When you eat out at restaurants or go grocery shopping, are you choosing fats to help keep you healthy, beautiful and slim, or ones that will age you and make you heavier?
How Do Good Fats Help Me Lose Weight?
When you eat good fats in your diet, you won’t get hungry during the day. You’ll lose weight. Your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels will return to normal. You won’t be moody and your skin will look better. How can all these things possibly happen by putting back fat in your diet when fat is more calorie-dense than carbohydrates and protein? It doesn’t make sense. However, it’s actually a fact that fats, only good fats, will ensure all the best things happen to your body.
What are Good Fat Foods?
Good fats are foods that contain fat in their natural state. They aren’t tampered with genetically, or in the lab, and they aren’t cooked at high temperatures.
Good fats provide you with energy during the day. They keep inflammation at bay and they are necessary for brain function. Good fats are essential for healthy skin because they strengthen the cell wall of the skin cells so bacteria can’t penetrate them and cause pimples and also to help keep moisture locked in. Good fats are found in these foods:
• Fish oils
• Coconut oil
• Coconut meat
• Coconut cream
• Nuts (but the ones roasted in oils)
• Seeds such as flax, sunflower, sesame, and chia seeds
When you really look at this list, you’ll see that these foods are not usually ones you’ll eat along with processed foods or at a fast food chain.
The Bad Fats That Demonize Your Health
The bottom line is that a fat that’s fried or contains the following seed oils – corn oil, soy oil, canola oil, vegetable oil – are rarely are a good thing in your diet.
Part of the reason why is what you’ll do with these oils. You’ll fry foods with them, heat them up to high temperatures by using them in unhealthy pancake, waffle, cake, and cookie recipes – and end up oxidizing these (high in omega 6) polyunsaturated fats.
And that’s the worst thing ever you could do with them. Frying them oxidizes the fat. Oxidizing fats makes the fat a donator of free radicals. Free radicals age you and cause inflammation in your body. They rob your body of vital antioxidants like vitamin C, E and A. The oxidized fat also instigates plaque accumulation in the arteries. In fact, one study found that 99% of the composition of plaque in the arteries was oxidized fat.
Some people say on hearing all the negativity about bad fats ‘but they taste so good!’
Really? As you start to eat healthily and your taste buds become more finely tuned, you’ll instantly taste the rancid oils in these foods, in restaurants, from stores or even in your own home. Ever try smelling a store-bought cookie made with hydrogenated fats and trans fats? Sniff the cookie for a good minute. You’ll notice the rancid smells come through quite strong after the first 30 seconds.
Fats That Can Be Good or Bad
Olive oil is a little different than the seed and grain oils. High in monounsaturated oils, instead of polyunsaturated oils, olive oil isn’t as bad as the other oils. When heated, its monounsaturated fat content protects it from delivering large amounts of bad free radical molecules to your body.
Most healthy people use extra virgin olive oil (that isn’t heated) for salad dressings, thus preserving the oxidative state of the oil. They’ll cook fish and vegetables with normal olive oil, but usually leave the heat on low. This way they don’t superheat the oil and make it an oxidative ogre.
So foods with bad fats in them can make you gain weight through inflammation, the accumulation of free radicals, and oxidative stress. And if that’s not enough bad news if you’re reading it the first time, eating low fat foods won’t help you lose weight either.
What’s So Bad About Low Fat Foods?
When fat is removed from foods, bad things happen. The recipes have to be altered because the taste is gone and they taste like cardboard. Low-fat foods often contain extra sweeteners and sugars to replace the lack of taste that occurs when you remove the fat from a recipe.
What kind of yogurt are you eating? Is it a whole milk yogurt or a low fat yogurt?
One meta-analysis study (reported in the European Journal of Nutrition) found that those who ate dairy products made from whole milk had lower levels of body fat and less obesity than those who ate low fat dairy products. The whole milk yogurt eater felt fuller longer and ate less during the day.
How Much Fat is Good?
You can choose to eat good fats in your diet but still end up putting weight on by simply eating too much fat (even if it is good) during the day. For example, just 1 normal avocado contains over 350 calories. When you’re trying to lose weight, 350 calories could be 35% to 43% of your calories on your diet! Your body won’t switch to fat-burning unless you keep the fat to less than 30%. Thirty per cent of the diet as fat is the weight maintenance amount; eating more fat than this starts your body on a fat-storing mission.
What are the daily amounts of good fats you should be using? Weight loss needs the right amount of fat in the diet – strive for about 20-25 grams of the right type of fat and you’ll still lose weight.
But weight loss also requires that you refrain from the following bad fats that are clearly stated on food labels:
• Trans fat – try to keep it at 0 grams per day. Don’t ever surpass 2 grams daily.
• Hydrogenated fats – These fats replace essential fats in the body. They situate themselves on the receptor sites for essential fats so the good fats have no where to go.
• Partially hydrogenated fats – This means the fat contains trans fat. Any hydrogenation interferes with essential fat metabolism in the body.
• Vegetable oils – Canola oil, Sunflower oil and other oils may be heated to high temperatures to create a food. Good examples are crisps/chips, fries, burgers and baked goods like cakes and biscuits. It won’t say ‘heated oils’ on the package; but it’s a fair guess to that that the oil was heated during the processing.
Foods heated to high temperatures also release molecular fragments called Advanced Glycation End products or AGEs for short. These molecular fragments are terrible for your body’s cells; they rapidly bring about ageing in the body and skin, and complications from degenerative diseases.
Try to avoid Canola Oil /Rapeseed Oil
There’s a warning about canola oil here, too. Canola oil is Rapeseed oil, which was banned in several countries for its high levels of Erucic acid in the past. Then more recently, we were informed it was safe because the high Erucic acid was only a problem in the ‘beginning’; the canola plant has now been modified to be very low in Erucic acid i.e. it has been genetically modified. What we know about other genetically modified plants is that many may cause (over time) immune system disorders and are related to over 100 degenerative diseases.
You Can Lose Weight By Eating Healthy Fat
We always say that diets are for numbskulls and that the only way to get a beautiful, healthy, slim body is to eat lots and lots of wholefoods prepared at home from scratch, drink lots of green smoothies, green teas and clean water, and ensure your body is completely ‘nutrioned-up’. Just add a healthy dose of good fats on the way and you’ll get to your ideal weight in no time.