In order to lose fat, you need to eat fat. We know it sounds crazy but trust us on this one. If you want a strong, fit, healthy body, you need to embrace certain fats in your diet.
In fact, a study from Harvard University found that replacing 5% of your caloric intake from "bad" fats, like the trans and saturated fats you get from red meat or lard, with unsaturated fats from plant-based sources like olive oil, you can reduce your risk of premature death by 27%!
For the study, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine
, the researchers compiled data from 126,233 participants from two, large, long-term studies. The participants answered survey questions relating to health, diet, and lifestyle, every 2-4 years for up to 32 years. During the follow up period, 33,304 deaths were recorded. These deaths provided the researchers with the information they needed to draw conclusions about dietary fats and death rates.
It turns out that trans fats have the most damaging impact on health. For every 2% higher intake of trans fat, the risk of premature death was increased by 16%. A similar situation was found with saturated fats. When compared to the same number of calories from carbohydrates, every 5% increase in saturated fat consumption was linked to an 8% higher risk for death.
When looking at polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, the fats we call "healthy fats," the results were rather different. A higher intake of polyunsaturated fats was linked with a 11% lower
risk of death while an increase in monounsaturated fats caused a 19% lower
risk of death when compared to the same number of calories from carbohydrates.
So what should you be eating?
As we mentioned before, it won't do you any good to eliminate fat completely. The researchers observed that when people replaced their saturated fat intake with carbohydrates, instead of healthy fats, they only had marginally better mortality rates. Avoid saturated and trans fats while limiting your fat consumption to unsaturated fats. "Our study shows the importance of eliminating trans fat and replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fats, including both omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. In practice, this can be achieved by replacing animal fats like red meat with a variety of liquid vegetable oils," explains senior study author Frank Hu.
Here is a list of the best sources of healthy dietary fats and some of our favorite ways to prepare these foods:
Eggs aren't just for protein, you know! They contain all essential amino acids, vitamin D, riboflavin, and vitamin B12. Egg yolks contain omega 3 fatty acids and, among other things, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Research has found that eating CLA and working out for at least 4.5 hours a week significantly reduces body fat!
2. Fruit and Vegetable Oils
Coconut oil is all the rage these days, and with good reason! It contains medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs) which is antibacterial, anti-fungal AND can help you burn fat! Research has found that people who eat coconut oil, lose more weight -- especially around the middle. Other great plant-based oils that provide healthy fat are olive oil, peanut oil, algae oil, and walnut oil. Some oils are better suited to certain tasks, like high heat cooking so a little research might be necessary. Click here
to learn more about various cooking oils!
3. Nuts and Nut Butters
Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are loaded with monounsaturated fats which can lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol levels and raise your "good" HDL cholesterol levels. In fact, some studies have found that eating nuts can extend your lifespan
! So, when you're looking for a quick and easy snack, reach for some nuts. Don't be afraid to mix things up either. One day, grab some pistachios, the next almonds, then cashews. And don't forget peanuts and Brazil nuts! And nut butters! They are a tasty way to prevent snacking boredom! Dip it, spread it, add it to soups or curries, nut butters are a great way to boost the nutritional profile of just about anything you eat!
Most of the glory goes to olive oil, but the olives themselves are loaded with antioxidants that can help prevent heart disease and monounsaturated fats that boost good cholesterol levels. Olives also contain oleic acid that can help reduce blood sugar!
When it comes to providing healthy fats, avocados are little miracle fruits! The Center for Disease Control has found that people who consume a half an avocado, daily, are healthier than people who don't. They consume 48% more vitamin K, 36% more fiber, 23% more vitamin E, 16% more potassium, 13% more magnesium, and weight 7.4 pounds less than people who don't eat avocado and have a 50% less chance of developing metabolic syndrome! That's one powerful little fruit.
6. Fatty Fish
Herring, salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, and sardines are all fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fish not only give a dose of healthy fat, they provide a great mix of protein, vitamin D, and marine oils. All of these things are important to the maintenance and functioning of your nervous system.
When it comes to plant-based fat sources, it doesn't get much better than chia and flax! They provide a hefty does of fiber which is good for keeping your digestive system in line and lowering your blood cholesterol levels. Sprinkle on salads or add some to your oatmeals or smoothies. Getting a dose of healthy fat was never this easy!
Are these foods a part of your healthy diet? If not, what are you waiting for? Get yourself headed in the right direction with The BodyRock Meal Plan! Not just a meal plan, this package includes both a recipe book and a nutrition guide that will keep your taste buds happy while giving you all the information you need to make healthy eating an easy part of your daily life! Remove the guess work! We've got your back. Get your copy here!
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Source: Men's Fitness