Don’t Fear the FAT, EAT IT!

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Don’t Fear the Fat – Eat The Fats for weight Loss and Health!


One question that always comes around is “But eating Fat makes you fat doesn’t it? Isn’t low fat better?”

Short answer is “No….excess calories, be it Fats, protein, carbs or alcohol make you fat, not one of those by themselves!” Also Low-Fat products often have additional added sugar to make up the weight – definitely worse for energy and love handles!


Fats are a primary nutrient for the body, and has many important functions:

1. Primary fuel source for light to moderate exercise

2. Provide the body with essential fatty acids

3. Ensures your cells develop properly (in facts determining your bodies look/skin) and regulating hormones. This is VERY important as if you’re hormones are out of synch you WILL not lose fat, and are likely to be unhealthy and overweight. Healthy hormones = healthy body

4. Transport fat soluble vitamins, which will again, help the above.

There are really 3 key fats, saturated fats which are solid at room temperature (think butter and cheese, but also found in cream and processed cakes, desserts etc -), monounsaturated fats(oils, Omega-6), and polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3) Too much saturated fat clogs the arteries, meaning vital blood flow is restricted to the heart and body organs, causing obesity, heart disease, possible diabetes and other diseases. When eaten in appropriate amounts, ALL of the above can contribute to health. However, the main importance is on omega-3 fatty acids.

The fats we need EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) are just that, essential to us, we cannot produce them. Omega 6 and Omega 3 are EFA’s. Generally, we consume more Omega 6(cooking oils, meats) fats than we need, and not enough Omega 3. (Oily fish, salmon, flax, walnuts)

What can omega-3 foods do for you?

• Reduce inflammation throughout your body

• Keep your blood from clotting excessively

• Maintain the fluidity of your cell membranes

• lower the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides) circulating in the bloodstream

• reduce the risk of becoming obese and improve the body’s ability to respond to insulin by stimulating the secretion of leptin, a hormone that helps regulate food intake, body weight and metabolism, and is expressed primarily by adipocytes (fat cells) – Yup, switches on fat burning enzymes, and turns off fat storing!

How can you tell if you need more Omega-3?

Depression

Cardiovascular Disease

Type 2 Diabetes

Fatigue

Dry, itchy skin

Brittle hair and nails

Inability to concentrate

Joint pain

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Unlike the saturated fats found in butter and lard, omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated. Polyunsaturated fats, unlike saturated fats, are liquid at room temperature and remain liquid when refrigerated or frozen. Monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil, are liquid at room temperature, but harden when refrigerated.

The three most nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). (Check these levels when comparing Omega-3 products)

Alpha-linolenic acid is one of two fatty acids traditionally classified as “essential.” The other fatty acid traditionally viewed as essential is an omega 6 fat called linoleic acid. These fatty acids are usually classed as “essential” because the body is unable to manufacture them on its own and because they play a key role in several physiological functions.

Dietary sources of alpha-linolenic acid include flaxseeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, soybeans and some dark green leafy vegetables. Linoleic acid is found in high concentrations in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil.

What functions are determined by omega-3 fatty acids?

Every cell in our body is surrounded by a cell membrane composed mainly of fatty acids. The cell membrane allows the proper amounts of necessary nutrients to enter the cell, and ensures that waste products are quickly removed from the cell. Without functioning cells, our health, skin, energy and disease prevention abilities all drop.

A lot of people tend to steer clear of avocados and coconut when trying to lose weight, worrying about the fat content. However, on my nutrition plan the elimination diet, I actively encourage my clients to include them in their dietary habits.


Avocados are a great balance of healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

As the fat in the avocado is monounsaturated, this means that it fires up your metabolic rate as compared to saturated fats. The high fat content also ensures you stay fuller for longer, and balances out blood sugar levels, making sure you don’t have energy slumps. Cooking with avocado oil is great as it doesnt burn at higher temperatures like olive oil.

I’ve spoken to people before who have been on “certain diets”, saying they couldnt have an avocado for lunch because it would take them over their point limit – but they could have a bag of crisps?!! I’m sorry but this is just wrong….natural food the body can use effectively, v’s a bag of something processed that will have you craving more food in 60mins? It’s not right…….

Coconut and coconut oil is another great food for eating or cooking with. Use coconut oil wherever you would usually use olive oil, and you’ll get some great healthy benefits.

As well as being vitamin rich and similar benefits as avocado, coconut contains MCT’s or Medium Chain Triglycerides. This means they are made up of longer bonds of special fats, so they take longer to breakdown, are a great source of energy for the body (as opposed to being dumped into fat cells), and will balance blood sugar levels, keep energy high, and keep you fuller for longer.

Hopefully the above has opened a lot of ideas to the benefits of fats, the differences between fats, and how you shouldn’t “fear the fat” !!


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