Fat may have a bad reputation, but it may be just what you need to be a slimmer you.
For the longest time, the concept of eliminating fat from your diet is the most effective way to lose weight. But is this really the best or speediest way to lose weight to shape up? Today, we explore why eating fat can actually escalate the burning of fat for the benefit of a shapelier you. So before you toss all those delicious fatty food into the bin, read on!
For starters, fat is essential for normal growth and development of your body and its organs. It is not something to avoid completely. Dietary fat would provide energy, protect our organs, maintain cell membranes and help our body in the absorption of nutrients.
However, we have to take caution that not all fats are created equal. Your favourite slice of pizza may rank first from the bottom in the list of food with high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the ‘good’ cholesterol. On the other hand, an avocado or fatty fish, like salmon, contains unsaturated fat, that encompasses both monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), ends up topping the list of fatty foods that you should be having more of, to lose low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in your body.
Apart from eliminating LDL cholesterol from your arteries for a healthier heart, unsaturated fat can aid in your weight loss plan to burn fat faster without requiring you to cut calories. Why? Shouldn’t the simple equation of eating less fat to have a lower amount of fat in your body be the case?
Well, it turns out that it is due to our taste buds. They are accustomed to great-tasting food. Hence, in the manufacture of low-fat or zero-fat products, manufacturers would jack up the food with sugar and salt to ensure that the flavour is not compromised.
With the increased amount of sugar and salt in those foods, and the consumers believing that having a larger quantity of them is all right, hence it is no surprise that obesity rates are rising, despite the zero-fat labels.
So why should you eat fat instead?
Fat Burns Fat
‘Old’ fat stored in the body’s peripheral tissues — around the belly, thighs or butt cannot be used to convert to energy effectively, without ‘new’ fat to help the process. This is because, according to researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, dietary fat helps to break down existing fat and fat-burning pathways through the liver.
Think of your next meal time being similar to the formation of a sports team, like basketball. Young, hungry players (‘new’ fat) hit the court and show the coach and manager (the liver) that it’s time to send the old, worn-out players (‘old’ or existing fat) home, so off and away they go.
Fat Keeps You Full
Not one of the easiest nutrients to digest, fat would stick around in the digestive system for more time than many other nutrients. That means you feel full for a longer period of time and the urge to raid the refrigerator after a meal would be eliminated. But again, not all fats are created equal. So make wise choices with unsaturated fatty acids: Both MUFAs and PUFAs. MUFAs are found in seeds, olives, vegetable oils, nuts and avocados, while PUFAs are found in vegetable oils, fish and seafood.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are two PUFAs that can only be obtained through consumption of food and are usually called “essential fatty acids.”
Saturated fatty acids are commonly found in foods from animal sources, such as meat and dairy products, like butter and cheese, and they are usually solid at room temperature. Some vegetable oils, such as coconut and palm oil, also contain saturated fat.
Fat Makes You Happy
It turns out that our taste buds can tell if fat in food is present and the lack thereof. Yes, the taste buds detect not just the salt, sugar and more in food. If you enjoy delicious (fatty) food, the low-fat versions will not make the mark of making you feel satisfied, simply because you can and would want to taste fat.
On a happier note, omega-3 fatty acids can boost serotonin levels in the brain. They help to improve mood, increase motivation and keep you from eating a whole boatload of food to feel satisfied.
Fat Helps in Nutrient Absorption
If you are on a weight loss diet, every bit of food you eat counts and to ensure that the essential vitamins and nutrients are well absorbed, fat is required.
Many nutrients, like vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. This means that the body cannot absorb them without fat. If your body is not absorbing nutrients properly, you may face vitamin deficiencies and bring on dry skin, blindness, brittle bones and many more health problems. These vitamins are also vital to maintaining energy, focus and muscle health, all of which contribute to a healthy body and weight.
Wait no more to include fat in your shape-up plan and start seeing a change today.