re generally considered “healthy” when consumed in moderation. One of their biggest health benefits is their high omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids content. Studies show that these boost brain function and well-being. You can find polyunsaturated fats in foods like walnuts, salmon, and soybeans, all of which are easy to prepare and perfect ingredients for a busy weeknight dinner.
How can you eat fat and lose weight?
We’re not the only opponents of the low-fat diet craze; as WebMD and Science Daily note, high-fat weight-loss plans have been studied and proven effective. You can do this by choosing your fat sources wisely. This way, you’ll reduce your intake of unhealthy and “empty” calories in favor of wellness-boosting healthy fats. With help from the 21 Day Body Makeover, you can toss out those low-fat diet bars. Instead, you can go for real, flavorful, and healthy-fat-rich foods! For an example of how to incorporate healthy fats into a weight-loss diet, see the 21 Day Body Makeover sample meal plan – and then let your weight-loss journey begin by purchasing the 21 Day Body Makeover program. Your mind and body will thank you for it!