Low-fat food might seem like an obvious way to lose weight but the truth is, you need fat in your diet. If you don’t eat enough healthy fat you will set back your weight-loss and fitness goals. There are a number of reasons you need more fat in your diet – the bottom line (excuse the pun) is eating an intelligent diet that includes fat is your ticket to being lean, strong and fit. Here are 6 reason why eating more fat is better for you.
1. FAT FILLS YOU UP FOR LONGER
Some dieters avoid fat is because it has nine calories per gram, versus four calories per gram of carbs. The thinking is: “More calories equals more body fat.” The truth is, losing weight and staying fit is not just addition and subtraction. Yes, fat has more calories per gram, but it fills you up for longer. Eating fat early in the day is a great way to slim down. A slice of toast with peanut butter, which is high in fat and protein, is going to satiate you (make you feel full) for longer than a slice of bread with jam. Meaning that instead of having a mid-morning sugar craving you power through till lunch. So the “fattening” option actually helps you save calories.
2. FAT STABILIZES BLOOD SUGAR
When food manufacturers want you to eat more of something they increase its sugar content because sugar triggers cravings: the more you eat, the more you want. You burn glucose (sugar) for fuel so your body rapidly processes sugar leading to a ‘crash’ that leaves you needing more sweets. Fat is different. Because your body has to break down fat into glucose before using it for energy the process takes longer, meaning your blood sugar stays stable instead of going up and down like a yo-yo.
3. FAT SUPPORTS OPTIMAL HORMONE PRODUCTION
Dietary fat is essential for proper hormone production. Hormones regulate your body’s systems, including your reproductive and endocrine system, which in turn influence your health, energy, and metabolism. When you have sufficient healthy fat in your diet you are signalling your body everything is OK so it burns fuel (calories) efficiently, supports muscle and bone growth, and so forth. When you starve yourself of fat your body will start shutting down these essential systems and hang on to its body fat.
4. FATS RICH IN OMEGA-3 MAKE YOU FITTER AND SMARTER
Omega-3 is a type of essential fatty acid found in foods such as fish oils, nuts, and linseed oil. Eating foods high in Omega-3 helps lower your blood fat (triglyceride) levels. It also has a huge range of health benefits such as improved mental clarity, protecting against arthritis and asthma, and preventing depression and dementia. That equals a smarter, fitter, more motivated you!
5. FAT FROM WHOLEFOOD SOURCES SUPPORTS BALANCED NUTRITION
When you eat fat from wholefood sources such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and free-range meat you get additional health benefits. Nuts and seeds are rich in essential minerals, protein and fiber; avocados are packed with vitamins; meat offers protein and iron. Eating healthy fat wholefoods is also key to maintaining the correct levels of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K which your body needs for energy, healing, immunity, and bone health.
6. FAT BURNS FAT
Studies show that a type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) decreases body fat, increases lean muscle and improves strength. CLA is an omega-6 essential fatty acid (EFA) that is found in meat and dairy products. Eating full-fat, preferably organic dairy and/or grass-fed meat is a great way to add this healthy fat to your diet.
What is your favourite healthy fat food? Share your suggestions in the comments below!