Fats are essential to any healthy lifestyle. Most people believe they should be avoided but including healthy unsaturated fats in your diet, can make all the difference. Fat is not only a good fuel source for your body, it can help with the absorption of vitamins A,D,E and K.
Here are some surprising health benefits you may get from fat:
1. Build muscle with fats
It is true. When looking to lose weight or gain muscle, people often focus on their protein and carbohydrate intakes. But fat can be just as important. Fats help to keep hormone levels balanced which means you can recover more quickly, and more effectively from your physical activities. Play around with what you are eating by adding some healthy fats. What you may see is greater muscle gains and leaner curves.
2. Promote weight loss with fats
People often turn to fat free options when trying to lose weight but these foods are very poor choices nutritionally. Fat free foods are more often than not loaded with sugar and additives that act as toxins to the body. Your body is able to recognize the compounds in healthy fats and digest them as a source of fuel. This boost in energy is good for kicking your metabolism into gear which, you guessed it, is good for your weight loss.
3. Boost your immune system with fats
A healthy immune system is essential if we want to stay free of bacteria and infections like the common cold. Fats help your immune system by aiding the body's ability to absorb antioxidants and vitamins. Nuts, seeds, green vegetables and grains are a great source of Alpha-lipoic acid and Omega 3 which help reduce inflammation in the cells, reduce cell death and regenerates antioxidants. Coconut oil is another fat with immune boosting properties. It contains lauric acid and caprylic acid which fight the overgrowth of yeast and prevent infections.
4. Get healthier skin with fats
Want clearer, softer skin? Eat fat. A fatty acid deficiency can lead to dry, flaky skin and sometimes acne. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) will go a long way to clearing these things up. Look for polyunsaturated fats like Omega 3 and Omega 6. These fats provide a base for healthy cells which leads to healthier skin.
5. Reduce depression with fats
Healthy fats are good for your brain. Your brain is partially made of EFAs. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an EFA that supports your brain's neurons which can impact everything from your senses to your mood. Increasing your DHA will fuel your brain while Omega 3 can help in the production of the feel good hormone, serotonin.
So, next time you are at the grocery store or market, be sure to stock up on foods like walnuts, almonds, olives, avocado, peanut butter, coconut oil and salmon.
Fats won't stand in the way of your fitness goals, they will help you get there!
For creative and tasty ways to work healthy fats into your diet, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan
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