To lose weight you just need to cut fat out of your diet, right? Wrong.
Dietary fat has been demonised for decades. In reality, it’s essential for a healthy diet and weight loss!
Fat is not the enemy, and these 7 fatty foods have so many benefits for your body, including helping curb that gut.
Why do we need fat in our diet?
Healthy fats have made a comeback in recent years thanks to diets like keto, so lets jump in and breakdown the different types of fats. We can group fats into two categories – ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats.
Bad fats are the types of fat that can cause adverse health outcomes when consumed in excess. These are saturated fats and trans fats.
Saturated fat is the least threatening of the ‘bad’ fats. This type of fat is solid at room temperature – think bacon grease, and can increase your levels of harmful cholesterol which promotes blockages in arteries. It is linked to heart disease when consumed in excess. Saturated fat should be consumed in moderation, and can be found in animal fats, takeaway foods, processed foods like chips, and dairy products.
Trans fat is the worst kind of dietary fat. There are two types of trans fats we consume:
- The first is Industrially-produced trans fatty acids (IPTFA), a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation, which turns healthy oils into solids and added to foods by manufacturers to increase their shelf-life.
- The second, less harmful trans fat is the naturally occurring ruminant trans fat, which is found in meat and dairy in small amounts.
Trans fats increase harmful cholesterol in the blood and reduce healthy cholesterol levels. It also induces inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Because of this, artificial trans fats have been banned in the United States.
Good Fats, on the other hand, are essential in a healthy balanced diet and include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These healthy fats are known as essential fatty acids because our bodies need them, but can’t produce them. Since we can’t produce them, we need them from the food we consume.
Monounsaturated fat helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and assists in the development and maintenance of healthy cells.
Polyunsaturated fats are fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) which promote heart health and are important for brain function, cell growth, and anti-inflammation.
So now we know there are different types of fats, which fatty foods should you be eating?
Avocados are packed full of monounsaturated fats and incredibly nutritious. They are loaded with fibre, and even have more potassium than a banana.
Interestingly, one study from the US has found that eating avocado with other vegetables, like in a salad, dramatically increases your antioxidants absorption and nutrient intake from the whole meal.
Adding avocado to your day is easy – you can put it in salads, meals, or even your Lady Shake! Just keep it to a quarter to a half per day.
Nuts are full of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, and vitamins. Studies have also shown they help to reduce risk factors for metabolic syndrome such as cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Make sure to include nuts as one of your daily snacks, they taste great and are incredibly nutritious.
Incorporating fresh fish into your diet has so many health benefits. Oily fish like Salmon, Tuna, and Mackeral are incredibly rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and potentially lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. These fish are also an incredible source of quality protein.
Not a fan of fish? You can also get these amazing benefits from chai seeds and flaxseed, which is why we put both in The Lady Shake!
Olive oil is made up of 84% healthy fats (mostly monounsaturated) and is full of antioxidants which promote cell and brain health, and also has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Olive oil is an essential part of the Mediterranean diet, a diet that has been shown to have numerous health benefits, especially for heart health.
Tip: You can drizzle a small amount on your salad!
It’s official, dark chocolate is seriously a superfood.
Containing healthy fats, it also contains vitamins A, B, and E; calcium; iron; magnesium; and antioxidants in the form of flavonoids.
Half of it’s fat content is saturated, so don’t go devouring a whole block just yet. Enjoy a square or two a day.
Eggs are an amazing source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Each egg contains around 5g of fat, only 1.5g of which is saturated.
Studies have found that the cholesterol in eggs has no effect on your blood cholesterol levels, so start cracking to reap the benefits.
That’s right, grass-fed beef contains up to 50% more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than regular beef. It is also higher in key nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins.
And, let’s be real, grass-fed beef tastes better anyway, so head down to your local butcher for a good cut.