Although history has stated time and again that one of the keys to losing weight is cutting fat this may not be entirely true.
For example your body needs fat to function properly, so cutting all fats is certainly not a good idea.
Also, you will find that certain fats (healthy fats) could even aid your own weight loss efforts by boosting your metabolism (burn calories) and increasing satiety (reducing appetite).
What are healthy fats?
Healthy fats are those found in whole foods that have not been processed or fried.
They are a necessary macronutrient that are the building blocks of our hormones, brain and nervous tissue. They also offer a protective layer around our cells.
Healthy fats are used by the body to help absorb vitamins A, D, E and K, and can help maintain eye health.
If you are an active person who works out often then healthy fats are an important source of energy, as once the body burns its carbohydrate stores for energy it will then turn towards its fat stores.
If your fat stores are empty then your body will begin to break down muscle tissue instead, which is not something that I would recommend.
Other weight loss benefits of healthy fats
While being an energy source is one of the weight loss benefits of eating healthy fats, it is certainly not it’s only benefit. It can also:
#1: Help you stay full for longer
Healthy fats are burnt at a slower rate than carbs so can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
This is extremely useful when trying to lose weight as you should try to avoid snacking between mealtimes.
The reason why healthy fats are so satiating is because when it is digested it forces your body to release 2 hormones (cholecystokinin and peptide YY).
It is these hormones that help to control your appetite.
#2: Increase your metabolic rate
Certain types of healthy fats; for example those found in coconut oil can help to increase your metabolic rate, which we all know is helpful for burning extra calories.
These fats are called MCTs, and their chemical structure helps to ensure they are digested quickly so are turned into fuel rather than being stored as fat. They have also been shown to help raise the metabolism and help with your thyroid function.
Research has shown that regular consumption of foods containing MCTs can help improve your body fat percentage and can help enhance athletic performance.
How can you increase your intake of healthy fats?
The following are a few tips that you can use to increase your intake of healthy fats:
#1: Eat more fish
It is recommended that you try and eat fish at least twice a week. My suggestion would be to choose fatty fish like salmon, herring or mackerel.
You should avoid any fish in batter or the breaded variety.
Flaxseeds are a good source of healthy fats so try sprinkling a few over your cereal or yoghurt.
#3: Use a different oil
Check the food labels and look for products that use other oils. For example use olive or canola oil instead of hydrogenated oil
#4: Add nuts
Walnuts, almonds and peanuts are all good sources of healthy fats so add them to your meals, or use them as a snack food.
#5: Eat an avocado
Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat that offers various benefits, including the ability to reduce your risk of suffering from breast cancer.
#6: Choose omega-3 eggs
Omega-3 eggs are those that come from hens fed a diet of flaxseeds.
This particular variety of egg contains 7-12x more omega-3 than you would find in regular eggs.