It is very normal to think that having more fat in your diet will make you fatter. I mean, I would think the same thing too, right?! If I'm trying to lose body fat, why would I eat more fat?
In a sense, yes, that is correct, but there are different types of fat. These fats will ultimately be determined to store as extra, unwanted fat or utilized for fat-burning energy. I will break down every type of fat and show you which kinds are the most important to incorporate into your daily diet.
Types of Healthy Fat
There are three different types of fat: Saturated, Monounsaturated, and Polyunsaturated Fat
Saturated fats are found in unprocessed animal fats and tropical oils like coconut, cacao, and palm.
Monounsaturated fats are found in Olive oil, avocados, peanuts & groundout, and tree nuts.
Polyunsaturated fats have two different types: omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 fats are found in flax and fish oils. Omega-6 fats are found in most seeds oils like canola, safflower, and sunflower.
So when you hear someone say "healthy fats", these are the fats they are referring to.
What is an "Unhealthy" Fat?
Unhealthy fats, like trans fat and hydrogenated fats, are fats that are produced in masses, created for the sole purpose to make food nonperishable or to have a very long "shelf-life".
This means that every time you see a food in the grocery store that is in a box or looks like it's meant to stay in that box for a long time, it most likely contains trans fat (I call it transformed fat). These also include most of the foods you would see in a mall food court.
Margarine is an example of a hydrogenated fat or a scientifically created fat to make liquid and perishable fat into solid, shelf-stable fat. Also, most cooking oils you see on a shelf in a grocery store have some "bad fat" just because it needs to stay on that shelf for as long as possible.
Why Should I Eat More "Healthy Fats"?
Hopefully so far I have dissected the fat topic enough, so you all have a better understanding between the good and bad fats.
So now lets talk about the benefits that come from the good fats, and why incorporating more of them in your daily diet will get you to burn more body fat faster than ever before!
We need adequate fat to support metabolism, signal cells to perform certain tasks, improve the health of various body tissues, increase immunity, regulate hormone production, and allow proper absorption of many nutrients such as vitamins A and D.
There is strong evidence that healthy fats improve cardiovascular function, burn visceral body fat (hard, sticky body fat), keep you feeling full in between meals, and even alleviate depression.
There is also average evidence that fats prevent certain cancers, preserves memory, increases longevity of eye health, reduces incidences of aggressive behavior, and alleviates symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
Five Fatty Foods You Should Start Eating Now!
Salmon Steaks: Having the skin still intact in this specific cut of the salmon increases the fat content of the fish. Salmon filets are definitely more protein-dense, but the steak cuts of salmon provide a much fattier serving.
Avocados: A very great snack that keeps you feeling full for hours! Add a dash of pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder (I even put hot sauce!) for a flavor explosion in every bite! Cut the avocado in half and save one half for later; a 2-for-1 snack idea! Tip: Lightly squeeze lemon juice on them to avoid browning.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: A very great oil for cooking, baking, and putting the "smooth" in smoothies! This oil has a very high cooking temperature, perfect for cooking in the pan for eggs and pancakes. You can use coconut oil for baked goods or add a tablespoon in your smoothies to supercharge it and create a smoother texture! It is also naturally solid and melts almost instantly when it is heated. This is definitely not your average messy vegetable oil.
Flax/Chia Seed: These superfoods have great fat content and even pack some muscle-building protein! Sprinkle some in your Greek Yogurt or add a tablespoon to your smoothies.
Almond Butter: Great fat content in this peanut butter ally. Stir in the liquid that sits at the top (that's the natural fat) until smooth. Add a tablespoon to your smoothies, drizzle some over some protein pancakes, or even add a little bit to some frozen yogurt (when deserved of course!).
If Your Goal is Fat Loss...
Incorporate more of these healthy fats in your daily diet immediately! A reduction in carbohydrates and an increase in healthy fats will get your body to burn unwanted body fat faster than cutting these nutrients out. You will feel fuller longer and have a lot more energy, but most importantly, you will look great too!