One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to lose weight is buying everything fat-free, when actually about 30 percent of our daily calories should come from fat.
Most “fat-free” foods are over-processed and contain little nutritional value (or taste). You’d probably be surprised to find out that your body burns more calories digesting whole foods over processed foods.
Think about it: Eating an ear of corn is a lot more satisfying than eating a bowl of cornflakes. You eat a bowl of cornflakes and you’re hungry again 10 minutes later.
The truth is your body needs fat to function properly.
For instance, we’re always told how we should avoid saturated fat, but when eaten in moderation (about 10% of our daily calories), saturated fat actually increases your good cholesterol and decreases your risk for heart disease.
So what fats can we eat? What are good fats and bad fats? There are lots of healthy fats out there that add flavor to your meals and may even take inches off your waistline!
The key is to determine which fats you need and how much you need so your body can benefit from them.
What are Good Fats?
Let’s talk about the benefits of good fats first. Good fats have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects that assist your body in self-maintenance and repair. You’ve probably heard of Omega-3 – maybe you take a vitamin for it. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for a healthy metabolism and help stop blood clots, but your body can’t make them. You have to obtain them through foods with good fats.
Foods with good fats include:
- Saltwater fish, such as salmon, herring and tuna.
- Olive oil and canola oil are a great substitute for those creamy processed salad dressings
- Half an avocado per day gives you just the right amount of monounsaturated fats
- Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts – almost any unsalted nut – have heart-healthy fats
What are Bad Fats?
As you can probably guess, bad fats are a lot easier to come across than good fats. A lot of restaurants and grocery stores sell food that is packed with saturated fat and trans fat. I mentioned earlier that saturated fat is only beneficial in small doses. If more than 10% of your daily calories comes from saturated fat, your cholesterol – not to mention your weight – will skyrocket.
But where does trans fat come from and how can you spot it?
Trans fat comes from partially hydrogenated oils which can withstand repeated heating without breaking down. Restaurants like using trans fat oils because they’re cheaper and don’t spoil as easily. Those drive-thru fries may taste good, but they’re attacking your blood vessels.
Foods with bad fats include:
- Any commercially fried food and most drive-thru restaurants in general (Click here for a list of the 88 Unhealthiest Fast Food Menu Items)
- Packaged foods that market themselves as “low-fat.” The manufacturers replace the flavor from fat and load them with refined carbs and sugars that spike insulin and cause weight gain. Instead, you should indulge in a full-fat version of your favorite treat as an occasional reward.
- Foods high in saturated fat, which include red meats and dairy. You can still eat them, just don’t eat too much!
Eating in moderation is essential for losing weight. No matter how healthy something is, too much of it will go straight to your hips. If you notice yourself going back for seconds, you should order a free trial of SENSA – you’ll feel full off smaller portions.
Remember, if you really want to lose weight, you need a healthy dose of fat!