Lose Weight by Eating Fat

Eating fat does not make you fat. In fact, dietary fat consumption is essential for weight loss. It also makes food taste richer and more fulfilling. Though most Americans have grown up surrounded by advertising touting the benefits of all things fat-free, the low-fat diet has been shown to actually cause lifetime weight gain. Understanding the difference between healthy fats and harmful fats is crucial to finding and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Fat Misconceptions

Dietary fat is a necessary part of any meal. It is important to understand that 20 to 30 percent of calories should come from fat, so cutting out fat completely is not a viable option for weight loss.

In the past few decades, saturated fats (like butter) have been given an especially poor reputation.  However, much of what you’ve been told about saturated fat is untrue.  While you should limit fat consumption from commercially raised red meat and pork, saturated fat has benefits.

2010 scientific review effectively demonstrated that there is no link between saturated fats and conditions like heart disease and stroke.  In fact, fat from grass-fed red meat is actually very good for you.

Secret Saturated Weapon: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is about 92 percent saturated fat. Though such a high percentage may not sound moderate, a single tablespoon of coconut oil can cook an entire dinner portion of meat. The remaining 8 percent is comprised of healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Unlike olive oil, coconut oil can be used to cook at high temperatures without turning rancid, and it doesn’t contain hydrogenated trans fats like vegetable and canola oils.

Coconut oil also contains lauric acid. This acid creates monolaurin in the body, which has been shown to fight invading viruses and bacteria. It is very easy to digest, and even helps distress the pancreas, which speeds up metabolism.

Avoid Trans Fats

Trans fats, on the other hand, are actually more harmful than you may know.  They are never beneficial to the human body. Trans fats are added or created during the food manufacturing process. These bad fats arise when liquid oils are used to create solid fats.

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends limiting trans fats to less than two grams per day to decrease risk of coronary heart disease. (Although, there is really no dosage that will improve your health.)

Replacing harmful fats with health-promoting good fats is vital to safe, sustainable weight management.

Benefits of Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are foods like avocado, walnuts, flax seeds, olive oil, fish oil, and naturally raised animal products.  These help improve skin and hair health, nervous system function and energy levels.

Compared to proteins and carbohydrates (four calories per gram), fats contain nine calories per gram. Since your body burns calories to fuel its natural processes, fat is an excellent source of energy.

Foods marked “low-fat” and “fat-free” do not offer this benefit (they are actually more likely to sap energy than provide it). When low-fat foods are manufactured, the natural fat content is stripped away. The modified food is then loaded with inflammation-causing sugar and starch to replace the hearty taste of the removed fat.

Poly- and monounsaturated fats like salmon and olive oil, respectively, can help lower triglyceride levels and decrease inflammation—both of which aid in the weight-loss process.

Adding Healthy Fats to Your Diet

Whether or not you are looking to hit a weight-loss goal this New Year, maintaining a proper weight is essential to fighting off long-term, chronic illnesses. To learn how you can introduce high-quality, healthy fats into your diet, consult the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans Book or contact your nearest Maximized Living wellness doctor.