The very term “fat loss” might prompt you to think that the key to achieving such a goal is to reduce your fat consumption. Then we have the trouble with cardiovascular health and the common tip to eat less fatty foods to prevent clogging up your arteries. While these statements could, in theory, make sense, they don’t present the whole picture.
For starters, to shed weight, you do need a caloric deficit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should drastically reduce your consumption of healthy fats, and that’s where things get slightly tricky. The same applies to your heart health – the type of fats matter as much as their amount in your diet.
So, let’s debunk these myths once and for all, and help you understand the importance of healthy fats, and how you can eliminate the unhealthy ones from your diet.
Which fats are good?
Generally speaking, there are two types of fats that are considered healthy, when consumed in moderation and from appropriate food sources, of course. Those are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
- Monounsaturated fats are considered healthy and can be found in a wide range of foods such as nuts and seeds, avocados, as well as olive oil.
- Polyunsaturated fats, on the other hand, are considered essential, and you can find them in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, as well as various nuts and seeds, too – this is the group of fats that includes the famous omega-3 fatty acids and the omega-6 fatty acids.
There are also two types of unhealthy fats that you should ideally avoid in your diet. These are the culprits typically responsible for clogging your arteries and skyrocketing your bad cholesterol levels, especially when you consume them in high amounts: saturated and trans fats.
- Saturated fats are found in animal products, more specifically meat and dairy, as well as some vegetable oils (coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm oil, etc.).
- Trans fats are the most notorious of all, and rightfully so, as they are the ones that bring no benefits to your wellbeing, but can damage your cardiovascular health – found in fried and deep fried foods, margarine, shortening, baked and processed foods.
Dietary supplements to the rescue
Healthy fats, just like the other two macronutrients (proteins and carbs) play a vital role in your immune system, overall resilience, as well as preventing chronic health issues. Knowing that, many people find it difficult to strike that fine balance of proper healthy fat intake through food alone.
Especially if you’re recovering from an illness or struggling with a chronic issue, using a supplement such as ProOmega can make it easier for you to balance your nutrition. If you do turn to a supplement, make sure that your diet is optimized to avoid overloading your meals with fatty ingredients.
Balancing your nutrition
There’s a learning curve to every decision you make regarding your health, and the same applies to how you introduce of eliminate fats in your diet. This can be particularly tricky if you’re still figuring out which fatty foods are good for you, specifically, and how you can safely incorporate them into your meal plans.
That’s why we’ve organized a workshop Fats: Friend or Foe? to help you understand the intricacies of fat consumption, and how you can make the most of this macronutrient without constantly worrying about your diet. This one-hour class is tailored to anyone who wants to get a closer look at this macronutrient and adapt their eating habits in a stress-free way.
Foods to include
Whether or not you take the class, it’s good to know some basic ingredients you can trust, as well as some food groups to avoid when you’re looking to improve the quality of your meals. The main rule to stick to is that it’s ideal to avoid overly processed, baked, and deep-fried foods that contain tons of animal and trans fats.
As for the foods you can and should consume to keep your immunity in check provided you don’t have any allergies or sensitivities to think about, here are a few:
- Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, hemp, pumpkin, chia, and flax seeds.
- Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, even the canned variety can be good for you, if they’re not drenched in unhealthy oils.
- Avocado is a great source of healthy fats, as well as avocado oil.
- Healthy oils, such as organic, cold-pressed olive oil, but whole olives are excellent for you, too.
- Natural nut butters without any added oils.
Keep in mind that these foods are very high in their caloric value, too, so it’s smart to keep track of how much you need daily. Often, just a handful of walnuts or a spoonful of peanut butter would do the trick.
In addition to dispelling the myths surrounding the idea that all fats are bad, let’s also agree that focusing on moderation and balance can go a long way in revamping your health. However, should you need help, you can set up a consultation with a functional medicine expert to tailor your menu further and make sure you’re on the right track to reach your health goals.