Fats essential to our health, wellbeing and even aid in weight loss. Dietary fat has had a tough time over the last 20 years, but finally now anyone with any sense has realised that fat is essential to our longevity.
We can’t live without it and that’s why they are called “essential fats”. There’s no such thing as essential carbohydrates. Fat helps to improve absorption of vitamins and minerals from foods, strengthen your cell membranes and signal the release of hormones aiding in normalising our circadian rhythm.
So which fats should you be eating?
Below I’m going to go through my top 10 healthy fats which provide the biggest-bang-for-your-buck when it comes to losing weight, boosting your cognitive health and improving your longevity.
10 Healthy Fats To Help Your Weight Loss – Part 1
#1. Coconut Oil
It often gets a bad name as it is a saturated fat. The saturated fat from coconut oil in fact helps boost your “good” HDL cholesterol levels thus normalising the ratio between “good vs bad” cholesterol. Coconut oil doesn’t enter the cholesterol cycle meaning the fat won’t be deposited into the fat cells.
A study from Malaysia, where the coconut is used daily in cooking, found that having 30ml of coconut oil three times a day for 30 days lead to a significant amount of weight loss and reduced waistline.
When purchasing, ensure that you buy Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
We love adding a teaspoon to our morning coffee and in our cooking as a substitute for vegetable oils as has a much higher oxidation temperature.
Avocados are one of the best weight loss foods out there with a strong research background behind it too. It is filled with lots of nutrients and antioxidants associated with fat loss. It contains monounsaturated fat which is one of the healthiest fats that is recommended to be eaten regularly. It assists your body to burn more fat by mobilising fat cells and reducing appettite/food cravings.
A study reported that men who ate a diet high in monounsaturated fats who also ate lots of vegetables lost more body fat WITHOUT having to reduce calories.
So avocados are a pretty cool way of helping you lose weight without having to go hungry if included daily. We love having them as part of our breakfast or on top of our lunchtime salads.
You could also use Avocado oil. This is perfect for drizzling on top of salads. Our favourite product is Fushi Organic Avocado Oil.
Salmon, along with other oily fish like herrings, sardines and mackerel, are amazing sources of healthy fats as they are comprised of the super poweful anti-inflammatory fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These two fatty acids are your all important omega 3’s which you hear about commonly. They have been shown to help boost cognitive performance, cardiovascular health and improve subject’s suffering from metabolic syndrome or obesity.
They have a large impact on weight loss as a result of their effect on insulin. Insulin is your storage hormone. When you eat, your body releases insulin to help your body decide where it is going to “store” these foods. The more insulin sensitive you are the more likely you are to store your food in the muscle cells rather than fat. Omega 3 fats (EPA and DHA) coming from oily fish have shown to help your body store the carbohydrates you eat as glycogen in the muscle instead of the fat.
Butter is probably my favourite ingredient. I couldn’t live without it and for good reason. Butter is incredibly good for you if you’re trying to lose weight. This is because its has so many health benefits. But like with most things, the better the quality of the butter the more benefits you will receive. Our favoruite source is Kerrygold Butter.
Some of the benefits include:
- Contains bioavailable vitamins A, D, E and K2 – aid in proper functioning of the thyroid gland (metabolsim), absorption of calcium for strong bones and teeth and antioxidant effect helping the body manage inflammation.
- Contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) – fights inflammation and improves metabolism.
- Provides Butyrate – a short chain fatty acid used by bacteria in your gut helping to reduce inflammation and regualte metabolic rate.
- Good for cooking – has a high smoke point compared to vegetable oils which when heated become harmful to our DNS and cells, increasing disease risk.
- Aids in weight loss – makes less desirable vegetables taste better, increase energy expenditure when on low carb diets.
Don’t go overboard with it. Make sure it’s in you fridge and you’re using it daily with your cooking and on your vegetables.
#5. Cacao/Dark Chocolate
Similar to avocados, cacao is a monounsaturated fat which contains the highest amount of magnesium of any natural food sources. Magnesium is the anti-obesity mineral which most people are deficient in. This has been a suggested cause to our rising obesity epidemic. Low levels of magnesium will decrease your insulin sensivity, making it harder for you to lose fat and get lean.
A review from the journal Biological Trace Element Research reports magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and controlling blood glucose levels. A deficiency in this mineral can leave you with insulin resistance and put yourself at risk of diabetes if left untreated.
Luckily, all you have to do is eat some good qaulity dark chocolate or cacao nibs daily. Daily dark chocolate consumption (>70% cocoa solids) has been linked to a leaner body composition. Just be careful with how much you eat as chocolate does contain added sugar. Cacao powder or nibs may be a better option if you are looking for regular consumption or struggle eating only a little bit of chocolate.
Our favoutite cacao nibs are Naturya Organic Cacao Nibs.
In Part 2, we’ll go through the next 5 healthy fats which will help you lose weight and improve your health.
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