You may have heard the whispers and weren't sure whether or not to believe them. We're here to tell you it is true: fat is food for you. The majority of weight loss programs promote low-fat diets but recent science is turning all of that on its head. In fact, studies have found that there is little to no correlation between eating fat and being 'fat.' Keeping healthy fats in your diet can help your burn fat, increase your metabolism and improve your overall health.
Here's why you should take a pass on low-fat and fat-free:
Low-fat does NOT mean healthy.
It is dangerous to assume that something packaged as being 'low-fat' is automatically healthy. In order to remove the fat, these foods are often highly processed and then pumped full of added sugar, salt, flavourings and additives to make it taste good. Many times, they contain ingredients that will actually lead to your body storing more fat!
Fat is good.
Your body needs a range of nutrients to function properly. Good, healthy, fats are essential to your brain, body and organ function. Fat helps your body rebuild cells, provides energy and assists in hormone production. It is important to remember, however, that not all fats are created equal. There is a huge divide between healthy and unhealthy fats.
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Here are the good fats you want to include in your diet:
This type of fat helps to decrease your bad LDL cholesterol. The fats, found in foods like salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, walnuts and chia seeds, contain hefty amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s boost brain function, improve the immune system and elevate your mood.
Along with lowering your LDL cholesterol, these fats help raise your good HDL cholesterol. This reduces plaque build-up in the arteries and helps prevent heart disease. Many recent studies have suggested that monounsaturated fats may even reduce the amount of belly fat you carry! These fats can be found in olive oil, cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds and avocado.
Coconut oil is another wonderful fat you can add to your diet. It contains a healthy form of saturated fat known as medium-chain fatty acids. Our bodies process this fat differently by immediately converting it to energy for our brains and muscles. It is also good for boosting immunity and metabolism while aiding in digestion.
Fats to avoid:
With coconut oil being the exception, you should avoid saturated fats. Trans fats are also a no-no. They raise your cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fats are made from unsaturated fats and processed in such a way that they extend the shelf life of packaged goods. Outside of boosting cholesterol levels, trans fats also cause inflammation in the body. They are often found in vegetable oils, fried foods and packaged pastries. If you are looking for them in an ingredient list, it will often be listed as hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Have you noticed a difference by including healthy fats in your diet? Tell us about it.
For some extra help making sense of this whole fat situation, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan
. This 30 day plan includes a detailed nutrition guide to help you better understand healthy eating and an added recipe book with over 70 offerings so you'll never be bored!