Secret Southern Couture: Eat Fat to Lose Weight   

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Eat Fat to Lose Weight

The title of this article may sound contradictory, especially coming on the heels of the "low-fat diet" hype. However, not all fat consumption is bad, and in fact, some is essential (that's why some fats are called "essential fatty acids"). What makes these fatty acids so essential? And what do they have to do with weight loss?

Eat Fat to Lose Weight

Healthy fats are considered essential for all kinds of body functions. Brain function is said to be boosted by the intake of good fats. In fact, some professionals recommend certain oils (such as flax and evening primrose) to treat depression. Sources report that your nervous system needs healthy fats to function properly, and your skin, hair and nails can benefit from good fats. And finally, some vitamins are fat soluble, which means your body needs fat to absorb those vitamins.

Some sources report health risks associated with a low-fat diet. In addition to possible decreased vitamin absorption and depression (noted above), low-fat diets may increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol. A low-fat diet may also bring about a nutrient imbalance, as those who are eating little or no fat tend to fill up on carbohydrates and protein.

An interesting study was recently done that showed various participants' weight loss over two years. Those who were on a low-fat diet lost weight, but those on a Mediterranean diet lost more weight. A Mediterranean diet includes a lot of olive oil, which is a healthy fat, and no carbohydrate restriction. Another thing about this study that is significant is the fact that it was conducted over two years. The Mediterranean diet, being very tasty and including good fat, encouraged participants to stick with the healthy eating, and that helped keep their weight off.

So one significant way that a diet with healthy fats can promote weight loss is that they make food taste good! Most of us can only handle deprivation for so long, and when we can't stand it anymore we may binge on "naughty" foods like mint chocolate cupcakes. Fat also stays in your stomach longer, contributing to a feeling of fullness that lasts a longer time than the fullness that comes from carbs and other dietary sources. Thus, food with a modest amount of healthy fat is tasty, healthy, and may help prevent overeating. 

If you want to incorporate some good fats into your diet, here are some foods that contain have natural, healthy fats:

* Raw nuts and seeds
* Cold-pressed flax, safflower, and canola oils
* Olive oil
* Olives
* Avocados
* Fatty fish such as salmon
* Canola or safflower oil mayonnaise
* Natural nut butters