Good quality fats are not only helpful for losing weight but essential for sustainable fat loss and maintaining good health.
Unfortunately, fats got the bad rap from years of poor research. Many of the anti-saturated fat studies lumped healthy saturated fats into the same category as man-made hydrogenated and trans fats. Other studies were done with rancid fats, which should always be avoided, even if unsaturated. With faulty research and clever “low-fat” packaging, it’s easy to believe the myth that fat is evil.
Good quality fats such as butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and fish oil are full of nutritional benefits to support your body. Healthy fats provide fat soluble nutrients, stabilize blood sugar levels, promote satiation, prevent overeating, increase nutrient absorption, improve brain function, and provide building blocks for cells and hormones. Lastly, fats are a delicious way to eat more nutrient-dense vegetables. Include the four natural fats below to shed body fat, while making your daily diet more nutritious and delicious!
Grass-fed butter is a great source of vitamin A and other fat soluble vitamins, as well as the powerful antioxidant selenium and other trace minerals. A good source of conjugated linoleic acid or CLA, butter is a potent anti-cancer food. Lastly, butter is a good source of short and medium-chain fatty acids that support weight loss, immunity and digestion. To prevent rancidity, store butter in the fridge or freezer and use for cooking with light or medium heat.
2. Coconut Oil
Rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil is excellent for weight loss as it boosts metabolism 50-100% more than other saturated fats. Coconut oil’s high lauric acid content provides a great immunity boost. With a high heat point, coconut oil is stable at higher temperatures making it great for sautéing, baking, grilling and stir frying. Other full-fat coconut products such as coconut butter, coconut milk, shredded coconut, and coconut flakes also contain similar benefits.
3. Olive Oil
Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin E that helps prevent and reduce oxidation in the body. In addition, oleocanthal, a specific phytonutrient found in olive oil helps to reduce inflammation. Although many people use olive oil frequently in cooking, it’s best used raw or with light heat. To ensure freshness and prevent rancidity, store olive oil in a dark bottle that is tightly sealed and consume within six months of opening.
4. Fatty Fish
The omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fatty fish, such as wild salmon, help to rebalance your fat intake from an excess of omega-6s found in vegetable oils and grain-fed animal products. Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation, which decreases oxidative stress. Omega-3s also support neurotransmitters to improve brain function. Other good sources of omega-3s include wild sardines, walnuts, and grass-fed animal products.
There are numerous problems with a low-fat diet, but the biggest problem is that it is NOT effective for improving your health or losing weight.
Since Americans reduced their saturated fat intake in the 1970’s, obesity has doubled, diabetes has tripled and heart disease is still the country’s biggest killer.
Even though there are over 15,000 reduced-fat products, not one of them tastes good and they definitely don’t taste better than the original. Loaded with sugars, artificial sweeteners, additives and other chemicals to mimic the flavor of fat, these low-fat, non-fat, “lite” products actually increase body fat.
Lastly, the less fat you eat, the more carbs you consume. This creates a metabolic disaster that sets you up for weight gain, diabetes and a cascade of hormone imbalances.
Instead of avoiding fat, learn which ones to choose or lose. As with all foods, quality is crucial when it comes to the health benefits of fats.
Bad fats come from refined vegetable oils. Due to extensive processing, vegetable oils are not only rancid and loaded with trans fats, but they also have nickel oxide, emulsifiers and bleach added. Yes, bleach! Margarine is actually gray in color. In addition, vegetable oils tend to be high in omega-6 fats that promote inflammation. These harmful oils have been linked to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmunity, inflammation, fatigue, hormone imbalances (poor thyroid function), and accelerated aging.
Avoid hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated and trans fats such as margarine, soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, grape seed oil, shortening, I Can’t Believe It’s Not butter, Smart Balance, buttery spreads, etc. Many of these unnatural fats are found in processed foods and contain GMOs, which is why you must read food labels.
Good fats come from unrefined animal fats and naturally occurring fats from plants. They tend to be higher in saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and omega-3s. Natural fats include pastured animal fats (eggs, beef fat, pork fat, bacon, butter, ghee, etc.), wild seafood (salmon, sardines, fish oil) avocado, extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut butter/oil/milk, unrefined palm oil, organic nuts, and seeds.
Good Fat Deficiency Symptoms: fatigue, weight gain, depression, anxiety, mood swings, difficulty concentration, dementia, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, hormone imbalances, constant hunger, increased cravings, digestive issues (gas, bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux), dry hair and skin, brittle nails, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, infertility and reproductive problems